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Guess what our next stop in India was? A palace! Our Sunday School teacher led us southeast from Punjab this morning on our imaginary trip around India to the state of Uttar Pradesh. She wanted to show us the Qaiser Bagh Palace in the city of Lucknow.
The Qaiser Bagh Palace (some people spell it Kaiserbagh) was built in the middle of the 1800s by a man named Wajid Ali Shah. The palace and its grounds had pieces that were built in a style of architecture called Mughal. Mughal architecture was popular from the middle of the 1500s to the late 1600s. Even though the palace was built much later than that, it used elements of Mughal design. As a matter of fact, the palace combined more than one style. It has elements in it from Muslim architecture, Hindu architecture, and other styles.
The palace is a good picture of Lucknow and the entire state of Uttar Pradesh. Did you know that some people call Uttar Pradesh “The Rainbow Land”1 because of how many different groups of people live there? Reports say that there are more than 202 million people from over 600 different people groups living in Uttar Pradesh! If Uttar Pradesh were its own country, it would be the fifth-largest country in the entire world!
Many of the people who live there are very poor. There are very few places to go for help when you get sick. Many homes in Uttar Pradesh don’t even have electricity. But there are some places in Uttar Pradesh that have lots of nice things. Even the Taj Mahal is in Uttar Pradesh in a town called Agra. People travel there from all over the world to see it.
There is something else that most of the people of Uttar Pradesh don’t have, and it’s even more important than doctors or electricity. Out of more than 202 million people, only a tiny number believe in Jesus. Most of the people groups do not have a single person living among them who knows Jesus.
“Dear God, You created all the colors of the rainbow and every one of the beautiful people groups who live in Uttar Pradesh. Please help every person living there or visiting there to hear about Your love. Help them to trust You to forgive their sins and make their hearts right with You. And then please help them to tell everyone they can about how much You love them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”