15 Holiday Ideas in Uttar Pradesh
UP is indelibly linked with the history of India. It is interesting for tourists due to a good number of kingly forts, famous temples of all faiths and several important shrines to attract people of various religions. Large tracts of dense forests abound here in their pristine glory. A host of large and small cities steeped in history are the hallmarks of UP. It is watered by perennial rivers on one hand and still has large tracts of dry wasteland. UP abounds in places that belong to all the major religions of the world. It is above all a land of love, poetry and culture.
Uttar Pradesh is a land without which the history of Northern India cannot be written. The great religions of India were born here. Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism and the great tradition of Sufis saw their fountainheads spring from this land. At first there were Mughal kings and, thereafter, the British who came here and shaped the present culture of UP called Hindustani which is a mirror to the soul of India. All these diverse characteristics make this state the number 1 destination for tourists.
The City of Taj ranks first in the long list of holiday destinations in UP. It has the greatest monument to love in the world here. The golden tourist triangle of north India comprises of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. Thus Agra is one of the points of the three vertices that are considered to be the ‘must’ visit places especially for the tourists from abroad.
Once you decide to holiday at Agra you need to think of the best weather to visit. The October to March - except January - is the right time to reach there. The city offers ample lodging and boarding facilities to budget tourists as well as to people wanting to live lavishly.
Agra is blessed with three very important tourist spots in and close by. These are heritage places all. The Taj Mahal
leads them in fame, the Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort
follow. A personal vehicle would be good to go and visit all the local wonders like Itimad-ud-daula, Sikandara, Aram Bagh, Khas mahal, Panch mahal, Musamman Burj, Jama masjid and Mehtab Bagh and Fatehpur Sikri that is situated at a distance of 40 km from Agra.
Agra is 209 Km via Yamuna Expressway from Delhi and it takes 2.33 hrs while Lucknow is 378 Km via NH 2 & NH 25 and takes 5.30 hrs. It is well connected through rail, road and air.
Those who are religiously inclined and wish to combine a holiday with the proper religious fervour thrown in will do well to move to Varanasi for the holiday. The Kashi Vishwanath temple
in Varanasi is the most sacred of them all. The Jyotirlinga here is one of the 14 sacred lingams of India considered a manifestation of Shiva. The temple, in its present shape, was rebuilt by the Maharani of Gwalior State, Rani Ahilya Bai, in 1780. She is considered to be one of the most prominent figures in the revival of Kashi befitting the epithet of ‘the religious capital of India’. Some notable places for tourists other than the major temples are the Ganga Ghats, Ramgarh fort, Chunar and Sarnath. No tourist can ever forget the grand spectacle of the Ganga Aarti held at Dashshavmedh Ghat
The city is 289km from Lucknow via NH 56 and takes 5 hrs and 816 km from the national capital New Delhi via NH 2 and takes about 10 hrs. Air travel time to Varanasi from Delhi is only 1hr 10 min.
The town of Vrindavan is revered by the devotees of Krishna because The Lord spent his childhood here. All his childhood pranks, his slaying of demons and his show of early godliness passed here. It is this place where the lord ran the dusty lanes playing pranks upon the Gopes and Gopikas of Vrindavan in the company of his elder brother Balaram this town was then a forest of Brinda-basil-and that is what bestowed the name Vrindavan on the place.
Some of the prominent places at Vrindavan are Bihari ji, Govinda Dev Mandir, Banke Bihari Krishna-Balaram temple or the ISKCON temple, Kesi Ghat, Seva Kunj, Sri Vrinda Kund etc. are some prominent tourist spots of Vrindavan.
Vrindavan has lodging and boarding for all budgets.
Mathura is the holy land of Krishna. 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 was here that Lord Krishna descended from His godly kingdom to provide succour to earthlings from the clutches of evil. Lord Krishna was born here in the prison cell of Kansa, the king of Mathura. The same cell in its present form of the Krishna Janambhumi temple is visited by millions of tourists along with places like Dwarkadheesh temple, Banke Bihari, Barsana and the Govardhan hill situated at a distance of about 25 km from here. There are many more places of tourist interest in and around Mathura.
Mathura is central to all the places which are associated with Lord Krishna. Vrindavan, Govardhan, Radha Kund, Barsana, Kosi etc. are close to Mathura which is also the biggest town in terms of facilities for a tourist. Mathura makes access to these places comfortable. It is also close to the national Capital New Delhi which is just 141 kms away via Yamuna Expressway. It is just 55 kms from Agra and 20 odd kms from Govardhan.
