14 Must Visit Cities of Uttar Pradesh
Also referred to as the Heartland of India, the state of Uttar Pradesh boasts of many spectacular cities that are well known all over the world for their rich cultural heritage. People who love to explore nature or history, love to visit this state even from far away destinations. Apart from having the best of nature, the land also has some of the best man-made monuments. Almost 14 cities of Uttar Pradesh must not be missed while on a tour of Uttar Pradesh. The following are the must visit cities of Uttar Pradesh -
Located on the banks of the mighty river Ganges, Varanasi also known as “The Religious capital of India”, is visited by the devotees from all over the world. For those who follow Hinduism, it is one of the most revered places as it is amongst the seven holy spots in India. Apart from the Hindus, the city attracts people from other faiths also. Magic is added to Varanasi’s atmosphere by the River Ganges that flows by. Varanasi offers many attractions such as Kashi Vishwanath Temple, River Ganges, Archeological Museum, Ramnagar Fort and Various Ghats along the Ganges.
“The City of the Nawabs”, Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and still retains the ancient charm. As it served as the capital of the Nawabs of Awadh, there is a distinct flavor in the air of this city. Since the Nawabs were generous, various forms of art, craft, literature and music flourished in the city. Lucknow offers plenty of delightful destinations including the following- Rumi Darwaza, Bada Imambar, Chota Imambara, Lucknow Zoo, Dr Ambedkar Park and Lucknow Museum and more.
Located at the confluence of three important rivers namely, Yamuna, Ganges and Saraswati, Allahabad is one of the most important pilgrim centers for the Hindus. Also, it is on this land that Brahma, the creator had landed on his visit to Earth. It is an ancient city which witnesses religious gathering during the Kumbh Mela. It is held once in every twelve years. Allahabad or Prayag, as it is referred to by most of the people is home to many important tourist attractions like Khusro Bagh, Triveni Sangam, Allahabad Fort, Jawahar Planetarium, Akshaya Vat and Patalpuri Temple and Anand Bhavan and more.
Agra, the city of historical and cultural significance overtakes the capital of the state, Lucknow, as it is home to the world renowned Taj Mahal. It is a city that makes you awestruck as it has plenty of wonderful monuments that have been constructed in a brilliant manner. Some of the famous tourist places in the city of Agra include- Taj Mahal, Wildlife SOS, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid and Agra Art Galler.
Uttar Pradesh’s biggest city, Kanpur is located on the banks of the River Ganges which was acclaimed as Manchester of India. It is also referred to as the ‘commercial capital of Uttar Pradesh’ as it is a major industrial center in the state. Apart from that, the city also houses plenty of tourist attractions which have historical, religious and cultural value. Some of them are- Kanpur Gardens, Boodha Bargad, Shri Radha Krishna Temple, Jajmau, Jain Glass Temple, Allen Forest Zoo, Mecca Masjid and Agricultural Gardens.
Built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital city of the Empire. It could serve as the capital only for a little while due to the scarcity of water. But it became world famous due to its breathtaking architecture that was a blend of the Mughal and Hindu religions. The architectural elegance of the bygone eras is well exhibited by the palaces here. Some of the top spots that can be visited when in Fatehpur Sikri include- Jodha Bai’s Palace, Panch Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Lotus Throne, Buland Darwaza and Khwabgah.
For the followers of Hinduism, Mathura is a city of great significance as it was the birthplace of Lord Krishna, the avatar of Lord Vishnu. A number of temples from different ages are housed in the ancient city. Before Hinduism became prominent, it was a center for Buddhism and had almost 20 monasteries. While in Mathura, one must visit- Dwarkadhish Temple, Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, Jama Masjid, Kans Quila, Mathura Museum and Kusum Sarovar.
Vrindavan, located just a few kilometers away from Mathura, is an important pilgrim destination for the Hindus. It is associated with many pastimes of Lord Krishna during His childhood years. It has a good blend of the ancient and modern temples and most of them are dedicated to Lord Krishna and His eternal consort Radharani. It is believed that Vrindavan has more than 10000 temples in all. Some of the places of great significance in this holy town are- Bankey Bihari Temple, ISKCON Temple, Rangji Temple, Gokuleshwar Temple, Radha Raman Temple, Kesi Ghat, Govind Dev Temple, Shahji Temple and Nidhivan.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has a blend of history, religion, culture and architectural excellence and Jhansi being located in the state also speaks volumes about the same. Located on the banks of Pahojor Pushpavati, Jhansi is a well-known city from the times of Jhansi ki Rani, Lakshmi Bai. Some of the major attractions in the city include- Rani Mahal, Jhansi Fort, Maharaja Gangadhar Rao ki Chatri, Chirgaon, Government Museum and Parichha.
Amongst the most sacred cities of the Hindus is Ayodhya where Lord Rama was born. This ancient city is also of great relevance for the followers of Islam as the world famous Babri Masjid (16th century) was also located here. Some of the important attractions in Ayodhya include- Hanuman Garhi, Kanak Bhawan, Ramkot, Treta ke Thakur, Guptar Ghat, etc.
Sarnath, an important pilgrimage center for the followers of Buddhism is located in Uttar Pradesh. It was at this place that Lord Buddha gave His first sermon. Apart from the Buddhists, this place is of great significance for the Jains also. Several details of this flourishing city in the bygone era have been located in the excavations. Some of the most important places to be visited in Sarnath include-
- Sarnath Museum
- Chaukhandi Stupa
- Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
- Thai Temple
- Deer Park
- Tibetan Temple
- Dhammek Stupa
A very popular Buddhist pilgrimage center, Sarnath is also located in Uttar Pradesh. This is the place where Lord Buddha delivered His last sermon and this is the reason why this city gain much more importance than before. The archeological remains that have been extracted from the city also provide details about the historical significance of the place. Some of the most important tourist attractions in Kushinagar include-
- Mahaparinirvana Temple
- Sun Temple
- Ramabhar Stupa
- Kushinagar Stupa
- Wat Thai Temple
- Ramabhar Stupa
Aligarh, the historical city is well known for its locks and also referred to as the ‘Lock City of Uttar Pradesh’. Famous for many tombs of the Muslim saints and the world renowned Aligarh Muslim University, this city holds a lot of importance in the Indian history as well. There are many market places that are worth a visit in this city too. Some of the places of great importance include-
- Khereshwar Temple
- Aligarh Fort
- Sai Baba Temple
- Central Catholic Church
- Bhamola Shiv Mandir
Dating back to the Indus Civilization, Meerut is an ancient city located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It suffered many attacks from various invaders and thus, its many structures suffered and even got demolished. It rose under the Mughal rule and during the revolt of 1857, it was a prominent site. A historical town of great importance, Meerut is home to several memorials and monuments from various eras. Some of them are as follows-
- Martyrs Memorial
- Gandhi Bagh
- Augurnath Temple
- Victoria Park
- Kali Paltan Mandir
- Sri Ganesh Temple
- Naghesvore Temple
Uttar Pradesh is a huge state and offers a lot to the travelers. It is not expected that you can gather what all this state has to offer, whether it is the ancient temples, rich cultural heritage, extravagant palaces or other monuments. Almost all places of relevance have been mentioned above.