Situated in the northern part of India, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India. It is bounded by the state of Uttaranchal in the north-west, the state of Haryana and the union territory of Delhi in the west, the state of Rajasthan in the south-west, the state of Madhya Pradesh in the south, the state of Bihar in the east, and Nepal and Tibet on the northern side. The capital is Lucknow.
In the Vedic period Uttar Pradesh was the part of the ancient country, Madhyadesha. During the period from 16th to 18th century it was under the control of the Mughal emperors. By the 19th century the British came to power and it became the main scene of the Mutiny of 1857 against the British.
Uttar Pradesh has tropical monsoon climate. In the plains, January temperatures range from 12.5° - 17.5° C, and 43° - 45° C in May and June. There are three distinct seasons - the cold season from October to February, summer from March to June, and the rainy season from July to September. Rainfall varies from 1,000 - 2,000 mm in the east to 600 - 1,000 mm in the west. The chief rivers are Ganges, Yamuna,
Ramganga, Gomati, and Ghaghra.
Spread over an area of 238,566 sq km, the population is about 170 million. The literacy rate of the state is 42%. The official language is Hindi. About 72 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture. It is one of the largest producers of food grains, sugarcane, and potatoes in India. There are several industries including sugar, cement, vanaspati, and cotton cloth and cotton yarn. Limestone, silica-sand, magnesite, pyrophyllite, dolomite, and diaspore are the mineral deposits found in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of fairs and festivals in India. One of the four classical dances of India, Kathak belongs to Uttar Pradesh. Other dance forms are Ramlila, Raslila,
Nautanki, and the folk dances of Kumaon hills. The main festivals are Vasant Panchami,
Shivratri, Buddha Poornima, Eid ul-Fitr, and Muharram. The hand-knitted woollen carpets of
Mirzapur, 'chikan' work of Lucknow, terracota of
Gorakhpur, wood carving of
Saharanpur, brassware of
Moradabad, glassware work of
Firozabad, and handprinting of
Farrukhabad stand testimony to the craftsmanship of the native artisans.
Uttar Pradesh is a treasure house of natural resources and historical monuments. There are a number of mountain peaks, captivating valleys, rich flora and fauna, fascinating rivers, ancient temples and
viharas, and health resorts.
Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, and Sarnath are fascinating monuments and major tourist attractions. Other important tourist attractions are
Dudhwa National Park, Kapilavastu,
Chitrakut, Sankisa, and Jaunpur.
Uttar Pradesh has a network of 2,613 km of National Highways and 8,901 km of railroad.