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rajasthan

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UTTAR PRADESH

AGORA
Location: Near Uttar Kashi (Uttar Pradesh) Nearest Town: Uttar Kashi Significance: A Trek Route Altitude: 2250 Metres above Sea Level Agora, a remote village in Garhwal is located above the valley of the Asi Ganga Valley, at 2,250 Metres. Agora village lies at the top of a 6km trek from the Kalyani Trout Hatchery; the roadhead is a further 14km beyond the district head quarters town of Uttarkashi in western Garhwal. The village of Agora has a cluster of about two dozen houses in a hermetic locale, directly above the valley of Asi Ganga. The magnificent Bakria peak dominates the deep gorge of the stream and the village is the starting point both for its summit as well as the trout-filled Dodital. EXCURSIONS Dodital: As one treks further from Agora for another 5 hours, one is led to the tranquil Dodi Tal, located at an altitude of 3310 Metres, above sea level. The calm lake owing its origin to several natural springs is filled with fish, including the rare Himalayan trout and is a haven for anglers. Uttarkashi: Uttarkashi is located in the northern part of Uttar Pradesh. Uttarkashi was originally a part of Tehri Garhwal. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is at Dehradun. Rail: Dehradun is the nearest railhead. Road: Approachable by road from Uttarkashi, which is 20 kms away. PLACES TO STAY Forest Rest Houses And Log Cabins. NEARBY CITIES Uttarkashi: 20-km GENERAL INFORMATION Temperature Max. Min. Summer 23 deg. 9 deg. Winter 8 deg. 2 deg. Clothing Summer Winter Light Woolens Heavy Woolens Languages Garhwali, Hindi.

AGRA
Location: 58-km From Mathura, Uttar Pradesh Founded By: Badal Singh Established In: 1475 Main Attractions: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort

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Badal Singh established the city of Taj in 1475. Agra finds mention in the Mahabharata as Agraban. This city in those days was considered to be the sister city of Mathura that was more prominent than Agraban. Agra came into its own when the Lodhi Kings chose this place beside the Yamuna to be their capital city. Sikander Lodhi made Agra his capital but Babar defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but also laid the foundation of the Mughal empire. The coming of Babar heralded a new era that was to see Agra at its zenith during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It was during Akbar's period that Agra became the center of art, culture and commerce and learning. This trend reached its height when Shah Jahan became the ruler. In the mid 16th century and earlier 17th century Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it was during this time when the symbol of love Taj Mahal was built. The buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal style and of very high quality which is still reflected in what ever monuments remain in Agra.The narrow lanes of Agra filled with aroma of Mughlai cuisine, the craftsman who are busy in crating master pieces with their skill all remind of the Mughal royalty which this city had once experienced. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as a major tourist destination of India. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Taj Mahal: Even as the world is caught in the skirmishes of War & peace, Nuclear and Non-Nuclear; Taj has stood as the epitome of love. This extravagant monument of love is one of the most visited and most photographed places in the world. Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal in the memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal was the culmination point of Indo-Persian architecture. The Mughals Emperor was always fond of constructing monuments. Perhaps they knew that they would be gone but these structures will remind the world of their grandeur. Shah Jahan was particularly fond of building. He built the city of Shah Jahanabad, which today is called the old Delhi. He loved construction more than that he loved his wife. Mumtaz Mahal as the name indicates, her beauty is compared with the light of heaven. She died while giving birth to her fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was so shocked by her death that his hair turned Grey over night. The Actual Tomb The Taj Mahal is situated more than 900-ft. (275 m.) away from the entrance at the opposite end of the garden. Towering almost 200 ft. (76m.) in height, the tomb stands on its own marble plinth, which rests on a red sandstone platform that serves to level the land as it slopes to the river. Four tall minarets rise up from the corners of the white marble plinth. They taper to a majestic height of 138 ft and are crowned with eight windowed cupolas. The marble mausoleum is square in plan with chamfered corners. Each facade of the tomb is composed of a grand wan framed by bands of calligraphy. The doorways inside these swans are also adorned with calligraphy. The wan is flanked on both sides by small double arches one over the other. They are rectangular while the arched alcoves of equal

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size at the angles of the tomb are semi-octagonal. Each section in the facade is well demarked on both sides by attached pilasters which rising from the plinth level of the tomb rise above the frieze and are crowned by beautiful pinnacles with lotus buds and finials. The pinnacles ornament the superstructure and help along with the other features to break the skyline gracefully. The Main Gateway The Main Gateway: Shah Jahan traveled from the fort to the tomb by boat. Court histories describe his arrival on the riverside of the monument and his ascent to its terrace by way of the embankment. This approach, however, was reserved for the emperor and members of his party. Others passed through a large courtyard, a jilokhana to enter the main gateway on the south. This courtyard was a place where travelers halted. Here, also, the poor were provided with food and shelter, and on every death anniversary of Mumtaz, vast sums were distributed in charity. Gate to Paradise: In this courtyard stand the main gateway to the Taj and its gardens, a massive portal that opens to the south. Detached gateways were long a traditional feature of Muslim architecture and could be found fronting tombs and mosques throughout the East. Symbolically to the Muslim, such an entranceway was the gate to Paradise. Metaphysically, it represented the transition point between the outer world of the senses and the inner world of the spirit. Structure: Made of red sandstone, this 150 ft. wide and nearly 100 ft. high, gateway consists of a lofty central arch with double storied wings on either side. Octagonal towers are attached to its corners that are surmounted by broad impressive open domed kiosks. The most important feature of the gateway is a series of 11 attached chhatris (umbrellas) with marble cupolas, flanked by pinnacles, above the central portal on the north and south sides. A heavy door at the base is made from 8 different metals and studded with knobs. Inside are countless rooms with hallways that wind and divide in such apparent abandon that they seem intentionally built to confuse; perhaps they were, for they have remained unused for three centuries and their purpose has long confounded the experts. Within the archway of this majestic entrance, there is a large chamber with a vaulted roof. Decoration: The gateway is richly embellished. Of particular note are the floral arabesques fashioned from gemstones and inlaid in white marble which decorate the spandrels of the arches. Also impressive are the inlaid black marble inscriptions that frame the central vaulted portal or wan. These passages are excerpts from the Koran, which is considered by Muslims to be the word of God as revealed to Mohammed. It is here that Shah Jehan's calligraphers have performed an amazing optical trick: the size of the lettering that runs up and over the arch appears to be consistent from top to bottom. This illusion was created by gradually heightening the size of the letters as their distance from the eye increased; from the ground the dimensions seem the same at every point. This effect is used with equal success on the main doorway of the Taj itself. Mosque & Rest House Mosque: On either side of the Taj Mahal are buildings of red sandstone. The one to the west is a Mosque. It faces towards Mecca and is used for prayer. Before we have a look at the mosque, let us take note of a small stone enclosure along the western boundary wall where the well of the Mosque is located. This greenery shaded structure, measuring 19 ft.

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by 6.5-ft. marks the site where the remains of Mumtaz Mahal were deposited when first brought to Agra. From this temporary grave they were removed to their present place of internment in the mausoleum. On the outside the Mosque has pieta dura work twining across its spandrels. The platform in front of the Mosque is of red sandstone. A highly polished small marble piece is so fitted that it serves as a mirror and one can see the mausoleum reflected in it. The floor is of a material that is exceedingly fine and sparkling and appears velvet red in shade. On that 539 prayer carpets have been neatly marked out with black marble. All over there is exquisite calligraphy and the name Allah and quotations from scriptures inscribed. The roof supports 4 octagonal towers and 3 elegant domes. On either side of the Mosque, to the north and south, and set along and upon the enclosure wall, there are two towers. The Rest House: On the east side of the Taj stands the twin of the Mosque, a parallel structure also made of red sandstone, referred to as the jawab, or "answer". Because it faced away from the Mecca, it was never used for prayer. Its presence there has always been something of an enigma. Was it a caravansary for pilgrims, or a meeting hall before the faithful gathered before prayer? More p laudable is the theory that its purpose was purely architectural, to counterbalance the Mosque and preserve the symmetry of the entire design on the platform. The jawab is similar to the Mosque. However, it does not contain the accessories which go with a mosque, and, instead of Koranic inscriptions, there are beautiful flower designs and other decoration effectively done in white marble on the red sandstone background. On the floor between the building and the mausoleum there is a full size reproduction of the pinnacle adorning the Taj. This gives some idea of the true proportions (31-ft.) of what from below appears to be a tiny thing. Taj Garden The Taj Gardens and the Ingenious Water Devices: A green carpet of garden, a Persian garden, runs from the main gateway to the foot of the Taj. Babur, the first Mughal emperor, who also brought with him the Persian infatuation with flowers and fruit, birds and leaves, symmetry and delicacy, introduced such gardens to India. Unlike other Oriental gardens - especially those of the Japanese, who learned to accentuate existing resources rather than formalize them - the Persian garden was artificially contrived, unabashedly man-made, based on geometric arrangements of nature without any attempt at a "natural" look. Like Persian gardeners, landscape artists at the Taj attempted to translate the perfection of heaven into terrestrial terms by following certain formulas. In Islam, four is the holiest of all numbers - most arrangements of the Taj are based on that number or its multiples - and the gardens were thus laid out in the quadrate plan. Two marble canals studded with fountains and lined with cypress trees (symbolizing death) cross in the center of the garden dividing it into four equal squares. The mausoleum, instead of occupying the central point (like most Mughal mausoleums), stands majestically at the north end just above the river. Each of the four quarters of the garden has been sub-divided into 16 flowerbeds by stone-paved raised pathways. At the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and the gateway, stands a raised marble

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lotus-tank with a cussed border. The tank has been arranged to perfectly reflect the Taj in its waters. A clear, unobstructed view of the mausoleum is available from any spot in the garden. Fountains and solemn rows of cypress trees only adorn the north-south water canal, lest the attention of the viewer would be diverted to the sides !! This shows how carefully the aesthetic effect of the water devices and the garden were calculated. The deep green cypress trees with their slender rising shapes and curving topmost crests are mirrored in the water while between their dark reflections shines the beauty of the immortal Taj. The Water Devices: The architect e conduits, designed a clever system to procure water for the Taj through underground pipes. Water was drawn from the river by a series of purs (manual system of drawing water from a water body using a rope and bucket pulled by bullocks) and was brought through a broad water channel into an oblong storage tank of great dimensions. It was again raised by a series of thirteen purs worked by bullocks. Except for the ramps, the other features of the whole water system have survived. An over-head water-channel supported on massive arches carried water into another storage tank of still greater dimensions. Water was finally raised by means of fourteen purs and passed into a channel which filled three supply tanks, the last of which had pipe mouths in its eastern wall. The pipes descended below and after travelling underground crossed into the Taj enclosure. One pipeline runs directly towards the mosque to supply the fountains in the tanks on the red sandstone plinth below the marble structure. Copper pipes were used for separate series of fountains in the north-south canal, lotus pond and the canal around it. An ingenious method was devised to ensure uniform and undiminished water pressure in the fountains, irrespective of the distance and the outflow of water. A copper pot was provided under each fountain pipe which was thus connected to with the water supply only through the pot. Water first fills the pot and then only rises simultaneously in the fountains. The fountains are thus controlled by pressure in the pots and not pressure in the main pipe. As the pressure in the pots is uniformly distributed all the time, it ensures equal supply of water at the same rate in all the fountains. The main supply of the water was however obtained through earthenware pipes. One such main was discovered under the bed of the western canal. The pipe is 9" in diameter and has been embedded in masonry at a depth of 5 feet below the level of the paved walk. Evidently, the Mughal water expert was a master of his art and successfully worked out the levels in relation to the volume of water to ensure its unobstructed supply for centuries. He anticipated no repair work and therefore made no provision for it; hence the extraordinary depth at which the pipe was sunk. The garden is irrigated by the overflowing of canals. The north-south canal has inlets of water through fountains. The east west received its water through an interconnection with the north-south canal. Thus the quarters near the canals received an adequate supply of water and could be used for growing flower-plants which would not obscure the general view, while the distant quarters got a smaller supply of water and were suitable only for tall trees.

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Agra Red Fort: Built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the red sandstone Agra fort was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time. Though Akbar built the principle structure his grandsons made many more additions. Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb: This tomb belongs to the father of Nur Jahan, Ghias-ud-Din Beg. He was the Wajir or the Chief Minister of Emperor Jehangir. Nur Jahan built this white marble tomb between 1622 and 1628. The tomb may not be as mammoth as the Taj but the inlay designs and carvings are no less than Taj if not more. The delicate marble latticework in the passages allows the light to enter the interiors. Nur Jahan for Jehangir in Lahore built a similar tomb. This tomb was the first complete marble Mogul structure. Chini-Ka-Rauza: A tomb of glazed tiles is a memorial dedicated to poet-scholar and later the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz. Jama Masjid Or Jami Masjid: Built by Shah Jahan in 1648, the main gate of this mosque has inscription written on it that Jahanara Begum built it. She was the favorite daughter of Shah Jahan and was imprisoned with him. The absence of minarets and the shape of the dome give sit a distinguished character. EXCURSIONS Sikandra: Four kilometer from Agra is the mausoleum of Akbar. Akbar himself started construction of this beautiful monument . This structure has a perfect blending of Hindu, Christian , Islamic, Buddhist, and Jain motifs. Mariyam Tomb: This tomb is dedicated to the wife of Akbar. The red sand stone tomb was built in 1611 and is on the Delhi- Agra highway. The carvings on the tomb of Mariyam-us-Zamani are worth giving a closer look. Fatehpur Sikri: 37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone called Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal Emperor Akbar built this town. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city and within 20 years the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore. Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. Ram Bagh: When Babur came to India he laid the first Mughal gardens 500 m North of the Chini Ka Rauza. This well laid gardens are not even a fraction of what they used to be. It will need lots of imagination to picture how these gardens must have looked in 1558. Mathura: Krishna, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu was born here. Mathura, which is one of the major Pilgrimage for the Hindus is 58 Kms from Agra. It comes before Agra if travelling from Delhi. Today the small town of Lord Krishna has grown and the place has a population of almost 3 lakh people. National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary: The National Chambal Sanctuary, located in Etawah, near Agra is spread over an area of 635 sq. kms. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Agra is one of the hottest tourist destinations in India and all facilities have been provided for the easy access to this place. It has its own airport that connects Agra with all the major places in India. The Agra airport or the Kheria airport has all the major domestic airlines having their services to this place of the Taj. Rail: Agra is a major railway station with almost all the trains to south India, Mumbai and many trains to Calcutta stopping here. The “Palace visits the city on Wheels" .The Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains have also their stoppage in Agra. The city is well connected by trains to almost every corner of the nation.

