Gorakhpur: UP’s hidden gem, now a glittering metropolis

Gorakhpur is most popular for the Shri Gorakhnath Mandir, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is a mahant or chief priest. (Photo: Gorakhpur/Government of Uttar Pradesh website)

The elevation of Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh chief minister put Gorakhpur, his home district, on the Indian map. Since then, the quaint little temple town with a long history has developed to become one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises.

The city’s airport, the civil terminal of which was inaugurated in 2017, has since gone on to become a bustling entry point to the city. It already has direct flights connecting to and from Delhi, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Prayagraj, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad and is served by IndiGo, Air India-owned Alliance Air, and SpiceJet.

Gorakhpur is most popular for the Shri Gorakhnath Mandir, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is a mahant or chief priest. The temple is named after Gorakshanath, a medieval saint who travelled across India and authored several texts. The temple also lends its name to the city.

Gorakhpur is also home to the Imambara built in 1717 by Hajrat Saint Roshan Ali Shah. The structure is an architectural marvel and is one of the most-visited sites in the city. The city also serves as the gateway to the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh as well as Lucknow, which is around 300 km away.

With several unexplored locations dotting the city, it is obvious that travellers will make a beeline for Gorakhpur. However, now might not be the most conducive time to make a visit to the ancient city, especially for those arriving from Maharashtra and Kerala, after the state government made negative RT-PCR reports mandatory to enter Uttar Pradesh. The test should not be more than 72 hours old at the time of arrival. For residents of Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, there is no such restrictions at the state level, but district-wise clampdowns depending on the Covid-19 situation is always a possibility.

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