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Uttar Pradesh Tourism


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Uttar Pradesh Tourism

Uttar Pradesh is a spectacular state in many ways. It is the most populous state in India. There was a recorded population of more than 200 million in the 2012 census. It is the 4th largest state of India. The state was part of the United Province in the British period. It was created as a separate state in 1950. It changed shape again in 2000 when the state of Uttarakhand was carved out of its hilly areas.

The land of UP is a treasure house of history. It had been ruled by great emperors in the medieval ages. Most of the foreign invaders that shaped the destiny of India came to spread their stormy loot and scoot through the length and breadth of this land. When some of them like the Mughal and the British decided to stay here, this land became a playground of all those forces. It accepted them all and developed an entirely new culture and beliefs.

Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

It is a land of old forts, temples, shrines, large tracts of wild on one hand and cities of teeming millions on the other. UP is home of perennial rivers with a great amount of water in the tributaries. It has numerous places revered by all the major religions of the world and above all a land of love, poetry and culture. The land of Uttar Pradesh is steeped in the history of the northern part of the country as it has witnessed great religions springing from its soil. Be it the Buddhism, the Jainism or the Hinduism, the land of Uttar Pradesh became a witness to the fountainheads of these religions. It is the long period of the Mughal kings first and the British rulers thereafter that has shaped UP into what can be safely called the soul of this land at present. Owing to its colourful and chequered history the state of Uttar Pradesh is a treasure house of tourist places.

Top Five Tourist Places in UP


Travel to Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow is the capital of UP. The city still retains the remnants of the typical culture of Awadh as it was once the capital of the Nawabs of Awadh. Some of the major attractions of Lucknow are Bara and Chhota Imambara, Dr. Ambedkar Park, Rumi Durwaza, Chattar Manjil, Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, the Lucknow Museum, the Planetarium, Residency and the zoo.

Did you know about the legend of the hidden treasure in Bara Imambara?

The hall of the Imambara is 50m long and 15m high without pillars. There is a balcony that runs along the hall. The acoustics of the hall is such that even a small scratch of tearing a paper can be heard from one end of the long hall to another. It is said that the Bhulbhulaiya - the labyrinth over the hall has a great treasure buried in it. The labyrinth is such that without a guide it is highly unlikely to come out of the maze. People still look for the path leading to the treasure."

Agra is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. It is one of the three vertices of the golden tourist triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. It has 3 heritage tourist spots of international fame and a must destination for tourists. These are the Taj, the Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort. Some other attractions at Agra are Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, Sikandara, Aram Bagh, Khas mahal, Panch mahal, Musamman Burj, Jama masjid and Mehtab Bagh.

Did You Know?

~ Agra inspired the Disney Movie of Hollywood

~ A rare disease afflicted Akbar and still he became one of the greatest of the Mughals

~ There were utensils in Shahjehani court in which you could not serve poisoned food

Well the The city of ‘Agrabah’ in the movie Alladin takes half its name from Agra. Akbar suffered from dyslexia. The non poisonable plates are on display in the Agra museum in the gardens of the Taj.

Tourist City of Uttar Pradesh

Allahabad is situated at the confluence of 3 mighty rivers - the Ganges, the Yamuna and the now lost Saraswati. The city hosts the biggest gathering of human beings on the planet on the occasion of the Kumbh Mela every 12 years. Other than the Triveni, the places to see at Allahabad are the Khusro Bagh, Anand Bhavan, Akhshaya Vat, Allahabad Museum and the Allahabad fort.

Did You Know?

~ The first official air mail was sent from Allahabad on 18-02-1911.

~ The first jet plane took off from Allahabad.

Kanpur is also a place worth visiting. It is the centre of leather industry in UP. It is situated at the southern bank of the holy river the Ganges. The city is one of the biggest centers of leather goods and leather material in UP. It was once considered the Manchester of India. Although those glorious days are no more the city is a big industrial hub of UP.

Did You Know Kanpur is associated with Rap genre of music?

The first female Punjabi Rapper, Hard Kaur aka Taran Kaur Dhillon, was born in Kanpur. The famous Bollywood actor Poonam Dhillon, the comedian Raju Srivastava and the great Hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj were also born here.

It is a famous city of UP. It is situated at a distance of about 167 kms from the Capital Delhi. It is on the banks of the Ramganga River. The city is famous for its brassware and brass handicrafts.