The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan lie at a distance of 11 kms from each other and visiting one makes it automatic to the other. It would be better to camp at Mathura and visit Vrindavan by a variety of transport available.
It is a wonderful place to have a short holiday away from the din and bustle of the large tourist stations. It is also a comparatively less expensive place to get reasonable accommodation and conveyance on hire. The city has been named after Saint Gorakhnath whose temple peeth is situated right at the place where the guru used to practice yoga with his pupils. Some of the most important places to visit are the Famous Gita Press
which has been instrumental in publishing most of the Hindu Sanatan dharma literature. It has published more than 65 million copies of ‘The Gita’ and a similar number of ‘Ramcharitmanas’ since its inception. The Durgah of the Sufi Saint Roshan Ali Shah known as Imambara, the Gorakhnath Temple, the Veer Bahadur Singh Planetarium and the forest area of Kusumi with the Vinod Van Park and the Zoo attached with it are some important places to visit. The Ramgarh Tal is a heritage site. It is a lake spread over 700 hectares with an 18 km long embankment.
There is a unique temple at Gorakhpur called ‘Arogya Mandir
’. This place offers some of the best body and mind therapies. A 10-day camp will register only 20 participants. It may look expensive but the results after the yogic and ayurvedic therapies are said to be worth the money spent. The admission fee to the camp is INR 11000.
Gorakhpur is 764 km from Delhi via NH 28 and NH91. It is accessible via several express and mail trains and personal car or taxi from Lucknow at a distance of 269 km.
Even if a person is not much into religious places for a holiday, Chitrakoot, the main centre of Lord Rama’s pilgrimage circuit in UP is a wonderful holiday destination for its serene ambience and natural beauty.
Chitrakoot is famous for some of the most revered places associated with the life of Rama and Sita. Ram Ghat, Kamadgiri Hill, Sphatik Shila, Janki Kund are all such places where Lord Rama stayed for most of his exile period from Ayodhya.
Chitrakoot is at a distance of 230 km from Lucknow via NH 24 B. There are many places to stay here with comfort and visit various places of interest in the day time. The nearest railway station to reach Chitrakoot by rail is Karvi at a distance of 8 km from the town.
The city of Allahabad has multi attractions for a holiday maker. A boat ride on the Ganges, a visit to historical monuments, a visit to the spots of the biggest human gathering on this planet every 12 years along with enjoying all the comforts of a mid-size Indian city are some noteworthy attractions of Allahabad. Triveni situated at the confluence of 3 sacred rivers-the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati is a big attraction at Allahabad. The city hosts the famous Hindu occasion of the Kumbh mela
every 12 years. Some other places to see at Allahabad are the Khusro Bagh, Anand Bhawan, Akhshaya Vat, Allahabad Museum and the Allahabad fort, company Garden, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and Alopi Devi temple.
It is at a very convenient distance from some other major cities of UP like Kanpur at 190 Km via NH 2, Lucknow at 201 km via NH 24 B, Agra at 474 km via NH 2 and 600 KM from National Capital New Delhi via NH 2.
Meerut will always remain associated with the war of 1857 and Mangal Pandey who started it here. It is an ancient city. The sites related to the Indus Valley Civilization have been found around Meerut. It is famous for sports goods and musical instruments. Meerut has some very attractive places to visit. The Abu Lane market with its high-end showrooms on both sides of a mile long narrow road, food vendors and restaurants is a unique shoppers’ stop. The Mansa Devi Temple, Shahid Smarak, Gandhi Bagh, Jain Mandir, Ecological Park, Hastinapur Wild life Sanctuary, Appu Ghar, Bale Miya ki Durgah are some of the major attractions of Meerut.
Meerut is situated at a distance of 243 km from Agra, 426 from Kanpur, 456km from Lucknow and 235 from Delhi via NH 24.
Lucknow is an awesome place to visit. The old memorials and palaces built by the Nawabs and Rajas of the past are wonderful works of beauty and grandeur. It is the capital of UP. The city was the capital of the Nawabs of Awadh also. The Nawabi culture for which Lucknow is still famous relates to those Nawabs who actively nurtured a culture devoted to art, architecture, music and dance. The other places of interest for tourists in Lucknow are Bara Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Chattar Manzil and Begum Hazrat Mahal Park. Some of the modern places are the Lucknow Museum, the Planetarium and the Lucknow Zoo.
The city is well connected with other major cities of UP as well as the National Capital New Delhi. A fare number of cheap to five star boarding and lodging facilities are available here.
