The mesmerising State of Uttar Pradesh (UP) boasts of diverse places showcasing the splendour of Mughal architecture at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, beauty of Nawabi era embedded in Lucknow, sublime spirituality at Varanasi, eternal glimpse of confluence of holy Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati at Allahabad. There are also many mouth watering dishes available in different parts of UP to satiate the taste buds including Tunde kebab, biryani, roghan josh, kachoris, kadhi chawal,baati chokha, lip smacking chaat and other dishes.
NRIs (Non Resident Indians) should visit the State to have a glimpse of this enchanting land and visit all these four places in a week to acquaint with the Ganga-Jamuni tehzib (composite culture and refined hospitality) signifying the harmonious relationship between Hindus, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities in the State. A NRI tourist can plan the itinerary by spending 2 days in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, 2 days in Lucknow, 2 days in Varanasi and finally one day at Allahabad to complete the journey. Notably, many NRIs have their ancestral roots in this State and they visit the place to get the nostalgic feeling about the home of their forefathers and experience the carefree village life. Many NRIs get emotional and tears well up in their eyes while remembering the voyage of their ancestors to the foreign land for the betterment of the future generation.
Talking to Connected to India, Deputy Director of Uttar Pradesh Tourism Amit Kumar Srivastava, said “ We implore our Non Resident Indian friends to come to Uttar Pradesh and experience rich legacy of the State reflected through historical buildings, art and craft of the people, tempting dishes and other facets of the State. There are many packages of UP Tourism department which have been specifically designed to showcase the best places of the State.”
Agra and Fatehpur Sikri
The twin places provides a glimpse of the rich Mughal architecture through Agra Fort, Tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daula, Khas Mahal and several other beautiful buildings. The Mughal architecture reached its zenith at Fatehpur Sikri where one can find Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai’s Palace, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas and other buildings. There is also dargah of Salim Chisti, famous Sufi Saint at this place where people seek spiritual solace from the humdrums of life.
The city retains the old glory of Nawabi era and also making brush with modernity. The city flourished under the generosity of the Nawabs as significant contribution was made in the field of art, architecture and music. There are many buildings at this place including Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Bhul Bhuliyan, JamaMasjid, Asafi Masjid and other buildings giving a peep into the architectural splendour of that period. Mouth watering dishes including biryani, Tunde kebab, kulcha nihari are the major attractions for gastronomic connoisseurs.
Varanasi and Sarnath
This is the religious capital of the country where it is believed that one attains salvation at this place. The picturesque beauty of thousands of burning lamps in the evening at the ghats during the aarti is a visual treat for the eyes. There are several ghats located across the river Ganga including Assi ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Chaumsathi Ghat where one can experience ‘ spiritual ecstasy’. There is also the famous Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva where devotees made a beeline. There are many lip smacking delicacies including kachoris, thandai, lassi and who can forget the famous Banarsi Paan epitomized by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan in a film.
Sarnath is located near Varanasi and it is an important religious centre for Buddhists. Founder of Buddhism Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment at this place and he also gave his first sermon.
This is a religious place as it is a confluence of holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. Here, one can see the mingling of muddy waters of river Ganga with greenish water of Yamuna. There is huge conglomeration of people numbering in millions who assemble at the Sangam at Kumbh Mela and Ardh Kumbh Mela organized after every 12 to 6 years consecutively. Ancestral abode of Nehrus including Anand Bhawan and Swaraj Bhawan are another tourist attractions. These buildings witnessed several important junctures of Indian freedom struggle. Many articles used by the Nehrus are displayed here. Mughal architecture is displayed through Allahabad Fort and Khusrau Bagh.
NRIs should visit Uttar Pradesh once in the lifetime for spiritual awakening and, if you have connections with the state, hopefully search for their ancestors.