Lucknow Photo Journal

Awadhian scholars of the qasbas rewrote the rational sciences syllabi of reputed West and Central Asian universities. ~ Amresh Misra, 'Lucknow:Fire of Grace'

Nawabi Architecture

Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh state is still graced by majestic monuments which speak of its glorious past. Asafi Imambara also known as Bada Imambara, Hussainabad Imambara, Kaiserbagh Palace Complex, Sadat Ali Khan's Tomb, Picure gallery and Dilkusha gardens are canvasses of architectural art-work of the aesthetic Nawabs.

Roomi gate on the main road outside the Bada Imambara compound

Roomi gate, Lucknow

This gateway is inspired by Byzantine architecture.

The making of Bara Imambara

Nawab Asif-ud-Daula (1774-1798) shifted the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. The well-loved ruler was awarded with an Urdu couplet 'Jise Na De Maula, Usse De Asif-ud-Daula', meaning even if God fails to provide for someone, Asif-ud-Daula will provide. In a famine that struck Awadh in his lifetime, Asif-ud-Daula opened he royal coffers and kitchens to his people, yet keeping beggarly status away from them. For a Shia muslim, building of an Imambara is considered great community service because an Imambara is a sacred reminder of Imam Ali, a leading light in the Islamic world.

A view of the inner gateway to Bada Imambara

Bara Imambara, Lucknow

Yellow crocus lilies (rain lilies) sprout out of the blue and add colour to the grassy lawns of Bada Imambara in the rainy season.

Find your way in Bhool Bhulaiya maze…

Bhool bhulaiya, Lucknow

Bhool bhulaiya is a maze of corridors that supports the roof of Bara Imambara.

Asafi Mosque in the Bada Imambara complex

Asafi masjid, Lucknow

Chota Imambara or Hussainabad Imambara

Chota Imambara or Hussainabad Imambara, Lucknow

The Hussainabad Imambara is an aesthete's delight. A must visit.

Ghantaghar Park, Hussainabad

Ghantaghar Park, Hussainabad, Lucknow

Yellow crocus lilies toss their heads here too in the rainy seasons. From a distance they look like dancing dots on the grass.

Colonial Style

Major General Claude Martin, a Frenchmen but part of the British regime had a penchant for experimenting in architecture. Raj Bhawan and LaMartiniere are two of the surviving beauties. LaMartiniere is now a prestigious boys' college.

LaMartiniere College, Lucknow

La Martiniere College, Lucknow

This is the best of Major General Claude Martin's architectural creations. It lies opposite the Chief Minister's official residence. Lucknow Golf Course lies to the right of the approach road to LaMartiniere College. This is a boys' college.

LaMartiniere Girls' College opposite Moti Mahal Park on Rana Pratap Marg was originally Begum Khurshed Zadi's palace. It was a meeting ground for the British during the 1857 independence struggle.

Lucknow Residency: the seat of first war of Indian independence, 1857

Lucknow Residency

The Residency built by the Nawabs for the British Resident during 1780-1800 went on to become a site for the first war of Independence in the year 1857.

Light 'n' Sound Show at The Residency

From 1st November to 14th March (7.30pm) and from 15 March to 31st October (8.45pm) for an entry fee Rs. 30/- a sound and light show relives the history of Awadh anchored by river Gomti as a witness.

Chatarpur Manzil, Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI)

CDRI, Lucknow

A building from the Nawabi era.

Shahid Smaarak Park, Martyrs' Memorial Park

Shahid smarak, Lucknow tourist spots

This park is on the banks of river Gomti. The trees and river keep the park cool in summer.

Science Convention Center

Science Convention Center, Lucknow

This is a huge auditorium.

Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama

Nadwa College, Lucknow

Nadwa is an institution for Islamic studies in Lucknow. It lies on the road that connects the Lucknow University, The College Of Architecture, The College of Fine Arts and Crafts, Mankameshwar temple and leads to Daliganj bridge across the Gomti.

Begum Hazrat Mahal Park

Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Lucknow

Earlier Begum Hazrat Mehal Park was a place for public meetings, political rallies, fairs and festival celebrations. Dushehra, Lucknow Mahotsav, etc. were a huge hit here. Now the events have moved to places like Ambedkar Maidan on the city outskirts. The park opposite Hotel Clarks Awadh is left to leisure seekers, morning walkers and kids :-)

Tomb of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan

Tomb of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, Lucknow

The twin tombs of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and Begum Khurshed Zadi lie on the road adjoining Begum Mahal Park.

Vidhan Sabha decorated for Independence day

Vidhan Sabha, Lucknow

Vidhan Sabha Marg remains the busiest road in Lucknow! Vidhan Sabha is the meeting ground of the Legislative Assembly of the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Cathedral Church, Hazratganj

Cathedral Church, Hazratganj, lucknow

Cathedral Church is accompanied by Cathedral School in the same premises in Hazratganj. It is a Catholic church. I remember playing hide and seek under the railing of the staircase leading to church. The church choir is great :-)

Ambedkar Udyan, a view across the Gomti

Ambedkar Udyan, Lucknow 

This is Chief Minister Mayawati's contribution to the city of Nawabs.

Spread over 53 acres in Gomti Nagar this memorial is dedicated to draftsman of the Indian constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. In the heart of this sprawling complex, stands a 112 ft high memorial resembling a Stupa, with a 16 ft high bronze statue of Dr. Ambedkar. Life-size statues of elephants, luxuriant gardens and an artificial water-canal charm visitors. Accomodation, restaurant and parking facilities are available here.

East End Mall, Gomtinagar, Lucknow

East End Mall, Lucknow

Awadhi Cuisine

A unique blend of Mughal and North Indian Hindu cuisine, Awadhi cuisine was developed by the erstwhile Nawabs and their creative Bawarchis.

Chaat: Pani batashe

Lucknow ki chaat

Papari Chaat

Lucknow ki chaat 

The food- alleys of Chowk and Aminabad are amazing.     

Lucknow Railway Station, Charbagh

Charbagh Railway Station, Lucknow

The Lucknow Zoo, State Museum, Picture Gallery, Chowk, Lal Bardari, Bhatkhande college of music and dance, Rashtriya Kathak Kendra, King George Medical College, are some other places worth a visit.

On the city's outskirts lie the mango orchards of Malihabad. Malihabad is worth a visit in June-July, the mango season.


Real life politics, gracious Tehzeeb, Nawabi lifestyle, grand edifices, valour and patriotism of the year 1857, Urdu poetry, Hindi literature, music as in Thumri, Ghazal, Khayal; history of musical instruments: Tabla, Sarangi, Sitar; Kathak dance, fine Chikan and Zardozi embroidery, secular traditions and enigmatic Awadhi cuisine are woven inextricably in the fabric of Lucknow's charm.

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Anisha Sharma
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The origins of chikan are shrouded in mystery and legend. Some historians opine, the chikan is a Persian craft, brought to the Mughal Court of the Emperor Jahangir by his beautiful and talented consort Mehrunissa. The queen was a talented embroiderer and she so pleased the king with this ethereal, white floral embroider that it was soon given recognition and royal patronage. Workshops were established wherein this embroider was practiced and perfected.

Lucknow Chikan on Tuesday, February 2, 2010

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