Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in the Plains region of India. It is the fifth largest state in terms of land area and the majority of the residents engage in agriculture.

The Kathak dance style, the most popular classical dance form in India, was born in Uttar Pradesh. The countryside songs and dances are significant traits of the local culture.

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Photo: Kathak a traditional Indian dance / The Art of Travel Partners

UP, short for Uttar Pradesh, is also famous for handicrafts such as carpet weaving, hand printing, chikan (a type of embroidery), metal enameling, brocade and brass, and ebony work.

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Photo: Carpets / The Art of Travel Partners

Top Cities

Below are the nine of the most notable cities that are worth exploring individually.

  • Agra — tourist capital of India, home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Taj Mahal
  • Varanasi — one of the holiest cities in India to Hindus on the banks of the Ganges
  • Lucknow — the capital of Uttar Pradesh and earlier Royal city of Nawabs
  • Allahabad — holy place where the rivers Ganges, Yamuna, & Saraswati meet
  • Ayodhya — the birthplace of the Hindu God Ram and Lord Rishabhdev, first Tirthankar of the Jains
  • Sarnath — the site of the Buddha’s first teaching after gaining enlightenment
  • Jhansi — historical city of Northern Bundelkhand, best-known for Rani Lakshmi Bai, sometimes described as “India’s Joan of Arc”
  • Mathura — known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna
  • Vrindavan — also spelled Brindavan, is another Hindu holy town

Things To Do In Uttar Pradesh

Dudhwa National Park

Dudhwa National Park along with two other adjacent parks, the Kishanpur Wild Life Sanctuary, and Katerniaghat Wild Life Sanctuary are now named as the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger.

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Photo: Bengal Tiger / The Art of Travel Partners

Dudhwa represents some of the best natural forests and grasslands left in Uttar Pradesh and is today the last viable home of the Royal Bengal Tiger in the state, along with species such as Swamp Deer, Indian one-horned rhinoceros, and the elusive hispid hare.

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Photo: One-horned Rhino / The Art of Travel Partners

With the large forested area, this wildlife preservation sanctuary is an unexplored paradise for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and bird watchers.

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Photo: Swamp deer / The Art of Travel Partners


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Photo: Agra Fort / The Art of Travel Partners

For the detailed list of things to do in Agra, please visit Agra Travel Guide.


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Photo: Ghats of Varanasi / The Art of Travel Partners

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Photo: The Holy city of Varanasi / The Art of Travel Partners

For the detailed list of things to do in Varanasi, please visit Varanasi Travel Guide.


Take a holy dip in Sangam at Allahabad.

Visit Anand Bhavan, Minto Park, Sita Samahit Isthal, Company Garden, New Yamuna Bridge, and the holy city of Prayag.


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Photo: Lucknow / The Art of Travel Partners

The Royal city Lucknow was once the city of Nawabs.

Visit the Chowk area and particularly the Imambaras and its narrow streets full of local shops.


Photo: Imambara, Lucknow / The Art of Travel Network


The birthplace of the Hindu God Ram and Lord Rishabhdev, first Tirthankar of the Jains.


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Photo: Mathura Holi, the festival of color / CC0

Mathura is known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna.


Another Hindu holy city is nearby.


The site of the Buddha’s first teaching after gaining enlightenment.


The historical city of Northern Bundelkhand.

Local Cuisine

Uttar Pradesh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Most famous for its kebabs, Dum Biryani, and various Mutton recipes, Uttar Pradesh is a paradise for food lovers.

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Photo: Biryani / The Art of Travel Partners 

The Chaat, Samosa, and Pakora, among the most popular snacks in all of India, are also originally from Uttar Pradesh.

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Photo: Samosa Street Food of India / CC0

The state is famous for its Nawabi foods and use of mutton, paneer, and rich spices including cardamom and saffron. Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is a heaven for food lovers due to the sheer range of variety available.

Awadhi cuisine as it is called is famous and represents a continuation of the heritage of the Mughal Empire.

In the non-vegetarian space, Awadh is first and foremost known for its range of delicious kebabs, ranging from shami kebab patties to seekh kebab skewers.

Awadhi cuisine bears similarities to those of Kashmir and Punjab. It is a good place to find refined Muslim Indian food.

Varanasi is another city where people live for eating. It is famous for the Hindu Vegetarian style which includes chaat, Tikki, and kachori, among others.


Unfortunately, Utter Pradesh led India’s kidnapping statistics by quite a substantial margin. Almost 16% of all kidnappings in the country happens in UP. While this is mainly of concern to residents, as always, travel sensibly and remain vigilant.

  • Don’t leave cash or any valuables in the hotel room or back of the rental car.
  • Cross check all hotel, restaurant and lounge bills for errors.
  • Don’t flash jewelry, excessive cash, expensive phones, cameras or laptop in the open.
  • Never pay anyone for anything upfront, including taxi drivers.
  • Always negotiate and agree upon a price before boarding an auto/rickshaw, taxi or buying anything.
  • Beware of pickpockets.
  • Don’t venture out alone during the night time. Stay away from the shady area and carry a phone with an Indian SIM card so you can call the emergency (phone, ambulance) if needed.

December 22, 2018 6:40 pm Published by

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