Proportionate to its size Moradabad earn more than any other city in UP. It exports brassware of more than 100m USD from more than 600 export units.


Meerut is an ancient city. The proof of habitation found around Meerut relates the site to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is situated at a distance of 450 kms from the state capital Lucknow. It is famous for its sports goods and musical instruments.

Meerut is the ‘Sasural’ (in-law’s-house) of Ravana as his wife Mandodari belonged to Meerut. Her father Mayusur has also given the later name Meerut to the city.

Religious Spots in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is a land of saints, founders of religions and a number of places associated with religions. Some very important religious spots are listed below.

Religious Cities UPVaranasi is called the religious capital of India. The sacred temple of Shiva - The Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi tops the list of the religious places in UP. The reigning deity of the temple is the Jyotirlinga that is the manifestation of Shiva. The Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore rebuilt the temple in its present shape in 1780. One of the major attractions of Varanasi is the Ganga Aarti held on the Ghats in the evening. The prominent places of Varanasi other than the Vishwanath temple are the Ganga Ghats like Dashshavmedh, Manikarnika and Assi Ghat, Ramnagar fort and Sarnath.

Did you know that Varanasi has a tradition of animal marriage?

Frogs are married amidst all kinds of religious rituals especially when the rains fail. It is done to please rain gods. It is an old ritual of Varanasi. The couples are allowed to jump into the Ganga thereafter.

Mathura is one of the holiest cities of UP. The city is about 150 km from Delhi and 55 km from Agra. It is considered to be the third oldest inhabited city after Rome and Kashi. It is the birth place of Lord Krishna. The Janam Bhoomi Temple ‘is one of the major attractions for tourists coming to the city. Other major attractions of Brij bhoomi are Dwarkadheesh Temple, Kusum Sarovar, Kans Quila, Barsana, Govardhan hill and Radha Kund etc.

Did You Know?

Sanjhee originated in Mathura - It is the art of decorating the ground on ceremonial days with different coloured flowers. The art is said to have originated from the Raslila of Krishna.

Vrindavan is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna. Every step in Vrindavan is a pilgrimage, every stone a deity. Lord Krishna lived here during his childhood. There are numerous places to visit in Vrindavan. Banke Bihari Temple, Krishna-Balaram temple or the ISKCON temple, The ‘Samadhi’ of Swami Prabhupada, Sri Vrinda Kund, Radha Damodar and Prem Mandir are some prominent tourist spots of Vrindavan.

It is believed that Radha and Krishna still meet here every night for Raslila. If anyone saw them, he will surely go deaf, dumb and blind. A pair of tooth brushes, a jug of water and a ready bed are kept in the temple of Nidhivan every night after 8 pm Aarti. It is found that the same have been used at night.

Chitrakoot is a famous religious place to visit in UP. It has some of the most revered places like the Ram Ghat on the river Mandakini, the sacred hill Kamadgiri, Sphatik Shila believed to be the rock where Lord Rama and Sita used to sit, Janki Kund the cave said to be the bathing place of Sita, etc are associated with the time of Lord Rama’s exile from Ayodhya.

Kushinagar is famous among the Buddhist tourists and pilgrims alike. Those who love to visit the places steeped in history of this country feel full satisfaction here. It is the place of Lord Buddha’s last sermon. The Mahaparinirvan Mandir, the Thai temple, the Ramabhar Stupa and many more temples associated with the lord Buddha are worth visiting places.

Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in UP

The state of UP has a number of some minor reserves. The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve spread over an area of 1079 km2 in the Pilibhit district that is one of the 41 tiger reserves of India. Some of the others are smaller but equally important for preservation of the wildlife in UP. Hastinapur sanctuary in the Meerut district of UP founded in 1986, covers huge area of 2073 km2. There are others like Kaimoor in district Mirzapur; Samaspur in Raibarely, Suhelve Sanctuary in Balrampur district, Patna Bird Sanctuary in Etah District, Vijay Sagar sanctuary of the District Mahoba and Kachhua Sanctuary of the district Varanasi. The Chandraprabha wildlife sanctuary is situated at a distance of only 70 kms from Varanasi provides scenic beauty with sanctuary to wild life. Lakh Bahosi Sanctuary gets its name from the villages Lakh and Bahosi in Kannauj District. The Ranipur Wild Life Sanctuary in Banda district is famous for the variety of its wild life and spreads over an area of about 230km2.

