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Uttar Pradesh--Noida/Agra/Jhansi/Merrut/Varanasi/Kanpur/Lucknow

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Uttar Pradesh (Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश, Urdu: اتر پردیش, pronounced [ʊt̪ːər prəd̪eːʃ] (help·info), translation: Northern Province), [often referred to as U.P.], located in central-south Asia and northern India, is the most populous and fifth largest state in the Republic of India. With a population exceeding that of France, Germany, and the Netherlands combined, it is the most populous sub-national division in the world. U.P. is also possibly the state with the largest number of million-plus cities (at least eight).

Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic plain. It shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The administrative and legislative capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow, and the financial and industrial capital is Kanpur. The state is also home to the tourism capital of India, Agra. The state's high court is based at Allahabad. Other notable cities in Uttar Pradesh include Aligarh, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Faizabad, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Mathura, Meerut, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, NOIDA (New Okhla Industrial Development Authority), Saharanpur and Varanasi (Banaras).

Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the most populous state in India, even after losing Uttarkhand, with an estimated population of 186.7 million [1] as of 2007 and a land area of 238,566 km². One-sixth of the world’s population lives in India and one-sixth of India’s population lives in UP. Only five countries of the world, China, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil and India itself have populations larger than that of UP, and UP and Uttarkhand have more than Brazil. The population density of the state at 783 persons per km². is the fourth highest among major states in the country. The Indo-Gangetic plain spans most of the state, has been the seat of ancient Hindu culture, religion and learning and has always played a prominent role in Indian political and cultural movements. Hindus as religious group form about 81% of state population[2]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the population of UP was only 49 million and increased very slowly until 1951 (0.52 percent per annum) to reach 63 million. This was the period marked by high birth and death rates. The population increased rapidly in the next five decades due to a faster decline in the death rate compared to the birth rate. The population of the state increased from 63 million in 1951 to about 170 million in 2000, an addition of 117 million in the last five decades compared to an addition of only 15 million in the previous five decades. The population of the state is increasing at 2.19 percent per year (SRS, 1998). This implies that the state at present is adding a population of 3.8 million every year and more than 11 million every three years.
History of Uttar Pradesh

\ Ancient
United Provinces, 1909
United Provinces, 1909

Control over this region was often vital to the power and stability of all of India's major empires, including the Mauryan (320-200 BC), Kushan (100-250 AD) Gupta (350-600 AD) empires. After the Guptas, the region was the heart of Harshavardhana's empire, from Punjab to Bengal, with its capital at Kannauj. Many modern communities in different parts of India—Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Bengal—often trace their lineage to Kannauj.
Medieval

Beyond 1000 AD, Uttar Pradesh became part of several Muslim Sultanates who ruled from Delhi. In Mughal times, U.P. became the heart land of what was called 'Hindustan' (a name referring to India), even today UP-ites often refer to themselves as 'Hindustani'(Bhartiya/ Indian) rather than Uttar Pradeshi.

Agra and Fatehpur Sikri were important as the capital city of Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor of India. After the decline of the Moghuls, a number of kingdoms arose: Oudh of the Nawabs, Rohilkhand by Afghans, Bundelkhand by the Marathas and Benaras by its own king, while Kumaon-Garhwal were independent kingdoms in their own right (these two regions formed the new state of uttarakhand). The city of Lucknow was established by the Muslim Nawabs of Oudh in the 17th century.

Starting from the latter half of the 18th century, a series of battles finally gave British accession to the last Mughal territory -- the Doab, as also Bundelkhand, Kumaon and Banaras divisions. Delhi, Ajmer and Jaipur were also included in this territory. They called it the North western provinces (of Agra). Its capital shifted twice between Agra and Allahabad. The area may seem big compared to today's mini states the size of earlier divisions, but at the time it was one of the smallest British province.

After the failed freedom war of 1857, when things settled, the British made a major revamp and truncated the Delhi region and gave it to Punjab, and the Ajmer-Merwar region to Rajputana

Modern

At the same time it included Oudh into the state. The new state was called the North Western Provinces of Agra and Oudh, which in 1902 was renamed as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. It was commonly referred to as the United Provinces or its acronym UP. In 1920, the capital of the province was shifted from Allahabad to Lucknow.

The high court continued to be at Allahabad, but a bench was established at Lucknow. Allahabad continues to be an administrative base of today's Uttar Pradesh and has several administrative headquarters.

