Exploring Uttar Pradesh: 15 Must-Visit Places Including Taj Mahal and Varanasi

Exploring Uttar Pradesh: 15 Must-Visit Places Including Taj Mahal and Varanasi

If you're planning a trip to India, make sure to include Uttar Pradesh in your itinerary. This diverse and culturally rich state is located in the northern part of the country and offers a plethora of experiences for travelers. From ancient historical sites to vibrant festivals and mouthwatering cuisine, Uttar Pradesh has something for everyone. In this article, we'll explore 15 exciting things to do in Uttar Pradesh that will make your visit truly memorable.

1. Marvel at the Taj Mahal (Agra)

No trip to Uttar Pradesh is complete without visiting the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. This magnificent marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Witness the mesmerizing beauty of this architectural masterpiece during sunrise or sunset for an unforgettable experience.

2. Explore the Holy City of Varanasi

Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It holds immense spiritual significance for Hindus and is a major pilgrimage destination. Take a boat ride along the sacred Ganges River, witness the captivating Ganga Aarti ceremony, and immerse yourself in the vibrant and bustling ghats of Varanasi.

3. Discover History at Fatehpur Sikri (Agra)

Fatehpur Sikri, a historical city near Agra, was once the capital of the Mughal Empire during Emperor Akbar's reign. The complex houses several stunning buildings, including the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, and Panch Mahal. Explore the well-preserved ruins and learn about the fascinating history behind this ancient city.

4. Visit the City of Nawabs - Lucknow

Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine. Known as the City of Nawabs, it offers a blend of historical monuments, intricate architecture, and mouthwatering kebabs and biryanis. Visit the Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, and the British Residency to delve into the city's past.

5. Wildlife Safari in Dudhwa National Park

Nature enthusiasts will love Dudhwa National Park, located near the Indo-Nepal border. This diverse ecosystem is home to tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses, and a variety of bird species. Embark on an adventurous wildlife safari to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

6. Experience the Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering on Earth, attracting millions of pilgrims and tourists. Held in different cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Allahabad (Prayagraj) and Haridwar, this massive event takes place once every 12 years. Immerse yourself in the spiritual fervor, rituals, and cultural displays during this extraordinary festival.

7. Behold the Splendor of the Rumi Darwaza (Lucknow)

The Rumi Darwaza, also known as the Turkish Gate, is an architectural marvel located in Lucknow. Built in the 18th century, this imposing gateway stands 60 feet tall and is adorned with intricate designs. Capture some incredible photographs and marvel at the craftsmanship of this historical monument.

8. Pay Homage at the Sangam (Allahabad)

The Sangam in Allahabad is the sacred confluence of three rivers: the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. It is believed that taking a dip at this holy intersection cleanses one's soul. The Kumbh Mela is held here, but even outside the festival dates, the Sangam remains a significant spiritual site.

9. Admire the Architecture of Agra Fort

While the Taj Mahal often steals the spotlight, Agra Fort is another architectural gem that deserves attention. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a symbol of power, resilience, and grandeur. Walk through its massive gates, elegant palaces, and beautiful gardens as you soak in the history of the Mughal Empire.

10. Savour the Delectable Agra Petha

Agra is not only famous for the Taj Mahal but also for its mouthwatering sweet delicacy known as Agra Petha. Made from ash gourd and dipped in sugar syrup, this succulent treat is a must-try for all visitors. Bring back some Petha as a souvenir or gift for your loved ones.

11. Experience Serenity at Sarnath (Varanasi)

Sarnath is a significant Buddhist site near Varanasi, where Lord Buddha is said to have delivered his first sermon. Explore the ancient stupas, monasteries, and the iconic Ashoka Pillar. Sarnath offers a peaceful and reflective atmosphere, making it a perfect place for spiritual seekers.

12. Enjoy a Boat Ride on the Yamuna River (Mathura)

In Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, take a tranquil boat ride on the Yamuna River. The serene surroundings and the gentle waves of the river create a soothing experience. It's a great way to connect with nature and enjoy some peaceful moments away from the city's hustle-bustle.

13. Witness the Magnificent Aarti at Vishwanath Temple (Varanasi)

The Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most revered temples in Varanasi. Witness the grand Ganga Aarti performed here in the evening, where lamps are lit, and devotional hymns fill the air. The sight of the illuminated temple and the Ganges is truly mesmerizing.

14. Explore the Ruins of Kalinjar Fort

Kalinjar Fort, perched on a hill in the Bundelkhand region, has witnessed centuries of history and battles. Today, the majestic ruins offer a glimpse into the past. Trek up the hill to the fort and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

15. Discover History at Jhansi Fort

Jhansi Fort stands as a testament to the bravery of Rani Lakshmibai, the legendary queen who fought against British rule. The fort complex houses museums and galleries that narrate the story of the queen and the 1857 uprising. Delve into India's independence struggle and learn about the valiant queen's legacy.


Uttar Pradesh is a treasure trove of history, spirituality, and natural beauty. From the timeless allure of the Taj Mahal to the sacred ghats of Varanasi, each experience in this diverse state leaves a lasting impression on visitors. Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or a spiritual seeker, Uttar Pradesh has something exceptional to offer.


1. What are the must-visit places in Uttar Pradesh? 

Uttar Pradesh offers a myriad of must-visit places, including the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Agra Fort, Lucknow, Dudhwa National Park, and more.

2. When is the Kumbh Mela held in Uttar Pradesh? 

The Kumbh Mela takes place once every 12 years in different cities of Uttar Pradesh, such as Allahabad (Prayagraj) and Haridwar.

3. What is the significance of the Sangam in Allahabad? 

The Sangam is the sacred confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers, and taking a dip here is considered spiritually cleansing.

4. What are the famous dishes to try in Agra? 

Apart from the Taj Mahal, Agra is renowned for its delectable Agra Petha, a sweet made from ash gourd.

5. Can you explore the ruins of historical forts in Uttar Pradesh? 

Yes, Uttar Pradesh is home to several historical forts, including Fatehpur Sikri, Kalinjar Fort, and Jhansi Fort, which offer fascinating insights into India's past.

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