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Road: Agra has the National Highway Numbers 2, 3, and 11 passing through it. So the premier tourist destination of India is also well linked by bus services to other places in the State as well as outside the state. The state transports have deluxe as well as ordinary bus services for the place. There are conducted tours which take tourist not only to Agra, but the near by tourist spots too. PLACES TO STAY Agra is one of the major tourist destination, where international tourist inflow is also quite good. So the options of luxurious accommodations are plenty. If you are a budget travelers, there are numerous tourist lodges as well mid-range hotels too

ALIGARH
Location: Central Uttar Pradesh Also Called As: Koil Or Kol Famous For: Aligarh Muslim University Languages: Hindi, Urdu Lying southeast of Delhi, the city of Aligarh is usually referred to as Koil, or Kol. Aligarh is known for the its university known as the Aligarh Muslim University. Aligarh is the name of a nearby fort. The city, an agricultural trade center, is located in central Uttar Pradesh. The Aligarh Fort is three kms north of the town and in its present form, dates back to 1524. Originally, it was under Moghul rule but after the death of Aurangzeb, it was confiscated by the Afghans and later on passed on to Jats, Marathas, Rohillas and finally in 1803, it came under the British. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Aligarh Fort: The old fort dates as far back as 1194. During the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the region was faught for by the Afghans, Jats, Marathas and the Rohillas. Renamed Aligarh, meaning 'high fort' in 1776, it fell to the British in 1803 despite French support to its ruler, Scindia. Dor Fortress: The ruins of an old fort built in 1524, the site of which is now occupied by an 18th century mosque, is also located here. Buddhist and Hindu temples of great antiquity are also found here. { Book Fort Tours } Aligarh Muslim University : Aligarh is best known today for its Aligarh Muslim University, where the thoughts of having a separate Islamic nation found ground. Muslim students from all over the Islamic world come here to study. EXCURSIONS Sankasya: There is a mound with a stupa, which commemorates the spot where the Buddha is said to have descended from heavens after preaching his mother. Kannauj: Kannauj, once a mighty Hindu city under the rule of Harshavardhana, is the place where Sher Shah defeated Humayun. Etawah: At Etawah, there is a ruined fort, Jami Masjid and some bathing ghats on the riverbank. Rampur: Rampur was formerly the capital city of Rohilla state, Rampur houses the State Library that has an important collection of old manuscripts and is in a fine building in the old fort. There are also some ancient miniature art pieces here. The bazaars around the palace are buzzing with activity. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: The place is well connected by rail.
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Road: A network of road transport connects the city to the important places. Local Transport: Cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, taxis. PLACES TO STAY Counted as one of the major cities of UP, Aligarh is also well equipped with some good accommodation options, including luxurious and budget hotels. NEARBY CITIES Meerut 128 km New Delhi 131 km Gurgaon 161 km

ALLAHABAD
Location: Uttar Pradesh Attractions: Allahabad High Court, Public Library Architecture: Colonial Architecture Of Late 19th & Early 20th Century Languages: Hindi, English One of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh Allahabad bears testimony to the transfer of power from the East India company to the British Crown after the 1857 uprising The public library, the High Court, Allahabad University, Muir College, Mayo Memorial Hall are some structures that portray the exquisite colonial architecture prevalent in the 19th and the early 20th century. The most sacred spot in Allahabad is Triveni Sangam, the confluence of three of the holiest rivers of the Hindu mythology, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Devout Hindus from all over India come to this sacred pilgrimage point to offer prayers and take a dip in the holy waters. It is believed that a holy dip taken at the Sangam washes away all sins. PRIME ATTRACTIONS All Saint's Cathedral: William Emerson designed the Cathedral church of All Saint's at Allahabad in 1870’s, but it was consecrated only in 1887AD. The church, which has been described as the finest Anglican Cathedral in Asia is faced in white stone from Surajpur with red stone dressings. Holy Trinity Church: Constructed in 1839 under the supervision of Lieutenant Sharp and architect Major Smith, this is the first church of Allahabad. Jamuna Church: Built in 1847 by John Freeman, one of the first American Presbyterian missionaries who arrived in Allahabad. Others Ram Lila: Allahabad Dussehra is marked with the unique procession of beautifully decorated "chowkis" accompanied by Ramdals every evening. Public Library (1864): Standing at Alfred park this building was opened as a memorial to the friendship of Lord Thornhill, the then C missioner of Allahabad and Mr. Mayne, the then Collector. It was called the "Thomhill and Mayne Memorial". Designed by R.Roskell Rayne, this public library is a remarkable example of Gothic Style. The memorial has a lofty tower and accorded cloisters. In 1879 thelibrary was shifted to the present p9remises, at Alfred park. It has about 75,000 books, besides a treasure trove of manuscripts and journals.

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The Old High Court and Public Offices: They are four-storied block. Made of sandstone and ashore these were built by Colonel Pile in I 870 in the classical style. The Minto Park to the west of the ton has a Memorial Pillar enriched with Royal medallions and four lions carrying the Imperial coronet. This was a memorial pillar to the Royal Proclamation of the assumption of rule by the British crown in 1858. The Municipal Museum adjoining the library is yet another colonial structure that is a treasure-trove of archaeological artifacts. Allahabad Museum: The Allahabad Museum has an impressive collection of Sunga, Gupta, late Gupta and early medieval period sculptural masterpieces, discovered at different places around Allahabad. Muir College (1874): Designed by William Emerson, this is an excellent mix of Gothic and Indian architectural elements. Commenced in 1874 and opened in 1886, it has an arcade quadrangle, which is dominated, by a 200ft-minaret tower in cream colored sandstone from Mirzapur with marble and mosaic floors. The domes of the Indo saracenic structure are clad in Multan glazed tiles. Mayo Memorial Hall(1879): Situated near the Thornhill and Mavne Memorial this large hall with a 180 ft high tower was designed by R.Roskell Bayne. Professor Gamble of the South Kensington Museum, London, ornaments the interior of this memorial hall with designs. Completed in 1879 this hall was meant for public meetings, balls and receptions in commemoration of the assassinated Viceroy. Ewing Christian College (1901): In 1901 Dr. Arthur Ewing founded the Allahabad Christian College with eight students. By 1912 when Dr. Ewing passed away the college had its own Physics lab, Princeton hostel, Rhea hostel, Engineering buildings, the main building, Agricultural department, Philadelphia hostel and Turner hostel. memory of its great founder this college was a leading educational institution of Allahabad during early 19th century. Allahabad High Court(1916): Chief Justice, Sir John Staley laid the foundation in 1911. It was finally completed in 1916 and opened by Viceroy Lord Chelmsford. Designed by Frank Lishman. this structure is subtly adapted to the climate as is evident from the double roofing with Allahabad tiles on top to beat the summer heat. Conceived in a grand fashion, it has a domed pediment center, arcade wings, stone balustrades and engrained arches. It reflects a beautiful synthesis of Eastern and Western architectural styles Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary: This 230-sq. kms.of sanctuary is rich in wildlife. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Allahabad has four railway stations, but major trains on the broad-gauge DelhiKanpur-Kolkatta line arrive at the main Allahabad Junctions. Road: Allahabad is well connected by road to all the major cities and town of the state and buses ply regularly to nearby towns of Varanasi, Kanpur & Lucknow. Local Transport: Taxis, cycles and auto rickshaws are the most common mode of transport within the city. PLACES TO STAY Allahabad has hotels to suit most budgets and temperaments, with reasonable options generally in the old Chowk area to the south, and the mid-range and luxurious ones in the Civil Lines.

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Varanasi Kanpur Lucknow

NEARBY CITIES 125 km 195 km 238 km

AYODHYA
Location: Uttar Pradesh Attractions: Ramkot, Hanuman Garhi Best Season: Throughout The Year Languages: Hindi, Avadhi, and English The Birth Place Of Lord Rama: On the right bank of the river Ghagra or Saryu, as it is called within sacred precincts, stands the holy city of Ayodhya, believed to be the birth place of lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of lord Vishnu. Ayodhya during ancient times was known as Kosaldesa. The Atharvaveda describes it as “a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself”. The illustrious Ikshvaku of the solar clan (suryavamsa) was the ruling dynasty of this region. Manu, the lawgiver of the Hindus, founded the ancient city of Ayodhya, according to the Ramayana. For centuries, it was the capital of the descendants of the Surya dynasty of which lord Rama was the most celebrated king. Ayodhya is pre-eminently a city of temples yet, all the places of worship here, are not only of Hindu religion. At Ayodhya several religions have grown and prospered simultaneously and also at different periods of time in the past. Remnants of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam can still be found in Ayodhya. According to Jain belief, five tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya, including Adinath (Rishabhadeva), the 1st tirthankar. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Ramkot: The chief place of worship in Ayodhya is the site of the ancient citadel of Ramkot, which stands on an elevated ground in the western part of the city. Although visited by pilgrims through out the year, this sacred place attracts devotees from all over India and abroad, on ‘Ramnavami’, the day of the lord’s birth, which is celebrated with great pomp and show, in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April). The Hanuman Garhi: Situated in the center of the town, this temple is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. Legend has it that Hanuman lived here, in a cave and guarded the Janmabhoomi or Ramkot. The main temple contains the statue of Anjani, with child Hanuman, seated on her lap. The devotees believe that all their wishes will be granted with a visit to this holy shrine. A massive structure in the shape of a four-sided fort with circular bastions at each corner , houses a temple of Hanuman and is the most popular shrine in Ayodhya. Treta-Ke-Thakur: This temple stands at the place, where Rama is said to have performed the Ashvamedha Yagya. About 300 years ago, the Raja of Kullu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, during 1784. At the same time, the adjoining ghats were also built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Saryu and placed in the new temple, famous as Kaleram-ka-Mandir.

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Nageshwarnath Temple: The temple of Nageshwarnath is said to have been established by Kush, the son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet, while bathing in the river Saryu, which was picked up by a nag-kanya, who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush erected this temple for her. It is said that this is the only temple to have survived till the time of Vikramaditya, the rest of city had fallen into ruins and was covered by dense forests. It was by means of this temple that Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of different shrines here. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great pomp & show. Kanak Bhawan: Legends have it that queen Kaikeyi had built it for Sita. It has been restored time and again by various kings. Rani Krishnabhanu Kunwari of Orchha built the present temple, in 1891. Maniparvat: This hillock standing about 65 fee high is considered to be of Buddhist origin, by many. According to legend, it was while Hanuman was carrying the hill bearing the ‘sanjeevani booti’, for Lakshman’s wounds from Himalayas on way to Lanka, a portion broke off and fell in Ayodhya. Jain Shrines: There are also several Jain temples at Ayodhya, as it is said to be the birthplace of five tirthankaras. Kesari Singh, the treasurer of Nawab of Faizabad, built five shrines to mark the birthplace of these tirthankaras, which bear the date of Vikram Samvat 1781. The temple of Adinath is near the Swargdwar, while the Anantanath temple stands on the Gola Ghat & Sumantnath shrine is at Ramkot. Tulsichaura: The Hindi version of the epic Ramayana, “The Ramcharitmanas” is said to have been composed by Tulsidas, here. Tulsi Smarak Bhawan: Built in memory of the poet Goswami Tulsidas, this monument is used for prayer meetings, religious sermons and discussions, and the singing of devotional songs (Bhajans and kirtans). It also houses the Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, where a large collection of literary works of Swami Tulsidas can be seen. A cultural center of Performing Arts also functions here. Ramkatha museum, set up at Ayodhya since 1988, is engaged in collection, preservation and conservation of antiquities related to the life of Rama. EXCURSIONS Faizabad: Faizabad developed as a township nearly 220 years ago, during the reign of Safdar Jang, the second Nawab of Avadh, who laid its foundations by making it his military headquarters. A fort known as Chhota Calcutta, now in ruins. The chowk, Tirpaulia, Anguribagh, Motibagh, Asafbagh & Bulandbagh, all built by Suja Ud Daula are noteworthy for their architecture. Gulab Bari, the mausoleum of Shija Ud Daula is also worth a visit. HOW TO GET THERE Air: For Ayodhya the nearest airports are Amausi, Bumrauli and Babatpur. Rail: Ayodhya is situated on the broad gauge northern railway line on Mughal SaraiLucknow main route. Ayodhya/Faizabad are connected to various parts of the country by rail lines. Road: Connected by road to several major cities and towns.

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PLACES TO STAY There are pretty decent and resonable accommodations available in Ayodhya. Being a religious center Dharamshalas are available for pilgrims and tourists can opt for tourist lodges. NEARBY CITIES Faizabad: 6-km Lucknow: 130-km Area: Population: Altitude: Season: Clothing: Summer: Winter: Important Festivals: Rath Yatra: GENERAL INFORMATION 10.24 sq. kms. 40642 (1991 census) 26.90 m above sea level. October- March. Light Cotton. Woollens. Ramnavami (March- April). In the months of June- July.

BARSANA
Location: North west of Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) Main Attraction: Lathmaar Holi Language / Dialect: Hindi, Brij Bhasha Best Season: July to November Once the home of Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna, Barsana is 50 km to the north-west of Mathura and 19 km north-west of Govardhan. It is situated at the foot of a hill that is named after Lord Brahma. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Religious Places Ladliji Temple: Also known as the Radha Rani Temple, it is one of the many temples dedicated to the divine couple that ornaments the four elevations of the hill at Barsana. The most beautiful temple at Barsana, it was built by Raja Bir Singh ji Deo of Orchha in 1675. The new marble temple adjoining it, was added later on. Shankari-Khor: The area between the hill housing the Radha-Rani temple and the adjoining temple is known as the Sankari-Khor. This is the venue of the annual fair held in the month of Bhadon (July-August). The other three shrines are the Man Mandir, Dargah and Mor-Kutir temples. Others Radha-Ashtami: The birth anniversary of Radha-Rani is celebrated on the nineth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad (July-August) at the Mor-Kutir Temple, which was built about 300 years ago. Women celebrate the occasion by giving laddus to the peacocks- to symbolise the serving of sweets by Radha to Lord Krishna. Lathmaar Holi: Barsana is also famous for its ‘lathmar- holi’ celebrations. On this day, there is an enmasse procession wherein married women practically beat their husbands with wooden sticks. This kind of celebration on the day of the festival of colours is unique to this town. Most of the monuments and edifices here have deteriorated with the advent of time. Still a few tanks do survive and can be seen, including the Prem Sarovar, Roop Sagar, Jal Mahal and the Bhanokhar Tank.