Uttar Pradesh continued to be central to Indian culture and politics and was especially important in modern Indian history as a hotbed of both the Indian Independence Movement and the Pakistan Movement. The First Freedom fighter Mangal Pandey was from Uttar Pradesh. The sense of 'Bhartiyata' came from every people.

The city of Allahabad was home to prominent nationalists such as Motilal Nehru, Purushottam Das Tandon, Madan Mohan Malaviya. Allahabad was also home to a record four Prime Ministers of India: Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Rajiv Gandhi.

The city of Varanasi (Beranas] has been epi-centre of ancient scholaristic traditions. It is revered as one of the most sacred cities of the world by Hindus, Buddhist and Sufis. Varanasi particularly its Banaras Hindu University and Ghats symbolises the "Rebirth of Hindu Social and Scholaristic Traditions" (80% of Indians are Hindus).

U.P. is also known as 'punya bhoomi' in Hindu scriptures. The state was the main arena of the freedom movement of India. Regional leaders of the freedom movement inspired this struggle under Gandhian principles.

Baba Raghavdas was aka 'Poorvanchal Gandhi' he inspired the freedom movement in all of eastern UP. He is so reverred (sicsic) that there are still temples where they pray to him as saakar brahma in eastern UP. Gorakhpur Medical College is named after him.

Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region is the home of two great Indian freedom fighters and the father of the freedom movement in the whole of bundelkhand, Dewan Shatrughan Singh [aka 'Bundelkhand Gandhi & Bundelkhand Gandhi'] & his wife Rani Rajendra Kumari. These were the two fountain heads of the freedom movement in all of Bundelkhand. They also were the main patrons of revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad who frequented their Castle in their native village of Maungrauth. The Rani defeated the sitting UP Chief Minister C.B. Gupta as an independent candidate. They were also the main inspiration behind the Bhoodaan movement in Bundelkhand and Maungraut changed the history of the movement by becoming the first complete Gramdaan.

Numerous scholars have done PhDs on the life of these 2 great Indian patriots. There is an annual mela on the birthday of these two stalwarts held annually in Maungrauth in December and is attended by over 40,000 people.

Despite being from one of the most affluent families in Central India this couple sacrificed everything for the nation and donated their lands to the poor. They were in British jails for the freedom struggle for over 9 years each. They are now the subject of folk tales and songs highlighting their bravery and hailing them as symbols of Bundelkhandi valor.

Gobind Vallabh Pant was the inspiration of the freedom movement in the hill areas of U.P.. He was also a close personal friend of Nehru and was also well educated.

These "Regional Gandhis" made the freedom movement a success in such huge areas of this state. A state which is half the population of United States.

After independence, the state was renamed Uttar Pradesh ("northern province") by its first chief minister, Govind Ballabh Pant.Pant, who was well known to Jawaharlal Nehru, was popular in the local party and left his mark in Lucknow before December 27, 1954, when Nehru called him to Delhi to make him Home Minister. He was succeeded by Dr. Sampoornanand, a university professor and classicist. A Sanskrit scholar, he was in office till 1957 before becoming governor of Rajasthan.

Sucheta Kripalani was sworn in in October 1963, and became India's first woman chief minister, until a two-month long strike by state employees in March 1967 caused her to step down. The confusion and chaos ended only with the defection of Charan Singh from the Congress with a small set of legislators. He set up a party called the Jana Congress which formed the first non-Congress government in U.P. and ruled for over a year.

Fellow socialist Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna of the Bharatiya Lok Dal was Chief Minister for part of the 1970s, and was dismissed, along with several other non-Congress chief ministers, shortly after the imposition of the Emergency, when Narain Dutt Tewari - later chief minister of Uttarakhand - became chief minister. The Congress Party lost heavily in 1977 following the lifting of the Emergency, but roared back to power in 1980, when Mrs. Gandhi handpicked the man who would become her son's principal opposition, V.P. Singh, to become Chief Minister.

In 2000 the Himalyan portion of the state — the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions — were formed into a new state called Uttarakhand (meaning the northern part of the state).

Geography
Physical geography of Uttar Pradesh.
Physical geography of Uttar Pradesh.

