Located on the banks of the Ganges, Ahar is a small town in the Bulandshahar known for its ancient temples of Goddess Avantika and Lord Shiva. The temples draw devotees throughout the year, more specifically during the festivals of Shivratri and Navratri.
Ahar is located on the banks of the river Ganga and traces its history to the Mahabharata period. There is a story in the epic which states that Duryodhana poisoned Bhima in order to kill him. He then threw Bhim into the Ganga river from where he floated to Ahar. The Nagvanshi rulers who ruled over Ahar took him out and cured him, after which Bhim returned to Hastinapur. Some coins belonging to the Nagvanshi period have been found here.
Akshayavat, also known as the “indestructible Banyan tree”, is a holy tree located near the Patalpuri temple at the Allahabad fort. According to a famous legend, when a sage asked Lord Narayana to show him divine power, the Lord flooded the world just for an instant and then made the water disappear again.
However, during the floods while everything else drowned, only the top of the ‘Akshayavat” could be seen. The banyan tree is therefore considered to be an immortal tree. The fort is today occupied by the Indian army. However, people can visit the temple and the tree after seeking permission from the army centre there. During the Kumbh Mela though, the site is open to all pilgrims.
The Akshya Vat Vriksh is a tree in Muzaffarnagar that dates back to thousands of years. It is believed that Sage Sukha Dev narrated the Srimad Bhagavat to King Parikshit sitting under this tree. Hence, the tree became an icon of sanctity and worship. Thousands of devotees visit the tree to perform Parikrama and pay tribute to the Hindu gods and goddesses.
The Allahabad High Court was one of the first high courts to be established in India. It has complete jurisdiction over the state of Uttar Pradesh. During the British Rule, this High court was first established in Agra and then later shifted to Allahabad due to reasons of administration.
The present building was made in the 1950s. The court is a massive complex built Indian-British architecture style. The well-kept lawns and fields in front of the High Court date to the British Raj and add to the natural beauty of the vast complex.
The Alfred Park is the largest park in Allahabad. It is the only park that is spread over an area of 133 acres. It was built to mark Prince Alfred’s visit to Allahabad during the British rule. Huge statues of King George - V and Queen Victoria were also installed within the park.
The park has an imposing white marble canopy dedicated to Queen Victoria. The canopy represents typical British style of architecture as it flourished during that period. This neatly laid out park lies peacefully in a corner of the bustling city and is a site worth visiting.
This colonial era landmark attracts a fair share of visitors and especially those who desire some moments of peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park was later renamed Chander Shekhar Azad Park after a great Indian freedom fighter.
The All Saints Cathedral, a famous church located at the crossing of two primary roads in Allahabad, is an exquisite gothic style building built by the British in the 19th century. A famous British architect – William Emerson who also designed the famous Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.
This elaborate structure can accommodate around 400 people at a time. The wide stairways and gothic style Victorian carvings reflect a style of architecture that flourished during the late medieval period. The church celebrates its anniversary on All Saints Day (1st Nov) of every year. Special prayers and festivities are arranged for the event. The cathedral is also known as ‘Patthar girja’ or the stone church.
Ahmath Pull or Ahmath Bridge is located over the river Kuwano in the outer area of the city of Basti. It was built by the British government and connects Basti with major cities of the state such as Ayodhya, Faizabad and Lucknow.
The bridge derives its name from a math or a monastery which is located on the bank of the river Kuwano as one climbs down the bridge. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva close to it. The area is a kind of haven of peace from the noisy traffic and hassles of the crowded city.
Scores of people turn up to soothe their nerves in its peaceful surroundings in the vicinity of two spiritual places on the bank of a river. It presents a good sight in the mornings and evenings with people taking walks, visiting the temple or the math and performing a variety of physical exercises and yog asanas.
Aligarh Fort is considered to be one of India’s strongest forts in the region. It was built in the 16th century by the son of the presiding governor in the court of Ibrahim Lodhi. Located on GT Road, the fort is shaped like a regular polygon and is surrounded on all sides by a very broad ditch. Over the years, the fort was rebuilt several times to further expand and strengthen its boundaries.
In the 18th century, under the rule of Madhavrao Scindia I, it served as a prominent training centre for soldiers who were taught European war techniques. It was also the site for the 1857 revolt against the British rule. However, the troops abstained from murdering their officers.
The fort boasts of a mix of Indian and French style architecture. It is now under the control of the Aligarh Muslim University, more specifically, the Botany Department. The inner courtyard has a botanical garden and a variety of other plantations.
Agra Fort, also sometimes called the Red Fort, is the forerunner of the iconic and emblematic Red Fort of Delhi in respect of architectural style, design and the red colour. Both the buildings are made of red sandstone. This explains why it reminds the tourists of Red Fort of Delhi as soon as they draw closer to it.
