Uttar Pradesh as a state unfolds a fascinating past dating back to 4000 years ago, which still breathes fresh in every corner. This state sits around the three historically significant rivers – Yamuna, Ganga and the mythological Saraswati.
The vast and fertile Gangetic Plains that make up the present day Uttar Pradesh have played a key role in the rise and fall of major empires and dynasties going back more than 2500 years ago. Lying to the East of the capital of India, New Delhi, this was a strategic region which invaders and rulers sought to control in order to establish their power in North India.
With every turn on this land, the history takes an imposing bend. The history of Uttar Pradesh dates back to the period when 'Dasas' occupied Uttar Pradesh. In 2000 BC the Aryans came and laid the foundation of a Hindu civilization. Later, the state was reigned by some of the great and powerful empires like Maurya, Nanda, Magadh, Sunga, Kushan, Pal, Rashtrakut and Mughals. Uttar Pradesh also cradles the inspiring past of Buddhism. In present times, the state is beautifully dotted with magnificent monuments, forts, museums, and other relics of the bygone era.
24th January has been designated as Uttar Pradesh Day and will be celebrated every year.
Uttar Pradesh was formed as United Province of India during the British rule on 1st April 1937.
During the British era, the state was known as North West Province of Agra and Oudh (NWPA), which was later renamed as United Province of Agra and Oudh in 1902. In short it was called United Provinces.
Earlier, the capital of Uttar Pradesh was Faizabad which was later shifted to Lucknow.
Uttar Pradesh was the main center during the period of Independence struggle.
Uttar Pradesh is also known as Hindi Heartland owing to the notable Hindi writers born in this region in ancient and medieval times like Saint Kabir Das, Tulsi Das, Surdas, Vishnu Sharma, Malik Mohhamad Jayasi, and also modern writers like Prem Chand, Jaishankar Prasad, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Mahadevi Verma and innumerable others who contributed in the flourish of Hindi language.
Hindi, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Braj, Bundeli and English are the main languages spoken in the State.
Uttar Pradesh borders along 9 other states, which is the maximum as compared to other states in India. These 9 states include – Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Bihar and Jharkhand.
UP shares its international boundary with Nepal in north.
Uttar Pradesh is the fourth largest by area and top most by population in the country.
Lakhimpur Kheri is the largest district of Uttar Pradesh area wise.
Uttar Pradesh is home to the spiritual capital of India – Varanasi, the perfume capital of India – Kannauj and the Manchester of India – Kanpur.
The Uttar Pradesh region is the land of action (KarmaBhoomi) of Gautam Buddha or where he set the wheel of Karma in motion. Lord Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath.
Uttar Pradesh is considered to be one of the spiritual hub of India. Since, it is home to Mathura- the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Ayodhya- the birthplace of Lord Rama and Allahabad – the ‘Teertharaj’, holiest of the pilgrimage sites.
Kathak is a prominent dance form of Uttar Pradesh, Sarus crane the state bird while the state animal is swamp deer.
Uttar Pradesh has to experience 3 types of seasons. These are Winter, Summer and Monsoon. Monsoon period is between June and September. Summer Season is between March and May. Winter Season is between January and February.
Uttar Pradesh, like the rest of north India can get really hot and humid during the summer months. Thus, winter is the best season to explore the state in all its full bloom.
For worthwhile sightseeing, wildlife enthusiasts will have to brave the heart of summer till mid-June when national parks close. National Parks are closed to the public between June 15 and November 15; March till May are the best animal sightings.
For those who love the monsoon, the plains are at their greenest in these months. Early monsoons though muggy are still the best time for enjoying the journey across UP.
These months make up the best time to visit Uttar Pradesh. Maximum of the fests and festivals in the state fall in this period. Though December and January get extremely cold, it is still a perfect time to wander around the state and explore it.