Uttar Pradesh State Information
Capital : Lucknow
Languages: Hindi, Urdu, English
Uttar Pradesh has multicultural, multiracial, fabulous wealth of nature-hills, valleys, rivers, forests, and vast plains. Viewed as the largest tourist destination in India, Uttar Pradesh boasts of 35 million domestic tourists. More than half of the foreign tourists, who visit India every year, make it a point to visit this state of Taj and Ganga. Agra itself receives around one million foreign tourists a year coupled with around twenty million domestic tourists. Uttar Pradesh is studded with places of tourist attractions across a wide spectrum of interest to people of diverse interests. The seventh most populated state of the world, Uttar Pradesh can lay claim to be the oldest seat of India's culture and civilization. It has been characterized as the cradle of Indian civilization and culture because it is around the Ganga that the ancient cities and towns sprang up. Uttar Pradesh played the most important part in India's freedom struggle and after independence it remained the strongest state politically.
Geography of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is between latitude 24°-31°N and longitude 77°-84°E. Area wise, it is the fourth largest state of India.. The Gangetic Plain occupies three quarters of the state. The entire state, except for the northern region, has a tropical monsoon climate. In the plains, January temperatures range from 12.5°C-17.5°C and May records 27.5°-32.5°C, with a maximum of 45°C. Rainfall varies from 1,000-2,000 mm in the east to 600-1,000 mm in the west.
Brief History of Uttar Pradesh
The epics of Hinduism, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were written in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh also had the glory of being home to Lord Buddha. It has now been established that Gautama Buddha spent most of his life in eastern Uttar Pradesh, wandering from place to place preaching his sermons. The empire of Chandra Gupta Maurya extended nearly over the whole of Uttar Pradesh. Edicts of this period have been found at Allahabad and Varanasi. After the fall of the Mauryas, the present state of Uttar Pradesh was divided into four parts: Surseva, North Panchal, Kosal, and Kaushambi.
The western part of Uttar Pradesh saw the advent of the Shaks in the second century BC. Not much is known of the history of the state during the times of Kanishka and his successors. The Gupta Empire ruled over nearly the whole of Uttar Pradesh, and it was during this time that culture and architecture reached its peak. The decline of the Guptas coincided with the attacks of Huns from Central Asia who succeeded establishing their influence right up to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
The seventh century witnessed the taking over of Kannauj by Harshavardhana. In 1526, Babur laid the foundation of the Mughal dynasty. He defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the battle of Panipat. Babar carried out extensive campaign in various parts of Uttar Pradesh. He defeated the Rajputs near Fatehpur Sikri while his son Humayun conquered Jaunpur and Ghazipur, after having brought the whole of Awadh under his control. After Babur's death (1530), his son Humayun forfeited the empire after being defeated at the hands of Sher Shah Suri at Kannauj.
After the death of Sher Shah Suri in 1545, Humayun once again regained his empire but died soon after. His son Akbar proved to be the greatest of Mughals. His established a unified empire over nearly the whole of the India. During his period, Agra became the capital of India and became heartland of culture and arts. Akbar constructed huge forts in Agra and Allahabad. The period of Jahangir (after 1605) saw arts and culture reach a new high. In 1627, after the death of Jahangir, his son Shahjahan ascended the throne. The period of Shahjahan is known as the golden period of India in art, culture, and architecture. It was during his reign that the classical wonder Taj Mahal was built in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The régime of Aurangzeb saw the peak of Mughal Empire in terms of geographic expansion.
Modern-day Uttar Pradesh saw the rise of important freedom fighters on the national scenario. Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Smt. Indira Gandhi, and Charan Singh were only a few of the important names who played a significant role in India's freedom movement and also rose to become the prime ministers of this great nation.
Districts of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is made up of 70 administrative districts, which are grouped into 17 divisions.
Agra Division-Agra, Aligarh, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura
Allahabad Division-Allahabad, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh,
Azamgarh Division-Azamgarh, Ballia, Mau,
Bareilly Division-Bareilly, Badaun, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur
Basti Division-Basti, Siddharthnagar, Sant Kabir Nagar
Chitrakoot Division-Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Mahoba
Devipatan Division-Gonda, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur
Faizabad Division-Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Barabanki, Sultanpur
Gorakhpur Division-Gorakhpur, Kushinagar (Padrauna), Devaria, Maharajganj,
Jhansi Division-Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur,
Kanpur Division-Kanpur Nagar, Kanpur Dehat (Akbarpur District), Etawah, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Auraiya
Lucknow Division-Lucknow, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Raebareli, Sitapur, Unnao
Meerut Division-Meerut, Bulandshahr, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bagpat, Mirzapur Division-Mirzapur, Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadohi District), Sonbhadra
Moradabad Division-Moradabad, Bijnor, Rampur, Jyotiba Phule Nagar
Saharanpur Division-Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar
Varanasi Division-Varanasi, Chandauli, Ghazipur, Jaunpur
Uttar Pradesh provides employment to nearly one-third of the state's total workforce in its textiles and sugar-refining industries. Other prominent industries in Uttar Pradesh include vegetable oil, jute, and cement.
