Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in North India, is a city rich in its legacy, culture, traditions, delicious cuisines, and architectural marvels. It is a vibrant and bustling city with a unique cultural which is a blend of Hindu, Muslim, and British influences. It is also known as the city of â€˜Adaâ€™ and â€˜Tehzeebâ€™ which means grace and manners, that is seen in the body language and talk of the natives. The capital city is still carrying its centuries-old values and traditions â€“ in its food, buildings, and people.
Lucknow was once known as the Awadh region belonging to the Mughal era and later on was ruled by the Nawabs of Awadh. The city came under British rule after the British troops defeated the Nawabs of Awadh, Nawabs of Bengal, and the Mughals. In 1920, Lucknow became the United Provincesâ€™ provincial capital, and the United Province was later renamed Uttar Pradesh.
Lucknow is famous for its â€˜chikankariâ€™ work which is an intricate thread work done on cotton cloth and is now famous across the country. Food is another element Lucknow is known for. Being the city of Nawabs and Mughals, its cuisine is no less than a royal treat to the palate, just like the kings liked it back in the days. The city hasnâ€™t lost its tradition of making the food look and taste royal and thus dishes such as biryani, kebabs, and other non-veg dishes are extremely delicious. The beautiful and detailed architecture here is another factor that lures visitors from across the country which reflects the Mughal and Rajput architectural styles. The city is also an important center for education and research. The vibrant festivals and colorful traditions of the city make it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in India, is known for its rich culture and heritage. The city has a long and glorious history, and its culture is a blend of Hindu and Muslim traditions, which have influenced each other over the years. The culture of Lucknow is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, music, dance, and language and is famous for its traditional art forms such as Chikankari embroidery, Zardozi work, and Ittar (perfume) making. The people of Lucknow are known for their courteous and polite behavior. They take pride in their traditions and are deeply rooted in their culture. The city is also known for its unique language, Urdu, which is a blend of Hindi and Persian.
The cuisine of Lucknow is famous all over the world and is known for its rich flavors and aromas. The city is known for its biryanis, kebabs, and other Mughlai delicacies including Tunday Kebabs, Galouti Kebabs, and Awadhi Biryani. The culture of Lucknow is incomplete without mentioning its music and dance. The city is famous for its traditional dance form, Kathak, which is a combination of dance and storytelling along with its classical music, especially the thumri, which is a style of Indian classical music.
Places to Visit
Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture. Here are some of the top places to visit in Lucknow:
- Bara Imambara: This is a stunning architectural marvel built in the 18th century and is the worldâ€™s largest unsupported structure. The complex includes a large hall and a mosque. It is famous for its unique design and intricate architecture.
- Chota Imambara: This is another stunning landmark in the city, known for its beautiful gardens and ornate architecture.
- Rumi Darwaza: A 60-feet high striking gateway constructed in 1784-1786 that leads to the city's old town. It is a popular spot for photography and is considered a symbol of the city.
- Hazratganj: This is a bustling shopping district in the heart of Lucknow. It is a great place to explore the city's street food, shop for traditional clothing, and soak in the local culture.
- Lucknow Zoo: This is a great place to take the family and see a variety of animals and birds. The zoo is known for its conservation efforts and is a popular attraction in the city.
- British Residency: This is a historic building that served as the residence of the British Resident General during the colonial era. The building is now a museum and is a great place to learn about Lucknow's history.
- Janeshwar Mishra Park: This is one of the largest parks in Asia, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The park has several walking trails, a lake, and a variety of flora and fauna.
- Ambedkar Memorial Park: This is a beautiful park that honors the life and legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution. The park has several monuments and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Lucknow, also known as the city of nawabs, is famous for its rich culinary heritage. The city has a rich history of Mughlai and Awadhi cuisine, which is reflected in its famous dishes. Here are some of the famous foods in Lucknow that you can enjoy at a very affordable price:
- Tunday Kebabs - Tunday Kebabs are a signature dish of Lucknow, and no visit to the city is complete without trying them. These kebabs are made from minced meat that is marinated in a blend of spices and then cooked on skewers over charcoal. The meat is so tender that it melts in your mouth. You can get a plate of Tunday Kebabs for around 100-150 INR.
