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Things To Do In Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is a northern state in India and has long been a hub for ancient culture, beautiful architecture and a religious hub for the pious crowd of the country. Uttar Pradesh is one of the oldest cites inhabited by people in India and has a number of structures built by the Mughals as well as people who have ruled after that. There are a number of things to do in Uttar Pradesh like visiting the godly temples, taking boating trips and experiencing the life of the people in rural Varanasi; hence, there is no way that you will get bored here. Let’s have a look at some of the activities to indulge in on your trip to Uttar Pradesh.
Visit a Holy Fair in Allahabad
Uttar Pradesh boasts of numerous pilgrimage sites that are visited by many all year round. One of the best places to visit is Allahabad, which is located at the confluence of three holy rivers, the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, making Allahbad one of the most prominent religious places to visit. If you are visiting in January or February, don’t forget to visit the Magh Mela; an event that is held every year in Allahabad to mark the beginning of the universe. You can also visit the Kumbh Mela which is an auspicious fair held for devotees to come wash off all their sins in the holy rivers. The city during this fair itself will give you a different and a very holy feel; the chants that you can hear all the time, the ringing of bells and the smell of incense sticks in the air provides for a perfect spiritual vacation.
Take a Dip and a Boat Ride in the Ganges
The Ganges originates from the mountains of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, meets at a small town in Uttarakhand and then the mainstream flows into Uttar Pradesh towards Vrindavan. Vrindavan is home to Lord Krishna and is considered highly holy, especially the Ganges River that flows through it. It is said that the Ganga River has the power to remove your sins and hence, people travel all the way from different cities in the country to this holy river to wash off their sins. The experience of taking a dip in the holy river is absolutely exhilarating, something you have probably never done before and definitely a life experience.
If you want to enjoy the Ganges River completely, you must take a boat ride on the river. The river flows through the city of Varanasi connecting the river to the land, that have numerous ghats. In each of these ghats, you can find boats with a local boatsmen, ready to give you a ride around the Ganges. The best time to take this boat ride is during the sunset or sunrise when the Ganges Aarti takes place and is a bit expensive during those times of the day. The calmness of the river, with the priests singing the Arti and chanting their prayers is a site that you will never forget.
Visit Quaint Villages in Varanasi
Want to refresh your mind? Take a tour to the rural village of Varanasi, where you can experience a totally different culture and tradition. You can get a chance to closely see and experience the lifestyle of the local people living in Varanasi. You can see how these villagers have preserved their culture for the future generations as they do not want their traditions to be lost in the modern world. Villages like Lamhi Village, Rameshwar Village and Chiraigao are some of the quaintest villages in Uttar Pradesh that gives you a glimpse of the life and culture in the state, especially in the town of Varanasi.
Tour Around Agra and Fatehpur Sikri
The architecture of structures and monuments in Uttar Pradesh are primarily of Islamic origin made under the rule of the Mughals, which is blended with Hindu architecture as well due to the Hinduism being prominent in the region. Some of the most prominent structures in the state include monuments in Fatehpur Sikri, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and many more. Although Agra has quite a few things to do and places to visit, witnessing the Taj Mahal remains one of the top most things to do for anyone visiting Uttar Pradesh. This beautiful monument was constructed by Shah Jahan to commemorate his wife Mumtaz and is now one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Known as one of the most beautiful Muslim arts in India, the place attracts almost two million people every year.
Once you are done seeing the marvelous Taj Mahal, go take a look at the Agra Fort, an architectural marvel. Built on a 94 acre land, the Agra Fort has a combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture and is very impressive. Last but not the least; don’t forget to visit the beautiful structures in Fatehpur Sikri; the Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, Diwan-e-Aam and many more are some of the must see attractions in Uttar Pradesh.
Visit the Temples of Mathura and Vrindavan
India has several holy shrines throughout the country and although there are several pilgrimage spots, some of the renowned places that have some of the most beautiful temples are Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. These holy places validate and glorify the birthplace and the existence of Lord Krishna with the establishment of some of the most architecturally profound temples. Visit the birthplace of Lord Krishna at Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, where the interior of the holy structure is quite notable. Another famous temple in Mathura is the Dwarkadhish Temple, which is also the oldest temple in Mathura. Inside the temple, you can see a black marble idol of Lord Krishna along with a white marble idol of Radha right behind it. Adorned with a Rajasthani architectural style, the Dwarkadhish Temple is a must visit in Mathura. Other temples in Mathura worth visiting include Chamunda Devi Temple, Kesava Deo Temple, Gita Mandir and may more.