The Union Government has established a number of large factories that manufacture heavy equipment, machinery, steel, aircraft, telephone, electronics equipment, and fertilizers. An oil refinery at Mathura and the development of coalfields in the southeastern district of Mirzapur are also major Union Government projects.
The state government promotes medium- and small-scale industries. Agriculture is the mainstay of the state's economy. The chief crops are rice, wheat, millet, barley, and sugarcane. Since the late 1960s, with the introduction of high-yielding varieties of seed for wheat and rice, greater availability of fertilizers, and increased use of irrigation, the state has become the largest producer of food grains in the country.
Uttar Pradesh Travel Information
Uttar Pradesh can be easily considered as the nerve center of India and all the images of India can be experienced here. This is the state that gave the world Taj Mahal, the mascot for India; Varanasi, the spiritual hot spot; Sarnath, where Buddha preached for the first time, and Mathura, the place so much synonymous with the life and times of Lord Krishna. There are many Tourist Attraction of Uttar Pradesh, which include Agra, Allahabad, Ayodhya, Deogarh, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kushinagar, Lucknow, Mathura, Sarnath, Sravasti, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Bithoor, Kalinjar and Kannauj
Rivers of Uttar Pradesh
Main rivers in Uttar Prdaesh are Alaknanda, Ramganga, Bhagirathi, Yamuna & Ganga
Education in Uttar Pradesh
The female literacy situation in Uttar Pradesh is dismal at 42.98%. However, the male literacy rate is reasonably better at 70.23%. The overall literacy rate is still poor at 57.36% and much lower than the all India average. The State government has taken steps to make the population totally literate.
There are special programs like the World Bank aided DPEP. Steps are being taken with the help of NGOs and other organizations to raise participation. At the level of higher education and technical education Uttar Pradesh has 16 general universities, famous among those are Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU), Allahabad University, Madan Mohan Malaviya Engineering College, Agra University, Banaras Hindu University, Chaudhary Charan Singh University (Meerut), Aligarh Muslim University, prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow), Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Indian Institute of Information Technology (Allahabad), National Institute of Technology (Allahabad) and large number of polytechnics, engineering institutes and industrial training institutes.
Uttar Pradesh is a gourmet's paradise. The cuisine consists of simple, vegetables curries of all kinds. However, a whole lot of fried foods like the kachori and puri, which are necessary during festivities, and the meat delicacies of Awadh are world famous. A lot of emphasis is placed on savories and sweetmeats in this state.
The range could be anything from mathris to jalebis. Lucknow is also known worldwide for its biryanis and meat preparations.
Arts & Culture of Uttar Pradesh
The population mostly comprises of an Indo-Dravidian ethnic group. Only a small population, in the Himalayan region, displays Asiatic origins. Hindus constitute more than 80 percent of the population, Muslims more than 15 percent, and other religious communities include Sikhs, Christians, Jains, and Buddhists.
The handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh have earned a reputation for themselves over the centuries. The traditional handicrafts are of a vast variety such as textiles, metal ware, woodwork, ceramics, stonework, dolls, leather products, ivory articles, papier-mâché, articles made of horns, bone, cane and bamboo, perfume, and musical instrument. These cottage crafts are spread all over the state but the more important centers are located at Varanasi, Aamgarh, Maunath Bhanjan, Ghazipur, Meerut, Muradabad, and Agra.
Carpets from Bhadohi and Mirzapur are prized worldwide. Silks and brocades of Varanasi, ornamental brassware from Muradabad, chickan (a type of embroidery) work from Lucknow, ebony work from Nagina, glassware from Firozabad, and carved woodwork from Saharanpur also are important. The traditional pottery centers are located at Khurja, Chunar, Lucknow, Rampur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, and Azamgarh. Khurja's dishes, pitchers, and flower bowls in blazed ceramic in blue, green, brown and orange colors are the most attractive.
Muradabad produces exquisite brass utility articles. Besides, minakari on silver, gold, and diamond-cut silver ornaments have made Varanasi and Lucknow world famous.
Music & Dance of Uttar Pradesh
The state is known for pioneering the development of musical instruments, which find mention in ancient Sanskrit literature. Music is also known to have flourished in the Gupta Period (c. 320-540), and much of the musical tradition in Uttar Pradesh was developed during the period.
The musicians Tansen and Baiju Bawra, two of the Navaratnas (Nine Jewels) of the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, are still immortal for their contribution in the field of music.
The sitar (a stringed instrument of the lute family) and the tabla (consisting of two small drums), the two most popular instruments of Indian music, were developed in the region during this period.
The Kathak style of classical dance, which originated in Uttar Pradesh in the 18th century as a devotional dance in the temples of Vrindavan and Mathura, is the most popular form of classical dance in northern India.
There are also local songs and dances of the countryside, and the most popular of the folksongs are seasonal. 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.
Festivals of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh has a long list of fairs and festivals. More than 2,230 festivals are held annually. Some are organized at several places simultaneously while others have only local importance.
Festivals and feasts are linked with the golden harvest - the sensuous spring, the reverence for mythology, religion or in honor of the past great men. These are zestfully celebrated with song, dance, and merriment; others with solemnity, fervor, fast, or feast. These fairs and festivals help the people keep the culture vibrant and promote artistic activities.
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