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Due to Uttar Pradesh's distinct identity as an abode of spiritualism, this land came to be known as Brahma Rishi Desh (the land of sages and saints) in the Later Vedic Age. It produced a galaxy of Sages like Bhardwaj, Yajnavalkya, Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, Jamdagni, Parasuram and Valmiki, The epic heroes of 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata' - Rama and Krishna belonged to this very land.

During 6th century B.C. Buddhism and Jainism evolved over here. Eight of the 16 Mahajanpadas of the grand Mahajanpada Age fell within the present frontiers of Uttar Pradesh. The whole area of the State was included within the empires of the Great Mauryan Monarchs - Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara and Ashoka the Great in 3rd century B.C. The Lion Capital of Sarnath (near Varanasi) erected by Ashoka is the National emblem of India. During the reign of the Gupta Dynasty (circa 3rd A.D.)-the Golden Age of Indian History-this land rose to new peaks of peace and prosperity. When Harshvardhan ascended the throne in 7th century A.D. Kannauj became the nerve-centre of the then political scenario. The cultural grandeur of the State acquired new dimensions in the Middle Ages of Indian History.

Uttar Pradesh touched a new high during Mughal Period. Efficient administration, brotherhood, art and architecture, music and culture-all touched new peaks of perfection and glory. Agra was the capital of Mughals and the fascinating monument of eternal love, Taj Mahal, was erected by Shahjahan here. The Nawabs of Awadh played a major role in developing the art and culture of this State.  

The British East India Company came into contact with the Awadh rulers during the reign of IIIrd Nawab of Awadh. There is no doubt that the history of Uttar Pradesh has run concurrently with the history of the country during and after the British rule, but it is also well-known that the contribution of the people of the State in National Freedom Movement had been significant.

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