Gorakhpur is a religious and cultural city in the eastern part of north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Located along the banks of Rapti River, it’s a city with a rich past and long history that relates its roots to two of major religions of India - Hinduism and Buddhism. The existence of the city goes as far as the glorious Vedic era when it was part of famed and Lord Rama-led kingdom of 'Koshla'.
Presently a trading and education center of the region, Gorakhpur has witnessed the rules of some celebrated kings and dynasties, including Maurya, Sunga, Nanda and Sishunaga. The city has the popular Gorakshnath Temple (Gorakhnath Math) where lakhs of devotees throng right through the year. More so, several historic Buddhist sites are also present in the city. The city is home to the world’s largest publisher of religious texts for Hindus – Gita Press.
Gorakhpur also serves as the headquarter of the North Eastern Railways Zone, which gives it a contemporary identity. Being a religious center, many historic temples and spots abound here that draw a great number of Hindus and Buddhists from different parts. The city is named after Guru Gorakshnath, a renowned saint whose legends go on in the form of the most popular attraction in the city, i. e. the Gorakhnath Temple.
The influence of the saint is strongly felt here even after many centuries of his birth. The Nath sect is a big craze in Gorakhpur with followers numbering in hundreds of thousands. The pilgrims pay regular visit to the samadhi of the saint, which is a true testimony of the prevalent and existing cultural ethos. The city also cherishes its association to renowned poet and philosopher Kabir.
The tomb of Kabir is a big draw in Gorakhpur that helps to retain the memory of artists par excellence. The city rose to a worldwide fame during the Freedom Movement of India when a crowd at ‘Chauri Chaura’ locality set a police station on fire. That incident forced the great Gandhi to take back the ‘Non-Cooperative Movement. The city borders Nepal, and the road to that country passes through it.