Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. Its city of Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal monument, a colossal, domed, white-marble mausoleum honouring the wife of 17th-century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Nearby are the red-brick walls of Agra Fort, a fortified palace dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. Capital Lucknow has Muslim memorial shrines Bara Imambara and calligraphy-adorned Chota Imambara.
The epics of Hinduism, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were written in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh also had the glory of being home to Lord Buddha. It has now been established that Gautama Buddha spent most of his life in eastern Uttar Pradesh, wandering from place to place preaching his sermons. The empire of Chandra Gupta Maurya extended nearly over the whole of Uttar Pradesh. Edicts of this period have been found at Allahabad and Varanasi. After the fall of the Mauryas, the present state of Uttar Pradesh was divided into four parts: Surseva, North Panchal, Kosal, and Kaushambi.
The western part of Uttar Pradesh saw the advent of the Shaks in the second century BC. Not much is known of the history of the state during the times of Kanishka and his successors. The Gupta Empire ruled over nearly the whole of Uttar Pradesh, and it was during this time that culture and architecture reached its peak. The decline of the Guptas coincided with the attacks of Huns from Central Asia who succeeded establishing their influence right up to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
The seventh century witnessed the taking over of Kannauj by Harshavardhana. In 1526, Babur laid the foundation of the Mughal dynasty. He defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the battle of Panipat. Babar carried out extensive campaign in various parts of Uttar Pradesh. He defeated the Rajputs near Fatehpur Sikri while his son Humayun conquered Jaunpur and Ghazipur, after having brought the whole of Awadh under his control. After Babur's death (1530), his son Humayun forfeited the empire after being defeated at the hands of Sher Shah Suri at Kannauj.
After the death of Sher Shah Suri in 1545, Humayun once again regained his empire but died soon after. His son Akbar proved to be the greatest of Mughals. His established a unified empire over nearly the whole of the India. During his period, Agra became the capital of India and became heartland of culture and arts. Akbar constructed huge forts in Agra and Allahabad. The period of Jahangir (after 1605) saw arts and culture reach a new high. In 1627, after the death of Jahangir, his son Shahjahan ascended the throne. The period of Shahjahan is known as the golden period of India in art, culture, and architecture. It was during his reign that the classical wonder Taj Mahal was built in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The régime of Aurangzeb saw the peak of Mughal Empire in terms of geographic expansion.
Modern-day Uttar Pradesh saw the rise of important freedom fighters on the national scenario. Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Smt. Indira Gandhi, and Charan Singh were only a few of the important names who played a significant role in India's freedom movement and also rose to become the prime ministers of this great nation.
The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal
Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty till 1638, when Mughal capital was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi.
The Yamuna, sometimes called Jamuna is the longest and the second largest tributary river of the Ganges in northern India.