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HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport from Mathura is Kheria (Agra), 62 kms. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres and is 50-km away from Barsana. Local transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Tourist Bungalow, Barsana. NEARBY CITIES Govardhan: 19-km Matura: 50-km

BALDEO
Location: Uttar Pradesh Nearest City: Mathura Named After: Balram, Brother of Lord Krishna Main attraction: Daujee-ka-Huranga The town of Baldeo is situated 20 kms southeast of Mathura and 8.5-km southeast of Mahavan on the road to Sadabad. It derives its name from the famous temple dedicated to Balram, the elder brother of lord Krishna. A temple dedicated to Baldeo stands in the center of the town. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Temple Of Baldeo: Shyam Das of Delhi built it, 200 years ago. The main image in the sanctum is that of Baldeo or Balram with his spouse Revati. The temple is located in the center of the town. { Book Temple Tours } Others Kshir Sagar: Nearby is the brick lined tank, the Kshir Sagar or balbhadra kund, from where the original image housed in the temple was found. Daujee Ka Huranga: The Holi festival celebrated here is famous as Daujee-ka-Huranga. Men and women congregate here in large numbers to play holi. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport from Mathura is Kheria (Agra), 62 kms. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres and is just 20-km away from Baldeo. Local transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Being a nearby town of Mathua, its not hard to find reasonable accommodations over here or just check in at any of the hotels in Mathura, Vrindavan or Gokul. Click here for Hotels in Uttar Pradesh NEARBY CITIES Mahavan: 8.5-km Mathura: 20-km

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BARUA SAGAR
Location: Uttar Pradesh Attractions: Barua Sagar Lake, Jarai-Ka-Math Best Season: September to March Languages: Hindi, Bundeli THE LAND OF WARRIORS: Barua Sagar is situated on the banks of the Betwa River, the place is named after the Barua Sagar Taal, a large lake created about 260 years ago when Raja Udit Singh of Orchha built the embankment. Here, atop a hill, is another historic fort of Bundelkhand. This is where the Marathas fought the Bundelas in 1744. The view from the fort is magnificient, as it overlooks the vast reservoir created by the dam across the Betwa. The sandstone fort, partially in ruins, is currently being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Fort of Bundelkhand: This historic fort, picturesquely located at a great height, commands an excellent view of the lake and surrounding landscape. Kalijar Fort: Situated at a height of 700 ft, on the Vindhya ranges, this fort is accessible through seven gateways- the Alamgir Darwaza, Ganesh Dwar, Chauburji Darwaza, Buddh Bhandra Darwaza, Hanuman Dwar, Lal Darwaza and Bara Darwaza. Within the fort are two palaces- the Raja Mahal and the Rani Mahal, as well as several other places of interest. Temples Chandela Temples: To the northeast of the lake are ruins of two old Chandela temples. Built of granite, the older one is known as Ghughua Math. Jarai Ka Math: Barua sagar is also known for a beautiful temple, the Jarai-Ka-Math. Built during the reign of the Pratiharas, it is a precursor to the vigorous temple-building activity, which became a characteristic feature of the Chandellas. The temple is dedicated to Devi (Amba or Durga) whose multifarious forms are represented in the profusely carved sculptures along the temple walls. The temple stands on elevated ground dominating its surroundings. Neelkanth Temple: the Chandela ruler, Parmardideva, built this temple. In a niche by the rock-cut Swargarohan pool, stands a colossal 18-armed image of Kaal Bhairava, the fearsome aspect of Lord Shiva. Vankhandeshwar Mahadev Temple: Located at the source of the Shivasari Ganga, this is also worth a visit. Lakes Barua Sagar Lake: The place is named after the Baruasagar Taal, a large lake formed about 260 years ago, when an embankment was erected by Raja Udit Singh of Orchha. Barua sagar is a pleasant place, and the vast water body of the Barua Sagar Taal greatly enhances its appeal. EXCURSIONS Jhansi: Jhansi, the gateway to Bundelkhand, was a stronghold of the Chandela kings. It rose to prominence again in the 17th century under Raja Bir Singh Deo. Its greatest claim to fame is its fiery queen Rani Laxmibai, who led forces against the British in 1857, sacrificing her life to the cause of Indian independence. A new dimension has been added to this historic city with the introduction of the Jhansi festival, held every year in February-March. It offers a fine opportunity to enjoy the arts, crafts and culture of the region.
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Mahoba: 160 km (via Nawgaon) This lesser known destination has several lakes created in medieval times, the famous Sun Temple, and ruins of temples and other structures built in the same style as the ones at Khajuraho. Orchha: 26 km (via Northgate). Orchha was founded in 1531 and remained a Rajput capital till 1783. Its golden age was during the first half of the 17th century. Situated on the River Betwa, Orchha has numerous well-preserved palaces. These include the Jehangir Mahal and the Raj Mahal. Orchha’s fine temples are still in worship, and devotees throng the Ram Raja Temple, the Chaturbhuj Temple and the Laxmi Narayan Temple. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airports are Gwalior and Khajuraho. Rail: Barua Sagar lies the Jhansi - Varanasi routes. PLACES TO STAY Hotel Veerangana (UPSTDC), near Circuit House, Jhansi. Click here for Hotels in Uttar Pradesh NEARBY CITIES Mahoba: 160 km (via Nawgaon) Orchha: 26 km (via Northgate) GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 4.64 sq. km. Population: 18,783 (1991 census). Altitude: 210 m above sea level. Clothing: Summer: Light cottons. Winter: Woolens.

BATESHWAR
Location: District Agra, Uttar Pradesh Major Attraction: Cattle Fair Significance: Birth Place of Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee Languages: Hindi The remote town of Bateshwar is located 70 kms from Agra. The unexplored temple town has shot to fame as the birthplace of the present Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee. Known for its religious and historic importance, Batehwar is finally all set to become a major destination in the tourist circuits. PRIME ATTRACTIONS The temples: There are hundred-odd temples in Bateshwar. Adding colour to the place is a host of Shiva and Krishna temples. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the temple town. There are temples dating back to the Jain era too. Jain pilgrimage: Jain scriptures accord a special place to Bateshwar as legend has it that the 22nd `Tirthankar'-- Bhagwan Neminath set foot in this village in human form. The Department of Tourism is also planning to rope in a large Jain population in the country and abroad. Others The Cattle Fair: A huge cattle fair is held in Bateshwar from mid-October to midNovember, which attracts large crowds.

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HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is situated at Agra. Rail: Agra is the nearest railhead from Bateshwar. Road: Bateshwar is well connected from Agra and regular buses link the city with the rest of the major cities within the state. PLACES TO STAY Bateshwar is a small township, but is having some quiet good and reasonable option to stay. NEARBY CITIES Agra: 70-km

CHILA
Location: Uttar Pradesh Attractions: Elephants, Spotted Deer Excursions: Rishikesh, Haridwar THE WILD IN THE HILLS: Chila Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for animal watchers is just 8 kms. From Haridwar and 21 kms. From Rishikesh. Located on the banks of the Ganga River, in the heart of Shivalik hills, Chila is a part of the famous Rajaji National Park. The town itself is neither attractive nor interesting, but makes a good base for explorations of the park. The Wild Population: The fauna species include elephants, spotted deer, stag deer, blue bull, wild boar, fox, porcupine, jungle fowls and peacock. Besides these, migratory birds are also seen on the river Ganga. Wild animal/bird watching and photography on elephant back is a prime attraction. Pleasure walks in the jungle provide the much-needed respite from the maddening noise of the city life. EXCURSIONS Rishikesh: A visit to the great pilgrim center of Rishikesh (21 kms. from Chila), which is located on the banks of holy Ganga, amidst tranquil surroundings is a highly rejuvenating experience for both the nature lover and the spiritually guided mind. Kaudiyala: The rafter’s camp developed by GMVN is just 62 kms. From Chila. It provides an excellent opportunity for river rafting & water sports. Haridwar: Perched on the edge of time along the banks of the holy river Ganga, Haridwar, the foremost on a traditional Hindu pilgrims’ itinerary, is just 8 kms. From Chila. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 42 kms. Rail: Nearest railhead is Haridwar, 8 kms. Road: Well connected by a motorable road- Haridwar (8 kms.) Rishikesh (21 kms.) & Delhi (208 kms.) NEARBY CITIES Haridwar: 8-km Rishikesh: 21-km Delhi: 208-km

CHITRAKOOT
Location: Uttar Pradesh
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Main attractions: Gupt-Godavari, Bharat-Koop Best Season: July-March Languages: Hindi, Bundeli, and English THE ANCIENT PILGRIMAGE: Situated in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of river Paisuni (Mandakini), Chitrakoot Dham is one of the most ancient holy pilgrim places of India. Lying in latitude 25 10’N and longitude 80 53’ E, on the road from Banda to Allahabad, it is 285 km from Lucknow and 120 km from Allahabad. The fourteen years of exile of lord Rama have impressed the human mind more vitally than other period of his life. Wherever his august feet tread in the years that he roved the wilderness, the land sprouted a pilgrimage center. Chitrakoot is one of them. Legend has it that during his fourteen years exile, lord Rama, and along with his consort Sita and brother Lakshman came to Chitrakoot and in the solitude of its forests came in intimate contact with sage Atri and Sati Anasuya. Goswami Tulsidas, the author of epic “Shri Ramcharitmanas”, spent many years on the soil of Chitrakoot, rendered sacred by the touch of the Lord’s feet. He composed many of his verses surrounded by nature, in its fullest splendor. Wrapped in peace and tranquility, broken only by the flutter of birds and the murmur of gushing streams, Chitrakoot is a symbol of faith-dotted with myriad temples and filled with the reverberating sound of bells- truly, an abode of the gods. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Anasuya- Atri Ashram: About 4 kms away from Sphatikshila is the hermitage of sage Atri and Anasuya surrounded by dense jungles. The peace and tranquility is occasionally disturbed by the sound of wild animals. The ashram houses the statues of Anasuya, Atri, Dattatreya and Durvasa Muni. Gupt-Godavari: A natural wonder, the Gupt-Godavari caves are at a distance of 9.66 km, from Anasuya Atri Ashram. In the heart of a dark cave is a tank, which is perpetually fed by a small stream of water. This tank which is known as ‘Sitakund’ is not too deep. Gushing out of the cave into two tanks outside, the water disappears suddenly, creating an aura of mystery. Bharat Koop: To attain salvation, the pilgrimage to Chitrakoot is incomplete without a visit to this hallowed place of worship. It is said that, to crown lord Rama as the king of Ayodhya, his brother bharat, collected the waters of all the sacred rivers to anoint him with. On the advice of sage Atri, the waters were later poured into a deep well popularly known as Bharat Koop was. A temple dedicated to Lord Rama is also found here. Jankikund: On the banks of the river Mandakini, bathed in a golden hue is the Jankikund, where Sita took her ceremonial dip every morning. Sphatikshila: Situated around 1.5 miles from Jankikund, on the banks of river Paisuni is the Sphatikshila, where Ram & Sita used to sit and watch the beauty of the serene surroundings. It is also said that at this place, Jayant, son of lord Indra, in the guise of a crow, had attached and pecked Sita. EXCURSIONS Hanuman Dhara: Approachable by a flight of 360 steps, situated atop a hill is Hanuman Dhara, which has a big statue of lord Hanuman. A streak of water, gushing out from the hillock falls into a tank situated in front of the statue. Kalinjar: 88 km from Chitrakoot lies the invincible fort of Kalinjar. Once desired by kings & dynasties, it houses the Nilkanth Temple, Swargarohan Kund, Balkhandeshwar

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Mahadev Temple, Shivasari Ganga & Koti Tirth. Other interesting spots within the fort area are Sita Sej, Patal Ganga, Pandu Kund, Budhi-Taal, Bhairon-Ki-Jharia and Mrigdhara. Allahabad: Allahabad, at the confluence of the three holiest of Indian rivers, the Ganga, Yamuna & the mythical Saraswati, has been the center of Hindu faith and devotion for centuries. People congregate in hundreds to take a dip in its sacred waters every day. Sitapur: Lying on the left bank of Paisuni about 8 km from Karvi, it is intimately connected with the sacred hill of Kamtanath, which is 2 km to its southwest. Pilgrims first bathe in Paisuni, at Sitapur and then move on to do the ‘parikrama’ of Kamtanath Hill. Originally known as Jaisinghpur, it was given to Mahant Charan Das by Aman Singh Raja of Panna, who gave it the new name Sitapur, in honour of goddess Sita. There are twenty-four ghats and several temples along the river, which add to the glory of the town. Rajapur: 42 km from Chitrakoot, this place is believed to be the birthplace of Goswami Tulsidas. A Tulsi Mandir is situated here. Marpha: 4 km from Gupt Godavari is Marpha famous for its natural beauty along with waterfalls, Jal Mohan Sarovar, Sri Balaji Mandir, five-faced statue of lord Shankar and ruins of a fort, believed to be built by Chandela rajas. Ganesh Bagh: 11 km. from Chitrakoot at Ganesh Bagh, on the Karvi Devangana Road, an exquisitely carved Shiva temple, a seven-storeyed Bawali and remains of a residential palace, built during the Peshwa rule, popularly known as mini Khajuraho are well worth a visit. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is at Bamrauli (Allahabad) 135 km. Rail: Chitrakoot is connected by rail with all major cities- Delhi, Calcutta, Jhansi, Gwalior, Lucknow, Jabalpur, Varanasi, Allahabad. Nearest railway stations are Karvi (8 km) and Atarra (40 km). Road: By road, Chitrakoot is 8 km from Karvi and 72 km from Banda. For tourists, it is advisable to reach Karvi, headquarters of the sub-division, from where one can go to Sitapur, situated at the foothills of Kamtanath hill. Buses of both M.P. and U.P. state roadways ply on this route. Local Transport: Jeep, rickshaw, tonga, taxi services available for local sight seeing. PLACES TO STAY For accommodation there is a Tourist Bungalow of U.P. Tourism available at Chitrakoot. Pilgrim visiting this sacred site can also check in the various Dharamshalas offering resonable accommodation over here. NEARBY CITIES Karvi: 8-km Banda: 72-km Rajapur: 42-km Kalinjar: 88-km Allahabad: 135-km GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 38.2 sq. km Population: 37494 (1991 census). Altitude: 207 m above sea level.

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Clothing: Summer: Winter: Main festivals: Ramayan Mela: Ramnavami: ‘Deepdan’ during Dipawali:

Light Cottons. Woollens. Feb-March March- April October- November.

DEOGARH
Location: Uttar Pradesh Meaning: Fort Of Gods Main attractions: 31 Jain Temples Best Season: August To April THE FORT OF GODS: Deogarh is situated on the bank of the Betwa River, at the western end of the Lalitpur range of hills. Due to its strategic location on the main route to the Deccan Plateau, it figures in the history of the Guptas, the Gurjara- Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Muslim rulers of Delhi, the Marathas and the British. As a result, it is of great antiquarian, epigraphically and archaeological value today. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Dashavatar Temple: This fine Gupta temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is the earliest known Panchyatan temple in north India. The terraced basement above the high plinth is decorated with sculpted panels. The figures of Ganga and Yamuna adorn the carved doorway leading to the sanctum sanctorum. Three large carved panels along the sidewalls - the Gajendramoksha panel, the Nar Narayan Tapasya and the Anantshayi Vishnu, depict scenes from Vaishnava mythology. Only the lower portion remains, of the spire, which was the most important part of the temple. Jain Temples: These 31 Jain temples were built much after the Vishnu Temple, but are no less remarkable. They are situated inside the fort of Kanali on the hills, overlooking the Betwa. The site was a Jain centre from the 6th to the 17th century. The temples abound in panels depicting scenes from Jain mythology, Tirthankara images, votive pillars, votive tablets, Jain images visible from all sides and pillars carved with a thousand Jain figures. EXCURSIONS Chanderi: This town, famous for its gossamer-like sarees, also has fine examples of Rajput and Sultanate architecture. A magnificent Mughal Fort dominates the skyline. Among the interesting sites are the Koshak Mahal, the Badal mahal, Victory Arch, Jama Masjid and ancient Jain temples. Talbehat: 31 km, south of Lalitpur, Talbehat is situated on the Jhansi-Sagar National Highway. It derived its name from ‘Tal’ (Lake) and ‘Behat’ (village), in the language of Gonds, the original settlers at the site. In 1618, Bharat Shah, the king of Bar and Chanderi, built a fine fort with the famous Narsingh temple inside. Matatila Dam: (93 km) This is an ideal picnic spot developed by the Irrigation Department. Water-sports and a garden on the lines of the Vrindavan gardens are added attractions.

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HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is at Gwalior: 235 km. Rail: The nearest railway station is Jakhlaun 13 km, on the Jhansi-Babina passenger train route. Lalitpur is another railhead, 23 km from Deogarh. Road: It is connected with bus services to all-important centres in the region. Local Transport: Bus, Private Jeeps, and Private Cars. GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 5 sq. km. Population: 350 (1991 census). Altitude: 211 m above sea level. Festivals: Jain Mela and Gajrath Mahotasav.

