A fertile terrain of the Gangetic plain, the sprawling State spread over in 2,40,928 sq. km. area, touches the Himalayan foothills to the north and the Vindhya ranges to the south, surrounded by the states of Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and the country of Nepal.
It is here that one can dive down the stream of ancient Indian philosophy. It is the land which is glorified by the stream of Indian spirituality i.e. the great Ganga & Yamuna and the footprints of legends like Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jain Tirthankars & Sufi Saints and the sites associated with them.
Corresponding to its variegated topography and climate, the state has a wealth of animal life. Its avifauna is among the richest in the country.
Animals that can be found in the jungles of Uttar Pradesh include Tigers, Leopards, Wild Bears, Sloth Bears, Chital, Sambhars, Jackals, Porcupines, Jungle cats, Hares, Squirrels, Monitor Lizards, and Foxes. These all can be seen in the highest mountain ranges.
The most common birds include the crow, pigeon, dove, jungle fowl, black partridge, house sparrow, peafowl, blue jay, parakeet, kite, mynah, quail, bulbul, kingfisher and woodpecker.
"Species of grasses have been collected from the Gangetic plain. Herbs include medicinal plants like Rauwolfia serpentina, Viala serpens, Podophyllum, Hexandrum and Ephecra gerardiana. "
Certain species are found in special habitats. The elephant is confined to the terai and the foothills. The chinkara and the sandgrouse prefer a dry climate, and are native to the Vindhyan forests. The musk deer and the brown bear is found in the higher Himalayas. Among the game birds resident in the state are the snipe, comb duck, grey duck, cotton teal and whistling teal.
There are several parks and sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh that are home to a variety of species that are extinct in other parts of North India, such as the endangered Bengal Florican and the successfully reintroduced one-horned Rhinoceros. The splendid and vast hinterlands of this state are alive with exceptionally diverse wildlife just waiting to be discovered. So rich is the population of the avifauna here that the birds not only cluster around lakes but also agricultural fields in various parts of the state.
The State has Dudhwa National Park and Series of bird & wildlife sanctuaries which have a wide variety of exotic birds that flock to the lakes, including the black-necked Stork, the stunning Sarus crane, several vulture species and more.