10 Most Popular Destinations You Can Visit When You’re In Uttar Pradesh

10 Most Popular Destinations: As Ruskin Bond said “Uttar Pradesh is a world in itself“. Beauty of Uttar Pradesh lies in it, being the culturally rich state of India. Uttar Pradesh or U.P literally means Northern state, is located in the North-Central part of India. It is the fourth largest state of India and the most populous state as well. Also Uttar Pradesh holds a legacy of Political importance- from the Kosala kingdom till the British era and even now. 

Uttar Pradesh has the essence of diversity, reflected in it’s rich history , tradition, art and culture. From magnificent architecture to mouth-watering delicacies ,from Banarsi sarees to Luckhnowi chikankari , from folk songs and classical dance to grand Kumbh mela and Ganga Arti , from narrow alleyways to huge gates ,Uttar Pradesh has it all. Let’s now dig into some most popular destinations of Uttar Pradesh, that you should visit once.

  • AGRA

Agra is a city that lies on the banks of river Yamuna. Agra and the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders the world, works as a synonym, but Agra has more to offer than just Taj Mahal, that catches the attention of national and international tourists as well. Agra has three UNESCO world heritage sites including Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri. (10 Most Popular Destinations)
 Additionally Itmad-Ud-Daulah or Baby Taj , Akbar’s Tomb, Moti Masjid, Panch Mahal, Shri Manakameshwar Mandir, Dolphin water Park, Gurudwara Guru Ka Taal , Kalakriti Culture and Convention Centre etc. are destinations one should explore in Agra. If you visit Agra in the month of February, then you should not miss the “Taj Mahotsav”- which is a cultural festival and craft fair , held in Shilpgram , near the eastern gate of Taj Mahal.

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 Don’t forget to taste Agra’s famous Petha. Also you can enjoy Bedai kachori, Mughlai cuisine, parathas , chaats, dahi bhallas etc. And if you are in a search of good restaurants then Taj Terrace, The Grand Gopika Thaal by GMB , Good Vibes Café, Bambino café and restaurant will be the best place for you to eat. (10 Most Popular Destinations)

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 Capital of Uttar Pradesh , Lucknow , is popularly known as the city of Nawabs. The city is famous for its gardens , cuisines , clothes , poetry etc.Bara Imambara,  Chota Imambara,  Rumi Darwaza, Husainabad clock tower, Amrapali water park, Nawab Wahid Ali Shah Zoological garden , Indira Gandhi Planitarium, Ambedkar Park, beautiful Gomti river front park, etc. are places you must have in your bucket list.PLACES TO EAT – Lucknow is famous for its Awadhi Cuisines. And if you are a non- vegetarian then don’t forget to have Kebabs in Lucknow. Here are some suggested places you can visit to experience heavenly food- Basket chaat at Gomti Nagar chowk ; at chowk you can have – Raja thandai , Sheermal or shirmal (famous delicacy of lucknow), Rahim’s kulcha Nahari ; Tunday Kababi, Prakash ki Mashoor Kulfi at Aminabad ; Jain chaat wala near Lalbagh novelty ; Awadhi biryani at Wahid’s biryani, etc. (10 Most Popular Destinations)


lucknow needs no introduction to shopaholics, chikankari from lucknow is what every shopaholic wants to have , few are some suggested markets – Aminabad market, Bhootnath market, Kapoorthala market, Alambagh market etc


 One of the ancient inhabited cities in the world is Varanasi. Varanasi or Banaras is often known as Kashi, is a city in Uttar Pradesh that one should not miss to explore. There are 7 holy cities in India and Varanasi is one among them. City of Ghats attracts national and international tourists to experience the soothing ,calm and peaceful atmosphere of ghats , Ganga Arti at Dasaswamedh Ghat and taking a dip in the ganga river , is what one must definitely do in Varanasi. (10 Most Popular Destinations)


Shri Kashi Vishwnath temple ; Dasaswamedh Ghat ; Manikarnika Ghat ; Assi Ghat ; Ramnagar Fort ; Mrityunjay Mahadev Temple ; Bharat Mata Temple ; Meer Ghat ; Banaras Art Gallery ; Man Singh Observatory.


Street food is must like – kachori sabzi ; choora matar ; tamatar chaat etc. for breakfast , at Dasaswamedh road. Few recommended restaurants in Varanasi includes- Pizzeria Vaatika and Roof top restaurant at Assi Ghat ; Shree Shivay Varanasi at Bheem Nagar etc.


