Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. A major metropolitan city of India, Lucknow is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous District and Division. It is the third largest city in north, east and central India after Delhi and Kanpur. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub and seat of Nawab power in the 18th and 19th centuries. It continues to be an important centre of government, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 123 metres (404 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 2,528 square kilometres (976 sq mi). Bounded on the east by the Barabanki District, on the west by Unnao District, on the south by Raebareli and in the north by Sitapur and Hardoi, Lucknow sits on the northwestern shore of the Gomti River. Hindi is the main language of the city and Urdu is also widely spoken. Lucknow is the centre of Shia Islam in India with highest Shia Muslims population in India. It is accessible from every part of India by air, rail and road.
Historically the capital of Awadh was controlled by the Delhi Sultanate under Mughal rule, it was later transferred to the Nawabs of Awadh. After Lord Clive's defeat of the Bengal, Awadh and Mughal Nawabs it fell under the rule of the East India Company with control transferred to the British Raj in 1857. Along with the rest of India, Lucknow became independent from Britain on 15 August 1947. It is the world's 74th fastest growing city.
Lucknow, along with Agra and Varanasi, is one of the 3 cities in the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc which is a chain of survey triangulations created by the Government Of Uttar Pradesh to boost tourism in the state.
Origin of name
"Lucknow" is the anglicized spelling of the local pronunciation "lakhnau"(Also known as city of nawabs). According to one legend, the city is named after Lakshmana, a hero of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. The legend states that Lakshman had a palace or an estate in the area, which was called Lakshmanapuri ("Lakshmana's city"). The settlement came to be known as Lakhanpur (or Lachhmanpur) by the 11th century, and later, Lucknow. A similar theory states that the city was known as "Lakshmanavati" after Lakshmana. The name changed to Lakhanavati, then Lakhnauti and finally Lakhnau. Yet another theory states that the city's name is connected with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. It was originally known as Lakshmanavati ("fortunate"). Over time, the name changed as follows: Laksmanauti -> Laksmnaut -> Laksnaut - > Laksnau -> Laknau.
From 1350 onwards, Lucknow and parts of the Awadh region were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, the British East India Company (EIC) and the British Raj. Lucknow was one of the major centres of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and actively participated in India's independence movement, emerging as a strategically important North Indian city. Until 1719, the subah of Awadh was a province of the Mughal Empire administered by a Governor appointed by the Emperor. Persian adventurer Saadat Khan, also known as Burhan-ul-Mulk, was appointed nizam of Awadh in 1722 and established his court in Faizabad, near Lucknow.
For about eighty-four years (from 1394 to 1478), Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur. Emperor Humayun made it a part of the Mughal Empire around 1555. Emperor Jahangir (1569–1627) granted an estate in Awadh to a favoured nobleman, Sheikh Abdul Rahim, who later built Machchi Bhawan on this estate. It later became the seat of power from where his descendants, the Sheikhzadas, controlled the region.
The Nawabs of Lucknow, in reality the Nawabs of Awadh, acquired the name after the reign of the third Nawab when Lucknow became their capital. The city became North India's cultural capital, and its nawabs, best remembered for their refined and extravagant lifestyles, were patrons of the arts. Under their dominion, music and dance flourished, and construction of numerous monuments took place. Of the monuments standing today, the Bara Imambara, the Chota Imambara, and the Rumi Darwaza are notable examples. One of the Nawab's enduring legacies is the region's syncretic Hindu–Muslim culture that has come to be known as the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.