Wildlife in Uttar Pradesh

The two important wildlife reserve and bird sanctuaries of UP are given below.

Dudhwa tiger reserve consists of the areas of three major sanctuaries of UP. The spread of this reserve is about 1284 km2 in area including the areas of Kishnapur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniyaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. This is one of the 41 tiger project areas in India. The area of Dudhwa reserve spreads along the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich of UP. The Dudhwa National Park is a life line for some of the endangered species in India along with being one of the most important forested area for the people of UP and the country to visit. The Park witnesses hot summers with temperature rising to 400 C and mild winters of lowest up to 200 C. The tiger is the reigning attraction at Dudhwa but it is home to a variety of deer, Indian Rhino, Jackal, Leopard and Bear etc.

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist’s delight. There are many other bird sanctuaries in UP but it is by far the most important one from the point of view of the annual migratory birds that visit here. It is situated on the outskirts of the town of Nawabganj in Unnao. It is on the Lucknow-Kanpur Highway and have a good tourist resort also. The area covers a big lake and wet land sanctuary for thousands of migratory birds that come here from as far as Siberia. It has been found that the rich wet land and Jheel of Nawabganj attracts about 250 species of birds. It has a deer park also. The forest resthouse can be booked for stay.

Parks and Gardens in UP

Uttar Pradesh has a rich culture of developing gardens and parks in Palaces, Havelis, and Forts and later in city spaces as places of recreation for its people. There are some very beautiful gardens like the Sikander Bagh, Banarasi Bagh and the Buddha park in the state capital Lucknow, the Company garden in the old city of Allahabad, the rock garden and meditation park at Kushinagar, the deer park at Sarnath, Nana Rao park, Phool Bagh, Kamala retreat, Moti Jheel and Buddha park of the industrial hub of Kanpur and the 11 famous gardens of the Mughal period at Agra make interesting visit to these place for the tourists. The top five such parks and gardens are as follows.

The Company Garden Allahabad
Parks in UPThis garden also known as Alfred Park is situated right in the heart of Allahabad. Those who visit Allahabad Museum go to see the Company Garden also because it is just behind the museum. The place is a memorial to the freedom struggle of India. There is a statue of the famous freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad in the park. The statue is a reminder of the grim battle fought by the brave heart against the British police. He had vowed never to surrender. When he found escape impossible he used the last bullet on himself.

Moti Jheel Kanpur
Kanpur has several big and small parks and gardens. The Moti Jheel Park and garden is one of the most visited places of Kanpur. It has a lake where boat rides are possible. The Jheel is near the water works of Bena Jhabar. A beautiful garden has been developed around the lake. This place offers a good view of the lake. There are some kiosks selling refreshments to visitors and good grassy lawns to sit and enjoy. The famous Tulsi Upvan and the Japanese garden with rides and slides for kids are also situated near the Moti Jheel.

The Rock Garden Kushinagar
It is called Japanese garden also. It has a lot of greenery along with statues and sculptures. The rock figures of the garden give it a beautiful atmosphere. The meditation park with it artificial water bodies, lush green surroundings with tall Sal trees, beds of beautiful flowers is situated near the Nirvana Temple. It is a wonderfully calm and serene area befitting the religious nature of the town.

Sikandar Bagh Lucknow
Sikandar Bagh is a famous garden of Lucknow situated in the National Research Institute Lucknow. The Bagh is spread over a large area. It was built in 1800 during the rule of Nawab Saadat Ali and glorified by the last Nawab of Lucknow, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah by his active participation in all the cultural ‘mehfils’ engaged here. The Nawab named the Bagh on one of his beloved queens Begum Sikander Mahal.

Mehtab Bagh Agra
Mehtab Bagh in Agra is one of the wonderful gardens of the Mughal period which came to the highest glory in the period of the Mughal king Shah Jahan. It is situated on the bank of the River Yamuna. It must have been a part of the original plan of the Taj Mahal as it enjoys a perfect alignment with the Taj Mahal on the opposite bank of the Yamuna. There were 11 gardens built by the Mughal kings along the River Yamuna. The Mehtab Bagh is said to be the last of those gardens.

