Lucknow, a city where heritage and tradition meet to produce a homogenous mixture par excellence, is the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of India. It is well connected with all the major cities of India by rail, road and air links.
Situated on either side of the river Gomti, Lucknow has been an important centre of art, musicand dance. It has a special place in the history of the freedom struggle of India. The best time to visit Lucknow is between October and March. December to February are the coldest months here, hence warm clothing is a must.
How to reach
By Air - The Lucknow airport is 14 km away from the city.
By Rail - Lucknow city centre is a major railway station in North India.
The Bara Imambara, one of the most famous places in Lucknow, was built by Nawab Asaf Ud Daulah who was known for his magnanimity. It was built to provide food to the famished subjects of the Nawab. Legend has it that the rich gentry of Lucknow helped in the construction of this noble building. The building, especially known for it's simplicity of style and symmetrical proportions, houses a bhulbhullaiyan, which is a maze of entangled paths. It is said that if a person goes here, he loses his way. The Imambara has a grand mosque towards its left side and a huge well known as the Baoli, towards its right. Unique acoustics have been used in the construction of this building. It is open for visitors between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The Chota Imambara
A grand mausoleum built by Mohammad Ali Shah for himself, the Chota Imambara (also known as Hussainabad Imambara). Surrounded by a beautiful garden, the main building is a domed structure. The exterior of the building is ornately decorated with verses from the Holy Quran. The inner part of the structure is decorated with gilded mirrors and carvings on zari. The mausoleum also has two replicas of the Taj Mahal on either side.
The Rumi Darwaza which leads into the Bara Imambara reflects the Avadh architedture. Also known as the Turkish Gateway, it is believed to be a replica of one of the gates of Constantinople. A staircase leads to the uppermost part of the structure which is an eight sided Chatri.
This structure, which is used today as a gallery to display the life size portraits of the Nawabs of Awadh, was built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah as a "Bara Dari", meaning, "having twelve doorways". It faces the Chota Imambara.
Built in typical Mughal style, the construction of this mosque was started by Mohammad Ali Shah in 1840 but completed by his wife Begum Malika Jahan after his death. It is one of the splendid buildings of Lucknow.
Reputed to be the tallest clock tower in India, the Hussainabad Clock Tower was built in 1887 by Nawab Nasir-Ud-Din-Haider. It is one of the finest examples of British architecture in India.
The other important places in Lucknow worth seeing are the Moti Mahal, Saadat Ali's Tomb, State Museum, Charbagh Railway Station and the Lakshman Tila.
Excursions around Lucknow
Places around Lucknow that one can visit are the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Deva Sharief, the Dudhwa National Park and Ayodhya