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.
Southwest of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is the abandoned 16th-century capital of Mughal emperor Akbar. Its grounds include the monumental Buland Darwaza gate and marble-screened Tomb of Salim Chishti, a Sufi saint. In southeastern city Varanasi, Hindu pilgrims bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. A highlight among its approximately 2,000 temples is the 18th-century Kashi Vishwanath, crowned with gold-plated spires. Outside Varanasi, pilgrimage town Sarnath is the site of 40m Dhamekh Stupa, said to mark the site of Buddha’s first sermon.