From the Taj to the Ganges, Explore the Wonders of Uttar Pradesh.
Sacred journeys, ancient temples, and spiritual serenity await in Uttar Pradesh.
Explore Uttar Pradesh's rich history through its enchanting heritage sites.
Experience the magic of cultural celebrations in UP's lively festivals.
Round the year
5 - 8 Days
Uttar Pradesh conjures an image of acres and acres of wide swaying fields, ancient Hindu temples on the bank of meandering rivers, and towns and cities with narrow alleys where rich culture abides. Home to one of the world's oldest cities and the iconic Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh in North India is a holiday destination you do not want to miss.
The epitome of diversity, Uttar Pradesh welcomes you to a land of history, culture, art, and traditions. This 4th largest state in India spreads over an area of 240,928 sq km and is a mix of cultures that it displays proudly and attracts tourists from all over the world.
Uttar Pradesh has more to offer than the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. The North Indian state is also home to numerous significant Hindu temples, Muslim Dargahs and Masjids as well as Christian pilgrimage destinations.
Read along to find out the top tourist destinations of the state as we bring to you a complete guide on Uttar Pradesh tourism.
Uttar Pradesh is abundant with religious places and has important pilgrimage sites for religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity. The state is therefore a popular point of interest for the devotees of these religions and attracts a number of them each year.
Sanctified by the confluence of the sacred most rivers of India - Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati, Uttar Pradesh is a pilgrimage destination that is important among the followers of Hinduism.
A prominent Hindu temple among the many that Uttar Pradesh has, is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas among the country and is dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva who is worshiped in the form of Vishwanath, the ruler of the universe. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is located near the Temple and becomes crowded with people in the evening, locals and tourists alike who gather to attend the famed Ganga Aarti.
The Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple at Mathura is another important temple of the state. It is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is a revered place among his followers along with the nearby places of religious significance such as Govardhan, Nandgaon, and Vrindavan. The temple becomes especially lively during the occasion of Janmashtami to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.
The district of Gorakhpur owes its name to the revered temple of Gorakhnath, an ascetic saint who used to travel all over India and write many texts that form the basis of foundational principles and values of the Nath community today. The temple now contains a Samadhi chamber, Gorakhnath's footprints, and his Gaddi or seat where he used to sit and is a prominent temple of Uttar Pradesh.
The Tulsi Manas Temple in the city of Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Rama and built in honor of the Hindu poet and philosopher, Tulsidas. The temple is a marble structure with verses of Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas written on its walls. The stories from the epic are also depicted throughout the temple through an ensemble of pictures, paintings and sculptures.
Uttar Pradesh is an important destination for followers of Buddhism as well. Among the Buddhist circuit falls Sarnath, being the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after he attained enlightenment. Sarnath is also important due to the presence of The Ashoka Pillar and the Dhamek Stupa, built centuries ago to honor Lord Buddha. Other prominent Buddhist sites in Uttar Pradesh include Kaushambi, Sankisa, Shravasti, and Kushinagar.
The state also houses places of religious importance for the Jains such as the Jain Shwetambar Temple at Ayodhya, which is dedicated to the first Tirthankar of the Digambar Jain sect, Rishabdev and has a 31 feet tall marble statue of him.
Sarnath is significant for followers of Jainism too for its Digambar Jain Temple, also called the Shreyansnath Jain Temple, built in honor of the 11th Jain Tirthankara Shreyansnath.
In the Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh there is the Teerthdham Mangalayatan, a Jain pilgrimage complex which houses 5 Jain temples and also functions as a research center for socio-religious purposes.
Another prominent site for the followers of Jainism is Deogarh, in the district of Lalitpur. Along the banks of the Betwa River lie the 31 Jain Temples and Manastambhas, dating up to the 17th century. The panels of these structures showcase images of Tirthankaras and scenes from mythology.
When it comes to Muslim pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh, Jama Masjid comes to mind. The Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century and has the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, a Sufi Saint. The structure is considered to be one of the greatest architectural achievements of Akbar.
Another mosque built by the Mughals is another popular tourist attraction in Uttar Pradesh. The Jama Masjid at Agra is a splendid structure built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his daughter Jahanara Begum and is made of red sandstone and white marbles.
Dewa Sharif at Lucknow's Barabanki district is another Muslim pilgrimage site. It is a tomb erected in memory of the Sufi Saint, Syed Haji Waris Ali Shah. An annual festival is held for 10 days at the site known as the Dewa Mela and includes musical performances, Mushairas, and Kavi Sammelans.
Apart from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Muslim religious places, Uttar Pradesh also has Christian pilgrimage sites such as the St. John's Church at Meerut. It is one of the most popular churches of the state and is the oldest church in North India, made in 1819 by the East India Company during British rule, glimpses of which can be seen in their architecture.
