Lucknow, a city which upholds many cultures, heritage and arts of Uttar Pradesh, resonating in every corner. It gained prominence when Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula shifted the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to this city in 1775. They were great patrons of arts and laid the foundation from which Lucknowi culture emerged. Whether Lucknow’s mesmerizing architecture, sweetness in its language, elegant hospitality, and sophistication in its culture, exquisite crafts or the mouth-watering cuisine, this city never fails to win hearts of every traveller. Modern day Lucknow is a spectacular synthesis of past and present. It is a bustling capital city spreading both sides of the River Gomti with sprawling parks, British Era buildings and old monuments. Lucknow is famous for its charm, nazakat (Elegance) and nafasat (Refinement) – which is holding onto this land since time immemorial.
Bara Imambara stands on the busy road of old Lucknow as a grand attraction of the city. The massive Imambara (Shi’ite ceremonial hall) is a treasure of impeccable architecture, royal relics and fascinating stories. The imambara was built by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah. The unusual labyrinth of corridors inside its upper floor make a visit here particularly special. The construction of this building was ordered by Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah to generate employment for the labours of his kingdom when a severe famine struck Awadh in 1784. The Imambara’s central and main hall is unique as it does not have any conventional pillar support for its 50 Ft. high arched roof - one of the largest of its kind in the world. The Imambara also houses a beautiful mosque known as Asafi Masjid, a large baoli (stepwell) which can be explored but do carry a torch with you. To the left of the central hall is an intriguing ‘labyrinth’ known as Bhul Bhulaiyya, an enticing narrow passageways that winds its ways inside the upper floors of the tomb’s structure, eventually leading out to rooftop balconies. The view of the city from the top of the monument is breathtaking.Read More
The large collection of gardens and ruins that makes up the Residency offers a fascinating historical glimpse of the beginning of the end for the British Raj. Built in 1800, the Residency became the stage for the most dramatic events of the 1857 First War of Independence, the 147 – day siege of Lucknow that claimed the lives of thousands. The compound has been left as it was at the time of the final relief and the walls are pockmarked from bullets and cannon balls. The museum in the main Residency building has a scale model of the original buildings. Downstairs are the huge basement rooms where many British women and children took shelter throughout the siege. The cemetery around the ruined St. Mary’s Church is where 2000 of the defenders were buried including their leader, Sir Henry Lawrence, ‘who tried to do this duty’ according to the famous inscription on his weathered gravestone.Read More
This historical monument with two imposing tombs of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and his wife Khurshid Zadi, stand near the historical Begum Hazrat Mahal Park. The tomb is beautifully built with special bricks known as Lakhuri Bricks and Chuman (special lime mortar). Inside the tomb is a hall with rectangular verandahs over the four sides that carry arched doorways. The verandahs over the southern and eastern sides have graves of the daughters and wives of Saadat Ali Khan. This tomb also has a big hemispherical kind of dome, which is fluted with narrow and regular types of ribbings. The interesting feature of this dome is its symmetrical shape. This is a perfect picnic destination with a park surrounding the Tomb.Read More
The Prince of Wales Zoological Garden was established in 1921 to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales to Lucknow. The zoo is now known as Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Praani Udyan. It is home to a variety of species of exotic birds and animals like the swamp deer, golden pheasant, tiger and rhinoceros. It is a popular destination for locals as a picnic spot and gets extremely crowded during weekends. The State Museum is within the zoo and houses a collection of sculptures, artefacts, Egyptian mummie and much more.Read More