Benarsi Sarees , accessories , handicrafts , idols all this you can shop when you are in Varanasi’s markets. Few are the Markets you should check – Rajan Silk Market , Gyanvapi , Thatheri bazar, Vishwanath lane, Lahurabir and Golghar.

  • MATHURA (10 Most Popular Destinations)

Mathura is birth place of lord Krishna. It is also one of the seven holy cities of India. To explore the city in its true sense, one must visit the city during holi and Krishna Janmashtmi.


Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi, Dwarkadhish Temple, Vishram Ghat, Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan Hill near Vrindavan, Mathura museum, Kans Qila , Tilak Dwar  are must to explore.


If you are passing though the alleys in Mathura , you can’t restrain yourself from having a glass of Lassi served in the earthen pot ; peda ; kullahad wali chai ; Mkkhan Mishri ; and chaat. Annapurna Khaman Dhokla House at  Chatta Bazaar, near Vishram Ghat ; Brijwasi Mithaiwala at the Holy gate are some places you can check to calm your appetite.


Shopaholics can explore Tilak Dwar market or Holy gate ; chatta bazar ; Lal bazaar ; Krishna nagar market ; and Bengali ghat .


Historic city Jhansi lies on the banks of Pahuj River. Jhansi is a city that reminds us of first war of India’s Independence in 1857. Jhansi is a erstwhile capital of Rani Lakshmibai’s Kingdom , who bravely fought against the Britishers in the 1857 revolt, and hence came to be known as “Jhansi ki Rani”. (10 Most Popular Destinations)


Jhansi has amazing tourists destinations which includes – Grand Jhansi fort , Rani Mahal , Jhansi museum , Panchtantra Park , St. Jude’s shrine , Mahalakshmi temple Jhansi and Rai Praveen Mahal .


If we talk about the food options in Jhansi , you can have street food like chaat , gol gappe in sadar bazaar market. Most of the restaurants in Jhansi serves you Indian and Continental food. Shilpi Hotel , Samrat Hotel, Narayan Chaat Bhandar, Navbharat restaurant etc. are few that you can check.


Shopping has to be done from Mani Chowk , Sadar Bazaar, Sipri Bazaar, and Nagar , to buy clothes , antiques , accessories etc. Along with all this , if possible then do attend ‘the Jhansi Mahotsav’ , which is a week long event held between February and March. The event highlights the traditions , cultures, ethnicity and colorful life of the people of Bundelkhand . You can enjoy the event comprising different programs like Music , dance, local folk dance , and Alha songs , rangoli and mehandi competitions as well.


As has been rightly said by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh – Yogi Adityanath , that Ayodhya is emerging fast as one of the most preferred tourist place for national and international tourists. Hence one visit to this beautiful city is something you will not regret at all.  Ayodhya is located on the banks of river Sarayu or Saryu , is the birthplace of Hindu Deity Lord Rama. And the city is one among the seven holy cities of India. You really needs to be fortunate enough to witness the Diwali celebration in Ayodhya.


Ram Janmbhoomi , Hanuman Garhi Mandir , Kanak Bhawan Temple , Sita ki Rasoi , Nageshwarnath Temple , Gulab Bari ( garden of roses ) , Jain Shwetambar Temple , Ram ki Paidi ( series of ghats on the bank of river Sarayu ), choti chawni , Tulsi Smarak Bhawan , Ram Katha Park, Raja Mandir and last but not the least do visit Dashrath Mahal.


food options in Ayodhya is limited but mouth-watering. City is famous for variety of chaats , kachoris and delicious Laddoos , Rabri , North Indian Thalis . You can eat at Makan- Malai Restaurant , Shri Kanak Sarkar Rasoi and Awantika .


As it’s a pilgrim town , the best one can buy from Ayodhya is idols of Lord Rama , Sita , T-shirts with religious text on it , Key chains etc.


Another holy place of Uttar Pradesh , close to Varanasi , lies Sarnath . Sarnath is a place where Gautama Buddha preached his first Sermon. Hence it’s a pilgrimage site for Buddhists, and national and international tourists quite often visit this place.PLACES TO VISIT – Sarnath has many authentic destinations that you can explore . which includes – Dhamek Stupa ; Chaukhandi Stupa ; Sarnath Museum ; Mulagandha kuti vihar ; Sarnath Archeological Museum ; Tibetan Buddhist Monastery ; Japanese Temple ; Digambar jain temple ; Chinese Buddhist Temple ; Thai Temple and Monastery ; Garden of spiritual wisdom ; Deer park ; Bodhi tree .