GANGOTRI
Location: Garhwal Altitude: 3,200 mt Dedicated To: Lord Shiva This sacred shrine, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mt is the source of the river Bhagirathi. The mountain peaks of Shivling, Satopanth and Bhagirathi sisters surround it. Accessible by a motorable road, it is one of the most pious Hindu pilgrimages. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Temple Of Gangotri: As the legend goes, Raja Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva at the sacred stone near which the temple is located. It is believed that goddess Ganga first descended to earth from Heaven, at this stone. Amar Singh Thapa, the Gorkha Commander of Garhwal, in the 18th century AD constructed this temple. It is also believed that the Pandavas, came here to perform the great 'Deva Yagna' to atone the death of their kinsmen in the battle of Mahabharata. Submerged Shivling: Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted locks. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases. EXCURSIONS Kedartal : A spectacular lake situated at a distance of about 18 km trek from Gangotri, negotiable through a rough mountain trail. The trek is very tiring and testing even for a hardy trekker. There is no facility of any kind on the way and one haste make all arrangements in advance. A local guide is essential. The lake is crystal clear with the mighty Thalaysagar (sphatikling) peak forming a splendid backdrop. The place is about 15,000 feet above sea level and is the base camp for scaling to Thalaysagar, Jogin, Bhrigupanth and other peaks. Kedar Ganga Sangam: Around 100 yards from the Ganga temple, flows the river Kedar Ganga. Starting from the Kedar valley, this river meets the Bhagirathi river on its left bank. Gaumukh: This is the snout of the Gangotri glacier and the present source of the Bhagirathi river. The devotees who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water hold it in high esteem. The 18-km distance from Gangotri haste is covered on foot or by ponies. The trek is easy and many people come back to Gangotri the same day. Porters and ponies are available for excursions to Gaumukh and other trekking routes at Gangotri. There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14 km from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available.
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Bhaironghati: 10 km from Gangotri. Astride the road to Uttarkashi and near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers is situated, Bhaironghati . The temple of Bhairav Nath surrounded by thick forests is worth visiting. Bhairon Mandir: After traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati one has to cross the Jahanvi river on foot. After crossing the Jahanvi river and moving uphill, the Bhairon temple can be seen. Harsil: 26 km from Gangotri. Located in the topographically mountainous district of Uttarkashi, this hamlet is famous for its natural beauty and delicious apples. Harsil is situated at a distance of 72 km from Uttarkashi on the main highway to Gangotri and is at a height of 2,620 mt above sea- level. From Harsil, the adventurous tourist can trek to Sat Tal, situated just above Dharali, 2 km beyond Harsil, to be greeted by the rewarding sight of seven lakes situated amidst beautiful natural surroundings. The Harsil-Jangala Chatti route is amidst dense Deodar forest. Gangnani: 55 km from Gangotri. Noted for its thermal springs and close-up views of famous mountain peaks, its peaceful and tranquilizing environment provides an ideal setting for meditation. Bhatwari: 70 km from Gangotri. It is a small upcoming town located at about 25 km from Gangnani. Maneri: 92 km from Gangotri. It has lately emerged as a place of tourist interest as a result of the construction of a dam across the Bhagirathi river, from where the water is fed to the turbines through an 8-km long tunnel at Tiloth in Uttarkashi. The resultant lake at Maneri has added to the charm of the place. Uttarkashi: 107 km from Gangotri. An important pilgrimage centre equated with Varanasi, or Kashi in divinity. It is located in a wide stretch of the valley. Situated at a distance of 155 km from Rishikesh, the last railhead, at an elevation of 1 ,150 mt above sea-level on the bank of river Bhagirathi, this picturesque town is also the district headquarter. From the religious point of view as well, it is considered important because the temple of Lord Vishwanath, is located here where a massive iron trident is erected. Description about this temple is given in 'Kedar Khand' (Skand-Puran). The other important temples situated here are Ekadash Rudra, Bhairav and Gyaneshwar. The temple of goddess Kuteti Devi is situated at the top of hills about 1.5 km away. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is also located on a hill above the town, 5 km away. Close by at Ujeli are a number of Ashrams and temples. On the occasion of "Magh Mela" (January 14), every year people from far and near visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in Bhagirathi along with the idol of they’re village deity. Dayara Bugyal: Bugyal, in the local language means "high altitude meadow." The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 32 km from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 km to reach Dayara. Situated at an elevation of about 3,190 mt above sea level, this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winters it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq. km. From this spot one can trek down to Dodi Tal, which is about 30 km away, through dense forests.

GAUMUKH
Location: Uttar Pradesh
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Altitude: 12960 Feet Significance: Source Of River Ganga Distance from Gangotri: 18 kms Gaumukh, the source of river Ganga, is situated at a height of 12,960 feet. The Gangotri Glacier, which lies at a height of 13,662 ft beyond Chaukhamba, extends as far as Gaumukh. The Ganga gushes out of the glacier, here. This is the snout of the Gangotri glacier and the present source of the Bhagirathi River. The devotees, who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone-chilling icy water, hold it in high esteem. The 18-km distance from Gangotri has been covered on foot or by ponies. The trek is easy and many people come back to Gangotri the same day. Porters and ponies are available for excursions to Gaumukh and other trekking routes at Gangotri. There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14 km from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available.

GAURIKUND
Location: 5 Kms From Soneprayag (Uttar Pradesh) Attraction: Temple Of Goddess Gauri Special Feature: Hot And Cold Water Tanks Best Season: March To November Gaurikund is located at a distance of 5 kms from Soneprayag and 209 kms from Rishikesh. There is an ancient temple, dedicated to the Goddess Gauri or Parvati, which houses metallic idols of Gauri and Shiva. According to legend, Parvati meditated here for a long time, to win Shiva as her consort. Ultimately, she succeeded, and the cosmic couple was wed at Triyuginarayan. Near the temple there are two tanks of water, one has cold water, while the other is a hot water tank. The hot water comes out of a sulphur rock and some of it falls into the River Mandakini, flowing nearby. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Jolly grant (Dehradun) – 239 km away from Kedarnath of which 225 km is by road and rest 14 km is on foot. Rail: Railhead at Rishikesh, is 209 km away. Road: Kedarnath is approachable on foot from Gaurikund, which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills. Bus services are available at Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kotdwara for Gaurikund. During yatra season, some special Yatra services are also arranged to Gaurikund. Local Transport: Private taxies and other light vehicles also ply between Rishikesh and Gaurikund-Badrinath and back. Horses, Dandies and Ponies are available at Gaurikund for going and carrying luggage to Kedarnath. PLACES TO STAY Accommodation can be found in the nearby Kedarnath, where Dhramashala accommodation is the most reasonable ones. During the Yatra season the tourism board makes special provisions for the stay of the pilgrims. NEARBY CITIES Soneprayag: 5-km Kedarnath: 14-km
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Rishikesh:

209-km

GHAZIABAD
Location: Uttar Pradesh Main Attraction: Garh Mukteshwar Founded By: Ghaz-Ud-Din Languages: Hindi, English Ghaziabad is located at northern part of Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1976, this rapidly developing town comprises the part of the upper Ganges plain, historically known as the land east of Sapta Sindu (seven rivers). Garhmukteshwar is one of the major tourist places. Ghaziabad was founded in 1740 by Ghaz-Ud-Din, the vazir of south India's king Salawat Jung. The city was formerly called Ghaziuddinnagar. According to a legend, sage Vishravamuni used to reside near the present city of Ghaziabad. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary: Founded in 1986, in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bijnore and Jyotiba Phule Nagar, The Hastinapur Sanctuary sprawling in an area of 2073 sq. kms, is inhabited by varied types of wild animals like the swamp deer, chital, nilgai, wolf, leopard, hyena, gharial and wild boar. Masuri: Located on the banks of a canal, Masuri is an attractive picnic spot, lying at a short distance from Ghaziabad. The place is surrounded by lush green mango groves. Garhmukteshwar: Garhmukhteshwar is thronged throughout the year by devotees, who come over to Jarkhandeshwar Temple and Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple to pay their obeisance. Infact, the place is famous basically for the beautiful temples. The temples of Dudheshwar Nath and Durga Devi are also located in the city. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Delhi airport is at a distance of 30 km from Ghaziabad. Rail: The railways link Ghaziabad to almost all the major cities. Road: UP State Transport buses connect the city to the surrounding cities. Local transport: For local transport, taxis, autorickshaws and cycle-rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Shipra Hotel, A-8-A Ambedkar Marg, Ghaziabad. Hotel Mela Plaza, C-3 Raj Nagar, District Centre, Ghaziabad. Hindon Motel. Hotel Skylark, Navyug Market. NEARBY CITIES Meerut 46 km Gurgaon 49 km Aligarh 112 km Hissar 183 km GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 2,600 sq km. Population: 271,730 (town).

GOKUL
Location: Uttar Pradesh
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Nearest Town: Sadabad Languages / Dialect: Hindi, Brij Bhasha DIVINITY REVEALED: Gokul, the most prominent of Shri Krishna’s abodes, lies to the west of Sadabad, 1.6 km from Mahavan and 15 km south-east of Mathura, on the Mathura-Etah metalled road. It was here that his foster mother, Yashoda, brought up Lord Krishna in secrecy. It was in the pastoral beauty of this cowherd encampment, on the banks of the Yamuna that lord Krishna spent a major part of his childhood and first revealed his divinity to his mother, Yashoda. History: Gokul also has the head quarters of the followers of the 16th century saint, Vallabhacharya. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Temples: The temples dedicated to Gokulnath, Madan Mohan and Vithalnath, said to have been built around 1511 AD, are the three oldest temples in the place. The other temples include Dwarika Nath Temple, Balkrishna Temple, Mor Wala Temple and the shrines, which were built in the honour of lord Mahadeo in 1602 by Raja Vijai Singh of Jodhpur. Janmastami Celebrations: The celebration of the festival of Janmashtami in August is unparalleled and is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. Other such festivities celebrated with traditional zeal include the Janmotsav in Bhadaon, the Annakut Festival and the Trinavat Mela held on the fourth day of the dark half of kartik. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Kheria (Agra), 62 kms. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres. Local transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Tourist Bungalow, Gokul Gaon. Mathura: NEARBY CITIES 19-km

GOVARDHAN
Location: Uttar Pradesh Nearest City: Mathura Attractions: Goverdhan Hill, Mansi Ganga Languages / Dialect: Hindi, Brij Bhasha Located 25 kms west of Mathura, Govardhan lies on the State Highway to Deeg. A famous place of Hindu pilgrimage, Goverdhan is located on a narrow sandstone hill known as ‘Giriraj’, which is about 8 km in length. The place is of immense importance to the devout as lord Krishna is believed to have held the hill by the same name on the tip of his little finger in order to protect the inhabitants of Braj, from the wrath of Indra. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Radhakund: Radhakund is a large lake, which is just 5 km north of Govardhan.

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Govardhan Hill: It is believed that Govardhana Hill was about 16 miles (29 km) high, 5,000 years ago. The young lord Krishna is said to have held Giriraj up on the tip of a finger for 7 days and nights to shield the people of Braj from the deluge of rain sent down by lord Indra. A popular Vaishnavaite icon, the entire hill is circumambulated by thousands of pilgrims every year. Mansi Ganga: Manasi Ganga, the masonry tank is on the right, just as one enters the town of Govardhana. It is a large lake located in the town of Govardhana, in the centre of the Govardhana Hill. Its enclosures were built by Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer in 1637 and embellished by Raja Man Singh, who built a long flight of steps leading up, from the end of the tank. Royal Cenotaphs: Two impressive cenotaphs, opposite the tank commemorate Randhir Singh and Baladev Singh, two of the Bharatpur Rajas. Towards the south is the beautiful chhatri of Raja Surajmal of Bharatpur. Fine frescoes- illuminating the life of Surajmal, vividly depict darbar and hunting scenes, royal processions and wars. Harideva Temple: Close by is the famous red sandstone temple of Haridev, founded during the reign of Akbar. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Kheria( Agra), 62 kms. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres. Local transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Tourist Bungalow, Radha Kund. NEARBY CITIES Mathura: 26-km

HARSIL
Location: Uttar Pradesh Main Sight Seeing: Wilson Cottage Excursion: Sat-Tal, Gangotri Languages / Dialect: Hindi, English, and Garhwali A TRIBUTE TO NATURE: Situated amidst the incredible beauty of mountain peaks, 5,000 m high is the quiet resort of Harsil. Where flowers bloom as an expression of joy. Where walks, picnics and treks lead one to undiscovered stretches of green, grassy land serving as a perfect invitation to sit down, relax and enjoy the surroundings. Sightseeing here includes the Wilson Cottage, built in 1864 and Sat Tal (seven lakes) or one has the choice to set off on various treks that introduces one to meadows, waterfalls and valleys. EXCURSIONS Sat-Tal: (2 kms.) Sat Tal, the seven lakes are situated just above Dharali, beyond Harsil. The 7- km trek is rewarding, as this group of lakes is situated amidst beautiful natural surroundings. It also provides a lovely camping site.

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Gangotri: (24 kms.) The shrine of Gangotri situated at an elevation of 3200 metres above sea level amidst captivating surroundings is 100 kms. from Uttarkashi. The temple, constructed by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century, is situated on the bank of Bhagirathi. A number of ashrams provide for accommodation facilities to the visitors. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 244 kms. Rail: Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 224 kms. Road: Well connected by a motorable road. NEARBY CITIES Gangotri: 24-km Rishikesh: 224-km GENERAL INFORMATION Altitude: 2623m above sea level.

JAUNPUR
Location: 58 Kms From Varanasi (Uttarpradesh) Famous For: Perfumes, Tobacco Leaves Season: October-March Languages: Hindi, Urdu AN IMPORTANT MUSLIM CENTRE: Jaunpur, located in southern part of Uttar Pradesh was founded in 14th century by Feroz Shah Tuglaq to perpetuate the memory of his cousin Sultan Mohammad whose real name was Jauna. Later, around 1394 AD, it became the centre of the independent Sharquie kingdom of Jaunpur founded by Malik Sarvar. Jaunpur was an important Muslim centre, where art and architecture found patronage. While its architectural heritage speaks of its illustrious past, the city is known today for its Jasmine oil, tobacco leaves, raddish and imarti, a sweetmeat. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Atala Masjid: Built in 1408 in the reign of Ibrahim Sharquie, this mosque stands at the site of a Hindu temple, dedicated to Atala Devi. This mosque represents the earliest and finest example of Sharquie architecture. Its most distinguishing feature is the original treatment of the facade of its prayer-hall composed of three large ornamental archways, the central one of which soaring to 23 mts, is gigantic. Jami Masjid: The most impressive and the largest of the mosques, Jami Masjid was built by Hussain Shah in 1458-78. The imposing structure, raised on a high plinth, encloses a courtyard. At the top of the interior of the prayer hall is a lofty dome. Lal Darwaza Masjid: The construction of this mosque, around 1450, is attributed to Bibi Raji, the queen of Sultan Mahmud Shah. Khalis Mukhlis Masjid: Malik Mukhlis and Khalis constructed This in 1417. Shitla Choukiya Dham: This famous, ancient temple of Jaunpur is dedicated to Shitla Mata. Yamdagni Ashram: A religious centre, this ashram is closely associated with the life of sage Parashuram. Other places of interest include Shahi Qil, Khwab-Gah, Dargah Chishti, Pan-e-Sharif, Jahangiri Masjid, Akbari Bridge and the tombs of the Sharquie Sultans.
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Jaunpur fort: The simple yet well maintained Jaunpur Fort overlooking river Gomati, was built by Feroz Shah in 1360. With an old pillar, a mosque and a hammam to be seen, Jaunpur Fort is worth visiting. There are good views from the fort's walls, especially towards Akbari Bridge, the best view being from the fort. { Book Fort Tours } Shahi Bridge: Constructed by Munim Khan in 1568 this picturesque old bridge spans the Gomti river. EXCURSIONS Trilochan Mahadev Temple: An important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is located 40 kms from Jaunpur. Allahabad: One of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad bears testimony to the transfer of power from the East India company to the British Crown after the 1857 uprising. The Public Library, The High Court, Allahabad University, Muir College, Mayo Memorial Hall are some structures that portray the exquisite colonial architecture prevalent in the 19th and the early 20th century. Varanasi: It is one of the oldest cities of India. The ghats dotted with temples, the maze of alleys along the ghats are major attractions among the tourist. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Babatpur Airport (Varanasi): 38 km. Rail: Located on the Lucknow-Varanasi, Mughal Sarai section of Northern Railway. Road: The town is easily accessible by all-season, motorable roads. Local Transport: Taxis, Auto Rikshaws, Cycle Rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Tourist Bungalow, Parade Kothi, Cantt. Varanasi. Hotel Amber, Manik Chowk. Manoj Lodge, Chauharsu Chauraha. Rajendra Rest House, Olandganj. Shri Ram Lodge, Olandganj. Anand Rest House, Station Road. SHOPPING Jaunpur is famous for its oils and perfumes. The main shopping areas are Line Bazar at Olandganj. NEARBY CITIES Varanasi: 58-km GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 11.2 sq. km. Population: 3214638 (1991 census). Altitude: 79.80 m above sea level. Clothing: Summer: Cottons. Winter: Woollens.

