Uttar Pradesh has a very rich history. In fact history considerably defines the present U.P. Uttar Pradesh has been ruled by many in history.
Ancient History of Uttar Pradesh
History of Uttar Pradesh begins with the arrival of Aryans from Central Asia. In early 2000 B.C, when Aryans started settling along the Doab of Ganges and Ghagra. Aryans settlement was mainly rural in nature and was named “Madhyadesh” i.e. ‘Central Country’.
Various Vedic era kingdoms ruled Uttar Pradesh . The most important was Kosala , ruled by King Dasaratha and his successor Ram , were protagonist of epic called Ramayana. Another epic, Mahabharata , tells about the kings who ruled in and around modern Uttar Pradesh and were also part of the war of succession between Kaurvas and Pandavas.
Middle of 1st millennium B.C saw the onset of Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Sarnath near Varanasi is the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. In that period, state was ruled by Magadh dynasty. It was then passed to Nanda dynasty and then Mauryan who dethroned Nanda. In the post-Christ era, Kannauj became the center of power. Various rulers ruled from Kannauj but it was during the reign of Harshavardhana when the city was raised to its highest point.
Medieval History of Uttar Pradesh
The arrival of Muslim rule acted as the catalyst in the history of the state. It saw the collapse of Rajput rule in U.P. and their influence was restricted to the surrounding of areas Rajasthan. During the Sultanate era, U.P. came under the rule of almost all the emperors .
Real high came during the rule of Mughal when Emperor Akbar chose the city of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri as his capital cities. The Mughal rule saw the construction of some of the most glorious monuments in Uttar Pradesh. It also witnessed irreversible trends towards the development and consolidation of administrative and land holding systems. It also the development of unique art, crafts and culinary traditions of U.P.
Modern History of Uttar Pradesh
It also saw the arrival and the conquest of British in U.P. The Mughal rule started weakening and was later confined to the Doab region. Other martial tribes ruled the rest of the areas viz. Oudh was ruled by the Shiite Nawabs, Rohilkhand by Afghans, Bundelkhand by the Marathas and Banaras by its own king, while Nepal controlled Kumaon and Gadhwal.
The ‘Divani’ of Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Oudh later passed to British. In 1764, happens when the British East India Company forces, in the historic Battle of Buxar, defeated combined army of Nawab Suja-ud-Daula, Mir Kasim and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam.
U.P. was also the epicenter of the Sepoy revolt of 1857. Some of the major protagonist of that mutiny e.g. Nana Saheb, Tantya Tope, Rani of Jhansi, Maharaja of Benaras and Begum Hazrat Mahal were the resident of Uttar Pradesh. Mangal Pandey, a Sepoy named is said to have initiated this revolt in U.P. when he opened fired on a British Sergeant in the Merrut Cantonment.