Alamgir MosqueUttar Pradesh
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Uttar Pradesh, or the Northern Province, is bordered by Rajasthan in the west, Haryana and Delhi in the north-west, Uttarakhand and Nepal in the north, Bihar in the east and Madhya Pradesh in the south; it touches the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in the south-east. It is one of the largest states of India.
With a humid, sub-tropical climate, summers in Uttar Pradesh are extreme with fluctuating temperatures; winter – any time from October to March- is the best time to visit the state. Monsoons spell disaster for some regions when the Ganga and its tributaries overflow their banks and flood large tracts of land. Winters are chilly too, when temperatures in some parts may dip to 3 degrees, but largely they remain pleasant around 18 degrees.
The state offers its visitors an array of destinations and sightseeing places to choose from and caters to almost all travel preferences. Lucknow (also the state capital), Kanpur, Agra, Jhansi are some of the historical cities; Varanasi, Mathura, Allahabad are the temple towns. You will have a fair list of things-to-do here – check out the heritage cities of Lucknow and Agra and explore Mughal architecture at its best. The Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, is in Agra. Go for a boat ride on the mesmerizing ghats at sunrise or sunset in Varanasi; try the sumptuous, mouth-watering kebabs and biriyanis in Lucknow; treat your sweet-tooth to petha and peda in Agra and Mathura; connect with your soul while taking a dip in Sangam at Allahabad; visit the beautiful temples in Vrindavan or Sarnath; shop for some great leather stuff in Kanpur; visit the holy cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura; or you can have a lifetime experience at The Dudhwa Tiger and Rhino National Park, enjoying wildlife in safari jeeps – Uttar Pradesh falls short of nothing!
Uttar Pradesh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques. The Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine bear similarities with those of Kashmir and Punjab. The state is famous for its Nawabi foods and use of mutton, paneer and rich spices. UP is famous for its kebabs, dum biriyani, gosht recipes, chaats, samosas and pakoras. Popular breads include tandoori naan, kulcha, roomali rotis, sheermal and lachha parantha. The UPites love to cook, eat and to feed! They are warm and hospitable like the Punjabis; the dishes are too good to resist, and you may think of trying some of their vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare like nimona, baati chokha, chhole bhature, gobhi masallam, kachori, kofta, kebabs, korma, rizala, tehri, lentil preparations, paneer recipes, and biriyanis among others. Traditional divine desserts and sweetmeats include balushahi, gajar ka halwa, ghewar, gujia, gond ke laddoo, imarti, kaju katli, Chandra kala, kheer, kulfi, peda, petha, rabri, raj bhog, ras malai. The choice of beverages is equally tempting – bel/lemon/rose/chaman sherbets to flavored lassi, different types of thandai and chhaas.
Lucknow and its neighboring towns were put on the culinary map of India thanks to these rich curries, melt-in-the-mouth kebabs, fragrant rice biriyanis and pulaos and an eclectic variety of leavened and unleavened breads.
You can’t stop eating and drinking here!
The state celebrates all festivals of the country with great abandon and gusto! Visitors to the state are captivated by the colorful Holi celebrations in Mathura, by the sparkling glitter of Diwali night in Ayodhya, the ten day long Dussehra celebrations in Allahabad and the Id and Mohurrum processions in Lucknow. Different communities celebrate as many as 40 festivals with complete communal harmony.
Approximately 2250 fairs are held every year in all of UP, and with that the state is the contender for holding the maximum number of fairs in the country.
Kumbh Mela, a major festival held every 12 years in rotation at Allahabad, Haridwar or Ujjain on the banks of the Ganges, is organized in the months of February-March. Lath Mar Holi is a local celebration of the Hindus that takes place days before the actual festival near Mathura. Taj Mahotsav is held annually at Agra, and is a colorful display of the culture of Braj area. Buddha Purnima marks the birth of Gautam Buddha, and is a major Hindu and Buddhist festival.
Other festivals are Ram Navami, Vijaya Dashami, Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Ganga Mahotsav, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Mahaveer Jayanti, Chhat Puja, Lucknow Mahotsav and Hanuman Jayanti.
The region’s folk heritage includes songs called ‘rasiya’, which celebrates the divine love of Radha-Krishna. Other forms of music are Kajri, qawwali, thumri, chaiti and sawani.
UP is the birthplace of Kathak, a classical dance genre.
The state has a rich tradition of craftsmanship, ranging from exquisitely woven carpets to gold embroidery or zardozi; priceless hand-woven Banarasi silk sarees and chikankari or shadow embroidery on fine cotton voiles and muslins. It is also famous for its glassware, marble ware inlaid with semi-precious stones and ivory carving.
Given its vast dimensions, UP offers a wide range of destinations for the inveterate traveler, whatever his inclination. He can choose from historical cities, pilgrim centers, mountain resorts, wildlife sanctuaries and adventure sites. UP’s cities and towns tell the tales of Gods who lived in Ayodhya and Mathura; kings and queens of Agra, Lucknow and Jhansi, who left behind indelible mark in the pages of history; conquering heroes who fought in Kanpur, Kannauj and Chunar; and sages and sinners who came in search of salvation and found it in Benares, Hardwar and Prayag.
Lucknow is great for picking the famed chikan work on the finest of cotton, silk and crepes. Agra is famous for jewellery, embroidered wall-hangings, zardozi, leather goods, marble artifacts. Check out Benares for silks and brocades; it is also well known for its wool and silk carpets and cotton durries.
Hindi and Urdu are the two official languages; English is spoken in the urban areas. Haryanvi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Awadhi, Braj bhasha and Khari boli are other native languages of the state.
UP is the microcosm of the entire Indian nation in its diversity. Pack your bags and get ready for a memorable holiday!
By Road: Varanasi has bus services to Kanpur, Faizabad, Gorakhpur and other cities. It has excellent taxi services as well.
By Train: Varanasi is one of the busiest rail heads with connecting trains to Chapra, Patliputra, Ahmedabad, Darbhanga and other cities.
By Air: Varanasi airport is well connected to Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Khajuraho and other cities.GET DIRECTION
One can eat heart’s content at Varanasi as the city offers plethora of food joints and eateries.
From October till April are the best months to be in Varanasi!
In addition to Hindu and Persian style architecture, this Mosque has high domes and minarets to look at! In the month of October, lamps are lighted and placed on terraces as it symbolizes a tradition of giving light to the ancestors!
Kaal Bhairav Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a nice shrine to witness!