Main article: Geography of Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh can be divided into two distinct hypsographical regions:

1. The Gangetic Plain in the centre — highly fertile alluvial soils; flat topography broken by numerous ponds, lakes and rivers; slope 2 m/km
2. The Vindhya Hills and plateau in the south — hard rock Strata; varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateau; limited water availability.

The climate is generally tropical monsoon, but variations exist due to difference in altitudes.

[edit] Constituent regions

Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the most populous state in India, with an estimated population of about 170 million as of March 2000 and a land area of 294,411 km². One-sixth of the world's population lives in India and one-sixth of India's population lives in UP. Only three other countries of the world, China, the United States, and Indonesia have populations larger than that of UP.

The state comprises the Doab region (including the upper Doab and the lower doab with the Brij bhumi in its centre), which runs along its western border from north to south, the Rohilkhand in the north, Awadh (Oudh) (the historic country of Koshal) in the centre, the northern parts of Bagelkhand and Bundelkhand in the south, and the south-western part of the Bhojpur country, commonly called Purvanchal ("Eastern Province"), in the east.

[edit] Administrative divisions and districts

Main article: Districts of Uttar Pradesh

Past boundaries

The past boundaries of the state came into existence with the reorganization of the states on a linguistic basis in 1956. For administrative purposes, the state was divided into 83 districts, 294 tehsils, and 907 community blocks. There were 112,803 inhabited villages, 710 statutory towns, and 43 census towns. Nearly 19 percent of inhabited villages in India are in UP. As per the 1991 census, about 40 percent of the villages in UP had a population of less than 500 and another 26 percent of the villages had population in the range of 500-999. While the average population per village in UP was only 989, it was 1,829 in Andhra Pradesh and 2,325 in Tamil Nadu. Having a large number of small villages scattered all over the state is a major obstacle to the development of infrastructure facilities and delivery of all types of services related to development sectors.

[edit] Present boundaries (2007)

Uttar Pradesh state consists of seventy districts, which are grouped into seventeen divisions: Agra, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Bijnor, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Devipatan, Faizabad, Bahraich, Bareilly, Basti, Mirzapur, Moradabad,Mathura, Meerut, Lucknow, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Farrukhabad, Vrindavan, and Saharanpur. It has 403 constituencies. The largest district in terms of area is Lakhimpur Kheri. The largest district in terms of population is Allahabad followed by Kanpur Nagar (Census 2001).

With 175 million inhabitants, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India and is also the most populous country subdivision in the world. Only five countries (the People's Republic of China, India itself, the United States, Indonesia and Brazil) have a higher population (see List of countries by population). According to Indian Census 2001, 81% of the population follows Hinduism while second largest religious group is Muslim at about 18%.[3] [4]. Sikh populations are mainly concentrated in and around Lakhimpur Kheri.
Major cities

Agra • Aligarh • Allahabad • Ghaziabad • Gorakhpur • Jhansi •Kanpur • Lucknow • Mathura • Meerut • Noida • Varanasi • Saharanpur

[edit] Other towns

Bahraich • Ballia • Banda • Barabanki • Bareilly • Bijnor • Bulandshahr • Etawah • Faizabad • Firozabad • Ghazipur • Gonda • Kannauj • Mathura • Mainpuri • Mirzapur • Moradabad • Noida • Raebareli • Rampur • Azamgarh• Sultanpur • Greater Noida • Muzaffarnagar• Khurja • Hameerpur,orai

Languages

The state languages of Uttar Pradesh are standard Hindi and Urdu. While standard Hindi (Khari boli) is the official language, several regional Hindi 'dialects' are spoken throughout the state. Among these are, Awadhi, Bagheli, Bhojpuri, Braj, Bundeli. Bhojpuri is the second most-spoken language in the state, according to the language data in the 1991 Census of India. Urdu is prominent in Uttar Pradesh as Lucknow was once the center of Persianate culture in north India. The language of Lucknow ("Lakhnavi Urdu") is a form of high literary Urdu.

Politics

See also: Category:Indian political parties-Uttar Pradesh

In the Uttar Pradesh Elections, 2007, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party achieved unexpected majority status leading to her emergence as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time since 1991 by the Bharatiya Janata Party that a single party has gained absolute majority, the last two decades having been dominated by various coalitions among the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Bahujan Samaj Party. One characteristic of the BSP win in 2007 was the amalgamation of Brahmin votes into the Dalit dominated party,[5] as opposed to the decades-old trend of exploiting deep-rooted caste divisions in the state between Dalits, Upper Castes, Muslims and different OBC groups, which tend to vote in blocks. No party had received a majority in the state's Assembly since 1991.

