The City Of Nawabs
Dipped in the age old Indo-Persian culture, Lucknow is popular as the pride of Avadh. Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, came into limelight with the fourth Nawab of Avadh, Asaf-ud-Daula, in 1775. Situated on the banks of historical river Gomti, the city always ruled as one of the most important centers of Muslim cultural influence in South Asia along with Delhi, Lahore and Hyderabad.
Lucknow is synonymous with huge, ancient and spectacular Imambaras, representing the Shia faith' of the Muslims. Lucknow is the place where Urdu literature and Kathak dance attained ultimate refinement.
This structure is known for the world's largest vaulted hall (163 feet) standing without wooden support. It is the first and largest of all among its kind in Lucknow. Another attraction of Bara Imambara is 'Bhool-Bhulaiya', where the Nawabs used play hide and seek with their wives. The tombs of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula and his relatives are also situated nearby.
Chhota Imambara or Husseinabad Imambara was constructed under 'Food for Work' programme, commissioned by the Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah. This Indo-Islamic monument is designed on the 'Charbagh' pattern with a water stream running through the middle of the garden. Persian crafts, Arabic calligraphy and glass-work, and Belgium chandeliers are the major attractions in Chhota Imambara.
Built in typical Mughal style, this huge mosque is situated to the west of Chhota Imambara. Its construction was started in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah but it was finally completed by his wife Begum Malika Jahan after his death.
Shah Najaf Imambara
This imambara is dedicated to Maula Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad who was a great warrior and the greatest intellectual of Islam. Ali was also the fourth Caliph of Islam.
Located north-west to Bara Imambara, Rumi Darwaza is one of the the most remarkable gateways in the world. It was also commissioned by the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula along with Bara Imambara, under 'Food for Work' programme.
This 221 feet tall tower was constructed in 1887 by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, the first Lieutenant Governor of United province of Avadh (now Uttar Pradesh). An extraordinary example of of the British architecture, the impressive clock tower is the tallest Clock Tower in India.
Apart from the above, Lucknow Museum and The Residency are also listed among the most frequented places in Lucknow.
The city of Nawabs is also called the 'land of art and craft'. The expertise in art and craft is revealed in the exquisite embroidery and spectacular forms of printing. 'Chowk' in Old Lucknow and other market areas are known for chikan and zardozi work, hand block and batik printing, cotton fabrics embellished with floral, geometric and ornamental motifs etc.
The Royal Cuisine
When it comes to cuisine, Lucknow is listed on the top for a wide variety of vegetarian/non-vegetarian kebabs, biryani (rice preparation) and rich vegetarian food like Dum Pukht. Falaknuma, Oudhyana and Whaid Biriyani are a few restaurants of Lucknow that attract most of the tourists for the authentic Lucknow and Avadhi cuisine.
How To Reach
The Amausi airport is 14 km from the city that connects Lucknow to various major cities like Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi etc.
Lucknow has two railway stations- Charbagh and Lucknow Junction. Charbagh operates all trains between New Delhi and Kolkata and Lucknow Junction handles the trains heading to the South India.
Being the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow lies on the major cross routes of National Highways 24, 25 and 28. it is well connected to almost all the major cities of India.