Another popular church in Uttar Pradesh is the St. George's Cathedral at Agra. It is yet another church built by the Britishers and was constructed in 1828. This Anglican church was made for the British population who resided in this part of the country. The cathedral has commemorations remembering the British soldiers who died during battle while in India.
Other popular Christian pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh include the Lalbagh Methodist Church at Lucknow, All Saints Garrison Church also at Lucknow, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces at Sardhana in Meerut.
The avenue of heritage tour is open across the length and breadth of the state with the capital city Lucknow reflecting the rich Mughal and British architecture to Varanasi showcasing a meld of Nagara style of architecture.
Among the wonders of the world, The Taj Mahal resides at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. This mausoleum made with white marble is crafted to perfection and was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal and is considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture. This beautiful structure was constructed between 1631-1648 and truly stands to be the pride of Uttar Pradesh and India.
The Agra Fort is another heritage site in Uttar Pradesh's Agra. It used to be the main residing place for the Mughal emperors till 1638 when they shifted the capital to Delhi from Agra. The fort, made of red sandstone, is built like a walled city and is located at a distance of 2.5 kilometers from the Taj Mahal.
At a distance from Agra, is built the fort city of Fatehpur Sikri. Constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar, the city was made to honor the Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. The forts at Fatehpur Sikri are made in the classic Mughal architecture using red sandstone. Popular attractions at Fatehpur Sikri include the Jama Masjid Mosque, Buland Darwaza, Palace of Jodha Bai, and the Hawa Mahal.
Along with being the site where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, Sarnath is also known for its historic importance due to the presence of The Ashoka Pillar and the Dhamek Stupa, both important for being built centuries ago.
The ancient city of Hastinapur is also a popular point of interest for tourists especially for the devotees of Hinduism. Hastinapur finds mention in the Mahabharata for being the center of many events. The city is also revered for Jains as well. It has the Jambudweep Jain Tirth and the Shri Digambar Bada Jain Mandir.
Have a penchant for clothing? A warm welcome to the capital city, Lucknow will leave you spoilt for choice with the beautiful and intricate Chikankari suits, kurta, and sarees.
While in Lucknow, make sure to check out the soothing attars or perfumes that are made locally. These are organic in nature and last for a long time.
Also popular in Uttar Pradesh are the Zardozi embroidered handicrafts and the ever gorgeous Banarasi Silk Sarees from Varanasi, crafted with utmost patience and care.
The glass city of India, Firozabad is sure to enchant you with its intricately designed glassware of bangles, lamps, and bowls.
Known for its exquisite metalware that is famous worldwide, you will fall in love with Moradabad's brass handicraft.
The state of Uttar Pradesh is also abundant in wildlife and encompasses wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that are home to a variety of flora and fauna. Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary and Okhla Bird Sanctuary are amongst the top wildlife destinations in Uttar Pradesh.
The Dudhwa National Park is a Tiger Reserve located in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, along the Indo-Nepal border. The park is home to Tigers, Rhinoceros, Elephants, Swamp Deer, Porcupines, etc. and has over 450 species of birds.
The Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the Chambal river includes endangered species of gharial or small crocodiles, red-crowned roof turtles and the Ganges river dolphin and is situated across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh,and Uttar Pradesh which manage the sanctuary together.
Uttar Pradesh is expanding its tourism by hosting international level festivals like the Kumbh and Taj Mahotsav, which helps travelers learn about the state's rich history and culture.
The Kumbh Mela is a prominent religious festival for the devotees of Hinduism and happens every 3 years rotating between 4 pilgrim cities situated on 4 sacred rivers. In Uttar Pradesh the festival takes place at the Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, at the confluence of Rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The attendees, who include ascetic saints, sadhus, and visitors, take a dip in these holy rivers, which is believed to wash away their sins.
The Taj Mahotsav is organized by the Department of Tourism and is a 10 day affair that takes place in the month of February. The Mahotsav is held at Shilpgram in the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh and celebrates India's art, craft and culture through music, dance and delicious food. Artisans from all over the country display their craft during the festival such as Bamboo work from the northeast, delicate shawls from Kashmir, and brassware from Moradabad.
Other important festivals that are celebrated in Uttar Pradesh include Dussehra, Ganga Mahotsav, Chhat Puja, Holi, and Buddha Purnima.
Uttar Pradesh also has delectable cuisine to offer which is perfect to revive your energy when you get tired taking in its beauty. Whether you want to indulge in Sattvic food or enjoy non-vegetarian Nawabi delicacies, Uttar Pradesh has it all. A lot of the food from Lucknow that is popular today has roots in the Nawabi culture.