KALINJAR
Location: Uttar Pradesh Main Attraction: Kalinjar Fort Best Season: Through Out The Year Except From April To June Languages: Hindi, English, Bundeli THE INVINCIBLE FORT: Situated at a distance of 280 km from Jhansi, this town and the fort, which have had strategic important since the earliest of times, are located in the
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ancient land of Jejakbhukti, which is an integral part of Bundelkhand. The fort, a stronghold of the Chandelas from the 9th to the 15th century AD, remained an invincible citadel, prized for its location, right uptil the time of the Mughals. During its eventful existence, the fort was subject to numerous attacks by Mohammed Ghazni, Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak and Humayun who invaded this stronghold of the Chandelas. It was Akbar who finally conquered it in 1569 and bequeathed it as a gift to Birbal, one of his “nine jewels”. From Birbal, it went to Chhatrasal, the legendary Bundela warrior and then to Hardev Shah of Panna. In 1812 it fell into the hands of the British. This fort with its romantic and extraordinary history is well worth a visit. The township of Kalinjar was also once enclosed within a high rampart wall with four gateways, only, three of which exist today. These are popularly known as the Kamta Dwar, Panna Dwar and Rewa Dwar. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Kalinjar Fort: Situated on a high hillock in the Vindhyan Ranges, the fort was approached through seven gates or check posts before entering the main fort area. These splendid gateways are the Alam Darwaza or Alamgir Darwaza, Ganesh Dwar, Chandi or Chaburji Darwaza, Budha Bhadra Darwaza, Hanuman Dwar, Lal Darwaza and Bara Darwaza. Within the fort are the remains of two palaces, the Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal. Among places of interest within the main fort area are Sita Sej, a small cave containing a stone bed pillow for use of hermits; Patal Ganga the reservoir cut in rock; Pandu-Kund, where water truckles from horizontal rock strata’s crevices. Bhairon-Ki-Jharia, with the colossal figure of Bhairon carved on the rock face- more popularly known as ‘manduk Bhairav’ and Mrigdhara or ‘antelope’s spring’- a small pool in the inner chamber of the rampart, where figures of antelopes can be seen under trickling water. Koti Tirth and the Budha-Budhi Taal, said to possess great healing powers, are among the important pilgrim centers at Kalinjar. Nilkanth Temple: It was built by Chandela ruler, Parmardideva, with the rock-cut Swarga Rohan Kund, where, in a niche stands the colossal 18 armed, 17 feet broad and 24 feet high figure of Kaal-Bhairav, ornamented with a garland of skulls. Vankhandeshwar Mahadev Temple: This temple, located at the source of the Shivasari Ganga is also well worth a visit. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Khajuraho - 130 km. Rail: The nearest railway station is Atarra- 38 km. Road: Buses and private taxis are available for Kalinjar from Banda, Satna and Chitrakoot. Local Transport: Tempo, Rickshaw,Tonga. PLACES TO STAY There are quite a few good accommodation options available at Kalinjar, varying from resonable deluxe room hotels to budget hotels. One can also check out the nearby cities for luxurious options. NEARBY CITIES Atarra: 38 km

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Khajuraho: Area: Population: Altitude: Clothing: Summer: Winter:

130 km GENERAL INFORMATION 25 sq. km. 4000 (1991 census). 381.25 m above sea level. Cottons. Woollens.

KALPI
Location: Uttar Pradesh Main Attraction: The Fort Languages: Hindi, English Situated at a distance of about 35-km east of Orai, between Jhansi and Kanpur on the National Highway 25, Kalpi is linked by metalled roads with Jalaun, Hamirpur and Rath. PRIME ATTRACTIONS The fort: One of the eight great forts of the Chandelas, the Kalpi Fort finds mention in the annals of its capture by Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak, in 1196. After this, Kalpi saw long days of struggle for its possession. Under Akbar, Kalpi became the “gate of the west” and the starting point for expeditions of central India. In the 17th century, the famous Bundela chief Chhatrasal made Kalpi his stronghold. Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi also held possession of the fort for some time. Finally it fell into the hands of the British in 1857. Chaurasi Gumbaz: It is built of blocks of rubble set in lime mortar. The whole building is divided into square spaces as in a chessboard, by eight lines of pillars that are linked by arches and topped by a flat roof. The rather dilapidated structure has a lofty dome that rises to a height of 60 feet. Its architectural style and stucco ornamentation clearly reveals its Lodhi origin. The principal remains at Kalpi are the tombs of Madar Sahib, Ghafur Zanjani, Chol Bibi and Bahadur Shahid. EXCURSIONS Rampura: 59 km from Jalaun, Rampura was once a small principality under the Kachhawaha Rajputs of Jalaun and their ruler, Raja Ram Singh. The fortified palace of Rampura, which is about 350 years old, is a massive handsome structure, well worth a visit. Jagmanpur: 9 kms from Rampura, Jagmanpur, once the headquarters of the Sengar Rajput clan under Raja Rup Shah, also houses a large masonry fort. The confluence of five rivers nearby, known as the “Panch Nada” is an added attraction for the tourists. The two forts can be visited with due permission from the owners. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Kanpur- 70 km is the nearest airport. Rail: Jhansi (145 km) and Kanpur (70km) are the closest main railheads. Road: On National Highway No. 25, Kalpi is well linked to major towns in the area. NEARBY CITIES Orai: 35-km Kanpur: 70-km
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Jhansi:

145-km

KANKHAL
Location: 5 Kms From Haridwar (Uttar Pradesh) Significance: Important Hindu Pilgrimage Major Attraction: Daksha Prajapati Mandir Kankhal is a small town, located 5 kms from Haridwar. One of the ‘Punch Teerth’ (five Pilgrimages - Ganga, Kushwart, Bilwa Teerth, Neel Parvat and Kankhal), the Mahadev Temple and Sati Kund here are associated with the immolation of Sati, first wife of lord Shiva. This is the place where Daksha Prajapati Mandir is situated. THE LEGEND: Legend has it that Sati, the first wife of lord Shiva immolated herself in the fire of the yagna that was being performed by her father, Daksha Prajapati. Daksha did not invite Lord Shiva and hence Sati felt insulted. Therefore she burned herself in the "yagya kund'. This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus, a tribute to this legend. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Daksha Mahadev Temple: The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south of the town of Kankhal. Sati Kund: Sati, the first wife of lord Shiva is said to have sacrificed her life by jumping into the sacrificial fire, in this place. Nileshwar Mahadev Temple: This is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva was, when the yagya being performed by the Sati’s father, Daksha, was abruptly terminated. Kankhal is a major shopping centre of the Haridwar region. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport from Haridwar is Jolly Grant in Dehradun. Rail: Haridwar is a major railway station, situated justt 5-km away from Kankhal. Being a major pilgrimage center, Haridwar is well connected by trains to all the major towns of India. Road: The National Highway No - 45 crosses through the city of Haridwar, so it is connected to other cities of the State as well as other towns in India in an efficient manner. There are buses available from Delhi to this place. The state transport has ordinary as well as deluxe and semi-deluxe buses on this route for long distance travel. There are private bus avaialable too, which will take you to nearby places and some of these private deluxe buses run on the long distance routes. PLACES TO STAY Kankhal is also considered an important religious place, being a neighbour to Haridwar and pilgrims as well as tourist can get quite a resonable number of accommodations over here. Still if you are looking for better options, there's always Haridwar where there are numerous Dharamshalas and hotels avaialable to stay. Click here for Hotels in Uttar Pradesh NEARBY CITIES Haridwar: 5-km

KANPUR
Location: South West Of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
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Significance: The Largest City Of Uttar Pradesh. Best Time To Visit: November-February Main Attractions: The Kanpur Memorial Church, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary THE COMMERCIAL TOWN WITH HISTORICAL & RELIGIOUS CONNOTATIONS: Located southwest of Lucknow, Kanpur is the largest city of Uttar Pradesh. Nestled on the banks of the eternal Ganga, Kanpur stands as one of North India’s major industrial centres with its own historical, religious and commercial importance. Believed to be founded by king Hindu Singh of the erstwhile state of Sachendi, Kanpur was originally known as `Kanhpur’. Formerly known as Cawnpur, Kanpur, one of the largest cities in India, has an area of more than 260 sq km. It is an important road and rail hub and a major commercial and industrial centre. Today, besides being the most industrialized region of the state, Kanpur is also an important educational centre, with institutions like Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Agricultural College, Indian Institute of Technology, G.S.V.M. Medical College, National Sugar Institute and Government Textile Institute being located here. Apart from playing a stellar role in the development of the country as a whole, Kanpur has also been instrumental in making an unforgettable contribution to the Indian freedom struggle. The propagation and popularization of Hindi, the national language of India also owes much to this city. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Jajmau: The mound of Jajmau, on the eastern end of the city occupies a high place among ancient cities of the region. Excavations of the mound were undertaken during 1957-58, which unearthed antiquities ranging from 600 BC to 1600 AD. Jajmau, known as Siddhapuri in ancient times, is believed to have been the kingdom of Yayati, the Pauranic king and the high mound overhanging the Ganga is known as the site of his fort. Today, Jajmau houses the Siddhnath and Siddha Devi temples and the mausoleum of Makhdum Shah Ala-ul-Haq, the famous Sufi saint, built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1358. A mosque built by Kulich Khan in 1679 also stands here. Shri Radhakrishna Temple (J.K. Temple): Beautifully constructed, J.K. temple is a boon to the devotees. Built by J.K. Trust, this beautifully constructed temple is a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture. Among the five shrines that the temple has, the central one is dedicated to Shri Radhakrishna and the other are adorned with idols of Shri Laxminarayan, Shri Ardhanarishwar, Shri Narmadeshwar and Shri Hanuman. Jain Glass Temple: It is situated in Maheshwari Mohal behind the Kamla Tower. It is a beautiful temple highly decorated with glass and enamel work. The Kanpur Memorial Church (All Soul’s Cathedral): Built in Lombardic Gothic Style, the Kanpur Memorial Church was constructed in 1875, to honour the British who lost their lives in the war of 1857. Walter Granville, architect of the East Bengal Railway, designed the Church. Made of bright red brick, with polychrome dressings, the interiors of the church contain monuments to the mutiny, including several memorial tablets. Allen Forest Zoo: The Kanpur Zoo was opened in 1971 and ranks among one of the best zoos in the country. It is an ideal place for outdoor life and picnics in the midst of picturesque surroundings. Kamla Retreat: Possessed by Singhania family, this beautiful estate lies to the west of the Agricultural College. There is a well-lit swimming pool, wherein artificial waves are

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created. Besides parks and a canal with facilities for boating, a zoo is also maintained. Kamla Retreat also houses a zoo and a museum, which has a good collection of historical and archaeological artifacts. Phool Bagh: Also known as Ganesh Udyan, this beautiful park with Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi Memorial in the centre, is located in the heart of the city, on the Mall Road. Nana Rao Park: To the west of Phool Bagh is located the Nana Rao Park. It is the site of the `Bibighar’ of 1857. The Park was renamed as Nana Rao Park after independence. Harcourt Butler Technological Institute: The Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, engaged in imparting technical training and industrial research was established in 1920 at Kanpur. Indian Institute of Technology: One of the five IIT’s, IIT Kanpur, set up in 1959, provides education in the fields of engineering, technology, science and humanities. Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology: Established in 1957 to provide education of agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary science for the benefit of rural people. Among other sites worth visiting at Kanpur are the Hanuman temple-Panki, Anandeshwar temple, Jageshwar temple, Dwarikadhish temple, Prayagnarayan temple, Kailash temple, Buddhadevi temple, Kherepati temple, Varahidevi temple, Bhairav temple and Tulsi Upvan (Moti Jheel). EXCURSIONS Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary: 43 km from Lucknow, along the Lucknow-Kanpur Highway near Unnao, is the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary attracts rare Siberian migratory birds during winters, the main bird species being Pintain, Pigeon, Common teal, Shoveller, Pochard, Coot, Purple Moorhen and others. Lucknow: Located 90 Kms. from Kanpur, Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Bithoor: The quiet and beautiful township of Bithoor is situated on the Kannauj Road, 27 km from Kanpur. Situated on the banks of the Ganga, this tranquil spot is of considerable historical and religious importance. Sita Kund, Dhruva Teela and the mosque near Lakshman Ghat are some places worth a visit. Bhitargaon: (59-km) Situated in Ghatampur tehsil, Bhitargaon houses a unique architectural specimen - a brick temple belonging to the Gupta era. Dating back to 600 AD, this the very first shrine with a shikara. Musanagar: 65 km from Kanpur, the ancient site of Musanagar with innumerable mounds deserved mention on account of the ancient temple of Muktadevi, which is said to have been built in Treta-Yug by Raja Bali. A large fair is held at Muktadevi temple on occasion of Kartik Poornima. Musanagar is also a rich archaeological site and has yielded a large number of artifacts and specimens of the post Harrapan, Shunga, Maurya and Kushana periods. Kannauj: (80 km) Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Kannauj was the 7th century capital of Emperor Harshavardhana’s empire, which encompassed the entire region between the rivers Sutlej and Narmada and eastern Bengal. While all traces of this past have vanished, Kannauj is famous for its manufacture of essence (ittar) used in perfumes. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Chakeri Airport, Kanpur. Rail: Connections to all the major stations of the country by express, super-fast and passenger trains.

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Road: Kanpur is connected by road with all the major cities of the country. It is situated on National Highway No. 2 on the Delhi-Agra-Allahabad-Calcutta route and on National Highway No. 25 on the Lucknow-Jhansi-Shivpuri route Local Transport: Buses, Taxis, Tempos, Auto-Rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Several of Kanpur's best hotels can be found in and around the Mall, while resonable budget accommodations is concentrated near the Central Railway station, which itself has resonable retiring rooms. NEARBY CITIES Allahabad: 195 km Jhansi: 220 km Aligarh: 277 km Agra: 286 km GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 1040 Sq. km. Population: 24,18,447 (1991 census). Altitude: 126 metres above sea level. Clothing Summer Winter Cottons. Woollens.

