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State of India - Uttar Pradesh
QUICK FACTS Climate (Degree C.): Summer - Max: 45, Min: 11, Winter - Max: 32, Min: 2 | Best Season: October - March | Languages Spoken: Urdu, Hindi and English | Capital: Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh has been blessed by the gods with all the charismatic charms that helps to make the state ultimately tourist destination. The vast landscape with the lush greenery, the holy rivers flowing through the heart of the state nourishing its fertile plains, the rich cultural heritage left by the Nawabs as a legacy and most of all- the splendid monuments of Mughal emperors who found it an ideal place to treasure their memories in the form of exotic buildings. Be it the Taj or Fatehpur Sikri all the monuments have a breath taking beauty and tranquilizing effects.

Geography of Uttar Pradesh:
Uttar Pradesh is bordered by Uttaranchal in North East, Haryana and Delhi in North, Rajasthan in West, Madhya Pradesh in South West, Chhattisgarh in South, Bihar in South East and East and Nepal along its East. Gangetic Plain occupies three quarters of the state. The two most holy rivers of India: Ganga & Yamuna flow through Uttar Pradesh.

History of Uttar Pradesh:
The ancient most state of India, the seeds of Vedic Literature are believed to have been sown in Uttar Pradesh itself. Uttar Pradesh has been ruled by a number of kingdoms at different points in time. The rule of the Kosalas is of particular significance. King Dasaratha and his successor Ram were the illustrious rulers of the kingdom. The great Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have originated in Uttar Pradesh. Buddha delivered his first sermon on the 'middle path' in Sarnath. Uttar Pradesh is also the cultural heartland of Islam religion in India. You can undoubtedly say that Uttar Pradesh had played one of the most significant roles in India history.

Tourist Places of Uttar Pradesh:
Uttar Pradesh tourism boasts of some of the most visited tourist spots in India. Taj Mahal and Ghats of Varanasi are two of the jewel of Uttar Pradesh Tourism. It is rightly said that there is none left in this world that could match the magnificence of Taj. This subtle yet attractive insignia of love pulls hordes of tourists every year. And if Taj stands for romanticism, Varanasi is for salvation. There is some hidden energy in Varanasi that gives solace to thousands who come to the eternal city. The Hindu pilgrimage sites such as Mathura, Allahabad, Ayodhya and Gadh-Mukteshwar also attract thousands of pilgrims every year.

Fairs & Festivals of Uttar Pradesh:
With large number of people from different caste, creed, culture and religious backgrounds living in Uttar Pradesh, the state is home to a variety of fairs and festivals. These fairs and festivals reflect the rich cultural heritage of the state. Ganga Mahotsava (Varanasi), Janmashtmi Fair (Mathura), Maha Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh (Allahabad), Ramlila (Varanasi), Latthmar Holi (Mathura), Taj Mahotsava, Yoga Festival (Varanasi & Allahabad) are the few most important festivals of Uttar Pradesh which are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Bateshwar Cattle Fair is an annual cattle fair held at the banks of Yamuna in the 'Kartik' month of Hindu calendar, is an important fair of Uttar Pradesh.

Cuisine in Uttar Pradesh:
Due to Muslim dominance and influence on the culture and cuisine of this region, you will find that most of the items are meat based. The state capital, Lucknow (erstwhile Awadh), inherits the secrets of the nawabi cuisines. Thus amongst many other things Lucknow boasts of the rich and world famous Awadhi cuisine. Outstanding feature of Awadhi tradition of cooking is the 'Dum Pukht' process of preparing food. In this unique style, food is sealed in large pots called handi and placed over slow fire, allowing the ingredients to be cooked in their own juices giving it a natural flavour. It takes about three days to prepare the meal in a traditional manner. Kundan Kaliya, Shami Kabab, Kakori Kabab, Gulnaar Kabab, Lucknowi Biryani, Zarda, Murg Mussallam, Pasanda Kababs are the few special cuisines of Uttar Pradesh.

Shopping in Uttar Pradesh:
The state of Uttar Pradesh, rich in traditional handicrafts, provides a wonderful shopping experience. With a great number of skilled artisans in Uttar Pradesh, Mathura and Varanasi are well known for its stone carving whereas Agra and Lucknow are known for its embroidery and weaving, Kanpur for its leather works, Aligarh - for its famous Chinese locks, Rampur city has an almost legendry stature in manufacturing knives and Firozabad for its glassware. The Chikankari embroidery of Lucknow and Zardozi of Agra are overwhelmingly beautiful art works, which would leave you spoilt for choice while shopping in Uttar Pradesh. Almost everywhere in Uttar Pradesh you will find stone carved items like: marble boxes, wall plates, table tops and not to mention the numerous replicas of the Taj Mahal which are made of marble, sandstone, precious and semi precious stones.