Vrindavan is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna grew up; several temples were erected to establish religious significance. The Prem Mandir, a spiritual complex in the outskirts of Vrindavan is dedicated to Lord Kirshna and Sita Ram. Structures with beautiful white marble, this temple complex is a must visit. One of the important ISKON temples in India is situated in Vrindavan and is known as Shri Krishna Balaram Mandir. Made of beautiful marble, the temple has archways on each side, with peacock stairways that look beautiful and compliment the structure. Other notable temples in Vrindavan include the Nidhivan Temple, the Shri Rangji Mandir and the Gopinath Temple amongst many others.
Visit the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary
Stretching over the states of Madhay Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the National Chambla Wildlife Sanctuary is located a few kilometers from Agra and is a famous tourist attraction in Uttar Pradesh. Enjoying the flora and fauna and being one with nature is one of the top things to do in Uttar Pradesh. The sanctuary houses endangered species like Gharial, Muggar, Otter, Turtles and different species of aquatic birds and animals; the animals are protected by the reserve and efforts are taken to keep these animals in their natural habitats. You can take a River Safari in the Sanctuary to watch birds, river dolphins, otters and other aquatic creatures. You can also choose to go on a nature walk and indulge in bird watching or you can choose from a variety of safaris on horseback, camelback or a jeep.
Take a Heritage Walk in Varanasi
The oldest inhabited city in the world, Varanasi, has a lot to offer to its visitors. The heritage walk in Varanasi is organized by a group of people who are locals and give you a tour of this beautiful religious city. The guide shares knowledge of the traditions, people and their lifestyles, unraveling the wonders of this culture to people who are visiting and inquisitive of the place. The Heritage walk includes walking through the lanes of Varanasi, temple walks, walking through old markets, street food walks, photography tour etc. depending on the kind of tour you would like to take. This is a great activity to take up if you want to experience life in Uttar Pradesh in a local way.
Do a Day Trip to Sarnath
If you are interested in learning more about Buddhism and knowing where it originally came from, Sarnath is a place you must visit. About 10 km from Varanasi, Sarnath is a small town in Uttar Pradesh, which is the birthplace of Buddhism. It is said that Sarnath was the place where Gautam Buddha met his first five disciples whom he eventually gave his sermon to. There are a number of notable monuments and ruins of stupas in the region that are absolutely worth visiting. The famous Ashoka Pillar is a 15 m tall pillar with four sculptures of lions on top of the pillar; this structure marks the national emblem of India. The Dhamek stupa is the biggest structure in Sarnath and has a height of 43.6 m and a diameter of 28 m; this is one of the most visited structures in Sarnath. You can also visit a number of temples like Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, Thai Temple and the Tibetan Temple. After you are done sightseeing, visit the deer park to relax and take in the essence of nature.
Live the Nawabi Life in Lucknow
The capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow is also known as the city of Nawabs. The Nawabs have ruled over this region for a long time and their influence can be seen up until the present day. The structures, monuments, palaces and gardens show a clear indication of Nawabi rule. Visit the Bara Imambara, one of the most beautiful structures in Lucknow, built in the Mughal era; this structure is 50 m long and is an epitome of architectural excellence. You can even enjoy the view of the entire city from the top of this tower. One of the most famous things to do in Lucknow is to eat Tunday Kebabs; these soft and succulent pieces of meat are a delicacy in this region and the taste is unique to Lucknow. Other things to do in Lucknow that will enhance your cultural know how of the place include visiting the Ambedkar Park, Rumi Darwaza and the British Residency. Other than that you can also go shopping for some fine fragrant Ittar and take a walk on Hazratganj to have a real feel of the culture of the city.
Learn About Indian History in Jhansi
Located in the middle of Bundelkhand, Jhansi is an important historical tourist place in Uttar Pradesh. Although the place is mostly known for Rani Lakshmibai and her courage and valor, the city of Jhansi also has other spots to see and discover. The Jhansi Fort is one of the most well known attractions, which is 4 km from the railway junction. Standing on a 15 acre land, this fort has ten doors and is 312 m in height and has beautiful architecture in and out. Another place worth visiting is the Panch Mahal, the 5 storey residence of Rani Lakshmibai. If you want to dive in to to the history of the place, visit the Government Museum to glance through a repository of weapons, photographs, statues and other artifacts that belonged to the past era. After you are done sightseeing, go to Lakshmi Taal, a famous picnic spot in Jhansi.
Take a Pilgrimage to Kushinagar
An avid follower of Buddhism or simply interested in the works of Buddha, Kushinagar is a must visit for devotees of Buddha. Kushinagar is the place where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana. The place has several monasteries and stupas that date back to olden times when Lord Buddha walked on this earth. Kushinagar is one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrims in the world and is known as the place where Lord Buddha finally rested. The place is of absolute importance to Buddhists as well as people who want to attain more knowledge of Buddhism and its teachings. One of the holiest places in Uttar Pradesh, going on a pilgrimage to Kushinagar should definitely be on your to-do list.