North- Indian , Chinese and Tibetan cuisines are what you can get at Sarnath . Recommended restaurants at Sarnath will be Friend’s Corner Tibetan Restaurant ; Green Hut ; Vaishali Restaurant ; Sarnath Café and Rangoli Garden restaurant .


Being the pilgrimage for Buddhists , Sarnath is famous for statues of Buddha . Dharm Pal market – handicraft market ; Sarnath market ; Suraj Buddha shop Sarnath ; Buddha handicraft Sarnath are some recommended places in Sarnath from where you can have some souvenirs for you dear ones.


Located in southern Uttar Pradesh , Prayagraj is situated near Triveni Sangam and is  famous for its Kumbh mela attracting many tourists from India and abroad , to take a dip in the holy Sangam.


Holy city is mesmerizing when you explore it more. Prayagraj has famous Triveni Sangam( confluence of three rivers ) ; Anand Bhawan ; Khusro Bagh ; Allahabad Fort ; All Saints Cathedral ; Chandrsekhar Azad park .,following are the few places are highly recommended to visit .


Authentic Indian food is what you can get in Pryagraj.  Nirala ki chaat at Loknath Lane , Masala Churmura at Civil lines ; Biryani at Eat On , near MG marg, civil lines ; Sainik’s chola samosa at Rajapur and Lassi at Raja Ram Lassi wala, Malviyanagar . apart from this you can check few restaurants as well like Friends forever restaurant , Jade Garden in civil lines ; The Tamarind Tree and Sagar ratna restaurant , near Anand Bhawan .


Three major shopping places in Pryagraj , where you can get traditional , ethnic wears  , handlooms and handicrafts shop as well , includes – Civil lines, Katra road for handicrafts  and authentic jewelries from Chowk .


Another significant site for the followers of Buddhism is Kushinagar. Kushinagar is a pilgrimage where Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana . The town has many stupas and temples for visitors. Buddhist architectural style is predominant here.PLACES TO VISIT – Parinirvana Stupa and Temple is the most important location in kushinagar ; Ramabhar Stupa ; Wat Thai Temple ; Matha Kuar shrine ; Japanese Temple ; Buddhist museum and Meditation park are few places that you should not miss .


Options are available in Kushinagar but North Indian Cuisine is what you will find the most . Madhavpuria Refreshments for Indian and chinese food ; Yama café that serves you Fast food is really good in Kushinagar ; The Tokyo ‘A Multi cuisine restaurant’ and Vipassana & café.


Unfortunately there are not many places to shop in Kushinagar , but few Malls are recommended – Mini city Mall in Bhagwanpur ; Chitranjan Mall in Kubersthan and Walk in Mart in Sewarhi .


It won’t be wrong to say that Vrindavan is second home for most of the spiritual Delhiites . Devotees of Lord Krishna across the world marks their presence in Vrindvan quite often. You can witness massive crowd during Holi , Janmashtmi , Phool bangla celebration in Bankey Bihari Temple. The most unique thing you will get to hear in Vrindavan is ‘radhey radhey’ everytime a Person or Rickshaw puller passes by you – which simply means ‘to get away’. And obviously it’s the way how people in Vrindavan greets.  Vrindavan have over 5000 temples , depicting beautiful architecture and divine love of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha.


At first you should visit Bankey Bihari Temple ; Prem Mandir ; Beautiful ISKCON Temple ; Gokulnanda ; Radha Raman Temple ; Magical Nidhivan ; Madan Mohan Temple ; Keshi Ghat ; Shri Radha Damodar Temple ; and huge Vaishnav Devi Mandir .


you get a lot of food options and eating outlets , in your way , while exploring the beauty of this joyful city . you can have street food , soothing to your soul like a glass of Lassi ; chaat ; and brijwasi’s peda ; kachori etc. as well as you can have delicacies in restaurants , like- Namaste Restaurant Vrindavan ; 11 flowers rooftop café ; 56 Delight’s Restaurant ; Beekanerwala and Brijwasi outlets ; Nidhivan sarovar Portico ,etc. are some of the best you can have.


Although Vrindavan is quite developed city , and so you have Malls and Showrooms as well , but to shop from small markets or shops near temples , gives the authentic experience that you will cherish forever.

Uttar Pradesh is a state with the most amazing destinations to explore . While going through this article you can get the idea from which city/ town you should start . But these 10 destinations are highly recommended based on their history , culture and religious significance.

– Rashi Dubey

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