Gates of the Palace at Lucknow by W. Daniell, 1801
Many independent kingdoms, such as Awadh, were established as the Mughal Empire disintegrated. The third Nawab, Shuja-ud-Daula (r. 1753–1775), fell out with the British after aiding the fugitive Nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim. Roundly defeated at the Battle of Buxar by the EIC, he was forced to pay heavy penalties and surrender parts of his territory. Awadh's capital, Lucknow rose to prominence when Asaf-ud-Daula, the fourth nawab, shifted his court to the city from Faizabad in 1775. The British appointed a resident in 1773 and over time gained control of more territory and authority in the state. They were, however, disinclined to capture Awadh outright and come face to face with the Maratha Empire and the remnants of the Mughal Empire. In 1798, the fifth Nawab Wazir Ali Khan alienated both his people and the British, and was forced to abdicate. The British then helped Saadat Ali Khan take the throne. He became a puppet king, and in a treaty of 1801, yielded half of Awadh to the EIC while also agreeing to disband his own troops in favor of a hugely expensive, British-controlled army. This treaty effectively made the state of Awadh a vassal of the EIC, although it continued to be part of the Mughal Empire in name until 1819. The treaty of 1801 proved a beneficial arrangement for the EIC as they gained access to Awadh's vast treasuries, repeatedly digging into them for loans at reduced rates. In addition, the revenues from running Awadh's armed forces brought them useful returns while the territory acted as a buffer state. The Nawabs were ceremonial kings, busy with pomp and show but with little influence over matters of state. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the British had grown impatient with the arrangement and demanded direct control over Awadh.
The ruins of Residency at Lucknow shows the gunfire it took during the rebellion
In 1856 the EIC first moved its troops to the border, then annexed the state under the Doctrine of lapse. Awadh was placed under a chief commissioner – Sir Henry Lawrence. Wajid Ali Shah, the then Nawab, was imprisoned then exiled by the EIC to Calcutta. In the subsequent Indian Rebellion of 1857, his 14-year-old son Birjis Qadra, whose mother was Begum Hazrat Mahal, was crowned ruler but later killed by Sir Henry Lawrence. Following the rebellion's defeat, Begum Hazrat Mahal and other rebel leaders sought asylum in Nepal.
During the Rebellion (also known as the First War of Indian Independence and the Indian Mutiny), the majority of the EIC's troops were recruited from both the people and nobility of Awadh. The rebels seized control of the state, and it took the British 18 months to reconquer the region. During that period, the garrison based at the Residency in Lucknow was besieged by rebel forces during the Siege of Lucknow. The siege was relieved first by forces under the command of Sir Henry Havelock and Sir James Outram, followed by a stronger force under Sir Colin Campbell. Today, the ruins of the Residency and the Shaheed Smarak offer an insight into Lucknow's role in the events of 1857.
With the rebellion over, Oudh returned to British governance under a chief commissioner. In 1877 the offices of lieutenant-governor of the North-Western Provinces and chief commissioner of Oudh were combined; then in 1902, the title of chief commissioner was dropped with the formation of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, although Oudh still retained some marks of its former independence.
The Khilafat Movement had an active base of support in Lucknow, creating united opposition to British rule. In 1901, after remaining the capital of Oudh since 1775, Lucknow, with a population of 264,049, was merged into the newly formed United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. In 1920 the provincial seat of government moved from Allahabad to Lucknow. Upon Indian independence in 1947, the United Provinces were reorganised into the state of Uttar Pradesh, and Lucknow remained its capital.
Culturally, Lucknow has also had a tradition of courtesans, with popular culture distilling it in the avatar of the fictional Umrao Jaan.
Geography and climate
The Gomti River, Lucknow's chief geographical feature, meanders through the city and divides it into the Trans-Gomti and Cis-Gomti regions. Situated in the middle of the Indus-Gangetic Plain, the city is surrounded by rural towns and villages: the orchard town of Malihabad, Kakori, Mohanlal ganj, Gosainganj, Chinhat, and Itaunja. To the east lies Barabanki District, to the west Unnao District, to the south Raebareli District, while to the north lie the Sitapur and Hardoi Districts. Lucknow city is located in a seismic zone III.
Lucknow has a humid subtropical climate with cool, dry winters from November to February and dry, hot summers from April to June. The rainy season is from July to mid-September, when the city gets an average rainfall of 896.2 millimetres (35.28 in) from the south-west monsoon winds, and occasionally frontal rainfall will occur in January. In winter the maximum temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) and the minimum is in the 3 °C (37 °F) to 7 °C (45 °F) range. Fog is quite common from late December to late January. Occasionally, Lucknow experiences colder winter spells than places like Shimla and Mussoorie which are situated way high up in the Himalayas. In the extraordinary winter cold spell of 2012-13, Lucknow recorded temperatures below freezing point on 2 consecutive days and the minimum temperature hovered around freezing point for over a week. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures rising into the 40 °C (104 °F) to 45 °C (113 °F) range, the average highs being in the high of 30s (degree Celsius).
