Three great cities and the best places to visit in Uttar Pradesh lie along the riverine paths of the Ganga and Yamuna: namely, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi.

Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s largest and most populous states, is watered by the country’s greatest rivers – the Yamuna and the Ganges. Three great cities and the best places to visit in Uttar Pradesh lie along these riverine paths: Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal and other magnificent monuments built by the Mughals; Lucknow, the city of the nawabs, famous for its refinement, stately architecture and superb cuisine; and Varanasi, the world’s oldest city and Hinduism’s holiest place of worship.

Of the many Uttar Pradesh tourist places, the star attraction is by far Agra’s Taj Mahal. The most visited sight in India by some distance, it is a wonder to behold and leaving Uttar Pradesh without seeing it would be a bit like drinking chai without spoonfuls of sugar: absurd. In addition to holding the most famous cultural landmark of Indian Islam (the Taj Mahal at Agra), the state also hold the most famous religious landmark of Hinduism (the burning ghats of Varanasi). Varanasi is not only one of the oldest cities in the world, it is the holiest of Hindu cities in India and its riverbank has for centuries born witness to a constant stream of death at its funeral pyres. Many visitors, from the most seasoned Indophile to the first-time traveller, count these shrines (Agra’s Taj Mahal and Varanasi) as the high watermarks of any trip to the subcontinent.

The buildings left by the Mughals, the Nawabs and the British are certainly worth admiring, but it’s the religious fervour that sweeps you off your feet at some Hindu temples, the contemplative aura that emanates from ancient Buddhist stupas and the serenity of waking up before dawn to watch locals perform puja (offerings or prayers) at a holy riverside ghat that create the truly unforgettable moments of a trip to this part of India. Those who linger in this enormous state soon find that it’s the unmistakeable spirituality of Uttar Pradesh, rather than its magnificent architecture, that leaves the longest lasting impression.

See below for the best places to visit in Uttar Pradesh. 


1. Agra

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Located 209 km from Delhi and 236 km from Jaipur, Agra is home to a star attraction: the Taj Mahal.


2. Varanasi

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Most visitors agree Varanasi is a magical place, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Be prepared and you will have an unforgettable experience.


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