Mayawati, having 206 seats, took the oath of secrecy for the post of UP's next CM on 13 May 2007. Former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's party SP stood second in State with 97 seats. She became Chief Minister for fourth time. Along with her 19 cabinet rank ministers, 21 State Ministers Independent Charge were also sworn in by T.V. Rajeshwar the Governor. Some of the prominent names are: Nasimuddin Siddique, Awadhpal Singh, Ratanlal Ahirwar, Badshah Singh, Sudhir Goyal, Babu Singh Kushwaha.

Politics in Uttar Pradesh has been transformed in recent times by the extensive infiltration of , and the Election Commission of India was perceived as having effectively managed extremely strict security to prevent booth-capturing and other abuse.

Eight of India's fourteen Prime Minister's hail from Uttar Pradesh. They are: Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Choudhary Charan Singh, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Chandra Shekhar and Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The heirs-apparent to the Nehru-Gandhi family have adopted U.P. as their home state. Congress President Sonia Gandhi represents Rae Bareli, and her son Rahul Gandhi Amethi, Sultanpur. Indira Gandhi's estranged daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi is a BJP Parliamentarian from Pilibhit, while her son Varun Gandhi is expected to make his debut soon. Other prominent politicians include SP leader & ex-Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP leader and three-time Chief Minister Mayawati, BJP President and ex-Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, former BJP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, and ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Narayan Dutt Tiwari.

The state has a large number of village councils known as Panchayats just like the other states of India. One of the most developed Panchayats is Shahabad in Maharajganj District of Uttar Pradesh.

Education

The State of U.P. has made investments over the years in all sectors of education and has achieved some success.

The female literacy situation in Uttar Pradesh is dismal. Only one out of four in the 7+ age group was able to read and write in 1991. This figure goes down to 19% for rural areas, 11% for the scheduled castes, 8% for scheduled castes in rural areas, and 8% for the entire rural population in the most educationally backward districts. Possibly Bihar is the only state in India which fares worse than U.P. in education.

In terms of more demanding educational attainment (the completion of primary or secondary education), in 1992-1993 only 50% of literate males and 40% of literate females could complete the cycle of eight years of schooling involved in the primary and middle stages. One other notable feature of the Uttar Pradesh education system is the persistence of high levels of illiteracy in the younger age group. Within that age group, illiteracy was endemic in the rural areas. In the late 1980s, the incidence of illiteracy in the 10-14 age group was as high as 32% for rural males and 61% for rural females, and more than two-thirds of all rural girls in the 12-14 age group never went to school.

The problems of education system are exacting. Due to public apathy the schools are in disarray. While privately run schools (including those run by Christian missionaries) are functional, they are beyond the reach of ordinary people. The State government has taken steps to make the population totally literate. There are special programmes like the World Bank aided DPEP. Steps are being taken with the help of NGOs and other organizations to raise participation.

As a result, some progress in adult education has been made and the census of 2001 indicates a male literacy rate of 70.23% and a female literacy rate of 42.98%.

At the level of higher education and technical education Uttar Pradesh has several universities and other institutions, among which are Bundelkhand University,Lucknow University, Allahabad University, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Aligarh Muslim University, Kanpur University, Agra University, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Uttar Pradesh Technical University, the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Banaras Hindu University, Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad, National Institute of Technology Allahabad, and the world famous Asian Academy Of Film & Television and several other polytechnics, engineering institutes and industrial training centres.

The literacy rate in UP increased from 28 percent in 1981 to 42 percent in 1991. The differential between female and male literacy is very high. Male literacy in 1991 was 56 percent and female literacy, 25 percent. As per the latest survey estimates, the male literacy in 1999 was 73 percent and female literacy, 43 percent (NFHS II). The increase in overall literacy rate is due to persistent efforts made by the state government to enroll and retain children in schools and to effectively implement the adult education programmes. The adult literacy rate (percent literate among those aged 15 and above) in the state has increased from 38 percent in 1991 to 49 percent in 1998, an increase of 11 percentage points in the seven-year period.