Resorts in Uttar Pradesh

The Kuchesar Resort Bulandshahr
Resorts in UPThe Kuchesar Resort in district Bulandshahr of UP is a big place with 16 room accommodation for guests. Its site is the Kuchesar Village fort built in 18th century. The wide moat built around the fort is said to have been carved when the soil for the fort was being taken and the seven turrets signify its battle readiness against the British. The gardens on three sides of the main edifice provide a lush green ambiance to the resort.

The accommodation provided to the guests is modern in nature along with both in and outdoor recreational facilities. Some outdoor activities unique to the resort are Bullock Cart Safari, white linen picnic on request, visit to the jaggery making facilities of the area and a pleasant visit to the banks of Brijghat

Charan Club and Resort Lucknow
This resort has the great convenience of being at a distance of merely half an hour drive from the centre of Lucknow. Its location has the advantage of being close to the city but sufficiently away from its hustle and bustle. It falls on the Lucknow Faizabad road at Chinhat that is an extension of the Gomtinagar area of Lucknow. The resort has made arrangement for some wonderful indoor and outdoor activities besides offering 30 well maintained rooms with all facilities of a modern living available.

Shiv Ganga Resort Varanasi
Located amidst verdant landscape, well maintained lawns and some of the great destinations of Varanasi close by, the Shiv Ganga Resort offers a very good place to visit. It has a modern kitchen with trained chefs. The rooms are air-conditioned with facilities like TV, telephone, attached bathrooms, refrigerator, and 24 hrs hot and cold water in the bathroom.

The resort is about 35kms from the Airport, about 14 kms from the center of the town and just 500 m from the Ganga. Some of the readily accessible places from the resort are the Ram Nagar Fort, Chunar Fort, Sarnath and the BharatMata Mandir within a periphery of 15 to 20 kms only. The uniqueness of the resort lies in its cuisine. The tourists can enjoy a sumptuous Indian and continental meal with emphasis on delicacies from Banaras. The resort gives the visitors the facilities like the doctor on call and car park etc.

Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida
Famous Resorts in UPJaypee Greens in Greater Noida is one of the best resorts in UP. It is a joint venture of the Jai Prakash Associates and the ‘Six Senses Resorts & Spas’. The resort is basically a golf centric project which has been expended to encompass some other business propositions associated with a resort. The area of the golf resort is about 450 acre golf course near Delhi. The modern architecture jostles with the traditional. Every room faces the beautifully landscaped garden in the really green courtyard. There are different named swimming pools like the pearl, the diamond, the emerald and sapphire.

A unique selling point of the resort is the use of the Ayurvedic, other traditional and modern remedies in the spas and the wellness center.

Country Inn Kosi Kalan
The town of Kosi Kalan is situated a distance of about 100 kms from both Delhi and Agra. It is the place of Lord Krishna’s childhood forays. The Country Inn at Kosi is attractive enough just because of it being located ‘not very far’ nor ‘very close’ to the national Capital making it a very sought out place for corporate meetings, conferences and for short holidays. The location is ideal in it being close to the heritage places of Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Agra.

It is a very nicely administered place. It offers both indoor and outdoor activities to the guests. There is arrangement of carom, cross words, chess, ludo, puzzles, tambola, card games, painting etc. as indoor activities. The outdoor activities include bird watching, trekking, cricket, football badminton volleyball and cycling. Another important part of the Inn is number of rooms available. It has 16 deluxe rooms. These are of 2002 ft. in size and are equipped with most of the modern amenities. It also offers 19 Superior rooms. The swimming pool, the landscaped courtyard and garden, and a lobby restaurant with a variety of food on offer in a buffet style are the other facilities. The Inn also caters to people to come and collect the fast food of their choice and go.

Museums in Uttar Pradesh

The Lucknow Museum, situated in the Banarasi Bagh area of Lucknow, is a museum and state archive as well. It has separate galleries dedicated to sculptures, anthropology, art, painting, natural history etc. It also has a portion for the coins and display the coins from the Indus Valley to the modern days today. It is open from10.30 a.m.to 4.30 p.m. all days of the week except Monday. It is close to the Hazratganj area of Lucknow and readily accessible.

Museums in UPAllahabad Museum behind Alfred Park Allahabad is a well kept museum of UP. It is famous for its artifacts and miniatures. The museum is divided into several parts for art, paintings etc. It houses several artifacts donated by Pt, Jawaharlal Nehru the first PM of India.

The Government Museum in Mathura is one of the most important museums from the research point of view and a rare collection of sculptures and paintings of the Mathura School of Art. It is situated near the Dampier Park Mathura. It is open for visiting from 9.30 a.m.to 6.00p.m. all the year round. It was founded in 1874.

