Uttar Pradesh often referred to as U.P. or Uttam Pradesh is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 190 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity. Were it a nation in its own right, Uttar Pradesh would be the world's sixth most populous country. Uttar Pradesh is the second largest state-economy in India contributing 8.17% to India's total GDP Between 2004 and 2009
PLACES TO VISIT
Fathehpur Sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Built near the much older Sikri, the historical city of Fatehabad, as it was first named, was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570, in honour of Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti, who lived in a cavern on the ridge at Sikri, and foretold the birth of his son, who was named Prince Salim after him, and later succeeded Akbar to the throne of the Mughal Empire, as Jahangir. Fatehabad later acquired the name Fatehpur, and gave rise to present name Fatehpur Sikri. It was the first planned city of the Mughals and also first one in Mughal architecture, an amalgamation of Indian architecture, Persian and Islamic architecture, and served as the Mughal Empire's capital from 1571 until 1585. Though the court took 15 years to build, it was abandoned after only 14 years because the water supply was unable to sustain the growing population. and unrest in the North-West. Today, the complex of buildings, including the extant royal palaces, courts and the Jama Masjid is a popular tourist attraction, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The site itself is a ghost town, though the city has a population of 28804 as per 2001 census.
Ghats in Varanasi
Varanasi has nearly 100 ghats. Many of the ghats were built when the city was under Maratha control. Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwes (Peshwas) stand out as patrons of present-day Varanasi. Most of the ghats are bathing ghats, while others are used as cremation sites. Many ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while many ghats are privately owned. The former Kashi Naresh owns Shivala or Kali ghat.
Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 km north of Agra, and 145 km south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometers from the town of Vrindavan and 18 kilometers from Govardhan It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes.
Mathura is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna at the centre of Braj or Brij-bhoomi, called Shri Krishna janma-bhoomi, literally: 'Lord Krishna's birth place'. The Keshav Dev temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's legendary birthplace (an underground prison). According to the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana epics, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kamsa the maternal uncle of Krishna.
Mathura is also famous as one of the first two centres of production for images of the Buddha, the other being Gandhara in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Human images of the Buddha began to appear at approximately the same time in both centres in the 1st Century AD but can be distinguished from one another as the Gandharan images are very clearly Graeco-Roman in inspiration with the Buddha wearing wavy locks tucked up into a chignon and heavier toga-like robes. The Buddha figurines produced in Mathura more closely resemble some of the older Indian male fertility gods and have shorter, curlier hair and lighter, more translucent robes.
Vrindavan (alternately spelled Vrindaban, Brindavan, Brindavana, or Brundavan) also known as Vraj (as it lies in the Braj region) is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the site of an ancient forest which is the region where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days.
The town is about 15 km away from Mathura, the city of Lord Krishna's birthplace, near the Agra-Delhi highway. The town hosts hundreds of temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna and is considered sacred by a number of religious traditions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism, and Hinduism in general.
With an area of 93,933 sq mi (243,290 km2), Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic plain. It shares an international border with Nepal to the north along with the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to the north-west, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan on the west, Madhya Pradesh on the south, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on the south east and Bihar on the east. The administrative and legislative capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow and the financial and industrial capital is Kanpur. The state's high court is based at Allahabad with a bench in state capital Lucknow. It is home to many historical cities, including Allahabad, Varanasi and Agra. Kanpur is its largest city; other big cities are Gorakhpur, Meerut, Agra, Aligarh, Bareilly, Ghaziabad and Noida.
Uttar Pradesh has an important place in the culture of India; it is considered to be the birthplace of Hinduism, has been the ancient seat of Hindu religion, learning and culture, and has many important sites of Hindu pilgrimage. The State also has several sites important to Buddhism: the Chaukhandi Stupa marks the spot where Buddha met his first disciples, while the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath commemorates Buddha's first sermon. Also the town of Kushinagar is where Gautama Buddha died.
Throughout its history, the region of Uttar Pradesh was sometimes divided between smaller kingdoms and at other times formed an important part of larger empires that arose on its east or west, including the Magadha, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Gurjara, Rashtrakuta, Pala and Mughal empires.
The Indo-Gangetic plain, that spans most of the state, is also the birth place of the Indo-Islamic syncretic culture of the medieval period. It holds much of the heritage of the Mughal Empire, including the world famous mausoleum Taj Mahal built by Shah Jehan, the magnificent tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great in Agra and Akbar's capital-palace in Fatehpur Sikri. It was a centre of nationalism during the British colonial period and has continued to play a prominent role in Indian political and cultural movements. The state has a rich heritage of traditional crafts and cottage industries of various types that employ highly skilled craftsmen and artisans.
Hindus constitute 80% of the population in the state. Islam is practised by about 18% of the population while the remaining 2% include Atheists, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians, and also the tribal population.
Uttar Pradesh shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The state can be divided into two distinct hypsographical regions.
The larger Gangetic Plain region is in the north: it includes the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, the Ghaghra plains, the Ganges plains and the Terai. It has highly fertile alluvial soils and flat topography (slope 2 m/km) broken by numerous ponds, lakes and rivers.
The smaller Vindhya Hills and Plateau region is in the south: it is characterised by hard rock strata and varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateau; limited availability of water makes the region relatively arid.
The climate of Uttar Pradesh is predominantly subtropical, but weather conditions change significantly with location and seasons:
Temperature: Depending on the elevation, the average temperatures vary from 12.5–17.5 °C (55–64 °F) in January to 27.5–32.5 °C (82–91 °F) in May and June. The highest temperature recorded in the State was 49.9 °C (121.8 °F) at Gonda on 8 May 1958.
Rainfall: Rainfall in the State ranges from 1,000–2,000 mm (39–79 in) in the east to 600–1,000 mm (24–39 in) in the west. About 90% of the rainfall occurs during the southwest Monsoon, lasting from about June to September. With most of the rainfall concentrated during this four-month period, floods are a recurring problem and cause heavy damage to crops, life, and property, particularly in the eastern part of the state, where the Himalayan-origin rivers flow with a very low north-south gradient.
Snowfall: In the Himalayan region of the State, annual snowfall averaging 3 to 5 metres (10 to 15 feet) is common between December and March.
Droughts: Periodic failure of monsoons results in drought conditions and crop failure.