KUSHINAGAR
Location: Uttar Pradesh Founded By: Kasaya, Kushinara Best Season: October-April Languages: Hindi, English LAND OF MAHAPARINIRVANA: Known earlier as Kushinara, now Kasaya, Kushinagar is one of the most sacred sites for the Buddhists. It was here that Lord Buddha is said to have attained 'Mahaparnirvana', the freedom from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth at Kushinagar. At the time of the great event, kushinara was an insignificant settlement, a part of the Malla Kingdom. Kushi Nagar is an archaeological site, significant for its close proximity with the life of Lord Buddha. So far, at least ten monasteries have been discovered. The Mukutabandhana Stupa, which was built to hold the Buddha’s cremated remains is considered of great sanctity. There is also a large reclining stone figure of the Buddha. The original image was made in Mathura and brought to Kushinagar by Haribala, a monk who lived in the time of king Kumargupta (AD 413-455). Although, the original image was destroyed, it was restored in the last century. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Nirvana Stupa: Standing at a height of 2.74m, the Nirwana Stupa is built of bricks. Carlyle excavated this huge stupa in 1876. A copper vessel unearthed here bears an inscription in ancient Brahmin stating that Lord Buddha's remains had been deposited here. Nirvana Temple: This temple houses the 6m long statue of reclining Buddha, which was unearthed in 1876. Carved from Chunar sandstone, the statue has an inscription below that dates the statue to the fifth century AD.

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Mathakuar Shrine: This shrine lies about 400 yards from the Parinirvana stupa. A black stone image of the Buddha in the ‘bhumi sparsha mudra’ was recovered here. The last sermon by Lord Buddha was given here. Ramabhar Stupa: Referred to as the Mukt Bandhan Vihar in ancient Buddhist texts, this stupa marks the site where the Lord was cremated. About 1 km away, this large stupa rises to a height of 49 ft. Chinese Temple: Here the special attraction is a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha. Japanese Temple: On display here is the beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metals) statue of Lord Buddha, which was brought from Japan. Kushinagar Museum: The Buddha Museum contains finds from excavations at the site. Timings: 10:30 am. to 4:30 PM, all days except Monday. Other places of interest include Pawanagar (Fazilnagar) and the Sun Temple at Turkpatti. EXCURSIONS Gorakhpur: (51 kms) Rahul Sankratayan Museum at Gorakhpur has an excellent collection of thank paintings and relics of the Buddha. Water Sports Complex at Ramgarhtal Planetarium and the Gorakhnath Temple in the city are also well worth a visit. Lumbini: Situated in Nepal at a distance of 122 km from Gorakhpur, Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Buses ply till the border, from where the remaining 26-km has to be covered by private vehicles. Kapilvastu: The ancient city abounds in numerous stupas. HOW TO GET THERE Air: There is no direct air connection. Rail: From Delhi, one has to reach Gorakhpur, by rail. Road: Taxis and buses. Gorakhpur is a convenient base for visiting Kapilvastu (110 km), Lumbini (108 km) and Shravasti (195 km). Local Transport: Cycle rickshaws. Gorakpur: Lumbini: Kapilvastu: Shravasti: Area: Population: Altitude: Main Festival: Clothing: Summer: Winter: NEARBY CITIES 51-km 108-km 110-km 195-km GENERAL INFORMATION 6.00 sq. km. 13860 (1991 census). 400 m above sea level. Buddha Purnima. Light Cotton. Woolen.

LUCKNOW
Location: 79-km From Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh Significance: Capital City Of Uttar Pradesh Best Time To Visit: September & October

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Lucknow is caught in a time warp. It exists in an in-between land of the past and the present looking back constantly to the memories of a colonial-Nawabi past. There is at the same time a sense of pride at the thought of being after Delhi, the most important center of power in free India. Politics has indeed been Lucknow's forte but culture has been its historical identification. Nawabi legacy: Despite the Indo-Persian legacy, Lucknow has a composite Indian culture. The welding of various cultural strains nurtured by centuries of Mughal and later Delhi Sultanate rule, to the folk traditions of the Indo-Gangetic plains has produced a complex, yet rich synthesis. The Urdu language acquired its baffling phonetic nuances and suave perfection here. It was in Nawab Wajed Ali Shah's court that the most advanced of all classical Indian dance forms, the Kathak, took shape. The popular Parsi theatre originated from the Urdu theatre of this city. The table and the sitar were first heard on the streets of Lucknow. Naming Lucknow: Lucknow-the name can be traced to the epic Ramayana. After 14 years of exile when Lord Ramchandra returned to Ayodhya, he gifted this place to his younger brother Lakshman. Lakshman is believed to have stayed in Lakshman Teela, a high ground near the banks of the river Gomti. Later the region was named after him; 'Lucknow' is derived from the name Lakshman. There are other stories that do the rounds: Lucknow was named after a very influential person called 'Lakhan Ahir' who built the fort 'Qila Lakhan'. The name 'Qila Lakhan' later became Lucknow. Some other source says that one Lakhu Khan who was earlier a non-Muslim by name Laxman Singh has lent his name to Lucknow. Old City: The ravages of time have left its mark on Chowk, the oldest street of Lucknow. But a walk through of the streets is still a memorable experience because of the series of unfolding scenes. The rhythm of hammers beating silver into paper, the smell of flowers, the fragrance of ittar, the fineness of chicken embroidery and the mouthwatering aroma of roasting meat at a kabab shop. Venturing beyond the streets into the bylines you confront a private world of courtesans' houses with their many stories and anecdotes, past and present. The Raj Connection: In the annals of Indian history, Lucknow forms the traditional link between tradition and modernity, the decline of the Mughals and the rise of the British. The timing of its rise, however, cut short Lucknow's cultural effluence. The land of etiquette and manners, of the 'pehle alp' these received a serious jolt with the siege of the British Residency during the great revolt in 1857. Eager for revenge, the last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, proved a suitable scapegoat. Awadh was annexed on the pretext of administrative failure and the Nawab was packed off to Calcutta with a pension.

MAHAVAN
Location: Uttar Pradesh Nearest City: Mathura Best Season: July to November Languages / Dialect: Hindi, Brij

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THE GREAT FOREST: The city of Mahavan is around 11-km from Mathura, lying on the left bank of the river Yamuna. This place is closely associated with lord Krishna’s foster parents, Nand and Yashoda. Lord Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood here. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Mathura Nathji Temple: The huge shrine of Mathuranathji is the most sacred and impressive temple in Mahavan. Chaurasi Khamba: The eighty-four pillars, the palace of Nanda is a beautiful brick and plaster edifice, which is a amalgam of several influences, Buddhist influence being the most prominent one. Aurangzeb rebuilt this palace as a mosque, with its pillars resembling the Qutab Minar of Delhi. Chathi Palana temple: This was originally the palace of Rohini, mother of Baldeo, the elder brother of Krishna. Other important shrines include the Shyamlaji Temple, the Yogmaya Temple, Tranairatri Temple and the Mahamall Raiji’s Palace. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Kheria (Agra), 62-kms from Mathura. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities and is just 11-km away from Mahavan. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres and regular buses ply between Mahavan and Mathura. Local transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Mahavan is not a major cities, so leave the luxury optioin behind, but some resonable accommodation are available in the city. For better stay options, try checking out the hotels in Mathura. NEARBY CITIES Mathura: 11-km GENERAL INFORMATION Temperature Summer : Max: 45 Min: 21.9 Winter : Max: 31.7 Min: 4.2 Rainfall: 65 cms (June to September). Clothing: Summer: Cotton and tropical. Winter: Woollen.

MAHOBA
Location: Uttar Pradesh Main Attraction: Kakramath Temple, Sun Temple Best season: September to February Languages: Hindi, English, Bundeli THE FESTIVE LAND: Mahoba is associated with the Chandela kings who ruled over Bundelkhand between the 9th and the 12th centuries. Mahoba derives its name from ‘mahotsava’, which stands for the great celebration performed by its founder Chandravarman, around 800 AD. In the following century, Mahoba became the Chandela capital in preference over Khajuraho.
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This one-time capital is now a small town comprising of three distinct areas- the old fort lying to the north of a low granite hill, the inner fort on top of the hill, and dariba or the betel market on the south. Apart from several picturesque lakes, there are also many places of historical and archaeological interest. Mahoba is famous for its granite, but more so for its fine betel leaf (paan). This is cultivated here in the traditional manner using natural weatherproof shelters called ‘barejas’. While the town is now a centre of trade for betel leaf and stone, it bears remnants of its glorious past and still honors its legendary heroes, Aha and Udal, whose statues are a central landmark. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Kakramath Temple: This well-preserved granite temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the Madan Sagar. Its basic plan is similar to the temples of Khajuraho. The Madan Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu stands nearby. Sun Temple at Rahila Sagar: This 9th century granite Sun Temple lies to the west of Rahila Sagar, built by Chandela ruler, Rahila who ruled between 890 and 910 AD Though in a ruined state today, it still stands as the finest example of early Pratihara architecture in the area. Manaiya Devi Temple: This is the temple of the tutelary deity of the Chandelas and stands on the shores of Madan Sagar, near the fort. In front of the fort is a monolithic granite pillar, 18 ft. high and 1.75 ft wide at the base. The shrine of Pir Mubarak Shah, a Muslim saint who came from Arabia in 1252 AD stands nearby. Vijay Sagar Pakshi Vihar: 5 km from town, this picturesque bird sanctuary has been developed on the shores of Vijay-Sagar, which was built by Vijay Pal Chandela (10351060 AD). Lakes: Kirat Sagar, built by Kirtivarman between 1060 AD and 1100 AD, has fine embankments with granite steps. Madan Sagar, built by Madan Verma between 1128 AD and 1165 AD, is very picturesque. Other lakes include Kalyan Sagar, Vijay Sagar and Rahila Sagar. Gokhar Hill: This is the hill where Guru Gorakhnath resided with his disciples. It has dramatic granite rock formations, with caves and waterfalls. The spot is ideal for climbing and picnics. Other places of interest include the Jain and Buddhist shrines, the Alha Udal Chowk, Barichandrika Devi Temple, Ram Kurd, Suraj Kurd and Shiva Temple at Katheswar. The Betel Research Centre at Chhattarpur Road, a branch of NBRI Lucknow, is interesting as Betel farming can be viewed in various stages of development here. EXCURSIONS Khajuraho: 63 km. Site of the now world-famous temples built between 950 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandellas. Only 25 temples survive, but they are masterpieces of architecture. Dedicated to the lord Shiva, these temples celebrated the human form and man’s spiritual and physical aspects. Kalinjar: 109 kms from Mahoba, kalinjar is famous for its mighty fort, which was of great importance between the 9th and 15th centuries. Among the remains within the fort is Rajan Aman Singh Palace, which is being converted into a museum to house the fine and rare sculptures found at the site. Other places of interest within the fort include the Neelkanth Temple, Sita Sej, Patal Ganga, Pandu Kund, Koti Tirth and Bhairon Ki Kharia.

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Chitrakoot: (127 kms). Celebrated in ballads and the scriptures for its natural beauty and closely associated with the epic Ramayana, Chitrakoot is a hallowed centre for pilgrimage. Lord Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their 14-year exile here. The town is situated on the banks of the river Mandakini, the ghats of which are lined with numerous temples. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is Khajuraho 63 km. Rail: railway lines with the rest of India connect Mahoba. Road: Mahoba is connected by road, with all major cities. Local Transport: Cars, Jeeps, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, Tongas. GENERAL INFORMATION Area: 8.1 sq. km. Population: 56,000 (1991 census). Altitude: 210 m above sea level. Clothing: Summer: Cottons. Winter: Woollens. Festivals: Sawan Kajali Mela.

MEERUT
Location: 67 Kms North Of Delhi (Uttar Pradesh) Main Attraction: Surajkund Temple Founded By: Maya, The Father Of Mandodari Languages: Hindi, English Located 67 kms north of Delhi, Meerut is said to have been founded by Maya, the father of Mandodari. Its ancient name was Mayarastra. Lying at the junction of several roads and rail lines, Meerut is a trade centre for agricultural products and has a considerable amount of industry, including manufacturing, smelting, handicrafts, and the milling of sugar, cotton, flour, and oilseeds. The initial uprising of mutiny of 1857 broke out here. The Suraj Kund is the most interesting Hindu temple in Meerut and there is a Moghul mausoleum here - the Shahpir. PRIME ATTRACTIONS St. John's Church: Established in 1819 in Meerut Cantonment, this church was completed in 1822. Vilveshwarnath Temple: Vilveshwarnath Temple is supposed to be the oldest temple here. Dargah of Shah Pir: Situated near Shah Pir Gate, the Moghul mausoleum, the red stone construction was built in 1620 A.D., by Noor Jehan. Jami Masjid: Hasan Mehdi, a minister of Mahmood Ghaznavi, in 1019 A.D, built The mosque. Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary: Founded in 1986, in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bijnore and Jyotiba Phule Nagar, The Hastinapur Sanctuary sprawling in an area of 2073 sq. kms, is inhabited by varied types of wild animals like the swamp deer, chital, nilgai, wolf, leopard, hyena, gharial and wild boar. Martyr's Memorial: The Martyr's Memorial is a tall white-stone structure located at the Bhaisali Grounds where many freedom fighters were hung in the 1857 struggle.

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EXCURSIONS Sardhana: 19 kms northwest of Meerut lies the fascinating town of Sardhana with a romantic and historically significant past, famous for the church Basilica. It was built in 1809 and raised to the status of a minor basilica in 1960. Apart from this, Begum Samru's Palace and Anthoni Kothi are worth a visit. Saharanpur: 178 km From Delhi is Saharanpur, famous for its Botanical Gardens, known as the Company Bagh, which is over 150 years old. HOW TO GET THERE Air: There is no direct air connection. Rail: trains on the Delhi - Dehradun route, connect Meerut. Road: There is a welldeveloped network of buses that connects Meerut to all the important places. Local Transport: Taxis, cycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws. NEARBY CITIES Delhi 67 km Sardhana 19 km Saharanpur 178 km

MATHURA - VRINDAVAN
Location: Right Bank River Alaknanda Altitude: 3,133 mt. Above Sea Level Dedicated To: Lord Vishnu Built In: 8th Century A.D He is easily the most popular person here. Every square foot of Mathura-Vrindavan is wrapped in timeless devotion to Lord Krishna, the evergreen hero of Hinduism, the lover of Radha, the cowherd-prince and the re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Mathura without Lord Krishna is like Bethlehem without Christ. Welcome to Brajbhoomi or Krishna-land. Brajbhoomi - The city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, the nucleus of Brajbhoomi, is located at a distance of 145 km south-east of Delhi and 58 km north-west of Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800 sq. km., today, Brajbhoomi can be divided into two distinct units - the eastern part in the Trans-Yamuna tract with places like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side of the Yamuna covering the Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar, Barsana and Nandgaon. In a nutshell, the land of Braj starts from Kotban near Hodel about 95 km from Delhi and ends at Runakuta which is known specially for its association with the poet Surdas, an ardent Krishna devotee. An Ancient City - An ancient city, Mathura's strategic location at the cross roads of various trade routes - that went westwards to West Asia and the Roman Empire; northwards, via Taxila, Pushkalavati and Purushapur to Central Asia and the Silk Route and eastwards to China - ensured its position as a centre of trade and a meeting point for varied cultures. By the 5th century BC, during the time of Buddha, it was a major metropolis and the capital of the Surasena Kingdom. Mathura saw its `golden age' during the rule of the Kushanas and the able governance of rulers Kanishka, Huvishka, and Vasishka, when the arts flourished and economic wealth grew. It remained a centre of power during the Mauryan period, through the enlightened rule of Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to the Gupta era (4th century AD). Holy Land - It has often been said that it is easier to count the number of dust particles on the surface of the earth than to count the number of holy places in Mathura. Each of the Ghats, for instance, has its own Krishna myth. Here He rested after killing his evil and