The Sarnath Museum is one of the most important museums related to the Buddhist culture at the time and after Buddha. The lion Capital sculpture found here has a very close relation with India. It has become the emblem of the documents of the government of India because it gives the message of peace. India has the declared policy of non-violence in its dealing with the humanity on this planet.

The Jhansi Museum displays artifacts related to the history of Bundelkhand. It has become a vehicle of displaying the culture of Bundelkhand of the past. It also showcases the weapons, statues and other day-to-day things related to the Gupta period.

Hotels in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is blessed with some of the greatest tourist spots in India. These range from religious to mythological, modern to historical and from man made to natural. A constant footfall of tourists in places like Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Jhansi, Sarnath, Fatehpur Sikri and many more such tourists’ delight the state of UP requires a fully developed hospitality industry. It needs a good network of hotels, resorts and a good network of low and high budget places of stay. Uttar Pradesh has a fully developed hotel industry. In fact all of its tourist spots have some of the best hotels in India. The 5 top hotels are listed below.

Hotel Grand Imperial Agra
Hotels in UPThe Grand Imperial Hotel is one of the finest examples of Heritage Hotels in Agra. It has played host to a large number of dignitaries in the past. It is situated on the heart of Agra on the M.G.Road. The hotel has 30 well equipped rooms for a good modern living experience. The Hotel building was built 100 years ago. It is built in Mughal style of architecture. The grand imperial is so steeped in history with examples of the pictorial past are worth looking at.

Mahatma Gandhi Road, Agra-282001

Pallavi International Varanasi
The Pallavi International is situated on the Hathwa place, Chetgunj. It has 44 well-furnished rooms equipped with all the modern amenities. The hotel is a royal palace-turned-hospitality entity right close to the banks of the Holy Ganga. The rulers of Hathwa had their city palace built on the Ganga because they were a highly devoted family. Maharaja Krishan Pratap Sahi built the place and the same was passed on to Maharaja Gopeshwar Pratap Sahi whose successors turned the erstwhile imposing palace into this magnificent hotel.

Address: Hathwa Place, Chetgunj, Varanasi-221010

Mughal Sheraton Agra
Famous Hotels in UP30 acres of landscaped gardens, Mughal style of architecture and the red brick façade of the Mughal Sheraton Agra has given it a unique place in the hospitality industry of UP. It has also the distinction of being a 5 star facility. The hotel is run by the welcome group. The hotel has 300 rooms and suites constructed with an eye on the Mughal heritage. Every room has the lush green view of the beautifully manicured lawns and gardens. The décor is vintage Mughal.

The Hotel has some wonderful restaurants that offer different cuisine to guests. The Nauratna provides delicious Mughal cuisine, the Bagh-e-bahar restaurant that offers continental delicacies and the Taj Bano has all kinds of Indian Chinese and continental dishes on its menu. It has a Maharaja restaurant famous for its Chinese cuisine. The ‘Maikhana’ Bar has arrangement for all types of wines.

The movie lounge provides the guest a go at the movies of choice. The hotel has good recreational facilities for everyone and has not forgotten the children also. A children park is the pride of the place. The elders can have a go at tennis, billiards and golf. There is a health club with good facilities.

Address: Fatehabad Road- Taj Ganj, Agra-282001

Hotel Yatrik Allahabad
Situated at the SP Marg, Civil Lines Allahabad is a 3-star facility in the holy city of Sangam. The location of the hotel is good. It is at a distance of only 1 km from the center of the city. It has very well furnished 37 rooms on offer with has 14 single rooms, 12 double rooms and 9 deluxe rooms with 2 suites to the guests. The rooms are well equipped with modern facilities along with special services like cable TV, telephone services and a safe deposit for guests for their valuables. Indian cuisine is available in the dining room of the hotel. It also has facilities like a doctor on call, front desk, mini bar and conference rooms for corporate events.

Address: 33-Sardar Patel Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad-211001

The Royal Retreat Siddharthanagar
Popular Hotels in UPIt is a heritage hotel situated in district Siddharthanagar. It is situated in the prime location of the nearby Buddhist sites of Kapilvastu, Lumbini and Kushinagar. Sravasti is also not far from this retreat. The modern building is a converted English Manor dating back to 1840 A.D. It is spread over an area of about 10 acres full of lush green surroundings, mango orchards and a very calm ambience. The private jungle in the hotel provides a wonderful opportunity to sit in meditation or watch the migratory birds from Nepal and far north.

