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Lucknow Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Lucknow

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.


Bara Imambara
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 architectural wonders of Lucknow. It was constructed to provide employment during a famine. The absence of beams and pillaris in the huge main hall is an architectural wonder. Its central hall is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world. Except for the galleries in the interior, there is no wood work in the

Bara Imambara Lucknow

entire structure. It has a charming accurate labyrinths supporting the roof of the edifice, known as ‘Bhul-Bhulaiya’. Here, various visitors are totally lost and so they are strictly advised to visit only with a guide. One could wander through narrow zigzag galleries for hours without finding the way out. Within the compound of the Imambara is the grand Asafi Masjid.

Rumi Darwaza
The Rumi Darwaza is the massive gateway of the Bara Imambara. This colossal and ornated gateway is presumed to be a facsimile of one of the gateways of Constantinople in Turkey.


Chowk is the main bazaar in the old city. Here flourish the saris, gold and silver brocades, clay figures, pottery and folk embroidery. It was the haunt of the feudal aristocracy in the old days and is still the place for good bargains. Old ‘Nawabi’ houses are also situated in the area which are still inhabited by patrician families. It is here that the old culture and gracious ‘Nawabi’ manners still persist, that reminds of the 18th century culture of Lucknow.


Hussainabad 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. This Imambara has numerous domes and minarets. The hall contained a silver throne and is very picturesque when illuminated. The 67 meter high clock tower opposite the Imambara was built between 1860 and 1887.

Dilkusha Kothi
Dilkusha Kothi is set amidst lush green lawns and was built in the Gothic style. The Kothi and its adjoining magnificent garden were created by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. It is almost an exact replica of an English country house called Seeaton Delavel, built in 1721.

Chhota Imambara Lucknow

Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial
Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial is the newly added attraction in Lucknow. This memorial is spread over 53 acres of land in Gomti Nagar, and dedicated in the memory of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. In the heart of this sprawling complex, stands a 112 feet high memorial resembling a Stupa, with a 16 feet high bronze statue of Dr. Ambedkar. Numerous figures of life-size elephant, lush gardens with a 20 feet. wide canal surrounds the memorial.

Lakshman Tila
Lakshman Tila is situated on the right banks of the river Gomti and was the original site of Lucknow in the 15th century. This place is now crowned by the mosque of Aurangzeb. A family from Bijnor also built a fort here at the end of the 13th century. It then passed through a number of hands, including the Sharqi kings of Jaunpur and Sher Shah of Delhi.

State Museum
The State Museum is the oldest museum in Uttar Pradesh and one of the richest in India. This museum has a fascinating collection of artifacts from the first to eleventh centuries, stone sculptures from Mathura, busts and friezes from Allahabad and Garhwa, Hindu and Buddhists and Jain works and an Egyptian mummy. The relics of the British Raj are kept in the backyard of the museum where you can also see a range of marble sculptures of the former British citizens, removed at the time of independence when they were replaced by the statues deemed to be more appropriate.


The Residency
The Residency was designed by the Saadat Ali for the British Resident during 1780-1800. Here many dramatic events during the first war of independence in 1857 took place. This building is now in ruins and still bears the scars of destruction. The ground floor houses a small museum in which there is a model that shows the layout of the whole area in 1857. The gardens around the Residency are beautifully kept and are peaceful. Daily light and sound show is held here which recounts 

Residency Lucknow

the history of Awadh through the character of the river, Gomti. This sound show is held against the romantic backdrop of the Residency. The skillful use of light and shade, with an evocative narration, brings alive the history of Lucknow. The picture gallery is situated nearby which contains the portraits of Nawabs of Oudh.

Excursion from Lucknow


Sravasti was an important city at the time of Buddha. Buddha lived and preached at the monastery of Jetavana in Sravasti. He also performed some miracles here to convince the non-believers about the truth of his religion. After his death, the monastery enjoyed royal patronage, particularly from Ashoka and it remained active until the 11th century. The remains of the city and monastery are around the current villages of Maheth and Seth which are no more than half a kilometer apart. Maheth on the banks of the Achiravati river consists of an earthern embankment and the ruins of two stupas and temples. Seth contains the remains of the Jetavana monastery.

Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National Park is situated about 238 kms north of Lucknow. The terrain and vegetation is that of the terai. With an area of 613 square km and bordering the Sarda River, Dudhwa has tigers, leopards, sambar, swamp deer and nilgai. It is famous for its sloth bears. Like Corbett, it has a rich birdlife. The park is open from the mid of November to mid of June and the best season for viewing the large game is March to June.

Faizabad was once the capital of Oudh and was also called Bungle. The town is situated of the south banks of the Ghanghara River. Many of the stories in the Ramayana are supposed to have taken place here. Guptar Park, for example, is where Rama is believed to have disappeared. Faizabad was developed as a township nearly 220 years ago, during the reign of Safdar Jung, the second Nawab of Avadh, who laid its foundation by making it his army headquarters. Shuja-ud-Daula (1754-75), the third Nawab of Oudh, settled at Faizabad after 1764 and built a fort known as Chhota Calcutta, now in ruins, after his defeat by the British as Buxar in 1764. His widow Bahu Begum remained in Faizabad while his successor Asaf-ud-Daula moved to Lucknow. In 1765, he built the Chowk and Tripaulia and subsequently laid out the Anguribagh, Motibagh, Asafbagh and Bulandbagh. During the reign of Siraj-ud-daula, Faizabad attained prosperity which it never saw again. The glory of Faizabad eclipsed with the shifting of capital from Faizabad to Lucknow by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula. The principal achievement of the period was the mausoleum of Siraj-ud-daula, known as Gulab Bari. It is a striking building of fine properties and stands in a garden surrounded by a wall, approachable through two large gateways. The Gulab Bari was probably influenced by the design of Bahu Begum’s. It also contains the tombs of his mother and father. Siraj-ud-daula’s wife was well known as Bahu Begum, who married the Nawab in 1743 and continued to reside in Faizabad. Bahu Begum’s Mausoleum is ‘the fist mausoleum in UP’ according to Rushbrook Williams. The tomb is 42 m high and in white marble. The tomb of Bahu Begum is located at Jawaharbagh. There are no inscriptions. It is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in Avadh, which was built at the cost of three lakh rupees by her chief advisor Darab Ali Khan. A fine view of the city can be had from top of the tomb. Most of the Muslim buildings at Faizabad are attributed to the Bahu Begum.


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