Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh State and is a monument of human art and culture. The present Lucknow reflects its traditions upon which it still stands.
History of the city
Historically, no account can be given of Lucknow origin but tradition asserts that it was originally called Lakshmanpuri after Laxman, who built it as fort Lakshman for the defense of his capital. The earliest historically marked settlements in Lucknow are those of Muslims around the 13th century. They were the Shaikhs who ruled Lucknow till the 17th century to be followed by the Sultans of Delhi. Two monuments of this time, the Akbari Gate and the Aurangzeb Mosque still stand today.
Kaleidoscopic changes took place after the death of Aurangzeb when the Avadh dynasty took over in 1728 and Lucknow become a city of the Nawabs. Most of Lucknow was built during this period.
In the beginning the Nawabs of Avadh were a semiautonomous state and they only obeyed royal orders from Delhi when it suited their convenience. But sensing the disability of the later Mughal rulers, the Nawabs of Avadh, dislodged themselves from the Mughals to form a free state. But their autonomy was not to last very long. Very soon the second Nawab faced defeat in the hands of the British and had to accept their sovereignty. In a treaty, which was a continuous financial boom for the British, the Nawabs were reinstated as the rulers of Avadh and the administration of Avadh was a point of compromise between the British and the Nawabs, with the British having an upper hand.
Monuments of Lucknow
Lucknow is famous for its monuments but on the top it is chiefly famous for its architecture of Imambaras. The list of entire Imambaras of Lucknow are:-
- Asfi Imambara
- Kala Imambara
- Shah Nasaf Imambara
- Imambara Malka Jamania
- Hussainabad Imambara
- Talkatora Imambara
- Moghul Sahiba Ka Imambara
- Imambara Deputy Saheb
This Imambara of Lucknow not only defines the history and culture but today these historical places memorize the original person of this city that what Lucknow exactly means.
Deadly time faced by the Lucknow city
The war which took place in residency is still a very unique memory for the people who are very old in this city and had faced that time. The construction of this building is completed by Nawab Saadhat Ali Khan in between the period of 1780 to 1800. In the year 1857 which is also known as the year of first independent war for India. However, there were more than 1700 guards to protect this building at that time but the number was even less than a half at the time of siege. Many children and women have also been killed at that time inside the building. Today this building is surrounded by the sprawling lawns as well as terraced gardens. This bloody battle for the Englishmen forced them to rethink about the ruling in India and this building is still standing as an evidence for the tumultuous past.
Other places of interest in Lucknow can be as follows
- Rumi Darwaza (A facsimile example of the famous gates of Constantinople.)
- Clock Tower (constructed in the year 1881 and it is 221 feet tall)
- National Botanical Research Institute (famous for its beautiful gardens)
- State Museum or Zoo (A well-known spot for leisure)
- Asafi Masjid
- La Martineire College (An educational institution)
- Dilkusha Garden
- Chatatr Manzil
- Maqbara Saadat Ali Khan
- Quiserbagh Baradari
- Boat Club (An Enterprise of UP Tourism)
- Kurail Pinic Spot
- Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
- Picture gallery (also known as Lal Baradari)
- Garrison Church
- Badi Kali Ji Mandir (A famous spiritual place for Hindus devotees and considered to be 600 years ago approximately. It is in old Lucknow in the main market of Chowk)
Influence of European Architecture on Lucknow’s Building
Residency holds a very special place among the Lucknow colonial monuments. However, there have been several constructions of buildings nearly in 18th & 19th centuries. Construction of buildings in this era contains the styles of European architecture. Below is the list of some buildings which are constructed in these periods and containing 75% of European architecture. These are as follows:-
- Bibiyapur Kothi (developed by Nawab Asf-ud-daula as an entertainment residence)
- Kothi Farhat Baksh (residence of General Cloud Martin founder of La Martineire College, today his building in being converted in a very reputed educational institute of an international level)
Other buildings having influence of European architecture can be as follows
- Hayat Baksh Kothi
- Nur Baksh Kothi
- Dilkusha Kothi
- Kurhshid Manzil
- Darshan Vilas Kothi
- Roashnuddaula Kothi
Taste of the Lucknow city
Lucknow is not only famous for its monuments but it is also popular for some of its cuisines. Both veg and non-veg cuisines are not only having a great taste but are also famous at an international level. Some of the items can be as follows-
- Kababs (famous from the time of Nawabs)
- Kulfi (a sweet cold item different from ice-cream)
- Makhan Malai (A special item only found in winter)
Present scenario of Lucknow city
Lucknow city tourism can provide a person a well new sort of experience in their life. The reason is city is divided into two phases that is old Lucknow and New Lucknow. As the name appears old Lucknow one can find each and every thing here having the taste as well as look of Nawabi Culture which is coming from the time of rulers of Lucknow. While on the other hand there is the new Lucknow where one can find modernization and enjoy living with today’s modern facilities.
Incredible nature of work exclusively found in Lucknow Only
Chikankari is an incredible nature of work on a piece of cloth which one can only find in the city of Nawabs (i.e. Lucknow). These chikankari is done by the karigars with their lacs of nifty fingers. These types of clothing’s are not only famous in Lucknow only but are exported throughout the world from Lucknow itself. In old Lucknow there is a well-known market known as Chowk. This place is considered as a capital place for chikankari work. Here one can find exclusive work of chikan which is difficult to be found anywhere else in the world. However, every type of products can be found in this chikankari work such as sarees, kurtis, paijama, wedding dresses, caps, hankies, bed sheets, curtains etc. The rates majorly depend upon the percentage of work which has been done on the piece of cloth. However, rates are negotiable and it is advised by the buyer to search in at least 4 to 5 shops before purchasing any items.
Modern places of interest in Lucknow which have been recently constructed
- Regional Science City (an exclusive place for science students where one enjoy their experiments as well as can work upon them which have been taught by their teachers in their academic sessions).
- Planetarium (a place where one can have complete idea regarding his universe)
- Rama Krishna Math (a newly constructed building by the international trust known as Rama Krishna Mission.)
Places of interest which are adjacent to Lucknow city
- Ayodhya (a famous spiritual place which is only 134 kilometers away from Lucknow. This place is well-known as the birth place of King Shri Ram Chandra who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.)
- Kukrail Reserve Forest (this place is under the department of forest and one can find nursery of crocodile and deer,)
- Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary (This place is famous for migratory birds which are a major attraction for the bird lovers.)
- Deva Sharif (It is a last resting place of Syed Haji Waris Ali Shah. This place is considered to be major place for National Integration. The reason is this place is reversed by Muslims and Hindus devotees.
- Neeemsar Misrikh (This place is considered to be an essential religious centre having various temples of Chakaratirth, Vyaas, Dadhichi Kund, Lalita and Hanuman Garhi.
- Dudhwa National Park (It is only 238 kilometers from Lucknow and has a most important attraction of Royal Bengal Tiger.
- Sharwasti (A spiritual place for Buddhist religion)
Transport facilities in the city of Nawabs
There are various types of transport facility which are available in the city. One can say that this city is having complete resources of transport. However, major transport facilities are city buses, paddle rickshaw for a shorter distance, auto rickshaw, e-rickshaw, tempos etc. There is planning of Metro Rail in the city however it is under construction and can be started in the coming year that is in the year 2018 or 2019.
An incredible fair and considered to be a mirror image of Lucknow city. The reason is one can see each and every thing here of Lucknow in a single place. This fair is organized in winter season in the months of December or January for 10-15 days approximately.