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tyrannical uncle, King Kansa; This is where His mother tied him after he stole butter; This is the sacred grove where Krishna and Radha spent lazy, love-filled times - the list is endless. In Mathura-Vrindavan, it is difficult to know the dividing line between reality and myth. A Divine Career - Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell in Mathura. His father Vasudev aided by several celestial forces stole him out of Mathura, across the raging river Yamuna and into the house of Nand in Gokul. Krishna spent his early childhood here and revealed the first signs of his divinity. His uncle Kansa's murderous attempts forced Krishna to leave Gokul and move to Nandgaon, a more secure home high up on a hill. From here, the adolescent Krishna, the cowherd, would wander into the Vrindavan forests to play with his friends and dally with Radha, his ladylove. Vrindavan, is still a transcendental world, a place of Krishna's leela, (play), of deep eroticism and an archetypal connection to nature. Each tree in the area speaks, as it were, of the love of the divine couple. PLACES OF WORSHIP MATHURA – VRINDAVAN Location: Right Bank River Alaknanda Altitude: 3,133 mt. Above Sea Level Dedicated To: Lord Vishnu Built In: 8th Century A.D TEMPLES Dwarkadish temple - Built in 1814 in the center of the town, it is the most visited temple in Mathura. Followers of Vallabhacharya manage this temple. Located in the eastern part of Mathura, not far from the Yamuna River, it is architecturally interesting: the temple carving and paintings are major attractions. The temple is a hub of activity during the festive days of Holi, Janmashtami and Diwali. Banke-Bihari temple - Built in 1864, it is one of Vrindavana's most popular temples and famous all over India. Swami Haridasa discovered the Deity of Banke-bihari in Nidhuvana. A contemporary of the six Gosvamis, Swami Haridasa known for his devotional bhajanas, was the guru of the famous musician Tansen. Mathura Krishna Balrama Mandir - built by the International Society for Shri Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), it is one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan. The principal deities of this temple are Krishna, his brother Balram and Radha (Krishna's consort.) Adjoining the temple is the samadhi of Shri Prabhupada, the founder of the ISKCON sect, built in pure white marble. Hare Krishna devotees from all around the world flock here, bringing a truly international flavor to this ancient holy city. Radha Madana-Mohana temple - This famous temple was established by Srila Sanatana Gosvami and was the first temple to be built in Vrindavan, which at that time was just a forest. The soldiers of the fanatical Muslim Emperor, Aurangzeb, took the original Deity of Madana-Mohana to Karauli in Rajasthan for safety during the attack on Vrindavan Jaipur temple - One of Vrindavan's most opulent temples, it was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Madhav, in 1917 after 30 years of labour. The fine hand-carved sandstone is of unparalleled workmanship, the huge pillars that hold up the roof are each carved from one solid rock, and the intricately fashioned marble on the altar is reminiscent of the Mughal period. The Maharaja financed the railway line that connects Vrindavana with Mathura, just for the purpose of hauling the huge pieces of sandstone

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used in the temple construction. The deities worshipped here are Sri Radha-Madhava, Ananda-bihari and Hansa-gopala. Radha Vallabha temple - Another very popular temple of Vrindavan which was founded by Harivamsa Gosvami, who started the Radha Vallabha sect emphasizing devotion to Radharani. In this temple, there is no deity of Radharani, but a crown has been placed next to Krishna to signify her presence. The Muslims destroyed the original temple of Radha Vallabha in 1670 and a new temple was built beside the old one. Seva Kunja - The Seva Kunj is where Lord Krishna once performed the Raaslila with Radha-Rani decorating her hair with flowers and her lotus feet. Radha and Krishna would sometimes spend the night here, dancing with the gopis and enjoying transcendental pastimes. There is also a small temple dedicated to Radha and Krishna's pastimes called Rang Mahal. Radha Damodara temple - This is one of the most important temples in Vrindavan. The original deity was hand carved by Rupa Gosvami and given as a gift to his beloved disciple, Jiva Gosvami, who later built a temple here. Formerly this spot was in the middle of Seva-kunja and it was the bhajana ( where he sang devotional songs ) place of Rupa Gosvami. Radharamana temple - This is the famous temple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Radharamana means "one who gives pleasure to Radha", and is one of the many names of Lord Krishna. The wooden sitting place (hoki) and shawl (chaddar) or Lord Chaitanya, that He gave as a gift to Gopala Bhatta Gosvami is kept in this temple Jugal Kisore temple - This is one of the oldest temple of Vrindavana and was completed in 1627. After Emperor Akbar's visit to Vridavan in the year 1570, he gave permission for four temples to be built by the Gaudya Vaisnavas, which were Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kisore. It is sometimes called the Kesi ghata temple, as it is located next to this ghata Kesi Ghata - This is the place where Lord Krishna killed the Kesi demon that appeared in the form of a gigantic horse and then took His bath in this very same ghata. This is also very famous bathing place in Vrindavan. An arati (prayer with lamps) to Yamuna Devi is held here every evening Rangji temple - This South Indian style temple was built by the wealthy Seth family of Mathura in the year 1851, and is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha or Rangaji, a form of Lord Vishnu lying down on the Sesa Naga (celestial serpent). This temple has a traditional South Indian gateway and is surrounded by high walls. It is one of Vrindavan's largest temples. Once a year a grand car festival (Ratha Yatra) is held known as Brahmotsava, during the month of Chait (March - April), a festival that lasts for 10 days. Shahji Temple, another popular temple at Vrindavan, was designed and built in 1876 by a wealthy jeweller, Shah Kundan Lal of Lucknow. The deities at the temple are popularly known as the Chhote Radha Raman. Noted for its magnificent architecture and beautiful marble sculpture, the temple has twelve spiral columns each 15 feet high. The `Basanti Kamra' - the darbar hall is famed for its Belgian glass chandeliers and fine paintings. Jain tirth - Nearly 30 cms. long, light - almond - colored, wooden sandals of Jambuswamaji. Tirth is at a distance of four kilometers from Mathura. This tirth (pilgrimage) belongs to the times of Bhagawan Suparshvanth

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NEW TEMPLES Among the new temples springing up along the Mathura-Vrindavan road is the Gita Mandir which houses the Gita Stambh, a pillar with the entire Bhagavad Gita carved on its surface. The imposing temple, built by one of the country's leading industrial families, the Birlas, is overshadowed by the outrageous multistoried, spaceship-like edifice known as the Pagal Baba Mandir just down the road. MOSQUES Jami Masjid, on a plinth raised above street level a little way north, was completed in 1661 by Aurangzeb's governor Abd-un-Nabi. It has long since lost its original vivid glazed tiles, but remains surrounded by four minarets and assorted outer pavilions. round 500m west, stands another of Aurangzeb's mosques, the impressive red sandstone Katra Masjid. This was erected on the foundations of the once-famous Kesava Deo temple, destroyed by the Moghul emperor, which had itself been built on the ruins of a Buddhist monastery. Some traces of the Hindu temple can be seen around the back, where the Shri Krishna Janamsthan or Janambhoomi complex now stands. Directly behind the mosque, approached through a corridor, a shrine marks Krishna's exact birthplace (janamsthan); its cage-like surround signifies that he was born in captivity, when his parents were prisoners of the tyrant king Kamsa. Inside the adjacent Bhagwat Bhavan - a modern, towering, flamboyant great hulk also known as Gita Mandir - a garishly painted ceiling depicts scenes from Krishna's life. No cameras are allowed into the complex, where although the shops and shrines combine to produce a park-like atmosphere

NANDGAON
Location: 8.5 Km North Of Barsana (Uttar Pradesh) Founded By: Nand Rai Temple Attractions: Hindi, Brij Bhasha Nandgaon, identified as the village of Krishna’s foster father, lies 8.5 km north of Barsana on the metalled road to Mathura (56 km). According to local belief, it was the home of Shri Krishna’s foster father, Nand. On the top of the hill is the spacious temple of Nand Rai, which is worth seeing. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Nand Rai Temple: This 18th century temple of Nand, the foster father of Krishna, dominates the smaller hill and the town of Nand Gaon. Roop Singh, a Jat ruler, built this temple. The other temples here are dedicated to Narsingha, Gopinath, Nritya Gopal, Girdhari, Nand Nandan, and Yasodha Nandan, which are located half way up the hill. Pan Sarovar: A little beyond the temple of Nand is the Pan Sarovar, a large lake with masonry ghats along its sides. According to a common belief this was the place where Shri Krishna used to take his cows for water. Near by is the kadamb grove called UdhojiKa-Kyar. Lathmaar Holi: During the festival of Holi, an unusual ritual takes place each year. First the menfolk of Nandgaon invade Barsana to taunt women with lewd songs and are consequently beaten up by the women with long wooden staffs. On the next day, the

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procedure is reversed and the men of Barsana pay courting calls to the women of Nandgaon. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport from Mathura is Kheria (Agra), 62 kms. Rail: Mathura is on the main lines of the central and western railways and is connected with all the major cities and is 56-km from Nandgaon. Road: Mathura is well connected by motorable roads to important tourist centres and has regular buses plying between Mathura and Nandgaon. Local Transport: Taxis, Tongas and Cycle rickshaws. PLACES TO STAY Nandgaon is like a small township, mainly famous for its religious importance and tourists can find some nice and resonable Dharamshalas for accommodation purpose in here. NEARBY CITIES Barsana: 8.5-km Mathura: 56-km

NOIDA
Location: Adjoining East Delhi (Uttar Pradesh) Stands For: New Okhla Industrial Development Authority Main Attractions: Kalindi Kunj, Film City Known As: Gautam Buddh Nagar New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) is one of the fastest growing cities of Uttar Pradesh. With prime focus on commercialization and industrial development, the city has a well-developed infrastructure for boosting up the pace of industrial growth. Noida, one of the most happening cities of India has provided comprehensive facilities for residential, commercial, institutional activities with ample social infrastructure in terms of education, health, socio-cultural and recreational facilities. The city has a Golf Course, social & cultural clubs, health clubs and a stadium. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Kalindi Kunj: Kalindi Kunj is a beautiful spot with fountains, lighting and water rides. You can take a round in river Yamuna in a hovercraft. Gautam Buddh Park: Earlier known as Nandan Kanan Park, it is a large stretch of green trees, flowers, & fountains. Golf Course: Located in sector 38, Noida has one of the best 18-holes golf courses, in an area of approximately 40 hectares only. There are a number of water hazards on the Course. Yamuna River Front Park: Providing ample opportunity for river front development, the Yamuna river front has been developed as a landscaped garden along Yamuna river with fountains, lights, footpaths, play equipment and attractive plantations. The park is an attraction not just for the residents of Noida but also for people of Delhi. Film City: Just a few kilometers away from Delhi lies the famous Film City, which has all the required infrastructure for the making of films. There are quite a few sets and studios, which are very often hired by the famous film and theatre personalities, for the shooting of their films. The city has many educational and professional institutions imparting quality education.

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HOW TO GET THERE Air: Delhi is the nearest airport from Noida. Rail: Delhi is the nearest railway station from Noida, and all the major rail services from the other major towns and cities of India. Road: Noida is well connected with all the major cities of Uttar Pradesh as well as with the parts of Delhi. There are govt as well as private buses that ply regularly between Delhi and Noida. PLACES TO STAY Noida being a major industrial city, neighboring city is coming up with some of the best accommodation options. For a luxurious option, there's no better place to go then Delhi, where budget travelers can also find numerous choices to stay. NEARBY CITIES Delhi: 10-km

PIPRAHWA
Location: Uttar Pradesh Known As: Kapilvastu Famous As: Buddhist Site Nearest Town: Gorakhpur South of Lumbini, but in Uttar Pradesh, identified through recent excavations, with Kapilavastu, the capital of the Sakya clan and the seat of Suddhodana’s capital. This is the place where the Buddha spent his childhood grappling with the overwhelming and puzzling problem of human existence, of suffering, disease, old age, pains and death. It was here that he decided to renounce the sensual pleasures of life, the power of the ruler, the convert and security of family life to take up the mendicant’s bowl in his quest for enlightenment. The ancient city, now in ruins, from where Buddhism started, abounds in several stupas. Stone caskets containing relics believed to be that of Buddha, have been recovered from the main stupa. There is a host of evidence to prove today that Piprahwa is the Kapilvastu of Buddha's times. The geographical conditions of Kapilvastu as described in Buddhist epics are similar to those in Piprahwa. The 'Asthi-patra' found in 1897-98 A.D., clearly matches the engravings in Piprahwa. The 1971 excavations in Piprahwa revealed clinching evidence in terms of relics of the Buddha period. The discovery of an earthen pot which had Kapilvastu engraved on it confirmed Piprahwa's ancient legacy. Some coins of the same period were also excavated. Piprahwa lies between two important Buddhist destinations Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha in Nepal) and Srawasti (where Buddha spent 27 monsoons). HOW TO GET THERE Air: Convenient airports are Gorakpur, Varanasi and Lucknow. Rail: Piprahwa can be reached by road from Naugarh railway station. Road: It is 96 km from Gorakhpur via Naugarh.

SARNATH
Location: Uttar Pradesh Nearest City: Varanasi

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Best Season: October-March Languages: Hindi and English CRADLE OF BUDDHISM: Situated 10 km from Varanasi is the site where Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples, preaching the middle path for attaining 'Nirvana'. Realizing the sanctity of the site, emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century BC built some of the finest monuments and legacies. The 34-metre-high 'Dhamek' stupa stands as a remarkable structure. This contains the remains of Lord Buddha, while the Deer Park in Sarnath is where the Lord delivered his first sermon. The area is now graceful and pleasant, breathing the spirit of the enlightened one, aglow with the devotion of the many followers who inhabited it through the centuries that followed. PRIME ATTRACTIONS 'Choukhandi' Stupa: Raised by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1555 AD, it is believed to be the place where Buddha met his five disciples. The majestic Ashoka pillar records visit of emperor Ashoka to Sarnath. It was originally adorned by a capital of four lions, now housed in the Sarnath museum. The capital became the state emblem of modern India. The Stupas: The great Dhamekh stupa and dharmarajika stupas stand testimony to the great Buddhist activity. The most remarkable structure at Sarnath, is the cylindrical Dhamek stupa, 28 Mts. in diameter at the base and 43.6 Mts. in height, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. Archaeological Museum: On display here, is a magnificent statue of the Buddha turning the wheel of law, and many other excavations that exhibit the flowering of the Indian Plastic arts. Mulgandha Kuti Vihara: The Tibetan Buddhist shrine, Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, built in 1930, enshrines sacred relics from various places and a life-size golden statue of the Buddha. Japanese artist, Kosetsu Nosu, decorates it with brilliant frescoes. There are also a few Chinese and Jain temples A 'Bodhi' tree growing on the campus is believed to be the offspring of one under which Buddha had attained enlightenment. EXCURSIONS Chunar: The northern extreme of the Kaimur hills affords an impressive view of the invincible sandstone battlements of Chunar, which overlook a bend in the Ganges. Vikramaditya of Ujjain is said to be its earliest occupant, way back in 56 BC Chunar sandstone has been used for the past many centuries, most famously in the making of the Ashokan Pillar, which was highly polished for sheen and longevity. Jaunpur: Feroz Shah founded this dusty city 65kms northwest of Varanasi, in 1930. River Gomti, into two sectors bisects Jaunpur. The massive Akbari Bridge is a landmark of the region. Other attractions include Feroz Shah Fort and Atala Mosque. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Varanasi (Babatpur) Airport is the nearest airport. Commercial flights connect Varanasi to Kathmandu, Delhi, Agra and Mumbai. Rail: Varanasi railway station is well connected to important cities. Road: It is located on the National Highway No. 29 that also connects Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

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Local Transport: Taxis, Auto-rickshaws, and Local Buses. NEARBY CITIES Varanasi: 10-km GENERAL INFORMATION Main Festivals: Buddha Purnima (May), Kartik Purnima (Oct-Nov). Area: 2.80 sq. km. Altitude: 80.71 m. Clothing: summer: Cottons. Winter: Woolens.

