Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

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Taj Mahal, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Uttar Pradesh and India.

Situated in the northern part of India, bordering with the capital of India New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh is one of the most popular and an established tourist destination for both Indians and non-Indians alike in India. The most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh contains a large number of historical monuments and places of religious significance. Geographically, Uttar Pradesh is very diverse, with Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plain in the centre. It is also home of India's most visited sites, the Taj Mahal, and Hinduism's holiest city, Varanasi. Kathak, one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is at the heart of India, hence it is also known as The Heartland of India. Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisine, Mughlai cuisine, Kumauni cuisine are very famous not only in India but also many places abroad.

Uttar Pradesh is known for its rich culture and tradition. It is home to Ayodhya and Mathura birthplace of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna respectively. Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of both national and international tourists. Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in Agra is also located in Uttar Pradesh.

There are different places one can visit in Uttar Pradesh. Agra, Jhansi, Lucknow and Meerut are historical cities famous for their monuments. Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Allahabad are holy cities for Hindus and Kushinagar and Sarnath are important Buddhist places among the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Noida is the most developed urban city of Uttar Pradesh.

To boost the tourism in the state from within the country and other parts of the world, the Government of Uttar Pradesh established a 'Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc' covering the cities of Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi.


The 17th-century Taj Mahal in Agra is the most popular monument in India, attracting over 7 million visitors per year.[1] Agra is home to four World Heritage Sites in Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra & the Fatehpur Sikri. Agra is also home to many other beautiful Mughal buildings like Akbar's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah etc. Dayal Bagh is an under-construction temple that many visit. The lifelike carving in marble is not seen anywhere else in India.

Panoramic view of the Taj Mahal.

Kumbh Mela[edit]

A procession of Akharas marching over a makeshift bridge over the Ganges river, Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, 2001
Main article: Kumbh Mela

Every year thousands gather at Allahabad to take part in the festival on the banks of the Ganges, the Magh Mela. The same festival is organised in a larger scale every 12th year and attracts millions of people and is called the Kumbha Mela. Kumbh Mela (especially the Maha Kumbh Mela) is the most sacred of all the pilgrimages. Thousands of holy men and women (monks, saints and sadhus) attend, and the auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to this. The sadhus are seen clad in saffron sheets with plenty of ashes and powder dabbed on their skin per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some called nanga sanyasis or 'Dhigambers' may often be seen without any clothes even in severe winter, generally considered to live an extreme lifestyle. This tends to attract a lot of western attention as it is seemingly in contrast to a generally conservative social modesty practised in the country.

Hindu religious sites[edit]

Millions of tourists and pilgrims visit the cities of Allahabad, Varanasi, Mathura, Soron, Uttar Pradesh and Ayodhya, as those are considered to be the holiest cities in India.


Varanasi attracts thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year.

Varanasi (also called Kashi and Benares) is widely considered to be the second oldest city in the world after Jerusalem. It is famous for its ghats (steps along the river) which are populated year round with people who want to take a dip in the holy Ganges River.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirling temple, which is one of the most sacred of Hindu Temples.


Birthplace of Lord Krishana. Both Mathura & Vrindavan have temples devoted to Krishna. During Holi, a special brand of Holi called the Lath mar Holi is played here.

Janmaashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna, is celebrated in the region.


Hindus believe the birthplace of Rama to be in Ayodhya at the place called Ram Janmabhoomi, the site of the demolished Babri Mosque.

Ayodhya is also the birthplace of five Tirthankars, including the first Tirthankar of Jainism, Shri Rishabh Dev. He is known as the father of Jain religion. The city is also important in the history and heritage of Buddhism in India, with several Buddhist temples, monuments and centers of learning having been established here during the age of the Mauryan Empire and the Gupta Dynasty. Ayodhya reached its glorious peak as known to history during the reign of the Guptas over India.

Swaminarayan led the Swaminarayan Sampraday sect of Hinduism and lived here during his childhood years. It was from Ayodhya that Swaminarayan started his seven-year journey across India as Neelkanth.

Tulsidas is said to have begun the writing of his famous Ramayana poem Shri Ramacharitamanas in Ayodhya in 1574 CE. Several Tamil Alwar mention the city of Ayodhya. Ayodhya is also said to be the birthplace of Bhahubali, Brahmi, Sundari, King Dasaratha, Acharya Padaliptasurisvarji, King Harishchandra, Shri Rama, Achalbhrata, and the ninth Gandhara of Mahavir Swami.