Flora and fauna
Lucknow has a total of only 4.66 percent of forest, which is much less than the state average of around 7 percent. Shisham, dhak, mahuamm, babul, neem, peepal, ashok, khajur, mango and gular trees are all grown here.
Different varieties of mangoes, especially Dasheri, are grown in the Malihabad block of the district for export. The main crops are wheat, paddy, sugarcane, mustard, potatoes, and vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, and brinjals. Similarly, sunflowers, roses, and marigolds are cultivated over a fairly extensive area. Many medicinal and herbal plants are also grown here while common Indian monkeys are found in patches in and around city forests such as Musa Bagh.
The Lucknow Zoo, one of the oldest in the country, was established in 1921. It houses a rich collection of animals from Asia and other continents. The city also has a botanical garden, which is a zone of wide plant diversity. It also houses the Uttar Pradesh State Museum. It has sculptural masterpieces dating back to the 3rd century AD, including intricately carved Mathura sculptures ranging from dancing girls to scenes from the life of Buddha.
The major industries in the Lucknow Urban Agglomeration include aeronautics, machine tools, distillery chemicals, furniture and Chikan embroidery.
Lucknow is among the top 15 cities of India by GDP.
Lucknow is also a major centre for research and development as home to the prominent R&D centres of the National Milk Grid of the National Dairy Development Board, the Central Institute of Medical and Aromatic Plants, the National Handloom Development Corporation and U.P. Export Corporation.
Ranked sixth in a list of the ten fastest growing job-creating cities in India according to a study conducted by Assocham Placement Pattern, Lucknow's economy was formerly based on the tertiary sector and the majority of the workforce were employed as government servants. Large-scale industrial establishments are few compared to other north Indian state capitals like New Delhi. Currently the economy is growing with contributions from the fields of IT, manufacturing and processing and medical/bio-technology. Business-promoting institutions such as the CII and EDII have set up their service centers in the city.
Lucknow is a growing IT hub with various software and IT companies resident in the city. Tata Consultancy Services is one of the major companies with its campus in Gomti Nagar, which also is the second-largest such establishment in Uttar Pradesh. There are many local open source technology companies. The city is also home to a number of important national and state level headquarters for companies including Sony Corporation and Reliance Retail. A sprawling 100 acres (40 ha) IT city is planned by the state government at the Chak Ganjaria farms site on the road to Sultanpur and they have already approved special economic zone status for the project, which is expected to create thousands of job opportunities in the state.
The city has enormous potential in the handicrafts sector and accounts for 60 percent of total exports from the state. Major export items are marble products, handicrafts, art pieces, gems, jewellery, textiles, electronics, software products, computers, hardware products, apparel, brass products, silk, leather goods, glass items and chemicals. Lucknow has promoted public-private partnerships in a major way in sectors such as electricity supply, roads, expressways, and educational ventures.
To promote the textile industry in the city, the Indian government has allocated Rs. 200 crore (2000 million rupees) to set up a textile business cluster in the city.
Government and politics
As the seat of the government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow is the site of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, the Allahabad High Court and numerous government departments and agencies.
Since 1 May 1963, Lucknow has been the headquarters of the Central Command of the Indian Army, before which it was the headquarters of Eastern Command.
The city spans an area stretching from the Mohanlalganj (Lok Sabha constituency) in the south to Bakshi Ka Talab in the north and Kakori in the east. Lucknow Urban Agglomeration (LUA) includes Lucknow Municipal Corporation and Lucknow Cantonment with executive power vested in the municipal commissioner of Lucknow, who is an administrative officer. The corporation comprises elected members (corporators elected from the wards directly by the people) with the city mayor as its head. An assistant municipal commissioner oversees each ward for administrative purposes. The city elects members to the Lok Sabha as well as the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha (State Assembly). As of 2008, there were 110 wards in the city. Morphologically, three clear demarcations exist; the Central business district, which is a fully built up area, comprises Hazratganj, Aminabad and Chowk A middle zone surrounds the inner zone with cement houses while the outer zone consists of slums. Lucknow has two Lok Sabha Constituencies Lucknow and Mohanlalganj and nine Vidhan Sabha constituencies. The current chief minister of the state for the 2012 Vidhan Sabha is Shri Akhilesh Yadav.
