The history of Uttar Pradesh is very much associated with the broad history of India. It dates back to 4000 years. Formerly the area of Uttar Pradesh was occupied by Aryans or the Dasas and their main occupation was agriculture. The Aryans through conquests occupied the adjoining areas. They laid the foundations of its civilisation in the region. During the Aryan inhabitation in the region that epics of Mahabharata, Ramayana, Brahmanas and Puranas were written. The state was the heart of Mahabharata war. The Kosala Kingdom of Ayodhya is said to have been incarnated in the city of Mathura.
It was sometime around the middle of the 1st millennium BC that Uttar Pradesh saw the advent of Lord Buddha and the spread of Buddhism. Around the time Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh was under the Magadh rule. The Chaukhandi Stupa here marks the spot where Lord Buddha met his disciples. Besides Kuru, Panchalas, Vatsas, and Videhas etc. formed the early region of the state. These regions were known as Madhyadesa. During Ashoka`s role, several public welfare works was taken up. During the rule of Magadha Empire, Buddhism and Jainism developed into this region. It was a period of administrative and economic advancement.
The power was subsequently shifted to the Nanda dynasty and then to the Mauryas. However the city reached its pinnacle of glory during the reign of Harshavardhana. The historical background of Uttar Pradesh has a lot to do with the advent of the Muslim rule. The period witnessed the subjugation of the Rajputs whose power was confined to the a few pockets of Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh reached the peak of prosperity during the Mughal rule, and particularly during the rule of Emperor Akbar.
In due course of time, Uttar Pradesh witnessed the decadence of Mughal rule and the advent of the British. The Mughal influence was restricted to the Doab region.
The British East India Company came into contact with the Awadh rulers during the reign of third 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 the national freedom movement had been significant. Uttar Pradesh also played a key role in the 1857.
From the rule of Rama to the rule of British, Uttar Pradesh has seen it all.