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Uttar Pradesh, the ‘Northern State’ is India’s true heartland. Its parched plains spring to life at the coming of the monsoon, and from its mountains, the Ganga descends to join her sister Yamuna in cutting across the earth. Uttar Pradesh, Which has been called ‘U.P’ for short ever since the British carved it out as the United Provinces, is India’s most populous state, with 204 million residents in all. The eastern half of U.P. is one of India’s most economically depressed areas, while western U.P. has shared in the Prosperity of neighboring Delhi. The cradle of Indian civilization from the time of the Aryan chieftains to the reign of the great Mughal emperors, U.P. gave India the Ramayana, the Hindi Language, and since Independence, most of its prime ministers. It has also been the focus of bitter communal and Inter caste violence. In 1992 there was destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, leading to thousands of deaths in communal riots across India, the state remains a Flashpoint for Hindu Muslim tension. Radical affirmative action Politics for Dalits (former Untouchables) also have a strong base in U.P. Few people visit India without visiting the U.P, yet there is nothing in U.P. to photograph, slap on a postcard and declare representative of the state not its sacred cities of Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Mathura, nor the hill stations and pilgrimage centers in the Himalaya, nor the Taj Mahal in the Mughal capital of Agra, nor the old Muslim city of Lucknow. There is no quintessential U.P. because U.P. is quintessentially India

Map of Uttar Pradesh

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