THERE’S MORE THAN TAJ MAHAL IN UTTAR PRADESH !!
Uttar Pradesh Beyond Taj Mahal
Almost every traveler wants to visit the Taj Mahal once if they plan a trip to India. Taj Mahal is in Agra City in Uttar Pradesh ( UP ) State of India. But from the traveling point of you UP has a lot to offer “Beyond Taj Mahal”
STATE INTRODUCTION – UTTAR PRADESH
Uttar Pradesh (commonly called U.P.) is a northern Indian densely populated state. It has Rajasthan on the west, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana on its northwest, Bihar on its east, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh on its southwest and Madhya Pradesh on its south.
Uttar Pradesh boasts of various religious, historical and natural tourist destinations like Agra, Allahabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Jhansi, Meerut, Mathura, Vrindavan to name a few.
The capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow known for its famous memorial shrine of the Muslims called Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara adorned by beautiful calligraphy. I decided to explore UP beyond Taj Mahal and my next destination was Lucknow. I loved stepping back into the history once again and witnessing beautiful architecture from the previous times.
The Imambara is a must visit destination.
Lucknow is also well known amongst tourists for its traditional Awadhi and Mughlai cuisines. No foodie can afford to skip this destination!
Nestled along the banks of the Yamuna in Agra City is the world famous gem Taj Mahal (8 million visitors a year) an iconic colossal white marble-domed mausoleum built by the 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor his favorite wife Mumtaz Begum. The city of Agra also has the majestic Agra Fort with its red-brick structure dating back to 16th and 17th centuries. Both Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort and the nearby located Fatehpur Sikri are World Heritage Sites.
Another destination one must visit is very near to Taj Mahal called as the Fatehpur Sikri. I loved experiencing the visit to this another red stone marvel!
Uttar Pradesh would be incomplete without the mention of Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi which houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas ( Lord Shiva temples). Varanasi’s major attraction is the River Ganga and the Ghats. It also has one of the biggest pilgrimages of the Buddhists, Sarnath.
The state enjoys all the four Indian Seasons with a subtropical climate due to which the state is rich in its fruits and agriculture production throughout the Great Gangetic Plain.
UP is rich in vibrant festivals, culture, ancient places to worship and viharas.
The major festivals to look out for in Uttar Pradesh are the Kumbh Mela organized every twelve years at Allahabad in the Hindu month of Magadha (February-March), Taj Mahotsav held annually at Agra displaying the colorful Braj culture and Buddha Purnima that marks the birth of Lord Gautama Buddha also a major Hindu festival.
If that was not enough one cannot miss another famous destination this state offers the Mathura and Vrindavan. It is the place where Lord Krishna is said to have been born. One can get lost in the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Chants this city has to offer while visiting thousands of temples dotted around the various parts of this city. An experience worth a visit and then revisit. Check out my visit to VRINDAVAN in my previous blog on spirituality!
So there is so much beyond the Taj in this vibrant state and its charm keeps pulling me back again and again.