Nagari of Nawabs – Lucknow
Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is definitely a melting pot of culture, tradition, history, art and delicious food. A visit to such a beautiful destination is sure to strike your imagination. Well, there are a couple of best places to visit in Lucknow, the Nagari of Nawabs and a lot of delicacies that you can’t miss out on in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, India.
However controversial and blurry the Mughal Rule had been in the pages of our history books; one thing is very clear that they did leave an impressive legacy behind in the form of marvels that still stand magnificently in the cities of our country. And Lucknow is no exception, the city bears testimony of the glorious life of the Mughal rulers.
HOW TO REACH LUCKNOW
Lucknow is well connected by air and trains. You can fly down to Lucknow Airport which is pretty much connected to all the major cities. Also, you can take a train to Lucknow Station. If you planning for a road trip the best is to drive down from Delhi. From Delhi, it takes around 12 hours to reach Lucknow by train. Uttar Pradesh boasts of some popular tourist destination of our country and so reaching Lucknow is quite easy from almost every part of India.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LUCKNOW
According to popular legends of Indian history the city, Lucknow was gifted to Lakshman by his elder brother Ramachandra of Ayodhya after his victory over Sri Lanka and on returning from his exile of 14 years.
Originally Lucknow was called as Lakshmanpur. Initially, Lucknow was the capital of the Awadh region but later it came under the dominion of the British East India Company. The Nawabs of Awadh later came to be called as Nawabs of Lucknow only after the reign of the third Nawab.
During this period there was the great emergence of art, culture, dance and also architecture. Grand monuments such as Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara , Rumi Darwaza which are some of the best places to visit in Lucknow were constructed.
Not just for its Indian and Islamic influence, Lucknow also bears a remarkable position in Indian history. It was the main centre for the 1857 Indian Rebellion also known as Sepoy Mutiny or the First War of Indian Independence. The Khilafat movement, the Kakori incident, the Indian National Congress session of 1916 were some of the major moments that took place in the history of India.
A place of such important position both in the past and present of India is indeed worthy of a visit at least once in life.
ARCHITECTURAL ACES AND BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN LUCKNOW
One such indescribable beauty is Bara Imambara which was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and designed by Kifayat-ullah . It is also referred to as Bhul Bhulaiya because of its super confusing passages interconnected to each other through 489, can you imagine? 489 identical doorways. Having patterns of Mughal and Rajput architectural patterns the Bara Imambara is neither a mosque nor a mausoleum.
of the oldest cafes in Lucknow which has still managed to keep alive its charm and vintage essence.
This extra thoughtfully crafted place should be first on your ‘places to visit’ in Lucknow. You’ll be in absolute awe of it at the very first sight of it.
Not like a lot of people know about the fact that the architect of this intricately drawn-out architectural prodigy was chosen through competition and on top of that he used rice husk to build the roof of the Imambara. Quite fascinating!
The five stories baoli or stepwell inside Bara- Imambara is quite an intriguing structure. It is called as Shahi-Hammam (Royal Nath) and is connected to the Gomti river.
Chota Imambara in Hussainabad of the city wears its own distinct charm. Built by Mohammed Ali Shah in the second year of his reign in 1839. Quranic verses are calligraphed on the outside walls. The grand halls are ornated with crystal glass lampshades and heavy chandeliers, it pays justice to its name given by the writers who’ve woven its praises in the books by calling it the Palace of Lights.
The structure serves as a mausoleum of Nawab Mohammed Ali Shah’s daughter Zinnat and her husband. There are two tombs that are a replica of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
If I start scribbling down the details of every architectural piece, it’ll take you days to finish reading this blog so let’s cut short the scene to the following best places to visit in Lucknow.
Rumi Darwaza also referred to as the Turkish Gate is a 60 ft. tall colossal portal to the city of royalty, Tehzeeb and kebabs. Such an elaborately worked upon the massive door, it’s simply incredible.
La Martiniere College – Gothic elements fused with Indian motifs are what this structure reflects in its aesthetic composition. It is also one of Bollywood’s favourite shooting locations. A major part of recent releases like Gulabo Sitabo, some glimpses of A Suitable Boy in Netflix and a lot more films were shot in this famous college of Lucknow.
