Uttar Pradesh has had a long history of language and literature. The sheer variety and richness of the astonishing contribution of literary figures from Uttar Pradesh dates back to the ancient days. It rewarded the state with Hinduism’s twin Sanskrit epics, Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
This is the land of Kabir, Tulsidas, Surdas and Keshavdas. There were other luminaries who were fabled for their rich endeavours—scholars such as Ashwaghosh, Ban, Mayur, Diwakar, Vakpati, Bhavbhuti, Rajshekhar, Laxmidhar, Sri Harsh and Krishna Misra, who were prominent at the courts of the kings of the time. Major centres of literature have been Varanasi (Banaras or Kashi of old times), Braj region, Awadh, Bundelkhand and in later years, it was Prayagraj.
A prominent hub of the ancient world for the gathering of luminaries from the fields of education and religious thought, Varanasi has always, in successive centuries, drawn thinkers to participate in debates on a range of subjects and promote philosophical dialectics. Its propensity for such rich learning has placed it in high regard in the ancient texts of the Hindu epics in Sanskrit (which were written in the state) and the Puranas (some of which were also written in the region), along with many venerable texts of Hindu and Buddhist literature.
Uttar Pradesh is rich in linguistic traditions as many languages are spoken here, such as Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindustani, Braj Bhasha, English, Awadhi, Bagheli, Bhojpuri, Bundeli and Kannauji... . Nagri Pracharni Sabha and the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan have played vital role in encouraging literary traditions in state.
Uttar Pradesh has been the cradle of Hindi and Urdu. Writers like Bhartendu Harishchandra, Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Verma, Srikant Verma and poets like Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi and Upendranath ‘Ashk’ gave a new rise to literature in state.
The leading luminaries in the field of Urdu poetry list of Uttar Pradesh’s cultural heritage are— Firaq Gorakhpuri, Josh Malihabadi, Akbar Prayagraji, Mazaz Lakhnavi, Kaifi Azmi, Ali Sardar Jafri, Shaqeel Badayuni and Nida Fazili.