Lucknow falls under the jurisdiction of a district collector, who is an IAS officer. Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the central government, and oversee the national elections held in the city. The collector is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the city.
The police is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), who is an IPS officer, and comes under the authority of the state Home Ministry. Each of the several police zones and traffic police zones is headed by a deputy inspector general of police. The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Lucknow Police while the Lucknow Fire Brigade department is headed by the Chief Fire Officer, who is assisted by a Deputy Chief Fire Officers and Divisional Officers. Former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee was a member of Parliament for the Lucknow Parliamentary constituency until 2009, when he was replaced by Lalji Tandon. Rajnath Singh replaced Tandon in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.
The Commission of Railway Safety of India, under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has its head office in the Northeast Railway Compound in Lucknow.
The Lucknow Police, a subsidiary of Uttar Pradesh Police, keeps the citizens under watch through high-technology control rooms and all important streets and intersections are under surveillance with the help of drone cameras. Mob controlling is carried out with the help of pepper spraying drones. The Lucknow Modern Police Control Room (abbreviated as MCR) is India's biggest 'Dial 100' service center with 300 communication officers to receive distress calls from all over the state and 200 dispatch officers to rush for police help. It is billed as the India's most hi-tech police control room.
The roads of Lucknow (Gomti Nagar in picture)
Four Indian National Highways originate at Lucknow's Hazratganj intersection: NH-24 to Delhi, NH-24B to Allahabad, NH-25 to Shivpuri via Jhansi, NH-56 to Varanasi and NH-28 to Barauni. Multiple modes of public transport are available such as taxis, city buses, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws and compressed natural gas (CNG) low floor buses with and without air conditioning. CNG was introduced as an auto fuel to keep air pollution under control. Radio Taxis are operated by two major companies along with several other small operators. They can be arranged by phone or at taxi stands. Many other private players such as Ola cabs have also their presence in the city.
See also: Lucknow Mahanagar Parivahan Sewa
Lucknow city's bus service is operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC), a public sector passenger road transport corporation headquartered in MG road. It has 300 CNG buses operating in the city out of an overall fleet of 9,500. There are around 35 routes in the city. Terminals for city buses are located in Gudamba, Virajkhand, Alambagh, Scooter India, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Babu Banarasi Das University, Safedabad, Pasi qila, Charbagh, Andhe Ki Chowki, and the Budheshwar Intersection. There are four bus depots in Gomti Nagar, Charbagh, Amausi, and Dubagga.
See also: Kanpur Lucknow Roadways Service and Lucknow Upnagariya Parivahan Sewa
The major Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Alambagh provides the main inter and intrastate bus lines in Lucknow. Located on National Highway 25, it provides adequate services to ongoing and incoming customers. There is a smaller bus station at Qaiserbagh. The bus terminal formally operated at Charbagh, in front of the main railway station, has now been re-established as a city bus depot. This decision was taken by the state government and UPSRTC to decongest traffic in the railway station area. Kanpur Lucknow Roadways Service is a key service for daily commuters who travel back and forth to the city for business and educational purposes. Air conditioned "Royal Cruiser" buses manufactured by Volvo are operated by UPSRTC for inter state bus services. Main cities served by the UPSRTC intrastate bus service are Allahabad, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Gorakhpur. The cities outside Uttar Pradesh that are covered by inter-state bus services are Jaipur, New Delhi, Gwalior, Bharatpur, Singrauli, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Dausa, Ajmer, Dehradun, and Haridwar.
