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Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Information about Lucknow
Lucknow, the city of gardens is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. This city is also known as the golden city of east and one of the finest cities of India. Lucknow derives its name from Lakshman, the Lord Rama’s younger brother. Lucknow is situated at an alitude of 123 meters above the sea level on the banks of the Gomti river in the heart of eastern UP and surrounded by the unrelentingly flat Gangetic plain. Lucknow was the principal centre of the erstwhile Awadh province. Even while keeping pace with modern developments, Lucknow has preserved its golden past and its sublime culture – the Lucknawi Tehzib. Lucknow has also been the home of various poets and writers of Hindu-urdu literature, dance, music and delicious cuisine. The fascinating ‘Chikankari’ or exquisite shadow work embroidery on fine muslin cloth is also known worldwide. Hindu, Urdu and English are the main

Lucknow Uttar Pradesh

languages which are spoken in Lucknow. The best season to visit Lucknow is from October to March.

History of Lucknow
The Lucknow witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties. When the Mughals conquered North India in the 16th century it was absorbed into their empire and rapidly developed under Akbar’s patronage. In the 18th century, Nawab Sadat Ali Khan founded the Oudh (Awadh) dynasty. The builder of Lucknow was Nawab Asif-ud-Daula who shifted his capital here from Faizabad in 1775 and shaped it into a city of gardens and great buildings like the Great Imambara. He also emptied the regal coffers with his ambitious building and personal extravagance. The rulers of Oudh were great connoisseurs of music and poetry. It remained a center of political and cultural activities. In the mid 1850, under Lord Dalhousie, the British annexed a number of Indian states. The Lord Dalhousie considered British rule so superior to Indian that the more territory directly administered by the British the better it would be for the Indian people. He therefore evolved a policy of lapse whereby the states of Indian princes without direct heirs could be taken over on the ruler’s death. Chronic mismanagement was also the main cause for takeover. The great Muslim state of Oudh was annexed for this second reason. The Oudh dyansty also falls as the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was so engrossed in his game of chess that he remained unheeding to his tasks even when British soldiers occupied his capital. Whatever the justification, there was considerable resentment against the British because it was generally regarded as a breach of faith. A strong British presence was established in the city and it became a key administrative and military centre. In 1857, when the mutiny broke, Sir Henry Lawrence gathered the British community into the Residency which was turned into a fortress. The ensureing siege lasted for 87 days. When the relieving force under sir Colin Campbell finally broke through, the once splendid Residency was a blackened ruins, its walls pockmarked and gaping with cannon ball holes. Today it is a mute witness to a desperate struggle.

Cuisine of Lucknow
Lucknow is also a gourmet’s city. ‘Lucknavi Parathas’ (unleavened bread) with 10 layers are soft and crisp. Variety of Kababs, Dampukhta, Seenkh Kabab, Rumali Roti, Kulcha Nahari, Biryani, Sheermal etc. are some of the famous dishes of Lucknow. There are also various restaurants and eating joints in Lucknow, where you can have truly delicious Lakhnawi cuisine. The coffee shops, pizza outlets and fast food joins are also available as well.

Shopping in Lucknow
Lucknow is the home of the fascinating ‘Chikankari’ or exquisite shadow work embroidery on fine mulin cloth, perfumes (with a base of sandalwood oil, agar, saffron and other herbs), zari (silver and gold thread embroidery), clay toys, velvet slippers, block-printed fabrics and glazed pottery. The Chikankari of Lucknow is known all over the world. The craftsmanship of Lucknow artist is unparallel in Zardozi, Kaamdani, and Mukesh works. Sarees, Lehngas, Lanchas and Kurtas can be bought from here. The main shopping areas in the city are Hazratogaj, Aminabad, Janpath, Chowk, Nakkhas, Sadar and Kapoorthala.

Festivals of Lucknow
Some of the major Hindu and Muslim festivals are celebrated in Lucknow. There are also several festivals celebrated distinctively in Lucknow. The day after Diwali is celebrated with a great fair and national kite flying competition at the Patang Park. In the month of February, the UP Government organizes the Lucknow festival. Song, drama, dance, processions, boating, ekka races are the main features of the ten day festival with special emphasis on the performance of Indian classical music. Moharram is another festival which is celebrated in Lucknow. This is really not a festival but a period of mourning when huge tazias (replicas of tombs of the son-inlsaw and grandsons of the Prophet) are taken out in procession by Shia Muslims amidst beating of breasts. The pageantry of the Nawabi days is re-enacted. Fire-walking takes place on one of the nights.


Tourist Attractions in Lucknow
There are various majestic monuments and buildings in Lucknow, which speak of its glorious past. Bara Imambara, Hussainabad Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Lakshman Tila, Picture Gallery, Dilkusha Kothi, Chowk, The Residency, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial and State Museum are the main tourist attractions in Lucknow. The main attraction of Lucknow is the Bara (Big) Imambara, also known as Asafi Imambara. It was built by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula in 1784 and one of the

Lucknow History

architectural wonders of Lucknow. The Rumi Darwaza is the massive gateway of the Bara Imambara. Hussainabad Imambara, also known as the Chotta (small) Imambara houses the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and his mother. This Imambara was built by Muhammad Ali Shah in a florid Saracenic style with a dome, turrets and minarets. More....

How to reach Lucknow
By Air:

Lucknow is directly connected by Indian Airlines flights with Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Gorakhpur, Mumbai, Kanpur and Varanasi with regular flights. The Amousi airport is about 14 km from the city centre.

By Rail:

Lucknow is on the trunk line and has direct rail connections with Agra, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bomaby, Cochin, Delhi, Gorakhpur, Jammu, Puri, Varanasi, etc. The most convenienet connection from Delhi is Shatabdi Express – which is air-conditioned.

By Road:
Lucknow is well connected by road with all major cities of the country like Kanpur, Ayodhya, Allahabad, Varanasi, Khajurhao, Agra and Delhi.


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