- Galouti Kebabs - Another famous kebab from Lucknow is Galouti Kebabs. These kebabs are made from finely minced meat, which is marinated in spices and then cooked on a griddle. They are so soft and juicy that they are often called 'melt-in-the-mouth' kebabs. You can get a plate of Galouti Kebabs for around 200-250 INR.
- Kulcha Nahariâ€“ After the kebabs, Kulcha Nahari is another mouthwatering dish that one must try in Lucknow for a burst of indulgent flavors. Tender pieces of marinated meat in a spice rub, cooked overnight and stuffed into freshly baked tandoori kulche, the description is enough to make anyone drool.
- Biryani - Lucknow is also famous for its biryanis, which are cooked with a unique blend of spices and aromas. The biryanis in Lucknow are usually cooked in a traditional way using the dum technique, where the meat and rice are cooked together in a sealed pot. Some of the famous biryanis in Lucknow include Awadhi Biryani and Idris Biryani. You can get a plate of biryani for around 200-300 INR.
- Chaat - Lucknow is also famous for its chaat, which is a popular street food in the city. The chaat in Lucknow is a mix of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors and is made from a variety of ingredients like potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, and tamarind chutney. Some of the famous chaat dishes in Lucknow include Aloo Tikki, Basket Chaat, Dahi Bhalla, and Golgappe. You can get a plate of chaat for around 50-100 INR.
- Kulfi - To finish off your meal, you can try the famous Kulfi of Lucknow. Kulfi is a frozen dessert that is like ice cream but has a denser and creamier texture. The kulfi in Lucknow is made with natural ingredients like saffron, pistachios, and cardamom and is available in a variety of flavors. You can get a Kulfi for around 50-100 INR.
- Sheermal â€“ It is a saffron colored naan or flatbread which is mildly sweet and is made with milk, yeast, and maida. The dough is kneaded and allowed to sit for a while which ferments it and then it is baked in tandoor. Sheermal can be enjoyed with tea or on its own and is a delight to devour.
- Tunday Kababi - Tunday Kababi is one of the most famous and oldest eateries in Lucknow. It is renowned for its melt-in-the-mouth kebabs that are made from tender buffalo meat.
- Royal Cafe - Royal Cafe is another famous restaurant in Lucknow that is known for its chaat and other vegetarian delicacies. Some of the must-try dishes include Dahi Bhalla, Golgappe, and Aloo Tikki.
- Moti Mahal - Moti Mahal is a popular restaurant in Lucknow that serves North Indian and Mughlai cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, and Dal Makhani.
- Wahid Biryani - Wahid Biryani is a legendary restaurant in Lucknow that serves delicious biryani. The biryani is prepared using the traditional dum cooking method, and the meat is cooked to perfection.
- Naushijaan - Another fine dining restaurant in Lucknow that serves Awadhi cuisine. The restaurant is known for its Galouti Kebab, Nalli Nihari, and Dum Biryani.
- Dastarkhwan - Dastarkhwan is another famous restaurant in Lucknow that is known for its Awadhi cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes include Mutton Korma, Sheermal, and Chicken Biryani.
- Idris Biryani - Idris Biryani is a small eatery in Lucknow that is famous for its biryani. The restaurant is known for its unique blend of spices that give the biryani a distinct flavor.
- The Urban Terrace â€“ A rooftop restaurant located in the heart of the city, the Urban Terrace offers a stunning cityscape and serves a variety of cuisines including India, Continental, and Chinese.