See also: Lucknow–Kanpur Suburban Railway and Barabanki-Lucknow Suburban Railway
Charbagh Railway Station, Lucknow
Lucknow is served by several railway stations in different parts of the city. The main long-distance railway station is Lucknow Railway Station located at Charbagh. It has an imposing structure built in 1923 and acts as the divisional headquarters of the Northern Railway division. Its neighbouring and second major long-distance railway station is Lucknow Junction railway station operated by the North Eastern Railway. The city is an important junction with links to all major cities of the state and country such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Jaipur and Siwan. The city has a total of fourteen railway stations with meter gauge services originating at Aishbagh and connecting to Lucknow city, Daliganj and Mohibullapur. Except for Mohibullapur, all stations are connected to broad gauge and metre gauge railways. All stations lie within the city limits and are well interconnected by bus services and other public road transport. Suburban stations include Bakshi Ka Talab and Kakori. The Lucknow–Kanpur Suburban Railway was started in 1867 to cater for the needs of commuters travelling between Lucknow and Kanpur. Trains running on this service also stop at numerous stations at different locations in the city forming a suburban rail network.
Terminal-2, CCS International Airport
Direct air connections are available in Lucknow to New Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Dehradun and other major cities via Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport. The airport is suitable for all-weather operations and provides parking facilities for up to 50 aircraft. At present, Air India, Air India Express, Jetlite, Jet Air, GoAir, IndiGo, Saudi Airlines, Flydubai, Oman Air and Air Vistara operate domestic and international flights to and from Lucknow. Covering 1,187 acres (480 ha), with Terminal 1 for international flights and Terminal 2 for domestic flights, the airport can handle Boeing 767 to Boeing 747-400 aircraft allowing significant passenger and cargo traffic. International destinations include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Dammam, and Jeddah. Planned expansion of the airport will allow Airbus A380 jumbo jets to land at the airport; the Airport Authority of India is also planning to expand the international terminal to increase passenger traffic capacity. There is also a plan for runway expansion. It is the 10th-busiest airport in India, busiest in Uttar Pradesh, and second-busiest in North India.
Construction plans for a mass rapid transit system, the Lucknow Metro and Monorail Service were finalised in December 2013 by Delhi Metro Rail (DMRC). Collection of soil samples for metro construction began on 5 August 2009 and was completed in September the same year. The report concluded that the soil condition was feasible for metro rail. The decision to go ahead with the project was taken in the Uttar Pradesh state budget debate for 2013–14. In February, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav gave approval to set up a metro rail system for the state capital. It is divided into two corridors with the North-South corridor connecting Munshipulia to CCS International Airport and the East-West corridor connecting Charbagh Railway Station to Vasant Kunj. This will be the most expensive public transport system in the state, but will provide a rapid means of mass transport to decongest traffic on city roads. Construction of the first phase will be completed by 2016–17.
Lucknow is among the most bicycle-friendly cities in Uttar Pradesh. Various bike-friendly tracks have already been established near the Chief Minister's residence in the city. The four-and-a-half-kilometre track encompasses La-Martiniere College Road next to Golf Club on Kalidas Marg, where the Chief Minister resides, and Vikramaditya Marg, which houses the office of the ruling party. The dedicated four-metre-wide lane for cyclists is separate from the footpath and the main road. With Amsterdam as the inspiration, new cycle tracks are to be constructed in the city to make it more cycle-friendly, with facilities like bike rental also in the works. In the year 2015, Lucknow also hosted a national level cycling event called 'The Lucknow Cyclothon' in which various professional and amateur cyclists took part.
The population of Lucknow Urban Agglomeration (LUA) rose above one million in 1981 while the 2001 census estimated it had risen to 2.24 million. This included about 60,000 people in the Lucknow Cantonment and the 2.18 million in Lucknow city and represented an increase of 34.53 percent over the 1991 figure.
As reported by the Census of India 2011 Lucknow city had a population of 2,815,601 of which 1,470,133 were men and 1,345,468 women This was an increase of 25.36 percent compared to the 2001 figures.
Between 1991 and 2001 the district population registered growth of 32.03 percent, significantly lower than the 37.14 percent which was registered between 1981 and 1991. The initial provisional data for the district suggests a population density of 1,815 per km2 in 2011 compared to 1,443 in 2001. Although the total area covered by the Lucknow district is only about 2,528 square kilometres (976 sq mi), the population density was much above that of the 690 persons per km2 recorded at state level. The Scheduled Caste population of the state represented 21.3 percent of the total population, a figure higher that the state average of 21.15 percent.
