Once the capital and cultural hub of Avadh (Oudh), Lucknow still reflects the glory of the Nawabs and is now the capital of the most populous state of India where vestiges of the medieval past seamlessly merge with modern aspirations. In a travel to Lucknow, visitors can enjoy the city’s colonial architecture, grandiose tombs, beautiful mosques and minarets as well as the aroma of the exquisite cuisines. Located on the banks the Gomti River, Lucknow is known for its kebabs. Today the presence of new ultra modern malls and shopping complexes in the city are driving a new fashion dynamics reflecting the onward march of India’s burgeoning middle class. In short, Lucknow is a potpourri of old and new.
Built in the 1784 by the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, who is credited with the construction of many of Lucknow’s finest structure, this colossal, ornate gateway is still in use. The attractive Rumi Darwaza is said believed to be a replica of the entrance gate in Constantinople.
Also known as Asafi Imambara, the Bara Imambara complex captivates visitors for its sheer size. One of the most impressive structures in the city, the complex houses the tomb of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula who embarked on the construction of the Bara Imambara to provide employment to the people during famine which lasted for a decade. The complex is also home to imposing Asfi mosque, a labyrinth called bhulbhulayah by the locals and bowli (step well).
Designed by Roskell Payne in 1881, the 67 meter high Hussainabad Clock Tower, located near the Rumi Darwaza, is said to be supposedly a replica of the Bigben Clock Tower of London.
One of the landmarks of Lucknow, the Residency once served as a refuge for the thousands of Englishmen during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, also hailed as First War of Independence. The Residency has a small museum run by the Archeological Survey of India which showcases the events during the Sepoy Mutiny. One can also enjoy the Sound and Light Show held at the Residency depicting its history.
Located in the centre of the Lucknow city on the banks of Gomti River, the Shah Najaf Imambara is home to the tombs of Nawab Ghazi-ud-din Haidar and his wives Mubarak Mahal (died 1849), Sarfaraz Mahal (died 1878) and Mumtaz Mahal (died 1896).. Inspired by the mausoleum of the fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali at Najaf in Iraq, Shah Najaf Imambara was completed in 1816.
Other attraction that will detain you in Lucknow is Chattar Manzil. Initiated by Ghazi-ud-din Haider and completed by his successor Nasir-ud-din Haider, this landmark exudes an old-world charm with its umbrella-shaped dome from which the imposing palace derives its name. The structure once served as the office of Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI).
Located at the grounds of the Banarasi Bagh, the zoo is home to more than 400 mammals bird species and reptiles. Within the zoo premises is located the State Museum which showcases several items including sculptural masterpieces dating back to the ancient India.
Known as Chota Imambara in popular parlance, the Imambara of Hussainabad was built by Nawab Mohammed Ali Shah in 1839. Located in a short distance from the Rumi Darwaza, this imposing structure in Lucknow houses the tombs of Mohammed Ali Shah and his mother. Characterized by gold-plated domes, chandeliers, the walls of the Imambara are embellished with verses in Arabic. Outside the Hussainabad Imambara is the ruined tower called Satkhanda or tower of seven stories. Though its name points to seven stories, it has only four levels, as the construction was left incomplete due to the death of its builder Ali Shah.
One of the youngest attractions of Lucknow, the sprawling park is spread on an area of 107 acres in Gomti Nagar. Dedicated to the social reformer and former Union cabinet minister Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the memorial presents a beautiful sight when illuminated at night.
Situated on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, this sanctuary receives migrating birds all over the world during winter. These birds come from as far as Europe and Siberia. 43 km from Lucknow city, the sanctuary is one of the famous side trips from Lucknow.
Birdwatchers are attracted by the varieties of migratory and resident birds like bronze winged Jacana, Asian Openbill Stork. Starting from October until March, birds migrate to this place. Hence it is the best season to visit the sanctuary. In the vicinity of the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary is a deer park which is home to the spotted deer.
Kukrail Reserve Forest (9 km), Kashishwar Mahadev Temple (15 km), Shaheed Smark (Kakori) (22 km), Malihabad (30 km), Mahadeva (62 km) and Naimisaranya (94 km) are some of the popular excursion sites located within a radius of 100 lm from Lucknow.
What has been a trip to Lucknow if you have not sampled the Kebabs (meatballs) that come in different varieties. Delectable and delightful, the Kebab or the meatball in Lucknow is every gourmet’s dream come true. The city's many specialty restaurants are home to the most authentic Kebabs. Tunde ke Kebab is one of the most famous shops selling kebabs. Hazratganj is the favouite haunt of the foodies. Savour the nargisi Kebabs and rommali roties at the Naushijaan.
Your visit to Lucknow isn't quite complete without having shopped for clothes and dress materials with Chikan-kari work. Hazratganj in Lucknow is a shopper's. It is home to sub markets like Naza Market, also known as Computer Bazaar, and Janpath. Some of the famous shopping centres in Hazratganj are Handaloom Emporium, Gurjari and Gandhi Ashram that sell handicrafts.
Air: The city’s airport, Amausi Airport, 14 kilometers from the city center, is connected by flights from major cities of India.
Rail: A major railway junction, Lucknow is conveniently linked with prominent cities and places in India. Lucknow has two main railway stations, Lucknow city center and Charbagh, with trains connecting to major Indian cities and places.
Road: Good motorable roads connect Lucknow to all major places and cities in India. Some of the near cities and places connected with Lucknow are Kanpur (79 km ), Ayodhya (135 km ), Allahabad (210 km), Dudhwa National Park (238km), Varanasi (305 km), Khajuraho (320 km), Corbett National Park (400 km ) and Delhi (497 km)
Accommodation in Lucknow is not an issue for any travelers coming here. There is plenty of accommodation available ranging from luxurious hotels to budget hotels to suit your budget and taste.
Lucknow is home several hotels and other accommodation facilities located in different parts of the city. They provide world class service and hospitality for which the city is known. Vivanta by Taj, Comfort Inn, La Palace Park Inn , Hotel Clarks Avadh, Gemini Continental , Sagar International, Hotel Maharana Mahal, Presidency Inn, Grand Hotel, Taj Mahal Hotel, Hotel Clarks Awadh, Arif Castles, Hotel Deep Awadh, Deep Hotel, Hotel Charan International, Capoors Hotel, Mohan Hotel
Ram Krishna Guest and Hotel Tulsi are some of the famous hotels in Lucknow.