The changing times and traditions have not deterred the city of Lucknow from keeping its unique culture intact and every year without a failure, the city celebrates various festivals from different religions like Diwali, Holi, Muharram, Gurupurab, Eid, Christmas, etc. with great fervor. Apart from these common festivals that are celebrated by the heterogenous mix of people, there are some other fairs and events that are only part of Lucknow. These are:
- Lucknow Festival â€“ The Lucknow Mahotsav is one of the grand and pompous festivals celebrated in the city for ten days. The streets and by lanes get decorated with royal vintage looks which makes the city alive with distinct artistic dynamics displayed by exponents of culture. The festival is celebrated during the months of November and December with an array of colorful processions that march down the city. Cultural events such as dance performances, qawwali, thumri, and ghazal fill the air along with games such as kite flying, ekka races, cock fighting, and other traditional games played during the Nawabi era are played. Not to miss the delectable and authentic Awadhi delicacies that is the icing on the cake.
- Vrindavan Sharadotsav â€“ It is held every year in October and is celebrated by people with enthusiasm. Although the festival is mainly celebrated in Vrindavan, a city located near Lucknow and associated with Lord Krishna, but the fervor and gaiety of the celebration does not escape Lucknow. The festival is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his notorious childhood days and the city is decorated beautifully and looks vibrant than ever. Fairs and amusement rides are organized, and food stalls are installed for people to enjoy.
- Book Fair â€“ Every year National Books Fair is held in Lucknow for 10 days in the months of September-October for the book worms in the city. Several books are available here at reasonable cost for readers to buy. Book publishers from across the country join in the fair and readers also get to meet some of the popular and promising authors of the country.
Music and Dance
Here are some of the most famous music and dance forms associated with Lucknow:
- Kathak Dance: Kathak is a classical dance form that originated in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a storytelling dance that involves intricate footwork, graceful hand movements, and elaborate costumes. Lucknow is one of the main centers of Kathak dance, and many famous Kathak dancers have come from the city.
- Thumri Music: Thumri is a genre of Indian classical music that originated in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh, of which Lucknow is a part. It is a form of semi-classical music that is characterized by romantic lyrics and a slow tempo.
- Chikankari Music: Chikankari is a type of embroidery that is popular in Lucknow, and it has also inspired a form of music that is unique to the city. Chikankari music is a fusion of Indian classical music and folk music, and it is characterized by its use of traditional instruments such as the tabla, sitar, and harmonium.
- Qawwali Music: Qawwali is a form of devotional music that originated in the Sufi tradition of Islam. It is a type of music that is meant to induce a trance-like state in the listener, and it is characterized by its rhythmic beats and powerful vocals.
- Ghazal Music: Ghazal is a form of poetry that originated in Persia and is popular in Urdu literature. It is a type of poetry that is characterized by its melancholic tone and romantic themes.
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Best Time to Visit
If you want to avoid the scorching heat and uncomfortable weather, the best time to visit Lucknow would be from November to March. During this time the weather is quite pleasant with little to no rain so you can explore more. Winter nights for a month or two can be very cold and foggy but the days remain pleasant to experience the city.
How to Reach
- By Air: The major airport is Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport aka Lucknow Airport at 15km from the city center. It is well connected to all major cities in India and regular flights are available every day.
- By Train: The city has Charbagh Railway Station which is at the heart of the city and is connected to major cities via a rail network. Other important railway stations are Lucknow Junction, Lucknow Junction NER, Lucknow NE, etc.
- By Road: Lucknow is connected via well-maintained road network that can be reached through different state-run and private buses such as deluxe, luxury, and Volvo buses.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Where is Lucknow located?
Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh which is located at the northern part of India.
What is Lucknow famous for?
Lucknow was the city of Nawabs of Awadh and is known for its rich Awadhi and Mughal nuances that can be seen in its architecture, food, festivities, and courtly diction. Awadhi cuisine is very famous from Lucknow along with its famous â€˜chikankariâ€™ work on cotton cloth.
What was the old name of Lucknow?
It is believed that the old name of Lucknow was Lakshmanpur, popularly known as Lakhanpur or Lachmanpur.
Which food is famous in Lucknow?
Tundey kebab, Irdis ki biryani, Chicken masala, Malaimakhan, Galauti kebab, and Khasta Kachori are some of the most popular food items in Lucknow.