About LucknowThe capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow has long been a seat of administration and culture. Second only to Delhi in importance in the region, and the seventh largest city in India, Lucknow is easily accessible from all major cities in the country. Its literacy rate is much higher than what it is in the rest of the state too. All this has ensured its prominence as a centre of business and industry, education and research as well as tourism.
Lucknow’s period charm, together with lingering traces of its famed courtly etiquette, sets it apart from other cities in India. No wonder films such as Umrao Jaan, Shatranj ke Khiladi and Junoon, which showcased the city’s history and culture, left their mark on Indian cinema.
Lucknow, today, is an amalgam of the ancient and the modern, both existing side by side to give special flavour to the city. Along with the latest in aerospace technology, handicrafts occupy their own niche; if the craze for cricket has spread across society, traditional wrestling retains its own fan following; and modern monuments vie for attention with the city’s more historic landmarks.
A Brief History of LucknowVibrant and cosmopolitan Lucknow earned fame as the seat of the Nawabs of Awadh in 18th century. Its history and heritage, however, goes back much further. The city is believed to have been founded by Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, who gave his name to it. As Lucknow grew it came under the rule of various kingdoms including the Delhi Sultans and the Mughals. The city finally came into its own in the 18th and 19th centuries as the capital of the Nawabs of Awadh, who were feudatories of Mughals. They lavished such attention on it that it came to be known as the “Golden City” and “Constantinople of the East”. The disintegration of the Mughal Empire made Awadh a kingdom in its own right.
The rise of the East India Company in India ushered in a new era which saw the fall of Awadh and the state being annexed to British India in 1856. The last Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah, was exiled to Kolkatta. The next year, Lucknow emerged as one of the main centres of the Revolt of 1857. In the fierce fighting that ensued much of the historic city was battered. The British regained control of Luknow and it later became the capital of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Lucknow continued to play an important role and after independence was named capital of the new state of Uttar Pradesh.
Geography of Lucknow
Located at an elevation of 128 metres (420 feet) in the heart of the Gangetic Plain, Lucknow is bordered by the districts of Raebareli, Unnao and Barabanki. It lies in a fertile agricultural belt that is also the location of many industries. Special varieties of mangoes are cultivated all around Lucknow in addition to a variety of regular crops.
Climate of LucknowThe climate of Lucknow is extreme subtropical with hot summers and cold winters with temperatures reaching a high of 40.5° C in May and a low of 6.9° C in January. It rains from mid-June to mid-September with the average rainfall being 896.2 mm (35.28 in).
Lucknow TourismAn historic city such as Lucknow can be expected to be littered with monuments and buildings. While many important building were destroyed and many more are past their best days, many remains reflect the city’s glory. Lucknow’s social and cultural milieu is such that history, art and culture are part of its everyday fabric and visitors can find many things that interest them. Places of interest around Lucknow include Allahabad, Kanpur, Benaras, Faizabad, Ayodhya, Sravasti, Nawabganj and Dudhwa National Park.
Major Tourist Attractions of Lucknow
Lucknow Bara ImambaraSituated on the banks of the Gomti, a tributary of River Ganga, the main allure of the “City of Nawabs” lies in its splendid monuments, music, dance and food. No visit to the city is complete without a visit to the Bara Imambara, experiencing a ghazal night or kathak performance or eating delicious kababs on its streets.
The other tourist places in Lucknow include:
- Chhota Imambara
- La Martinière
- Rumi Darwaza
- Hussainabad Imambara
- Shah Najaf Imambara
- The Residency
- Chattar Manzil
- Jama Masjid
- Moti Mahal
- Safed Baradari
- Shahi Baoli
- Clock Tower
- Ambedkar Memorial
- Lakshman Tila
- Lucknow Zoo
- Kukrail Dam
Shopping in Lucknow
Lucknow is popular for its textiles, perfumes and handicrafts, much of it available in the city’s old bazaars. The famous chikankari work can be seen all over the city especially in the bazaars of Hazratganj, Aminabad and Chowk. Ittar shops can also be found here. Shopaholics can also explore the areas of Yahiyaganj, Kapoorthala, Janpath and Bhootnath. Modern shopping malls have also come up in Gomti Nagar, Alambagh and Shanajaf Road.
Festivals in Lucknow
Lucknow has a cosmopolitan population with people from across North India and other parts of the country. Many festivals including Makar Sankranti, Holi, Basant Panchami, Ram Navami, Teej, Raksha Bandhan, Id-ul-Fitr, Dusshera, Id-ul-Zuha, Karva Chauth, Diwali, Bhaiya Dhooj, Muharram and Christmas are celebrated here. Lucknow Mahotsav held during November-December showcases the city’s culture with literature, music, dance and food.
Food in Lucknow
Lucknow is a gastronomic paradise. Developed over centuries, cooking has acquired the level of a fine art here. The dum style of cooking was invented in the city during the days of the nawabs. From the humble street corner stall to five-star establishments, a variety of delicious dishes satisfy the most fastidious palates. These include kababs, kormas, nahari, kaliya and paya to be relished with a range of breads including kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali roti and warqi paratha. Biryani is cooked in the unique Awadhi style. A variety of other dishes, chaats and sweets cater to different tastes. Visitors can savour all these traditional delicacies in the heart of the city.
How to Reach Lucknow
Lucknow is easily accessible by road, rail and air. NH 24 leads to Delhi while NH 56, NH 25 and NH 28 lead to Varanasi, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar respectively. Lucknow is linked by rail to all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Lucknow International Airport is located at Amausi, 14 km from the city, and has regular flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Bangalore, Patna, Hyderabad, Pune and Goa as well international destinations such as Dubai and Muscat.
Quick Facts about Lucknow
Government in Lucknow
Metropolis - 689.1 km2 (266.1 sq mi)
Elevation - 128 m (420 ft)
Population as per the 2011 Census
Metropolis - 4,801,474
Rank – 7th
Density - 4,218/km2 (10,920/sq mi)
Metro - 4,801,474
Metro rank – 7th
Luknowi (in Hindi/Urdu ) or Lucknowite (in English)
Time zone - IST
Postal Index Number - 226 0xx
Lucknow STD Code - 0522
Official languages – Hindi & Urdu