The hotel has very well decorated 9 suites and 17 deluxe rooms. The retreat offers a conference hall that can easily seat about 80 guests comfortably. There is a temple within the hotel campus which has the statue of Buddha in it. Some of the unique facilities on offer are a village walk nearby to mix with the locals, orchard visit and elephant rides.

Address: Reservation Office, 40/803-Heritage City, M. G.Road, Mohana Chauraha, Gurugaon-122002

Forts in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is a land of forts. A long history of empires getting attacked, new rulers and principalities addressing their interests and the long period of Mughal and British battles over the whole stretch of Uttar Pradesh has given it wonderful marvels of architecture of the medieval and middle periods in its history. The forts in those days were specially fortified construction on a big scale encompassing sometimes the whole city along with the rulers place at the highest point of the area. These were built at strategic locations to fend off enemy advance further into the area of a ruler. There is a long list of forts small and big and many of them are still important tourist destinations.

Agra Fort

Forts in Uttar Pradesh

Agra fort on the banks of the river Yamuna like the Taj is a majestic fort built with red sandstone. It was started by the great Mughal Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar in 1565. The later kings kept adding. It came to its present full glory during the reign of Shahjehan. It is a world heritage site of UNESCO.

Agra fort was originally a brick structure under the Sikarwar clan of Rajputs. It was won over by Ibrahim Lodhi who made the place his capital. After the defeat of his son in 1526, the fort passed into the hands of Babur and again changed hands many times but was later captured by Akbar who made it his capital. He began building upon the almost ruined remains of the fort. He got it constructed in red sandstone and finished its construction by 1573. The fort is spread over an area of 94 acre. Some of the original buildings inside the fort were demolished by Shah Jahan to construct buildings of his own liking which was more towards marble structures. He passed his last days of life imprisoned in this very fort.

Read detailed information about Agra Fort Interesting Facts

Did you know that Aga Fort had the first ever air-conditioning system of sorts installed?

Most of the walls of the main fort are built in double layer and water can be filled in them in between the layers. This created the extraordinary cooling effect making it the first attempt at central-air-conditioning.

Fatehpur Sikri Fort
Famous Forts in UPFatehpur Sikri is called a city within a fort. It is at a short distance of 40 kms from Agra. The fort and town have been designated a world heritage site. Built in red sandstone, the town and fort are a perfect example of Indo-Mughal architecture in India. It is said that Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, the great Mughal emperor, decided upon making it his capital in honour of the Khawaja Salim Chishti who had granted him the boon of a son. Akbar founded it in 1569. He planned it in the ancient style of the Persian splendor. It is build in red sandstone. Some of the major places to see at Sikri are the Buland Darwaza, the palace of Jodha Bai, and Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri Fort etc. These are all very important buildings in the complex but the most revered is that of the marble tomb of Akbar’s mentor Salim Chishti.

It is here that Akbar ruled his empire with the help of his ‘nine jewels’. It was finished by 1585. It was unfortunate that Akbar had to abandon the city because of the paucity of water for the vast multitude of his people and court. The capital was shifted to Agra in 1589.

Did you know the mystery behind why Akbar had to abandon Fatehpur Sikri?

The story being told in grandmother’s tales near Sikri is that Akbar had two lady attendants, Madhvi and Zarina. The latter was a perfect dancer. Madhvi was so jealous of it that she stole a gold bangle of the queen and placed its burden on Zarina. Akbar ordered beheading of Zarina for stealing. When the executioners went to fetch her, she had disappeared. A great search ensued. Suddenly an old man appeared in the court and told Akbar that she had gone and Akbar will also not be able to stay there. Within a week all the wells of Sikri dried and Akbar had to abandon the city.

