Temples and Spiritual Places
Uttar Pradesh is also known as religious capital of India with Ayodhya being the birth place of Lord Rama and Mathura being the birth place of Lord Krishna. It is the place where renowned epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were written. Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautama Buddha attained nirvana. The city of Varanasi (also known as Kashi) has been a cultural centre of north India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage.
Uttar Pradesh is also known as the “Hindi heartland” as some of the most prodigious writers from here (Kabirdas, Tulsidas, Surdas, Harishchandra, Harivansh Rai bachhan) have contributed to flourish Hindi literature.
Uttar Pradesh has many ancient temples and spiritual places. “Kashi” now recognized as “Varanasi” is the spiritual capital of India, and a prominent tourist spot. The famous Kashi fort also known as the Ramnagar Fort is situated facing the Tulsi Ghat. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple in Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Rama and his devotee Lord Hanuman. From Manikarnika ghat to Durga temple, Varanasi is full of beauty and elegance. The most famous saying here is that anyone who dies in Kashi attains moksha.
One of the most remarkable places of pilgrimage for the devotees of Krishna is Vrindavan, with famous temples like Banke Bihari temple and ISKCON temple. Mathura, also known as the city of Lord Krishna (Shri Krishna Janmabhumi) is located on the ancient silk trade route, has a Government Foundation with a magnificent assemblage of sculpture from the time of Lord Buddha. The two most prominent temples here are the Dwarkadheesh Temple and the Gita Mandir. Ayodhya (also known as Ram Janmabhoomi), is known as the birthplace of Lord Rama, and is an attractive tourist spot.
Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Buddhists believe Gautama Buddha attained nirvana. One the most significant Buddhist place is the Sarnath temple in Varanasi. The Sarnath temples comprise distinct shrines which are located in the Vishwanath Gali, a small lane. This is the place where Lord Buddha taught his disciples the four truths of life. The place is decorated with Thangka, traditional paintings, and a beautiful statue of Shakyamuni (Lord Buddha).
The famous Ranakpur Jain Temple (Rajasthan) is a great pilgrimage place for Jain Dharma. The Gomateshwara Temple, Dilwara Temple, Rishabhdeo temple, and Badami cave temples are some of the most ancient spiritual places, famous among Jain devotees.
Fairs and Festivals
The most famous tradition of Vrindavan is Janmashtami (the birth of Lord Krishna). The “Ram Leela” festival is a lively representation of the chapters of Ramayana enacted as a part of the traditional “Dussehra” festival. Vibrant cultures of Mathura and Vrindavan can please anyone’s eyes.
From the entertaining dance festival, Rasleela to Janmashtami and Govardhan puja, the city sets wonder to a divine soul. Kashi Vishwanath, a holy place of Lord Shiva, is memorable for Phalgun Shukla Ekadashi, a traditional festival followed before Holi.