Monday, April 30, 2007

Uttar Pradesh

Capital : Lucknow
Principal Languages : Hindi (Official), Urdu (Official), English (Official)
Geography :

The fourth largest state in physical size, Uttar Pradesh sits in northern India; it is bounded by Uttaranchal and Nepal on the north, Bihar on the east, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh on the south, and Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan on the west. Uttar Pradesh is typically divided into four geographic regions: the Uttar Pradesh Himalayas, the Shivalik Hills, the Gangetic Plain, and the north peninsula.

Important Cities - Towns and Religious - Tourist Place :

Agra (world famous Taj Mahal, Sikandara, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri), Aligarh (formerly known as Koil, this ancient city has traces of Buddhist and Hindu temples; now famous for aligarh Muslim University), Allahabad (earlier known as Prayag (meaning a place of sacrifice), it is near the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, it is an ancient Hindu Pilgrimage city), Ayodhya (birthplace of Lord Rama and important pilgrimage centre), Azamgarh, Bahraich, Ballia, Bareilly (former capital of the region known as Rohilkhand), Bithur, Budaun, Bulandshahr, Deoria, Devgarh, Eta, Etawah (important town during Mughal period), Faizabad, Farrukhabad, Fatehgarh, Fatehpur Sikri (deserted sandstone e city located near Agra, Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti), Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Ghazipur,Gonda, Gorakhpur (Gorakhnath temple; Geeta Press publishing Hindu religious literature), Hamirpur, Hardoi, Jaunpur, (historical Place; famous for Jhansi fort; transit point for Khajuraho), Kannauj (once a mighty Hindu city, it was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni; here Humayun city, it was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni; here Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah in1540),kanpur (sometimes called the 'Manchester of India' is an important industrial town; city was earlier known as'Cawnpore'), Kheri, Lalitpur, Lucknow (named after Lakshman, Younger brother of Lord Rama, the hero of the famous epic "Ramayana", the city stands on river Gomati; known for Bara Imambara, Mainpuri, Mathura (situated on the banks of river Yamuna, place of Hindu pilgrimage and birth place of Lord Krishna), Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, Orai, Pilibhit, Pratapgparh, Prayag (known for the confluence of river Ganga and Yamuna), Rae Bareli, Rampur, Robertsganj, Saharanpur, Sarnath [major Buddhist centre (here Buddha gave his first sermon); known for Deer Park, Dhamekh Stupa, Dharmarajika Stupa and Ashoka Pillar], Shahjahanpur,Siddharth Nagar, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Unao, Varanasi (Hindu Pilgrimage town located on the banks of Ganga, Benaras Hindu University, Bharat Mata Temple, Durga Temple, Gyanvapi Mosque, Alamgir Mosque, Sarnath, Tulsi Manas Temple, Vishwanath Temple, New Vishwanath Temple), Vindhyachal (Place of pilgrimage).

Climate :

Almost all of Uttar Pradesh experiences a tropical monsoon climate. Only the far northern parts of the state and other parts high on mountains see otherwise. On the plains, temperatures sit between the low 50s and low 60s (12.5 C - 17.5 C) in January. By May, the mercury has jumped up into the 80s (27.5 C - 32.5 C). Rain in the state sees significant variations depending on location. Western Uttar Pradesh sees about 30 inches (80 cm) of rain each year, but the eastern part of the state sees up to 78 inches (200 cm) of rainfall annually.

Location :

Uttar Pradesh is bounded by Uttarachal and Nepal in north, Madhya pradesh and Chattisgarh in south, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi in west and Bihar and Jharkhand in east.

Culture :

Nearly every cottage industry trade has been moved into some sort of large-scale production in Uttar Pradesh, but their domestic roots have not been destroyed. Traditional handicrafts are still a major part of the Uttar Pradesh lifestyle. Garments, stonework, dolls, leather goods, musical instruments, papier-m??and goods made from horns, bone, cane, and bamboo are all very popular. The centers of production for these crafts are all well known for specializing and perfecting their respective trade. Bhadohi and Mirzapur are well known carpet-producing centers. Varanasi silk is a highly prized good. Embroidery work in the chickan fashion is at its peak in Lucknow. The list goes on and on and includes work in ebony goods, glassware, woodwork, pottery, and ceramics. Ancient Sanskrit texts speak of the rich music and dance in the region. Much of India's musical tradition emerged from the state; the classical dance style Kathak originated in 18th century Uttar Pradesh temples. Kathak is now the most popular classical dance in north India. Festivals and fairs fill up the state's calendar. Some of these celebrations have a large, statewide following while others are local to single villages. One of the most important festivals in the state, Navratri lasts nine days and celebrates the consort of the Hindu god Shiva. Other large observances are Diwali and Holi. The Holi festivities at Barsana include a tradition in which women challenge men to throw paint on them.

History :

Uttar Pradesh is the heart of India whose history goes back to the Vedic Age. Two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and great religions-Buddhism and jainism were born and flourished here. In the medieval ages, great muslim empires were established in this region. It played a prominent role in India's first war of Independence in 1857. The Britishers gave it the name of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. In 1935 the name was shortened to "United Provinces". After Independence, the States of Rampur, Banaras and Tehri-Garhwal were merged with United Provinces. The name merged with United Provinces. The name of the United Provinces was changed to Uttar Pradesh in 1950.

Economy :

Agriculture is the supporting leg of Uttar Pradesh's economy. Thanks to new crop seeds, more available fertilizer, and better irrigation, Uttar Pradesh has become India's largest producer of food grains, specializing in rice, wheat, barely, and millet. Industry also plays a vital role in the economy, as it employs about one third of the state population in the textile and sugar refining sectors alone. Major machinery and electronic production projects are also under way

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