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Located near the La Martiniere College Dilkhush Kothi which is also called Dilkhush Garden is a peaceful place for people who love old places. Dilkhush Kothi was severely damaged during Lucknow siege in the 1857 Mutiny. It is now in ruins and one of the interesting places to visit in Lucknow. Quite an offbeat destination without much crowd of tourists, this place has quite a gothic charm.
Qaisar Bagh Palace
Located in the Awadh region Qaisar Bagh Palace is a complex in Lucknow city. It was constructed by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and one of the excellent display of Mughal architecture and craftmanship. The palace is now in ruins. It was once used as a refuge for British residents during Sepoy Mutiny in the year 1857. Entry is free and it remains open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
If you have time in your hands, you can touch down the Dilkusha Kothi and Chattar Manzil, Satkhana (outside Imambara itself), Hussainabad Mosque, Jama Masjid, The Residency, Saadat Ali Tomb and do not skip Kaiserbagh, it’s an absolutely stunning piece of art.
As you are figuring your way out through the habitually chaotic streets of HazratGanj, it’s that oldest town with an essence of a prolonged culture where a lot has changed but still nothing has changed much.
Places like these, Aminabad, Alambagh and Lal Bagh release the sentiment of preserved traditions, a rumination of Old Lucknow. The names also sound so royal like the Mughals, there is a certain royal feel to tell your cabbie – “Bhaiyya, Alambagh le chaliye”(take us to ALAMBAGH).
SPECTACULAR PARKS OF LUCKNOW
Along with such beautiful monuments from the Mughal era, Lucknow does have some spectacular parks which are worth visiting at least once. Some of these parks are also You can literally walk through are these massive parks in Lucknow, some of the remarkable ones are-
Ambedkar Memorial Park located near Gomti river, this park is made in the honour and memory of great lives like Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru and many more.
Janeshwar Mishra Park which is perfect for joggling has an open gym, children’s are and lots of outlets for street foods nearby.
Gautam Buddha Park is a beautiful place full of positive vibes and charm all around.
Gomti Riverfront Park, located near Ambedkar Park is a perfect place to spend time with family and friends.
Other places you can check in the Nagari of Nawabs are the Memorial Museum and Indira Gandhi Planetarium
If you’re a night-wanderer, take a drive on the smooth roads of the Marine Drive in Gomti Nagar experiencing that slight breeze on your face making you feel good about life and go all the way to see Imambara in its lit-up avatar.
Since we are already walking down the ancient alley, Old Nazirabad is no less than heaven on earth for non- vegetarians. Every street is reeking of Kababs, Kababs and Kababs. The authentic Awadhi food corner, the original Tunday Kabab will serve you with their ‘you will cry out of joy’ feel and the galouti kababs.
The slow-cooked Biryani at Idris, Jauhari Mohalla will reveal a whole new world of spices for you, it’s nearly impossible to catch your breath in the process of hogging the biryani, it’s so delicious that you just can’t stop eating.
RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS AND CAFE
Similarly, Rahim ki Nihari, Naimat Khana are restaurants you can’t skip listing down in your itinerary. Gradually transiting to a young- contemporary vibe, Planter’s Tea Café has an endless menu of tea sourced from all over the country and catered to you along with live music and good vibes. Cappi is one
LEAVE SOME SPACE IN YOUR BAG FOR SHOPPING IN LUCKNOW
As you know now, everything that sounds like CHICKEN in this city generally turns out to be exceptional, so do the detailed handcrafted outfits of CHIKAN. The embroidered Kurtis and other Indian wears are hung at almost every second shop in Aminabad and chowk markets.
Hazratganj, the heart of the city is one more place to snap up those scents stuffed in bottles, ittars (perfumes) and Chikan. On your skimming through those fine threadworks, the thought of ‘how much surreal beauty a city can hold’ will cross your mind.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are on a budget journey then I’ll suggest a few chilled-out hostels in Lucknow.
Hope this guide will help you enough to plan a trip to Lucknow. I have mentioned the best places to visit in Lucknow and also some offbeat location too. The best time to visit Lucknow is from September to March if you want to avoid the scorching heat. Thanks for reading the post and don’t forget to Like and Share with your friends. Special Thanks to Akshita Parihar for this post.
Zara Muskariye, Aap Lucknow main hain. 😊
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