Uttar Pradesh which is India’s most vibrant and versatile state is situated in northern part of India, bordering with Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the South, Uttaranchal in the north and Bihar in the East.
Uttar Pradesh, which is referred to as the ‘Heartland of India’, boasts of a rich cultural heritage. It also contains a large number of historical monuments and places of religious significance. Uttar Pradesh is very diverse on it Geographical structure, with Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plain in the middle.
It is also home to India's pride and glorious symbol love, the Taj Mahal, and Hinduism's holiest city and one of the oldest living city Varanasi apart from that Sarnath , Kushi Nagar and Sravasti are also known as most holy places in Buddhism.
Since times immemorial, several culture and tradition has blossomed in the soil of Uttar Pradesh. Kathak, one of the eight types of Indian traditional moves, began from Uttar Pradesh
Myth, religion and history have engaged into a curious interplay in the land to give birth to a number of interesting destinations.
Fair and Festivals In Utter Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is a land of fairs and festivals. It has traditional, religious and state festivals organized and celebrated throughout the state. Many of these festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, Muharram, Shiv Ratri, etc. are celebrated nationwide. But some of the popular festivals are celebrated in Uttar Pradesh only.
Ganga Mahotsava, Varanasi (October-November) :-
Ganges has always been the not only the lifeline of India but also the felicitator and nourishment of the Indian Civilization. Ganga Mahotsava is celebrated to praise and celebrate the timeless glory of the river. It is a five-day-long festival which is celebrated on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is organised by Mahotsav Samithi of the UP Tourism Department.
Maha Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh, Allahabad (January – February) :-
Kumbh Mela of Allahabad is one of the largest fairs of the world and it is a month long fair and is attended by millions of pilgrims from all over India as well as the devout from the world over. It is held every three years in a rotation at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik as per the traditional calendar.Hence Maha Kumbh is held after a gap of twelve years in Allahabad due to rotation where as Ardha Kumbh is held in the Sixth year after Maha Kumbh.
Taj Mahotsava,Agra (February) :-
Taj Mahotsava is held every year in the month of February at Agra. It is marvellous display of the arts, crafts, culture and cuisine of the Brajbhoomi. The festival organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism and is held as an annual event at Shilpgram, Agra.
Latthmar Holi Mathura (March):-
The colours of the festival Holi is celebrated all over the India, every year in the month of March. But the Holi of Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, is unique, spectacular. The Festival is celebrated for a week with full of excitement and processions. In spite of that makes it different is the celebrated 'Latthmar Holi' of Barsana and Nandgaon.
It is said that Krishna always visited Barsana during his childhood to play Holi with Radha along with his friends, and the Gopis in mirth used to chase away boy them with sticks also known in Hindi as "lathis". This tradition, came to be known as the 'Latthmar Holi' and is exclusive to the Brajbhomi.
Kampil Fair (March):-
Kampil is birthplace of the 13th Jain Tirthankara Vimalnath, and is said to be visited by 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord Mahavir. There are a various number of Jain structures ruins spread across Kampil. Every year, Kampil Fair is held here for five days in the month of March.
Bateshwar Fair (October – November):-
Located at a distance of 70 KMs, from city of Agra on the banks of river Yamuna, lies a village known as Bateshwar which is a significant religious centre. The place is named after Bateshwarnath Mahadev, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legends has it, that Lord Shiva, rested beneath a marvellous Banyan tree and later a temple was made at that place. The village is known for its 101 Shiva Temples. Every year during the month of October –November, a big fair organised which is called Bateshwar Mela, a livestock fair and people trade live stocks in this fair.
Lucknow Festival (November-December):-
Lucknow festival is held every year during the months of November- December. This fair represents the vibrant, undying elegance and splendours of Awadh. The festival is showcase of the alluring arts, crafts, and above all is known for heavenly cuisine of Awadh, and is once every Preston Guild oppurtunity.
Dev Deepavali , Varanasi (November-December) :-
It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, on the occasion of Kartik Poornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas. Usually it falls on the on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima (November-December). Dev Deepavali, which literally translates to Deepavali of Gods, is a festival which celebrates and signifies light, enlightenment, life and triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, on the occasion of Kartik Poornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas. Usually it falls on the on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima (November-December).
Janmashtami Festival, Mathura and Brindavan ( August - September ) :-
The Janmashtami Festival is celebrated throughout the Uttar Pradesh but in since Mathura and Vrindavan is known to be associated with Lord Krishna, the festival is celebrated with greater zeal, ceremonial elegance and splendour. Mathura is known as birth place of Lord Krishna. So there is an unbelievable amount of fun and excitement in both these places centring this festival.
Jhansi Festival ( February-March) :-
Jhansi festival is celebrated in between the months of February-March, the festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Bundelkhand region. The fair serves as a platform for the promotion of the Ayurveda, India’s own ancient system of medicines.
Dadri Fair, Ballia ( November) :-
Dadri fair which is another cattle fair in the state, is celebrated as a month long fair starting on the day of Kartik Purnima. The festival is not limited to the region and thousands of cattle and traders from all over the country are participate in this festival.
Uttar Pradesh Cuisine
Uttar Pradesh is known for its exotic cuisines and is the home of the two of the most popular cuisines Awadhi cuisine and Mugal cusine, both of which has made it name globally and has a long history of culture and tradition. The Awadhi cuisine is influenced by the native cooking of the Awadh region which was developed overtime; while Mughal cuisine was brought here by the Nawabs, and has influences of local and Persian food. After colonization this cuisine made its mark globally and is featured in menus all over the world. The Mughal and Awadhi cuisine have become so popular that the biryanis, the koftas and the kheers are have now become standard items on any restaurants serving Indian food all over the world.
Traditions and Culture of Uttar Pradesh
The culture of the people of Uttar Pradesh is very much enchanting and fascinate. The people are known for their rich cultural heritage where they adhere to their traditional customs and practices. The region is not only known for its natural heritage, but also soaked in many other cultures and nurtured a rich heritage which is something unique to this region.
Music and Dance:-
Uttar Pradesh has richest music and dance traditions in India. Both the classical and folk forms of Indian music and dance, feature prominently in Uttar Pradesh music and dance traditions. Varanasi, Lucknow, Agra and Rampur have been seats of incredible traditions in the world of India's classical music. The vocal and instrumental music traditions of Uttar Pradesh are feature prominently in the music and dance of the state.
Uttar Pradesh has a distinct song culture spread throughout the state that includes various classical music, folk music, semi-folk and semi-classical genres. The music of this region gave birth to two very distinct genres of music called Ghazal and Qauwwali. Apart from that some other folk and classical music forms are Birha, Drupad, Kajari, Rasia, Chaiti, Khayal, Tappa and Thumari.
Kathak, one of the eight types of Indian traditional dance, began from Uttar Pradesh,hence it is considered as the state dance of Uttar Pradesh.Another dance form is Raslila which is also famous among the masses.
Art and Crafts:-
The Handicrafts and Art in Uttar Pradesh are not famous only in India but all over the world. Its silk saris to the earthen pottery, carpets weaving to chikan embroidery. Specific regions deal with the specific art and craft such as Varanasi for its Baranasi silk saris, Bhadohi is known for its carpets, while Agra and Kanpur for their beautifully crafted leathers, Moradabad for its metal works, Lucknow for its cloths and chikan embroider, and the whole state is famous for its pottery.