Lucknow- The Nawabi Nagri

Lucknow

No, Lucknow is not a city. It is a melting point of various elements forming a culture, be it food, be it poetry, and be it handicraft-sculpture-architecture, in all a mirror of what India is. The former capital of Awadh region and now the capital of the largest state of India, Lucknow has charmed visitors from far off countries since times immemorial.

The City of Nawabs – one of the many sobriquets given to the city, is apt as the Kebab city draws legacy from the rule of scores of Nawabs, Sultans, Moghuls, Lodis and each of them adding to the marvellous inheritance.

The city flourished in the middle ages as the torch bearer of culture and architecture. The city became the center for Urdu poetry and courtly diction under the aegis of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

The city lives, breathes, and swears by Mughal architecture and lifestyle. There is so much to see, feel and experience that your entire holidays may be consumed, but the heart will yearn for more. This is what to experience in and around Lucknow.

Soak the grandeur at Bara Imambara

Asad-Ud-Daulah built the Bara Imambara in 1784 as a part of relief project for a major famine that took region into turmoils during that period. Bara means big and Imambara means Shrine. The Imambara finds home on the banks of Gomti River and is flanked by lush green gardens.

The structure was built by Delhi based architect Kifayatullah, after competitive design based bidding; the spectacular view of the Lucknow city from the terrace of the structure draws thousands of visitors every day.

The Mughal age engineering encapsulates the world’s largest hall without any physical support (beams or pillars).

bara-imambara

It contains the tomb of Asad-ud-Daulah. The starlets to the structure include courtyards, holy mosque (Badshaahi Mosque), with sculpture, and a maze (Bhool Bhulaiya).

The Nakkashi or sculpture on the Bawdi or step well amazes visitors and soothes the eyes with sweetest memories. For Connoisseurs of art and architecture, the galleries and the heritage value of the place is an Unforgettable experience.

The place is certainly bound to capture a large chunk of photographs to savor for your lifetime.

Days: All days except Monday

Timings: 06:00 hours to 18:00 hours

Ticket: Rs. 30/- per person.

Get Through The Rumi Darwaza

Rumi Darwaza is 60 feet tall larger than life entrance gate to the Imambara. The place also hosts market for embroidery items, antiques, artifacts, daily usage equipment, musical equipment etc.

Check The Time at Hussainabad Clock Tower

Hussainabad Clock Tower

Just outside the Rumi Darwaza, you can find the 221 feet tall clock tower known as Hussainabad Clock Tower, one of the finest structures of British Architecture in India. It was built by Hussainabad Endowment trust in 1887 to mark the arrival of Sir George Cooper, the first Lt. Governor of Awadh. This is the biggest clock tower in India.

Have a View at Hussainabad Picture Gallery

The structure is adjacent to the Hussainabad tower and was originally a Royal Summerhouse. The calm & serene atmosphere makes it a great hang out place in Lucknow.

Peek into Nawabi Architecture at Chota Imambara

The place is adjacent to Bara Imambara and is famed for the lighting, hence is known as Palace of Lights. Constructed by Mohammad Ali Shah, in 1838, the structure with carvings on marble, gold plated work, silver work and decorations awes the visitors. The garden with lush laws adorns several minarets and turrets.

Days: All days

Timings: 06:00 hours to 17:00 hours

Ticket: Rs. 20/- per person.

Feel the elegance at Lucknow Residency

Lucknow was an administrative capital during the British Rule, and this monument was built for the residence of British General. The construction happened in phases between 1700 and 1800. The museum inside contains artefacts- art paintings, engineering equipment, lifestyle of Nawabs & British that emanates the scent of Lucknawi culture.

Days: All days of week

Timings: 10:00 hours to 15:00 hours

Ticket: Rs. 10/- per person.

Feel religious at Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

One of the holiest mosques in India is a flag bearer of Islamic architecture and design. It was constructed in 1839 by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah. The sanctum guides and declares the festivals of Muslims and celebrates them with zest and enthusiasm that is unmatched. The structure made of yellow sandstone stands on 260 stone pillars. Arched domes with carvings on inside reveal the fact that Nawabs were connoisseurs of arts.

Days: Open on all days. (Avoid visit during festivals)

Pay homage at the Tomb of  Saadat Ali Khan & Begum Murshidjadi

The structure located in Hazratganj was constructed by Badshah Gajiuddin Haider son of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. The floor of the building  is made of marble and other precious  stones. There are four burjs or towers. The bunker contains the tomb.

The tomb of Begum Murshidjadi is at par in excellence with the tomb of Saadat Ali Khan. It is in the vicinity to the tomb of Saadatkhan & has a grand dome. Indian soldiers during the uprising of 1857 placed cannons on the dome of both tombs. The tombs witnessed the action in March 1858 when 16 British soldiers were killed by the cannon firings.

Take the Bonus.

Shah Nazaf Imambara– Constructed by Nawab Ghazi-Ud-Din Haider, the building as his mausoleum in 1816.