SRAVASTI
Location: Uttar Pradesh Famous As: Buddhist Site Main Attraction: Saheth-Maheth Excursion: Devi Patan Temple WHERE BUDDHA SPENT 24 MONSOONS: Sravasti is located at a distance of 40kms from Bahraich, on the northeastern Railway. The town located near the Rapti River in northeastern Uttar Pradesh is said to be have been founded by the mythological king, Sravast. Its modern name is Saheth-Maheth. Bifurcated into two parts, namely Saheth and Maheth, Sravasti contains the ruins and relics of Jain and Buddhist temples, forts and stupas. In Buddhist times (6th century BC-6th century AD), Sravasti was the capital of the kingdom of Kosala and was important both as a prosperous trading center and for its religious associations. Shravasti or Sravasti is intimately associated with the life of Buddha. Buddha is believed to have spent 24 monsoons of his life, in the city. Bhagwan Mahavir, during his penance and later as Tirthankar, visited Sravasti many times PRIME ATTRACTIONS Maheth: Identified with the remains of the city, Maheth covers an area of about 400 acres. Excavations have exposed the massive gates of the city, ramparts and also the ruins of other structures, which stand testimony to the prosperity of ancient Sravasti. The Sobhanath Temple is located here. Pakki Kuti and Kacchi Kuti were probably Buddhist shrines, before they were converted into brahmanical temples. Shobhanath Temple: The `Shobhanath' temple is believed to be the birthplace of Jain tirthankar 'Sambhavanath', making Shravasti an important center for the Jains. Saheth: Known primarily as the site of the Jetavana monastery, Saheth covers an area of 32 acres. Lying about a quarter of a mile to the south - west of Maheth, it became an important place of pilgrimage, adorned with numerous shrines, stupas and monasteries. The stupas belong mostly to the Kushana period, while the temples are in the Gupta style. Other places of interest include the Swarnagandha Kuti. EXCURSIONS Devi Patan Temple: 28 Km. One of the most important Shaktipeeth in the entire region, it is revered by Hindu devotees of India and Nepal.

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Balrampur: Lucknow:

HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is at Lucknow (134 km). Rail: Sravasti is 18 km from the nearest railhead, Balrampur. From Lucknow there are train services to Balrampur. Road: Sravasti is accessible through motorable roads from all the neighbouring cities. NEARBY CITIES 18-km 134-km

VARANASI
Location: National Highway No. 2 On Delhi-Calcutta Route (Uttar Pradesh) Also known As: Kashi Main Attraction: The Ghats, Benaras Hindu University Best Season: September-March Varanasi or Banaras is one of the oldest cities of India. This city has found place in the Buddhist scriptures as well the epic of Mahabharata. In Pali language Varanasi was called Banarasi hence it got the name 'Banaras'. Varanasi is also called 'Kashi' or the city of spiritual light. Kashi is the place where Shiva and Parvati stood when the "time started ticking". This ancient city of India is located on holiest river of India--Ganga. This relation is unique and has attracted thousands of pilgrims. One theory also goes that Varanasi is located on the land between the river Varuna and Assi hence the name Varanasi. This town also has its place in history with many events and incidents being related with it. From time immemorial Varanasi has been the center of education, religion, art and culture. For every visitor Varanasi has different experiences to offer. The shimmering red and golden water of the Ganges when rays of dawn falls on them, the high banks, the temples, the Ashrams, the pavilions all are an experience in themselves. Chanting of Mantras, the hymns along with the fragrance of incense in fills the air with mysticism which entrails every person. The refreshing dip in the Ganges with the splashing of water along the Ghats-- in Varanasi discovery and experience takes to the ultimate bliss. Not only for its temples, Ghats and Ganges Banaras has produced many exponents of art, music, literature and crafts. These people were not different from others but it was the tradition of Banaras, which molded them in the way they came out to be. Why only the luminaries, Varanasi has excelled in the art of silk weaving. The Banarasi silk sarees and brocades are cherished as collector's items across the world. As a eternal city with rich and vibrant past, it has no exquisitely carved palaces, no impregnable fort no architectural splendor but still the city has an inherent charm of its own. The Ghats dotted with temples; the maze of alleys along the Ghats, what ever Varanasi has is enough to attract the visitor again and again. The city, which did not die even after being plundered, many times in is a true sense a fascinating area to wander around.

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PRIME ATTRACTIONS The Ghats of Varanasi: In this ancient city of pilgrimage, the bathing Ghats is main attraction. People flock here in large numbers every day to take bath and worship in the temples built beside the riverbank. Centuries old tradition to offer puja to the rising Sun is still maintained. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple / Gyanvapi Mosque: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is popularly known as the golden Temple due the Gold plating done on its 15.5-meter high spire. One tonne of gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been used in the gold plating of the spire. The temple was destroyed in the various invasions and was rebuilt in 1776 by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. St. Mary's Church: Situated in the cantonment area of Benaras (Varanasi) the St. Mary's Church has a low tower, spire and projecting poitico. Instead of windows tile, church has louvered doors to the sides and hooded ventilation slots beneath the cornice. Durga Temple: Built in the 8th century, the Durga temple is one of the most important temples in Varanasi. This temple is built in Nagara Style. The shikhara of the temple is formed by many small spires, which are built one on top of the other. Bharat Mata Temple: This temple is dedicated to Mother India. Just one kilometer from the Varanasi station. The temple is built in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, which was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated this temple in 1936 so that the citizens could respect Mother India in statue form. The statute is built in marble. The statue is a replica of undivided India in three dimension, which has the plains, and oceans in right proportion. Tulsi Manas Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is built in the place where Goswami Tulsidas composed the epic 'Ramacharitramanas' which provides us with detailed description of the history and deeds of Lord Rama. A philanthropist family constructed Tulsi Manas Temple in 1964. Nepali Temple: The King of Nepal had built this temple on Lalita ghat in Nepali style. The Nepali temple is also called the 'Kathwala temple'. The temple has some magnificent woodwork. Tourist from all over the world comes just to see this temple which has no comparison with any other temple in India. The workers who carved this temple out were brought from Nepal. The wood used in the temple is also found in Nepal. The specialty of this wood is that termites do not eat this wood. Ram Nagar Drug: 2 kms from the Kashi Hindu university, across the Ganges is located the ancestral house in the fort which was built by the former rulers of Kashi. In one of the sections of the fort is the museum, which displays the royalty, which was once part of the kingdom. This museum gives an insight into the grandeur, which once prevailed, in the fort. On the Ramnagar Pandav road is a beautiful Durga temple. This temple has very delicate and intricate carving done on stone. These carvings are worth giving a look. Bharat Kala Museum: The Kashi Hindu university has a museum, which has a very rich collection of precious and rare historical artifacts, statues, pictures, paintings and

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manuscripts. This small but very well maintained museum gives an over view of the ancient city of Varanasi. Entry in the museum is free but check out the timings. Nandeshwar Kothi: Nandeshwari Kothi, designed by James Princes is a typical building of the early 19th century in Benaras. Benaras Hindu University: This is the largest and oldest university in north India. Spread over an area of 2,000 acres, this great place of education was established by Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya. Today the campus has faculties of Arts, Science, Music, Sanskrit, Languages, Engineering, Statistics and Medical to name a few of them. The university also has the huge Vishwanath temple, which was built and maintained by the Birla family. The Sunderlal Medical center has all the modern facilities of medical field is also located in the university campus. Jantar Mantar: The ruler of Jaisingh built an observatory in Varanasi in line with those built in Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain and Jaipur observatories. The Varanasi observatory has all the instruments, which were required to record the motion, speed and properties of various stars and planets and other cosmic objects. The observatory was built in 1600 and still the instruments give the exact measurements, which can match any modern instrument. EXCURSIONS Sarnath: About ten kms from Varanasi, is the place where lord Buddha after enlightenment gave his first sermon or as the Buddhist say set the wheel of dharma or law rolling. Today Sarnath is considered as one of the richest place to have antiques since the Ashoka period to the 12th century. Suggested reading on the Buddhist places in Uttar Pradesh. Chunar: Chunargarh of 'Chandrakanta', the classic novel by Babu Devakinandan Khatri is 40 kms from the city of Varanasi. Today the place is known as Chunar. Along one of the meanders of Ganges, where the Kaimur Hills are taking a North face, are built the imposing fort of Chunar. Jaunpur: In 1360 Feroz Shah built this town to guard the eastern side of his Delhi sultanate. Jaunpur is located 65 kms from Varanasi. The river Gomti and the two sides are connected by the massive Akbari Bridge bisects Jaunpur. This bridge was designed by an Afghan and was built in the 16th century. The fifteen stone arches of the bridge have withstood earthquakes and floods. On the southern end of the bridge are the sculptures of a lion tussling with an elephant. This marked the provincial milestone. Other places to visit in Jaunpur are Sheetla Chowkia Dham, Yamdagni Ashram, Atla Mosque and Char Anguli ki Masjid. Kaushambi: The mention of this town can be seen in the Mahabharata. It is said that the Pandav brothers lived here. Buddha visited this place many times and the gave sermons after his enlightenment in 6th and 9th century. Kaushambi developed as a major center for Buddhism. The ruins of an old fort tell the saga of the towns antiquity. Kaushambi is 185 kms from Varanasi. Vindhyachal: There are many Shaktipeeths in India. These are the places where the Goddess of power is said to be residing and people worship her viz- Goddess Durga.

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Vindhyachal is one of such peeths or abode of Shakti. The place is 90 kms from Varanasi. The temples of Vindhyavasini Devi, Asthbhuja and Kalikhoh are a must visit here. Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary: Kaimoor sanctuary, located on the Uttar Pradesh - Bihar border, is spread over an area of 500 sq. kms. Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary: Established in 1997,Chandra Prabha Sanctuary, a small sanctuary sprawling over an area of 78 sq. kms, is located on Naugarh and Vijaigarh hillocks in Vindhya forest range, in Chandauli district. HOW TO GET THERE Varanasi has its own airport, which is 22 Kms from the city. The Babatpur airport connects Varanasi with all the major cities in India and recently there has been a proposal to initiate UP Air, which will connect the city with other places in the state. Varanasi has the Cant railway station as its main station. This is a major railway junction and connects the city with major places in India. The nearby Mughal Sarai railway Junction is one of the major railway junction in the region with almost all the trains from the East, North East and some trains for South and Western region crossing the station. Varanasi is on the national highway number 2 from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus, the place is well connected by roads to all the corners of the nation. Varanasi provides some good market for many items. People come here for the temples in big number and major inflow of visitors is handled by the bus services from Varanasi to other places in state and outside it. PLACES TO STAY Most of the Varanasi City is well equipped with the most exclusive and sophisticated hotel accommodation. There are tourist lodges, mid-range and Dharamshalas also available at reasonable prices. Click here for Hotels in Varanasi FAIRS & FESTIVALS Ganga Festival: A festive experiences like none other awaits you at Ganga Festival at Varanasi. Kartik Purnima: Celebrated in the month of November-December is the sacred day, when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of brightly-lit earthen lamps. Buddha Purnima: This festival is celebrated with pomp and gaiety in Sarnath. This day Lord Buddha was born. A large fair is held in Sarnath and the relics of Buddha are taken out in a procession for public viewing on this day. Buddha Purnima is celebrated during the month of May. Bharat Milap: Around Dussehra a fair is held in Nati Imli which celebrates the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of exile. His reunion with his younger brother Bharat is celebrated as Bharat milap. The king of Kashi in royal flavor attends this festival. The festival is attended by at least a million devotees. Held in the month of October / November. The Ramlila: The Ramlila of Ramagar is famous far and wide. The Ramlila is based on the Ramcharitramanas by Tulsidas. The month ling festival is usually held during October / November and it sees the performance of many ancient rituals. Nakkatyya: This festival again is based on the Ramayana. The episode in the epic where the sister of Ravana tries to influence Lakshmana to marry her but instead Lakshman

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chops off her nose. On hearing this Ravana vows revenge against the brothers. This incidence in the epic is one of the reasons why Ravana abducted Sita. The festival is held in Chetganj with much fan fair. Hanumat Jayanti: This festival is celebrated to mark the birth of the monkey God Hanuman. The five day long festivities are held at the Sankat Mochan temple. During this festival many plays are staged based on the Saraswati, Ram, Krishnalila and Hanuman Charitra. Mahashivratri: Though Mahashivratri is celebrated throughout India, Varanasi has some special charm in the celebration the festival. During the festival a procession is taken out from the Maha-Mritunjaya temple to Kashi Viswanath Temple. The Dhrupad Mela: In the month of March a five day long music festival is organized on the Tulsi Ghats. During the five days renowned artists from all over the country perform Dhrupad here. This festival is one of the major tourist attraction of Varanasi. Panch Koshi Parikrama: The procession has got the name because it passes through five places. These five places are Kardmeshwar, Bhimchandi, Rameshwar, Shivpur and Kapildhara. The parikrama has special importance in the ancient parikramas of India. The procession starts and ends at Manikarnika Ghat.

SHOPPING Varanasi or Banaras, since ages has been famous for the handicraft items. The delicate and intricate work on the sarees, carpets, wooden works are unmatched. The famous Banarasi Silk Sarees and Brocades are every women's dream. The local silk weavers produce the silk, which are in demand not only in India but across the world these silk items are in great demand. The Bhadohi carpets can match the delicacy of weaving in any part of the world. Banaras has been famous for the 'Gharanas' in the Classical Music and singing. These styles of singing and music have been amply supported by the musical instruments, which are manufactured in Varanasi. Apart from the Silk Sarees, Brocades and Carpets Banaras also offers you Brassware, copperware, Ivoryware, stone inlay work, Glass beads and bangles, wood and clay toys, Zari work and exquisite gold jewelry. The main shopping areas of the city are the City chowk, Godoulia, Vishwanath lane, Gyan Vapi, Thatheri Bazaar, Dasashvamedh, Goldhar and Lahurabir. The Emporia and Souvenir shops approved by the UP tourism are good place to look for genuine and good stuff too purchases. CLIMATE Varanasi has a extreme type of climate. Located besides the Ganges Varanasi can be difficult place to visit during the summers. Summers are very hot and temperatures shoot upto 46 degrees and winter can be cold with mercury dipping down to 5 degrees. This place can be a really bad during the rainy seasons and is advisable not to visit Varanasi during monsoons. The best season to visit Varanasi during September to March. NEARBY CITIES Jaunpur: 58 kms. Allahabad: 128 kms. Lucknow: 380 kms. Patna: 249 kms.

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Gorakhpur: Bodhgaya: Kushinagar: Chukar:

230 kms. 234 kms. 275 kms. 45 kms. GENERAL INFORMATION POPULATION: About 14 lakh People reside in this city. MAIN LANGUAGES: Hindi & English A WORD OF CAUTION: To all tourist - beware of touts, if, new to the place. On the Ghats there are many posing as 'Pundits', these people try to extract money from the devotees who come on the banks to perform religious ceremonies. While going around the city it is better to fix the fare in the rickshaw and auto before hand as these small vehicles are without fare meters. The drivers have a tendency to overcharge and take the commuter for a ride so it is advisable that get prior information and the route before hiring any vehicle. In Varanasi there is a trend is that the agents come in between the buyers and sellers of handicraft items. Do not fall in the traps of these agents. In the temple incidents of snatching and pickpocketing have been common. Keep your valuables in the hotel. While visiting the Kashi Viswanath temple / mosque make sure that you are not carrying any arms or ammunitions as the security arrangements in this place is very strict.

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