Over 36.37 percent of the total population reside in rural areas leaving barely around 63.3 percent composed of urbanites. These were, however, high figures when compared to the state as whole, where urban population only constituted around 21% of the total population. The sex ratio in Lucknow city stood at 915 females per 1000 males in 2011 compared to 2001 census figure of 888. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 according to the Census 2011 Directorate.
The city also boasts a total literacy level of 84.72% compared to 56.3% for Uttar Pradesh as a whole. Average literacy rate for the Lucknow district in 2011 was 77.29% compared to 68.71% in 2001 with male and female rates at 87.81% and 81.36% respectively. For the district as a whole, the rate was 82.56% for males and 71.54% for females. The same figures stood at 75.98% and 60.47% in 2001. In Lucknow city the total literate population totalled 2,147,564 people of which 1,161,250 were male and 986,314 female. There has been a marked improvement in the literacy rate in the district as compared to 1991. Despite the fact that the overall work participation rate in the district (32.24%) is higher than the state average (23.7%), the rate among females in Lucknow is very low at only 5.6 percent and shows a decline from the 1991 figure of 5.9 percent.
Lucknow's buildings show different styles of architecture with the majority built during British or Mughal rule. More than half of these buildings lie in the old part of the city. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department organizes a "Heritage Walk" for tourists covering the popular monuments. Among the extant architecture there are religious buildings such as Imambaras, mosques, and other Islamic shrines as well as secular structures such as enclosed gardens, baradaris, and palace complexes.
Bara Imambara in Hussainabad is a colossal edifice built in 1784 by the then Nawab of Lucknow, Asaf-ud-Daula. It was originally built to provide assistance to people affected by the deadly famine, which struck the whole of Uttar Pradesh in the same year. It is the largest hall in Asia without any external support from wood, iron or stone beams. The monument required approximately 22,000 labourers during construction.
The 60 feet (18 m) tall Rumi Darwaza, built by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula (r. 1775-1797) in 1784, served as the entrance to the city of Lucknow. It is also known as the Turkish Gateway, as it was erroneously thought to be identical to the gateway at Constantinople. The edifice provides the west entrance to the Great Imambara and is embellished with lavish decorations.
Styles of architectures from various cultures can be seen in the historical places of Lucknow. The University of Lucknow shows a huge inspiration from the European style while Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture is prominently present in the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha building and Charbagh Railway station. Dilkusha Kothi is the remains of a palace constructed by the British resident Major Gore Ouseley around 1800 and showcases an example of English Baroque architecture. It served as a hunting lodge for the Nawab of Awadhs and as a summer resort.
The Chattar Manzil, which served as the palace for the rulers of Awadh and their wives is topped by an umbrella-like dome and so named on account of Chattar being the Hindi word for "umbrella". Opposite Chattar Manzil stands the 'Lal Baradari' built by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan I between 1789 and 1814. It functioned as a throne room at coronations for the royal courts. The building is now used as a museum and contains delicately executed portraits of men who played major roles in the administration of the kingdom of Oudh.
The Tile Wali Masjid, Alamgiri Mosque, Lucknow It contains the famous Alamgiri Mosque which was built by Sultan Ali who was Governor of the province of Avadh during the reign of Aurangzeb. The mosque is known for its outstanding symmetry of form and sobriety of decoration.
Another example of mixed architectural styles is La Martiniere College, which shows a fusion of Indian and European ideas. It was built by Major-General Claude Martin who was born in Lyon and died in Lucknow on 13 September 1800. Originally named "Constantia", the ceilings of the building are domed with no wooden beams used for construction. Glimpses of Gothic architecture can also be seen in the college building.
Lucknow's Asafi Imambara exhibits vaulted halls as its architectural speciality. The Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara and Rumi Darwaza stand in testament to the city's Nawabi mixture of Mughlai and Turkish style of architecture while La Martiniere college bears witness to the Indo-European style. Even the new buildings are fashioned using characteristic domes and pillars, and at night these illuminated monuments become the city's main attractions.