[edit] Economy

Main article: Economy of Uttar Pradesh

Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Uttar Pradesh at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.
Year Gross State Domestic Product
1980 155,540[1]
1985 277,480[2]
1990 555,060[3]
1995 1,062,490
2000 1,730,680

^ includes Uttarakhand

The major economic activity in the state is agriculture, and in 1991, 73 percent of the population in the state was engaged in agriculture and 46 percent of the state income was accounted for by agriculture. UP has retained its pre-eminent position in the country as a food-surplus state. The production of foodgrains has increased from 14.5 million metric tons in 1960-61 to 42.5 million tons in 1995-96 showing an average annual growth rate of 3.1 percent, which is much higher than the population growth rate. UP has witnessed rapid industrialization in the recent past, particularly after the launch of policies of economic liberalization in the country. As of March 1996, there were 1,661 medium and large industrial undertakings and 296,338 small industrial units employing 1.83 million persons. The per capita state domestic product was estimated at Rs 7,263 in 1997-98, and there has been some decline in poverty in the state. Yet nearly 40 percent of the total population lives below the poverty line. Uttar Pradesh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is $339.5 billion by PPP and $80.9 billion by Nominal. After partition, the new Uttar Pradesh state produces about 92% of the output of the old Uttar Pradesh state. Uttar Pradesh is the second largest economy in India after Maharashtra. It has bigger economy than many of the world big economic players like Israel,Switzerland and Hong Kong.[6]

[edit] Agriculture
This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2006)
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed.

Uttar Pradesh is a very fertile region and a major contributor to the national foodgrain stock. Partly this is due to the fertile regions of the Indo-Gangetic plain, and partly owing to irrigation measures such as the Ganga Canal. Lakhimpur Kheri is the largest sugar producing district in the country. It is also home to 78% of national livestock population. This chart shows the national share of major food commodities from Uttar Pradesh.
Commodity National Share
Potato 47%
Sugarcane 45%
Wheat 38%
Rice 32%
Groundnut 34%
Molasses 34%
Sugar 30%
Tobacco 20%

[edit] Information technology, electronics, and services

Uttar Pradesh is the IT-HUB of North India with software exports next to Karanataka. But unlike South Indian states it is limited to particular areas only like NOIDA, Greater NOIDA,Ghaziabad etc. which lie in National Capital Region(NCR). Uttar Pradesh have booming electronics industries especially in UP-Delhi-NCR and Lucknow-Kanpur Corridor. It produces almost all types of durables.

Minerals and heavy industries

Uttar Pradesh has ample reserves of coal, dolomite, gems.

Industry

Over 3% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Uttar Pradesh.

See also: List of conglomerates in Uttar Pradesh

Tourism
The Triveni Sangam
The Triveni Sangam

Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of both national and international visitors. There are two regions in the state where a majority of the tourists go. These are the city of Agra which houses three world heritage sites Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikriand the holy cities: the cities of Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, and Allahabad, by the sacred rivers — the Ganga and the Yamuna are all located in the state. The state hosts a Kumbha Mela every 12 years, where over 10 million Hindus congregate — the largest gathering of human beings in the world.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

A vast number of tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Another important tourist attraction in Agra is the Agra Fort. Also famous is a 16th century capital city built by the Mughal emperor Akbar known as Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Dayal Bagh is a temple built in modern times that many visit. It is still under construction, and would take an estimated one century for completion. The life-like carving in marble is not seen anywhere else in India.

Dudhwa National Park is one of the best Tiger reserves in the country. Lakhimpur Kheri is a must see location, and home to the Tiger reserve.

Millions of tourists and pilgrims visit the cities of Allahabad, Varanasi and Ayodhya, as those are considered to be 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. It is famous for its ghats (steps along the river) which are populated year round with people who want to take a dip in the holy Ganges River.
Desaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, crowded with pilgrims at sunrise. Photographed in November 1996 by Andy Carvin.
Desaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, crowded with pilgrims at sunrise. Photographed in November 1996 by Andy Carvin.

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 archaeological artifacts with national significance.

Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit.

[edit] Arts and crafts

Uttar Pradesh is famous for its arts and crafts. Specific regions such as Varanasi for its saris and silk, Mirzapur and Bhadohi for its carpets, Agra and Kanpur for their leather craft, Moradabad for its metal ware, Lucknow for its cloth work and embroidery (chicken) work on silk, Saharanpur for wood carving items,Firozabad for glass accessaries and the entire state for its pottery are not only famous in India but around the world.


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