Things to Do in Gorakhpur: If you are traveling across the Sunauli border from India to Kathmandu in Nepal, you will pass through Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. The city is located at a major railway junction and is a transport hub for buses going to the border about three hours north. Although Gorakhpur has evolved a lot over the years, it is not a tourist destination or a place you would want to stay for very long. However, if you find yourself spending time there, these top things to do in Gorakhpur will help you fill the hours.
The 9 Best Things to Do in Gorakhpur, India
- Go, Temple Hopping,
There are several Hindu temples in Gorakhpur within 10 to 15 minutes of the railway station. The most prominent one is the Gorakhnath Math, dedicated to the 11th-century Hindu holy figure Guru Gorakhnath, who is regarded as a manifestation of Lord Shiva in his yogic form. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of the temple. It is situated on spacious and serene grounds in a complex with many other smaller temples, which is a pleasure to visit. The recent revamp of the temple complex includes a colorful laser sound and light show which takes place every evening at 7 pm.
There is an attractive temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and his wife Radha in Geeta Vatika near Asuran Chowk. The round-the-clock continuous chanting and setting up of the garden give it uplifting energy. While you are in the area, stop near the Vishnu temple to admire the black stone idol of Lord Vishnu. It is said that this temple belongs to the 12th century Pala dynasty.
- Admire the Street Art
Gorgeous murals are a surprising attraction in Gorakhpur. A local jewelry brand recently invited the team at Delhi Street Art to beautify the city walls with art that conveys a cultural and social message as part of its “Wall of Change” initiative. Topics include sanitation and hygiene, women’s safety, water conservation, recycling, and yoga. You’ll find most of the arts around the police line and collectorate on Kachari Road, about 10 minutes south of the railway station.
- Dine at the City’s Trendy Bollywood-Themed Restaurant
The Royal Residency Hotel in Gorakhpur is perhaps the most trendy and innovative restaurant in the city, modeled after iconic Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. It is named after his 1988 smash hit “Shahenshah”. The menu includes Indian and global cuisine, including dishes that are named after the actor’s films. Old film posters, dialogues, and other memorabilia adorn the walls. The classic motorbike driven by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1975 blockbuster “Sholay” is also on display. What’s more, the restaurant is conveniently located near city street art and the train station.
- Hang Out at the Mall
Feel like being in an air-conditioned environment away from all the hustle and bustle? There are a few malls in Gorakhpur that are worth the bill, and they also have INOX movie theaters if you want to watch a Bollywood movie. City Mall is located near Royal Residency Hotel and Shahenshah Restaurant. It is almost a decade old and remains popular.
The relatively new Orion Mall opened in late 2019 near the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mohaddipur, about 10 minutes east of the city center. It is spread over five levels and is the biggest mall in Gorakhpur. A fun gaming zone provides additional entertainment.
- Relax in a Park
If you prefer to spend time in nature rather than in malls, Vindhyavasini Park and Ambedkar Park offer walking paths and wide green open spaces. They are both located around Ramgarh Lake, southeast of the city center. Vindhyavasini Park, the main park of Gorakhpur, is close to Orion Mall in the Mohadipur area. Its circular exercise track stretches for about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) and fills with fitness enthusiasts in the morning and evening. The park also has a yoga center, children’s playground, sculptures of archaeological importance, a fountain, and a plant nursery run by the Department of Horticulture.
- Take a Boat Out Onto Ramgarh Lake
The huge Ramgarh Lake is spread over an area of about 1,730 acres and provides natural beauty to Gorakhpur. The lake has been cleaned in recent years and is currently being developed as a tourist attraction with boating and water sports. Other places of interest in its vicinity are the Buddha Museum and a new zoo. The lake is also a natural water body for migratory birds and plans are underway to establish it as a wetland.
- Learn About Indian Railways
Kids and train lovers will enjoy visiting the Rail Museum near Vindhyavasini Park. It is housed in a heritage building dating back to the 19th century and showcases the history of the Indian Railways, especially the North Eastern Railway zone in Gorakhpur. The top attraction is the Lord Lawrence Steam Engine. It was built in London in 1874 and was the first locomotive used by the North Eastern Railway. A toy train takes the kids on a fun ride around the museum grounds. You can also see models of old train stations and displays of antiques used on the railway, and dine in one of the restaurants in a refurbished train carriage.
- Marvel over the Eternal Flame at the Imambara
The Gorakhpur Imambara is a fascinating 18th-century site belonging to Gorakhpur’s lesser-known Islamic heritage. The revered Sufi saint Syed Roshan Ali Shah built it as a place for religious gatherings. Most notably, it houses a sacred fumigation fire that has been burning continuously for over 250 years, said to have been lit by the saint to meditate. The Imambara attracts people of all faiths to fulfill their wishes, especially during the annual Muharram festival when its 300-year-old gold and silver tazia (a replica of the tomb of Imam Hussain, the martyred grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) is on display. It is located approximately 10 minutes southwest of the railway station.
- Visit One of the Largest Religious Publishers in the World
Barely five minutes away from the Imambara, Gita Press is a must-see for anyone who is interested in Hinduism. What is now one of the largest religious publishers in the world began in the 1920s with just three printing machines in a small rented room in Gorakhpur. Its present complex, with an attractively ornamented entrance on the tower of a South Indian temple, was inaugurated by the President of India in 1955. Many of the company’s publications are centered around sacred Hindu texts, including the “Bhagavad Gita.” Ramayana,” and “Mahabharata.” They are available for purchase in the salesroom next to the press.
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