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India States - Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh also popularly known as UP, is the most populous and fifth largest state in the Union of India. It is the most populous subnational entity in the world.Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the densely populated Gangetic plain. It shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow; high court is based at Allahabad. Other main cities in Uttar Pradesh include NOIDA, Agra, Mathura, Aligarh, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur and Meerut.
Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of both national and international visitors. City of Agra and the holy cities on the banks of the Ganges River that include Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi. A vast number of tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Other important tourist attractions in Agra are the Agra Fort. Also famous is a 16th century capital city built by the Mughal emperor Akbar known as Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Millions of tourists and piligrims visit the cities of Allahabad and Varanasi, as they are considered to be two of the holiest cities in India. Every year thousands gather at Allahabad to take part in the festival on the banks of the Ganges, the Magh Mela. The same festival is organised in a larger scale every 12th year and attracts millions of people and is called the Kumbha Mela. Varanasi is widely considered to be the second oldest city in the world after Jerusalem. About 13 km from Varanasi is the historically important town of Sarnath. Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after his enlightenment and hence is an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. Also at Sarnath are the Ashoka Pillar and the Lion Capital, both important archeological artifacts which have national significance.
The current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is Mulayam Singh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party (Socialist Party). The former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, represents the constituency of Lucknow. Unfortunately, the state has been marred by a lot of caste based politics, which has been hindering a sound economic development of the state. The major political parties in the state are: Samajwadi Party, a Socialist party which is supported by backward classes and Muslims; Bharatiya Janata Party, a conservative Hindu nationalist party which is supported by the forward castes; and the Bahujan Samaj Party, a party which was formed to uplift India's untouchable castes, the dalits. It also banks on other backward castes and Muslims.
Uttar Pradesh is famous for its arts and crafts. Specific regions such as Varanasi for its saris and silk, Mirzapur for its carpets, Agra and Kanpur for their leathercraft, Moradabad for its metalware, Lucknow for its clothwork and embroidery, and the entire state for its pottery are not only famous in India but around the world.