The tales of Rama in Ayodhya, the holy Ganges in Varansi, the Buddhist sites in Sarnath, and the home of Lord Krishna, Mathura… Uttar Pradesh captivates travellers with its spirituality. From Hindus to Buddhists and Jains, it is a sacred destination for the devouts and the believers. It is not surprising at all that it was voted the Best Spiritual Destination in India, along with Uttarakhand, by the readers of Travel+Leisure India and South Asia.
Every year, the readers of the magazine choose their favourite destinations, hotels, airlines, and attractions. After a five-month digital voting process, the awards ceremony at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel New Delhi revealed the winners. Uttar Pradesh shared the award with Uttarakhand, a destination that is known for its ashrams and temples all over the world.
The tourism ministry has announced theme-based circuits under its Swadesh Darshan (Glimpse of India) scheme and the Krishna and Ramayana (the religious text with Rama as central character) circuits were given a go-ahead for development. In the five states proposed for Krishna circuit, five destinations come from UP where Krishna grew up: Mathura-Vrindavan, Barsana, Gokul, Nandgaon and Govardhan. Apart from the Hindu circuits, the state is also a part of the Buddhist circuit through Sarnath, located on the outskirts of Varanasi, where the enlightened Budhdha first taught Dharma to his five former companions.