Pradesh is bounded on the north by Nepal and Tibet and, in India, by
Himachal Pradesh state on the northwest,
Haryana state and the union territory of
Delhi on the west, Rajasthan
state on the southwest, Madhya Pradesh
state on the south, and Bihar on the east.
Lucknow is its capital.
Taj Mahal is the most famous landmark of UP. Lucknow's Residency, Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, are other star attractions. Other memorable places to visit are the historic cities of Agra and Jhansi; the pilgrim towns of Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura-Vrindavan, Rishikesh and Chardhams; Buddhist centres like Sarnath and the enchanting hills of Kumaon and Garhwal.
Capital of Uttar Pradesh: This is the land that Lord Rama is said to have gifted his brother, Laxman. The exotic land of the Nawabs -- Lucknow. The land of exquisite sunrises and sunsets. Legendary gardens, palaces, mosques and bazaars. Towering minarets and golden cupolas. Fresh water-melon and Jasmine flowers, Fish, 'biryani' and 'ittar' perfumes. charcoal stoves and ghazals, Silver smiths and sequin embroiderers. Industrialists and romantics. Sweet 'phirni', poetry and betal leaf. Spicy gossip and 'kababs'.
History of Uttar Pradesh: In the Vedic period, Uttar Pradesh formed part of the ancient country, Madhyadesha. From the 16th -18th c., it was the Mughals who remained rulers. The British gradually extended their power west from Bengal in the 19th century, and UP became the main scene of the Mutiny of 1857 against the British. The area was in the forefront of the Indian independence movement; six of the first nine prime ministers of independent India (including Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi) were from Uttar Pradesh.
The People: Two ethnographic groups inhabit the state--Mongoloid peoples in the far north near the Tibetan border and Aryan-Dravidian people in the plains and the hill and plateau region of the central and southern part of the state. Hindus constitute more than 80 percent and Muslims, more than 15 percent of the population. Hindi is the mother tongue of most, with about 15 percent speaking Urdu. The western plain is the most urbanized region. Agriculture is by far the most important sector of the state's economy, employing about three-fourths of the work force.
Culture of Uttar Pradesh: The Kathak dance style, nurtured in Uttar Pradesh, is the most popular form of classical dance in India. Old centres of learning - Varanasi, Allahabad, Lucknow - were local points for classical music and dance. This is the home of many a great artiste: Hin- dustani classical vocalist Siddheshwari Devi, Kathak dancers like Birju Maharaj and mainstream actors like Amitabh Bachchan. Today, foreign nationals have also learnt this elegant dance form to perfection: the beautiful Veronique Azan being one example. The songs and dances of the countryside are significant features of local culture. They include the kajari of Mirzapur and Varanasi; the Alha Udal, a folk epic; and various village dances.
Handicrafts from Uttar Pradesh: Bhadohi, Khamaria and Mirzapur are famous for carpet weaving; Farrukhabad for handprinting; Lucknow, for chikan (a type of embroidery); Moradabad, for metal enameling; Varanasi, for brocade and brass ware and Nagina, for its ebony work. UP is the largest Brass and Copperware making region in India with thousands of establishments. In domestic-ware each of the scores of lotas (small water-pots) is known by the name of its origin, like Etawah, Banaras, Sitapur, etc.
CLIMATE IN Uttar Pradesh: The entire state, except for the northern region, has a tropical monsoon climate. In the plains, January temperatures range from 12.5º-17.5º C and May records 27.5º-32.5º C, with a maximum of 45º C. Rainfall varies from 1,000-2,000 mm in the east to 600-1,000 mm in the west.
Population in Uttar Pradesh: 167 million
Festivals of Uttar Pradesh: International Yoga Week in Rishikesh in Feb; Taj Mahotsav in Feb; Jhansi festival in Feb-March; Rang Gulal festival in March; Buddha Mahotsav (Apr-May); Badri-Kedar festival in June; Vrindavan Sharadotsav in Oct; Garhwal festival in Oct-Nov; Ganga festival in Oct-Nov; Kumaon festival (Nov); Lucknow festival (Nov-Dec).
Tourist Offices in Uttar Pradesh:
Directorate of U. P. Tourism, Chitrahar Building, 3 Nawal Kishore Road. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Information Bureau, Hazratganj. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Foreigners Regional Registration Office, 16 Idgah Colony, Agra
Regional Tourists Office, Government of UP, Rahi Motel. Haridwar
Yatra Office, Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, Muni-ki-Reti. Rishikesh
Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. Oak Park House, Mallital, Nainital
UPT, 36 Chandralok Building, Janpath, New Delhi