Discover Uttar Pradesh region in IndiaUttar Pradesh occupies much of the flood plain of the Ganges and is famous for the beautiful cities of Agra with its Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad.
The Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the alluvial plain of the Ganges. Almost the major cities of the state are situated on the banks of these rivers. It 'a state rich in history and traditions, and on the banks and the confluences of the rivers will perform daily rituals for thousands of years and the most sacred celebration of the Hindus.
The Uttar Pradesh is also the most populous state in the nation.
It was here the ancient medieval northern capital, Kanauj, now of little interest center, after the destruction that occurred over the centuries. But the city was a cultural and religious center of such importance that even today, nationwide, some castes of Brahmins to indicate as a place of origin of their clan, a certificate of antiquity and purity.
Lucknow, today's capital of Uttar Pradesh, spread on the banks of Gomti river and acquired its strategic importance during the Mughal period, which is then added the reputation of refined cultural center with Nawab dell'Avadh, up to the tragic events that saw the protagonist so-called Sepoy Rebellion broke out in Meerut, after which the country was under the total control of the British Raj.
Well know as the elected Shiite Islam town offers an impressive array of grand monuments and mausoleums from the very original style, such as the imposing mosque or mausoleum Grand Asafi Imambara, which together give it a predominantly Islamic appearance, especially compared to that of the most famous city of the state and the most sacred for every pious Hindu Varanasi.
The pilgrimage to Varanasi (Benares), the eternal city of India is the cynosure of every Hindu observant.
The most surprising aspect of the city, at first glance, is the extraordinary crowding of temples and palaces on the west bank of the Ganges river, the main of which are forbidden to non-Hindus, while the eastern shore is totally deserted. Millennia of floods have evidently favored this fascinating arrangement.
Hindus, of course, believe that dying in Varanasi is a guarantee of immediate extinction of Karma and thus liberation from the cycle of rebirth, because the city brings together in one place all the purifying virtues found in other ritual pilgrimage centers.
A boat ride at dawn along the Gange river, allows you to have a complete vision of the close relationship that the Indians remain with the river.
On Ghats, stairways sloping down into the water, some washing clothes next to those who pray, who lets the shampoo close to those who scatters the ashes of the deceased. Who settles on the current offerings of flowers and food arranged on broad leaves, those who simply awaits death, dusty Sadhu, ascetics, who display their medieval corporal mortifications and icy Brahmans, the priests, under big parasol sacred dispense mantra to pilgrims.
Attend these scenes so intimate it can be embarrassing for some or attractive to others, but it is nonetheless useful to recall the substantial indifference of the Hindus in this regard, which usually while engaged in prayers and rituals, react to our presence on the river with the same interest confined to the fish. Varanasi is also a sacred center for Buddhist culture. Indeed, it was at Sarnath, 6 Km. To the north, which for the first time Buddha preached his doctrine, after enlightenment.
Returning from Varanasi to Delhi, if you go slowly you can stop in Jaunpur, seemingly nondescript town instead surprise offers some of the best examples of the provincial Indo-Islamic style and are well worth a visit.
Agra, where stand the Taj Mahal and other straordinare gems of the Mughal period, such as the Red Fort and the buildings of the citadel and a few kilometers Akbar's mausoleum at Sikandra, instead of the must-see destinations of this great state. The city is also the best starting point for another unforgettable excursion, if you care to gender and age: Fatehpur Sikri. It was built as the capital city during the reign of Akbar, (1556 - 1605) but was later abandoned for perhaps chronic lack of water and remained since then, forgotten and perfect, almost identical to the present day.
Another interesting center, especially during the periodic pilgrimages and multitudinary that the reach is Allahabad: the ancient Prayag, the place of sacrifice, renamed in 1583 in Allahabad, is located on the confluence of two of the most holy Indian rivers, the Ganges and Yamuna; but this blatant confluence there is another, perhaps purely mythological, perhaps rather prehistoric, but never forgotten by thousands of years of Hindu devotion, that of the Sarasvati River.
In Uttar Pradesh you can also take advantage of the abundant handicraft, which naturally characterizes the whole of India, but this state especially, for the ancient and very refined techniques used here in the textile field.
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