January is the month when the sun slowly starts bestowing its blessings in the form of sunshine in most regions in Uttar Pradesh. You can find most of the natural bounties in the area, to be invigorated with verdant greenery but, the showers would not spoil your vacation as they are usually mild and short. Here are the ten best places to visit in Uttar Pradesh in January.
Affectionately termed as the City of Nawabs, Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the major cultural hubs of the country and one of the best places to visit in January. Its rich heritage, made magnificent by the beauty of Islamic architecture attracts tourists from across the world. The city rose to prominence under the rulers of the Awadhi Nawabs, who were well-known patrons of food, dance, and music.
The birthplace of Lord Rama, Ayodhya is also one of the seven sacred places for Hindus. With temples on almost every corner, Ayodhya is a spiritual seeker's paradise. Ramkot is the main hub of worship in the town that attracts devotees from across the world. Other significant temples worthy of a visit include Nageshwarnath temple, Hanuman Garhi, Treta Ke Thakur, Kanak Bhawan and Ram Janmabhoomi temple.
Sarnath is one of the most important Buddhist sites in India, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. During the 3rd century BC, the town was expanded by Emperor Ashoka, and several monasteries and stupas were built, which made it a popular place among Buddhist devotees.
Agra commonly referred to as 'Taj City', is the country's most prized city, recognisable by the iconic Taj Mahal - an ivory-white mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz. This UNESCO World Heritage Site (and a symbol of love, too) is reason enough to visit Agra. Besides the allure of this spectacular white mausoleum, the city is home to two more UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the 16th-century Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, which are just as noteworthy.
Mathura is the birthplace of the Hindu God, Krishna, and also among the seven sacred cities of Hinduism. The town is filled with temples dating back centuries. Of particular note are Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi, Dwarkadhish temple and Gita Mandir. Also, the sacred Yamuna River flows past this town and is dotted with 25+ ghats, of which the Vishram ghat is considered to be the most sacred.
The moniker 'the Sangam City' is befitting to Allahabad as it is the meeting point of Yamuna, Ganges and Saraswati rivers in India. Known for its Kumbh Mela and historical landmarks, Allahabad is the second-oldest living city in the country dating back to the Vedic period. The city is rife with Mughal architecture and British-era buildings and structures, which makes it a must-visit for those with a penchant for architecture and history.
Nestled on the banks of the Ganges river, Kanpur is a beautiful city in its own right, brimming with religious and historical sites. Kanpur Gardens, Allen Forest Zoo, Shri Radhakrishna Temple, Kanpur Memorial Church, Kamla Retreat, Moti Jheel (reservoir), JK temple and Jajmau (one of the largest tanneries in India) are some of the must-visit spots.
If you're a temple lover, then Vrindavan is a must-visit. Located just 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) from Mathura, it is another sacred retreat dedicated to Lord Krishna and his lover, Radha. It is the place where Krishna spent his childhood years. This heritage town has about 5,000 temples with intricate architecture and carvings that showcase the divine love of Krishna and Radha.
Varanasi, a holy city in Uttar Pradesh that oozes magic and mesmerizing beauty, is amongst the most sacred cities in India and arguably one of the best places to visit in January. With a massive number of temples, shrines, and ghats, for anyone who seeks the grace of the almighty, Varanasi, should be on your travel itinerary. Varanasi is truly an alluring site that fascinates travellers with its holiness and tranquillity.
Jhansi is synonymous with bravery and valour of the 18th-century queen, Rani Lakshmibai, also known as Jhansi ki Rani. It has temples, forts and churches reminiscent of a bygone era, and a stroll among these is an evocative affair which will leave you enthralled. The Jhansi Fort, Rani Mahal and the Government Museum are particularly noteworthy.