Kalinjar Fort
The Kalinjar Fort located at almost the last hill of the Vindhyachal range in the Banda District of UP. It is associated with the Chandela Dynasty of Bundelkhand and goes back in history to the reign of the Guptas. The fort of Kalinjar is a typical example of the hill fortresses made in central India. The place gets mention as far back as to the mythological period of Mahabharata and beyond. It is said that the poison that spurted after the churning of the ocean was taken by Shiva to save the humanity. He did not swallow it. The poison was stopped in the throat of Shiva which turned it blue. It gave Shiva the name of neel-blue-kantha-throat. Shiva came to this place. It is here that he destroyed death. So the name comes from destroying of ‘Kal’. The temple in the fort is called with the same epithet dedicated to ‘Neelkanth Mahadev’. The fort has a long history of changing into the hands of one ruler after the other. The Chandelas were the only one who ruled the fort for the longest period of time. It was put to siege in vain by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1203. Babur conquered it for Mughals in 1526. Sher Shah Suri died here in 1545. It played an important role in the war of 1857 also.

Did you know that the successful breach of the fort of Kalinjar also brought the death of the winner king Sher Shah Suri by his own fault?

After a siege of more than six month Sher Shah ordered construction of huge towers to bombard the inner areas of the Kalinjar fort. One of the cannon balls rebounded and fell back below the tower on which stood Sher Shah Suri. It was full of gunpowder that burnt Sher Shah seriously. By the evening he died but before his death he had a smile on his face because the fort had been won. Sher Shah was perhaps the greatest ruler of India whose policies of postal service, construction of grand trunk roads and above all the revenue administration was followed even by the British. Whenever you hear the word ‘rupiah’ for a coin you must remember that Sher Shah Suri had coined the name of the coin.

Ramnagar fort Varanasi
List of Forts in Uttar Pradesh

Considered to be the incarnation of Shiva, the Kashi Naresh - the king of Kashi - is still one of the most revered people of Varanasi. The fort at Ramnagar is the official residence of the king. It was built by Raja Balwant Singh in 18th century as his Banaras residence. The fort is built in Mughal style of architecture with the famous Chunar stone. The fort has a museum called Saraswati Bhawan. This place holds the old rare manuscripts of religious writings and miniature books and paintings. The handwritten manuscript of Ramayana by Goswami Tulsidas is a part of this collection. A colourful Dussehera celebration is an annual event along with a month long ‘Ramlila’- a dramatic portrayal of the story of Lord Rama- celebrations. The Dussehera procession is headed by the Kashi Naresh as the spiritual patron of Kashi.

Did you know that the art of making mechanical clocks was highly advanced in India in the 19th century rivaling well with Swiss and English watch makers.

An example of such craftsmanship made in 1852, a rare astronomical watch is kept in the Ramnagar fort Museum. It shows time, year, month, week and day besides the astronomical details of the Sun, the Moon and other planets.

Jhansi Fort
Built as a fortified defensive structure in the 17th century, the fort at Jhansi was the brain child of Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orcha, a Chandela ruler. It is situated atop a hill called Bangara near Jhansi. The last of the well known rulers of Jhansi was Maharani Laxmi Bai who valiantly fought against the British in the war of 1857. The massive structure of the fort runs to a length of 312 m and a breadth of 225 m. It is spread over an area of 15 acres. The fort has 16 to 20 ft. thick walls of granite. It is a typical example of the Indian style of architecture. An important feature of the fort is its access through 10 massive gates given different names. There is a museum at the place of the Rani Mahal of the past that houses the best artifacts depicting the different dynasties that ruled Jhansi. It also holds weaponry, clothes and other items to become a real representative repository of the past culture of Bundelkhand.

Did you know that there is still a well hidden fort in Jhansi?

No one knew about it till late because it is an army cantonment now not open to public. Historians have recently come to know about it. Starting from the end of the sadar bazaar and beginning of the cantonment area starts this star shaped fort. It is an extraordinary design as it is not found anywhere in India. Who built it is not clear but it housed the British garrison after the war of 1857.

Best Time to Visit Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has climatic condition called subtropical characterized with an average high of 31.50 and low of 17.70 C. the temperature in summer shoot up to 450 and above in Bundelkhand areas while go below 150 in winter in plain areas of UP.

It is therefore advisable to visit the various tourist circuits at various periods of time.

The Agra circuit is good to Visit in February to April and October to mid december.
The Banaras circuit is good all the year round except monsoon season from June to August.
The summer months from March to June need to be avoided especially due to the fierce hot winds called ‘Loo’ when the temperature in Uttar Pradesh can rise to as high as 45 to 500 C.

The best period to visit almost all over Uttar Pradesh is from October to December and February to April.

UP Tourism Department Address:
Vipin Khand, Near Reserve Bank of India, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226010
Phone: 0522 230 8916

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