Around Hazratganj, the city's main market, there is a fusion of old and modern architecture. It has a multi-level parking lot in place of an old and dilapidated police station making way for extending the corridors into well-aligned pebbled pathways, adorned with piazzas, green areas and wrought-iron Tall, beautifully crafted cast-iron lamp-posts, reminiscent of the Victorian era, flank both sides of the street.
Tourist Places of Lucknow
The name refers to a shrine built by the Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784, and is one of the largest buildings in Lucknow. The name ‘Bara Imambara’ is an Urdu word, wherein the word ‘Bara’ means big and ‘Imambara’ means the shrine complex. The complex includes the Asfi mosque and the Bhulbhulaiya or the Labyrinth. The Asfi mosque contains the tomb of Asaf-ud-daula, and the labyrinth is the only maze in India and supports the massive structure of the whole complex from the underground.
Another congregation complex of the Shia Muslim sect, The Chota Imambara was built in 1838 by Nawab Muhammad Shah Ali. The complex also serves as the tomb for the Nawab who is buried there alongside his mother. Right outside the complex also lays the 4 storied Satkhanda, an unfinished watchtower or observatory which was supposed to have 7 stories. The Nawab wanted to make a tower as tall as the Qutab Minar and is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in design.
British Residency is regarded as a National Monument and is one of the major sites of the Revolt of 1857 and the historic battle known as the Seige of Lucknow. The site was the residence of the British Resident General which was stormed during the battle. The structure though in ruins after the battle has still been preserved till date with the bullet grazed walls and is surrounded by gardens which attract a great number of tourist crowd.
Lucknow Zoo is also known as The Prince of Wales Zoological Park and is spread across an area of 71.6 acres of land. The zoo was built in 1921 to welcome the arrival of the Prince of Wales and contains several species of birds, animals and reptiles. The zoo is famous for breeding and housing endangered species like the White Tiger, Indian Wolf and Hog Deer etc.
Want to go on a shopping spree? Hazratganj is the answer for you. The traditional Indian bazaars of Hazratganj contains several shops that sell items ranging from jewelry, handicrafts, handloom, electronics, automobiles and contains various shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters and a library.
The site formerly known as the Constantia House is now housed by the La Martinière College. The building is located on a terraced location which was a lake at some point. The architecture is mixed style that combines various techniques of Italian architecture. The college is one of the only educational institutions to receive a battle honor due to its role during the Seige of Lucknow.
Dr. Ambedkar Park
Spread across an area of 107 acres of land, the modern architectural monument is dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The entire monument is built in red sandstone which was brought from the areas of Rajasthan. The park is located in Gomti Nagar which is one of the most posh localities of Lucknow. The well maintained lawns, various columns and a canal that surrounds the vicinity make it a well frequented tourist attraction.
Harboring over a 100,000 antiquities the Lucknow State Museum is the oldest and the largest museum in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The oldest of antiques date back to the Gupta period along with a vast number of other artifacts, pottery, tools and weapons, manuscripts etc.
Also known by the name, Turkish Gate, the Rumi Darwaza was built in 1784 by the Nawab Asaf-ud-daula. The monument is a massive gateway which is one of the best specimens of Awadhi Style architecture. The monument’s grandness in design is often compared to that of Rome and the Ottoman Empire and marks the entrance to the old city of Lucknow.
The name Chattar Manzil literally means the Umbrella Palace and was the residence to the Nawabs of Awadh and their successors. The palace was constructed in the 1780’s and became one of the major strongholds of the revolutionaries during the 1857 uprising. The architectural style of the original building was a cross between Indo-European styles and was later restored by the British according to their preferences.
Begum Hazrat Mahal Park
Begam Hazrat Mahal Park was built in 1962 in the memory of the Begum of Awadh, Hazrat Mahal who revolted against the British in the 1857 uprising. The park was renamed to Begum Hazrat Mahal Park and a marble memorial was constructed which bears the Coat of Arms of the Awadh royal family. The park is a major attraction during the major Hindu festivals like Holi and Dussehra.
Lucknow due to its rich cultural heritage and architectural wonders is often described as the BI. The city apart from the above-mentioned tourist places in Lucknow are famous for amazing Awadhi cuisine which is a must try for any foodie.