It is another World Heritage Site; second in Agra, the first one being the Taj Mahal. Agra Fort was built by Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565. Interestingly enough, there is a tablet at the gate of the Fort which mentions that the fort was originally built even before 1000 AD and it was only renovated by Emperor Akbar.
It was further improved by Shah Jahan who reworked it with marble and pietra dura inlay. The fort is built in the shape of crescent and is located in front of the river Yamuna. It features ramparts interspersed with projections or bastions.
Ajrara is a historical village in the district of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. It is situated on the bank of Kali Nadi, a rivulet, which runs through this area. The village lies approximately 7.5 km from Kharkhoda, its Tehsil Headquarter. It derived its name from a yogi - an ascetic called Ajaipal who raised a temple in the village and named it Ajaipara.
But the village has become a tourist attraction for a different reason. It is a home to famous tabla players who evolved a gharana - a style or a tradition in playing tabla. The style has come to be known after the name of the village and is, therefore, called the Ajrara Gharana.
The Ajrara Gharana style of tabla playing was developed by two brothers, Miroo Khan and Kallo Khan. They learnt the art under the tutelage of Ustad Sitab Khan of the Delhi Gharana. The duo perfected the art of tabla playing to the extent that the Ajrara Gharana has become one of the six major tabla-playing schools/styles in the country.
Agori Fort is situated on Renukut road approximately at a distance of 35 km from Robertsganj and 10 km from Chopan, in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the main historical monuments and tourist attractions of the region.
Formerly owned by the rulers of Kharwar, the fort was later on taken over by the rulers of Chandela dynasty. It is also called a tribal fort since it was ruled by a tribal king who was its last ruler.
The monument is circumscribed by three rivers named Vijul, Regu and Son rivers. The fort itself is built on the bank of river Son. It is surrounded on all sides by trenches to secure it against attacks.
Tourists can reach the fort by a ferry across the river Rihand. The brave hearts can trek through the valley located by the side of Son river to enjoy its sight.
Devotees of Shiva are spread over several faiths, orders, sects or akharas. Members of the akharas are generally known as babas. These akharas are generally found in Northern India. There are four such akharas in Bareilly. One of these is called Naga Sanyasis of the Anand order. This akhara serves as the headquarters of the Naga sadhus.
They have built a temple devoted to God Shiva, also called Alakhnath, in its premises. The name of the temple is Alakhnath Temple. Besides the main temple, there are several other temples as well in the premises. These are dedicated to other gods, goddesses and deities. There are several buildings around the temple where the sanyasis or the babas live.
Alakhnath temple attracts huge numbers of devotees on a daily basis. If you visit the temple you may find goats and cows lodged in a part of the compound. There is also a camel. The sadhus or the babas accept offerings from the devotees and smear holy ash on their forehead as a mark of blessings.
Formerly called the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental college (MAO college), the Aligarh Muslim University was considered to be a major centre for learning and research in the 18th and 19th century. This prestigious university which was founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan houses the largest library in the country and offers over 300 educational courses to international and national students.
The university was initially founded to train Muslims and offer them a better future. Over the years, the focus shifted to offering high quality English education to every student disregard of caste, colour, nationality or creed. The university is considered to be one of the best research institutes in India and is also ranked well within Asia.
1857 Memorial Museum was set up to highlight the struggle of the people of India and also the role played by the people of Lucknow during the momentous period of the history of India’s first war of Independence. It is well known that Lucknow was the epicentre of important events in the uprising against the British rule.
The museum is located in the annex of the Residency Building, and the exhibits offer a lucid account of the freedom movement. They include the artifacts discovered from the excavation of the Residency, a loaded revolver, porcelain items, wine bottles, documents, photographs, paintings, shields, lithographs, weapons, cannon balls, arms and ammunition, guns, muskets, cannons, badges and a host of similar other important items of memorabilia.
The exhibits are arranged in a way to give a systematic and chronological account of the events of the freedom struggle. There are several maps that show the strategic locations in Lucknow including the map and model of the Residency. The museum is spread over the ground floor and the basement area of the building. There are four galleries on the ground floor and seven in the basement.
The Allahabad Fort was the largest fort built by Akbar. Built in 1583, it was considered to be one of the best forts of its time. The fort stands at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganga rivers in Allahabad. It is well known for its unique design, construction and craftsmanship.
The fort is now occupied by the Indian army. While entry to most parts of the fort is restricted, some parts are, however, open to civilians. It is said that the fort is the location of the Akshayavat or immortal tree.
However, the tree is in the restricted part of the fort and is not accessible to visitors as such but can be visited after special permission from the officials. The fort also houses the gigantic 10.6 m high, polished sandstone Ashoka Pillar, which is believed to have been constructed in 232 BC. The pillar is of great importance to the historians and archaeologists.