Sibtainabad Ka Imambara– Mausolem of Nawab Amjad Ali Shah

The Constantia– The La- Martinere College building. Simply the best architecture for an educational institution.

Feed the monkeys at the Lucknow Zoo

The Prince of Wales zoo was inaugurated in 1921, during the visit of Prince of Wales. It houses endangered species like White Tiger, Wolf, several birds, and reptiles. It has gained prominence as a breeding centre.

Seek Solace at Dr.Ambedkar Park

107 acres of lawns with the memorial dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar offers a calm environment and oxygen to rejuvenate the visitors. The monument is built using red-sandstone.

Peek into history at Lucknow Museum

Millions of artefacts, lifestyle items, arms, daily usage tools, pottery, manuscripts, ranging from Gupta period to colonial India is on showcase.

Feel Royal at Chattar Manzil

Literally meaning Umbrella palace was constructed in 1780’s and was residence to Nawabs of Awadh & their successors. In the uprising of 1857, Indian soldiers held their grip over the palace. Architecture is inspired from European style.

Leisure your time at Moti Mahal

Moti Mahal is an elegant structure built by Nawab Saadat Khan at banks of Gomti. The palace was used for leisure activities.

Mark your presence at Satkhanda.

Built in 1842 by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah, the building resembles the leaning tower of Pisa, Italy. The structure is in ruins and although renovated, visitors are not allowed into the premises.

Live it. Celebrate the Lucknow Festival

Lucknow Festival is an exhibition of culture, art, heritage and cuisines of Lucknow. The festival is celebrated for ten days in the month of November with pomp & enthusiasm.

Be Colorful at Vrindawan Sharadotsav

Vrindavan is a nearby town dedicated to Lord Krishna, which celebrates Holi in around March. The town is decorated with flowers and draws pilgrims from various parts of India.

Remember Martyrs at Shaheed Smarak

Shaheed Smarak

Built to commemorate the uprising of 1857, the smarak pays homage to freedom fighters who laid their lives for the cause of Indian Independence. The structure is built in white marble with Gomti River in the backdrop.

Get Awestruck at Kaiserbagh Palace

Built by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, this was a show of might and money. The Yellowstone structure was built with the intention to make it the eighth wonder of the world.

Engage in Bird Watching at Nawabgung Bird Sanctuary

Located 45 Km from Lucknow, the sanctuary attracts local as well as migratory birds from cold regions during winters. Open Billed Stork, Pheasant- tailed Jacana, Saras Crane, Painted Stork, Peacock, White Ibis, Dabchick, Whistling teal, Open billed stork, Bronze winged Jacana, Purple moorhen, Lapwing are few species that can be spotted.

Fill out your bellies with Mouth watering Lucknawi Cuisine @

Mobine Restaurant, Wazirganj

Sudhashu Biriyani Corner,  Mill Road

Chappan Bhog, Apna Bazaar Sadar

Copoor’s hotel & bar, Hazratganj

Aryan Restaurant, Gomtinagar

New Avadh Restaurant, Tilaknagar

Tunday Kababi, Nazirabad & Akbari Gate, Chowk (Kebabs & Parathas)

Idris Biriyani, Patanala, Chowk

Pandit Raja Thandai, Kasturba Market, Chowk

Taste Mawa Laddoo at Haji Sweet Shop, Nadan mahal road

Prakash Kulfis

Spend your heart at shopping places

Hazratganj

The place is the heaven to pursue shopping. The long established bazaars showcase exquisite jewellery, handicrafts, handlooms, antiques and almost everything on earth. Lucknow is famous for its’ Lucknawi Chikankaari, the handcrafted embroidery and must not be missed.

Chowk, Old Market

The Chikankaari Haat is a happening place to get some great deals.

Gadbadjhala

Look for some exquisite jewellery.

ACCOMMODATION (HIGH RANGE HOTELS)

Hotel Park Awadh 40-A, Vidhan Shabha Marg, Hussainganj, Vidhan Sabha MargGuru Gobindsingh Marg, Lucknow 0522 2635533

Hotel Deep Avadh Aminabad Rd Naka Hindola, Lucknow 0522 2684381

Hotel Uday Rai DAV Market, Aishbagh, Lucknow 0522 2693758

Hotel Meera Mann Station Road, Hussainganj, Lucknow 0522-2638181-84,2636175

Hotel Gemini Continental 10, Rani Laxmi Bai Marg, Lucknow, 0522 2212155

HOW TO REACH

By Air

Lucknow is well connected with metro cities as well as tier II cities of the country by air. Almost all the private and public service providers have regularly scheduled flights to the Lucknow. The main airport is about 15 km away from the city.

By Road

Lucknow is connected by road with all major cities of the country. The national highways, NH 24, 25 and 28 pass through the city.

State Transport Corporation links nearby cities like Delhi, Allahabad, Jhansi, Agra, Varanasi and Mathura with frequent buses.

By Rail

Lucknow is well connected with the rest of the country by a large number of trains.

PS. Lucknow Charbagh railway station is an awe-inspiring concoction of Mughal & Rajasthani architecture with palatial appearance. Don’t miss it.