The Atharva Veda called Ayodhya "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself".

Soron Shukar Kshetra is salvation land of Lord Varah and birthland of Sant Tulsidas.

Buddhist religious sites[edit]

Uttar Pradesh has many sites which are connected to Lord Buddha and hence, are sacred to Buddhist.

  • Sarnath: a place where he held his first public discourse. Also at Sarnath is the Ashoka Pillar with the Lion Capital, is important archaeological artifact with national significance.
  • Kushinagar: Where he attained Mahaparinirvana (Demise).
  • Kaushambi: Where Buddha delivered many sermons.
  • Sankassa: Where he descended after addressing his mother in Heaven.
  • Sravasti: His favorite monsoon resort.

Jain religious sites[edit]

Shantinath Temple at Deogarh

Uttar Pradesh has many sites which are connected to Jainism and hence, are sacred to Jains.

  • Hastinapur : This is a popular religious site since it is believed to be birthplace of 3 tirthankar Shantinatha,Kunthunath and Aranatha.
  • Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh : There are 31 Jain temples build inside fort belonging to 8th-9th century.
  • Sarnath : Sarnath is believed to be birthplace of Shreyansnath.
  • Bada Gaon

Places of interest[edit]

Places of interest in Uttar Pradesh include:

  • Varanasi – The origin of Hinduism and the oldest city of the world, also known as City of temples, holy place for devotees of Lord Shiva, one of the finest Textiles Industry in the world.
A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges
The tomb of Khusrau Mirza in Khusro Bagh, Allahabad

Kanpur Sangrahalaya, a museum

A panoramic view of the Fatehpur Sikri Palace, Uttar Pradesh
  • Meerut – The historical place of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 or the First War of Indian Independence. Indian Historical place from Mahabharata period of ancient India to Modern Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • Mirzapur Division – The hub of world's finest carpet Industries, and very popular tourist destination for its natural beauty and one of the fastest growing region of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Ghaziabad – Historical places from ancient India to modern India and India's fastest growing Industrial city .
  • Noida and Greater NoidaIT, Electronics and education hub of Northern India.India's biggest city with planned and iconic skyscrapers.
  • Gorakhpur – The city was home to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Sikh saints. The birthplace of Paramhansa Yogananda, great Hindu emperor Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Jaunpur – Historical city founded by the Sultan of Delhi, Feroz Shah Tughlaq and named in memory of his father, Muhammad bin Tughluq as Jaunpur Sultanate. Mughals, Lodis and Islamic forts.
  • Dudhwa National Park – Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Birds Sanctuary, the unique Frog Temple at Oyal, Surat Bhawan Palace, Elephant Rides.
  • Rehar – Several major tourist attractions can be mentioned in the town’s surroundings, like Jim Corbett National Park (India) about 24 km, Nainital (India) about 69 km
  • Gonda - Mulagandhakuti. The remains of Buddha's hut in Jetavana Monastery, Sravasti in Gonda Division and Swaminarayan Chhapaiyā: The village of Chhapaiya is situated at a distance of 50 km from the district headquarters. The chief interest of the place is Swaminarayan temple which marks the birthplace of Swaminarayan, or Sahajanand Swami, who was born here on 2 April 1781 as Ghanshyam Pande. Ghanshyam left Chhapaiya at the age of 11 to travel to the pilgrimage sites around India. He completed his pilgrimage in Western Gujarat, where he assumed the leadership of Swaminarayan Sampradaya. The very famous Akshardham temples in New Delhi and in Gandhinagar, Gujarat built by his spiritual successor, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, are both dedicated to him. His followers consider him to be a manifestation of the Supreme Godhead.[10] There have been many movies about the Swaminarayan filmed in this temple in Chhapaiya and in nearby places in the district.


Dudhwa National Park is one of the best Tiger reserves in the country. Lakhimpur Kheri is home to the Tiger reserve. In sept 2008, Uttar Pradesh has got another Tiger Reserve area in Pilibhit named Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit. There are many other Wild life Sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh.

Wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh[edit]





Fatehpur Sikri[edit]




Outline of Tourism in India[edit]


  1. ^ "Archaeological Survey of India Agra working on compiling visual archives on Taj Mahal". The Economic Times. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 

External links[edit]

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