Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, extends along the banks of the River Gomti. The city, known earlier as Awadh, rapidly developed under the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s patronage in the 16th century.
Today, the city is dotted with remnants of its historic past. Lucknow is also known for its elaborate cuisine and exquisite shadow-work embroidery on fine muslin cloth.
What to see
Hussainabad Imambara: Near the Rumi Darwaza, this structure houses the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah, its builder, and of his mother. Built between 1837 and 1842, it is also called the Chhota lmambara. It is approached through a fine garden. The lmambara has a white dome and numerous turrets and minarets. The walls of the mausoleum are decorated with verses in Arabic. Chandeliers, gilded mirrors, colourful stucco, the King’s throne and ornate tazia or replicas of the tombs at Karbala adorn the interior.
Shah Najaf Imambara: This white-domed structure derives its name from the town of Najaf, about 200 km south of Baghdad where the saint Hazrat Ali is buried. It is situated on the right bank of the Gomti. in this mausoleum are buried the remains of Ghazi-ud-din Haider and his wives, including Mubarak Mahal who was a European and whose real name was Mariarn. The entrance leads to a beautiful garden. The silver tomb of Ghazi-ud-din Haider lies in the centre of the building and is flanked by the more imposing silver and gold tomb of Mubarak Mahal on one side, and another tomb on the other.
Residency: Built for the British Resident in 1780-1800, it was originally a very extensive and beautiful building. It was the scene of dramatic events during the Mutiny of 1857. The scarred ruins tell the story of the British community besieged by the rebels. The main house overlooks the river and is surrounded by terraced lawns and gardens.
Asafi Imambara: Also known as the Bara Imambara, it was built by Nawab Asafud-Daula in 1784 and is one of the architectural highlights of the era. The central hall is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world. Except in the galleries in the interior, there is no woodwork used in the structure. large underground passages have been blocked up. A staircase from outside leads to a series of labyrinths which visitors are advised to visit only with authorized guides. Within the compound of the lmarnbara is a grand Asafi mosque.
Rumi Darwaza: This colossal, ornate gateway is said to be a facsimile of one of the gates of Constantinople. It was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784, to create employment during the terrible famine of 1784.
Kaiserbagh Palace Complex: The construction of the Kaiserbagh Palaces was started in 1848 by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and completed in 1850. They were built to create the eighth wonder of the world. The yellow buildings on three sides of the quadrangle, now the property of Taluqdars, once provided quarters for the ladies of the harern. In the centre stands the Baradari, a picturesque white stone edifice which was earlier paved with silver.
National Botanical Research Institute: Located at Sikandarbagh, where pitched battles took place during the Mutiny of 1857, the institute has a garden and is open to the public from 06: 00 hrs to 17:00 hrs.
State Museum / Zoo: A favourite spot for recreation, Lucknow Museum houses a large collection of artefacts and memorabilia and is located at Banarasi Bagh, within the city. The zoo has a large collection of animals. (Timings : 10.30 hrs to 02:00 hrs, weekly off: Mondays. Zoo timings : 05:00 hrs to 19: 00 hrs.
Chhatar Manzil: A palce built by the king of Avadh. It now houses the Central Drug Research Institute of India;
Maqbara Saadat Ali Khan;
Charbagh Railway Station;
Lal Baradari (it houses the state Lalit Kala Academy)
Alamgir or Aurangzeb mosque;
Sikander Bagh (the garden now houses the National Botanica;l research Institute (Timing: 0600 hrs to 1700 hrs);
Air: Lucknow is well connected by Indian airlines and private airlines with major cities in India.
Rail: Lucknow a major station on the Northern and Northern Eastern railway is well connected with major cities and towns in India.
Road: Lucknow is well connected by road with Agra 365 Km, Allahabad 225 Km, Ayodhya 134 Km, Calcutta 985 Km, Corbett National Park 400 Km, Dudhwa National Park, 230 Km, Delhi 497 Km, Kanpur 79 Km, Khajuraho 320 Km, Nainital 380 Km, Varanasi 320 Km.
Area: 79 Sq.km Temperature: Summer - Max: 42.0 Deg.C Min: 29.0 Deg.C Winter - Max: 26.0 Deg.C Min: 10.0 Deg. C
Rainfall: 22 cm (June to September) Altitude: 123 mts. Best Season: October to March STD Code: 0522
Kukrail Reserve forest (9 Km): A picnic spot developed by the Forest Department.
Deva Shairif (25 Km): The tomb of Syed Haji Waris Ali Shah.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary (43 Km): On the Lucknow-Kanpur highway, it attracts a large number of migratory and resident water-birds.
Neemsar Misrikh (94 Km): An important religious centre.
Ayodhya (134 Km): A city of immense antiquity full of historical significance and sacred temples. It is an important pilgrim centre for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.