For example, the melt-in-mouth Galouti Kabab, Nargisi Kofta, and the Awadhi Biryani are some of the popular foods of Lucknow. Other popular dishes of Uttar Pradesh include Puri Aloo, Mathura's Peda, Petha from Agra, and chatpati Chaat that you can find throughout the state.
More of a mouth freshener than an appetizer, the Banarasi Paan is also something that the people of Uttar Pradesh love, and therefore requires special mention.
The best time to visit Uttar Pradesh is between the months of October and March when the weather is colder and pleasant. It is the peak season for tourism in the state since the second half of the year brings various Hindu festivities.
In the months of April to June, UP (Uttar Pradesh) can get extremely hot and is not ideal for travel, and so it is best to avoid these months.
The state experiences monsoon from July to September. There might be fewer crowds as compared to other months but the weather can get pretty humid.
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Agra, a popular destination, mesmerizes visitors with its timeless architectural wonders.
Varanasi, India's iconic religious city, captivates souls with its spiritual aura and sacred rituals.
Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna, is a must-visit for its deep spiritual significance and heritage.
Vrindavan, a revered pilgrimage site, resonates with tales of Krishna's love and divine leelas.
Prayagraj, a historic destination, draws visitors with its confluence of cultures and sacred rivers.
Ayodhya stands as a paramount religious destination, deeply rooted in Lord Ram's legendary legacy.
Lucknow, a must-visit place, enchants with its rich history, culinary delights, and exquisite architecture.
Sarnath, a significant Buddhist pilgrimage site, marks where Buddha first taught the Dharma to followers.
Kushinagar, a revered tourist destination, commemorates Buddha's final moments and entrance into Nirvana.
Shravasti, a captivating destination, reflects ancient Buddhist traditions and tales of enlightenment.
Uttar Pradesh is a colorful land filled with ancient culture, spirituality, and good food. The state is a mixture of the various cultures that existed in it at some point of time, prominent ones whose remnants can still be found today include the Awadh and the Mughal culture. You can visit Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi if you are looking for a spiritual experience and relax along the Ghats of river Ganges or explore the city of Agra, once a Mughal capital.
The most popular tourist attractions in Uttar Pradesh are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Varanasi and its Ghats, Mathura-Vrindavan, Ayodhya and Sarnath.
The best time to visit Uttar Pradesh is between the months of October and March when the weather is colder and pleasant and is the peak season for tourism in the state.
The top heritage sites to visit in Uttar Pradesh are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Hastinapur, and Sarnath.
To travel within the state, trains are ideal since Uttar Pradesh has a good network of railway lines. Within the cities of Uttar Pradesh, you can either take up a taxi or the local auto-rickshaws.
Uttar Pradesh can feel daunting for a solo trip but it really isn't. It can be so much fun by yourself. The cities of Agra, Varanasi, and Lucknow are the main tourist destinations ideal for solo travelers.
Kumbh Mela, Taj Mahotsav, Dussehra, Ganga Mahotsav, Chhat Puja, Holi, and Buddha Purnima are the top cultural festivals of Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh will not disappoint the shopaholic in you. Some of the popular markets in the state include the markets of Aminabad and Hazratganj of Lucknow for your traditional Chikankari clothing, Sadar Bazar of Agra, and the Golghar, Godowlia, and Chowk markets of Varanasi.
The top pilgrimage destinations in Uttar Pradesh include the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, Gorakhnath Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Ayodhya for followers of Hinduism.
Sarnath, Kaushambi, Sankisa, Shravasti, and Kushinagar are significant for followers of Buddhism.
Jain Shwetambar Temple, Digambar Jain Temple, Teerthdham Mangalayatan, and the Jain Temples at Deogarh are important for Jain devotees.
Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid at Agra, and Dewa Sharif at Lucknow are important pilgrimage sites for Muslims.
For the followers of Christianity the St. John's Church, St. George's Cathedral, Lalbagh Methodist Church, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces at Sardhana hold importance.
Uttar Pradesh's cuisines are a mix of Sattvic and Nawabi cuisine such as the Galouti Kabab, Nargisi Kofta, Awadhi Biryani, Puri Aloo, Mathur's Peda, Agra's Petha, and the sweet and salty Chaat, along with the Banarasi Paan.
The state is also abundant in wildlife and encompasses wildlife sanctuaries and national parks such as the Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary and Okhla Bird Sanctuary, housing a variety of wildlife like Tigers, Rhinoceros, Crocodiles, Swamp Deer, etc.
The climate of Uttar Pradesh is generally defined as tropical monsoon type and has the seasons of summer, monsoon and winter. Summer season occurs during the months of March and May, monsoon through June to September, and October to February is winter. The winter temperatures can drop to 3-4 degree celsius whereas temperatures can reach sometimes up to 47 degrees during the summer!
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