Dudhwa tiger reserve is made up of the combined areas of three major sanctuaries of UP. Its total area adds up to 1284 Km2
after combining the areas of Kishnapur and Katarnia Ghat Wildlife Sanctuaries. This reserve is spread into the districts of Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich. The reserve gives sanctuary to several endangered species along with a variety of deer, Indian Rhino, Jackal, Leopard and Bear etc. in its dense forests but the main attraction for which most of the tourists visit here is the Tiger. The temperature conditions of the Dudhwa National Park are good enough for the wildlife found here. It ranges from the high of 400
C to the low of 200
C on an average.
Those who wish to enjoy a quiet stay in the lap of nature have a very beautiful place to visit in UP. The forest department of UP runs various rest houses at several places to provide a comfortable stay to visitors. These units are at Dudhwa, Sathiana, Bankatti and Sonaripur. The National Park is situated at a distance of 223 km from Lucknow.
The ancient city of Jaunpur is in the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh. It is close to Varanasi the religious capital of India. The city is known since the times of Feroz Shah Tughlaq who had given the governorship of this area to his trusted eunuch Malik Sarwar in 1388. It became a Zamindari in the British period. The area has several great spots to visit leisurely during a holiday period. The Shahi bridge of Jaunpur is a unique piece of architecture and a place worth visiting. It is built across the river Gomti. The city has a large number of other attractions like Yamdgni Ashram, Zoological Museum and archaeological museum, Atala Masjid, Temple Of Sheetla Devi, Sadar Imambara, Panje Sharif and Trilochan Mahadev Temple etc.
Jaunpur is situated at a distance of 257 km from Lucknow. It is adequately connected to all the major cities of UP and New Delhi.
Kanpur is one of the most populous cities of India. It is a major commercial and manufacturing hub of UP. Situated on the banks of the river Ganges, Kanpur holds a special place in the history of the state. Once it was called the Manchester of the East because of its famous textile mills like Elgin, Swadeshi, Lal Imli and others. These were the major brands that were famous all over the country and abroad. The city has lost that old charisma but it is still a place to visit for a holiday.
Shri Radhakrishan or the J K Temple, the Kanpur Zoo, the Company Bagh, The Massacre Ghat, the Kanpur Memorial Church the Moti Jheel are some wonderful places to visit. Kanpur is 300 km from Agra, 87 km from Lucknow and extremely well connected through road and rail.
Named after the son of Shah Jehan, Morad, the historical city of Moradabad was established in 1625. The city is famously known as ‘Peetal Nagri’- the city of brass. This name has been well earned by the city that has exported brassware worth INR 4000 crore in 2012-13 alone. This is a city where almost everything is associated directly and indirectly with the manufacturing of machine-made artefacts to hand-crafted brassware. It is situated at a distance of 167 km from Delhi and 337 km from Lucknow. There are so many places worth visiting in the ‘Peetal Nagri’. The Najibudaulah fort is worth a visit not only because of its sturdy built but its history also. It was the stronghold of a dreaded dacoit Sultana during the British period. Vidur Kuti dates back to the Mahabharata where Vidur is said to have lived his later life after his falling out with Duryodhana. Mandwar ka Mahal, Kanva Ashram, Patleshwar Temple and Prem Water kingdom are some of the other places worth visiting.
The city is well connected with rail and road with Delhi and with all the main towns of UP. An Airport is under construction.
Jhansi is a historical city of UP. It is the city that witnessed the bravery of Bundelas, of the Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi and the princely Marathas in the past. It still bears the examples of that glorious past and that is why it is a great tourist destination and liked by holiday makers. The Jhansi Fort is one of the best places to visit. The government Museum, the shrine of St. Jude, Parichha, Barua Sagar, Rani Mahal, Rao ki Chatri, Barua Sagar fort, and some famous temples of Jhansi will give an interesting holiday experience.
It is situated at a distance of 300 km from Lucknow, 226 km from Kanpur and 400 km from Delhi. Jhansi is well connected by rail and road. Jhansi is less expensive in terms of boarding and lodging facilities.
Kushinagar is one of the holiest places in the Buddhist Tourist Circuit of UP. It is the seat of Lord Buddha’s last sermon rendering the soil of the place itself sacred for everyone visiting here. History buffs love it. Religiously inclined wish to come again and again and mere holiday makers also find the serenity of the place soothing to the soul. It is a good place to visit for a holiday. Most of the places worth visiting are related to Buddha. The Mahaparinirvan Mandir and the Ramabhar Stupa are some of the famous places at Kushinagar other than some beautiful temples.
It lies at a distance of 323 km from the state capital Lucknow. It is advisable to have your own vehicle /hired taxi to move comfortably in the area.