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About Lucknow






From top to bottom, left to right: Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara main gate, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Interior Mosque of Husainabad, Kashiram Smarak, Tomb of Raja Saadat Ali, La Martiniere College and Ambedkar Park.
From top to bottom, left to right: Bara Imambara,Chota Imambara main gate, Chota Imambara,Rumi Darwaza, Interior Mosque of Husainabad, Kashiram Smarak, Tomb of Raja Saadat Ali, La Martiniere College and Ambedkar Park.
Nickname(s): The City of Nawabs, The Golden City of India, Constantinople of East, Shiraz-e-Hind
Lucknow is located in Uttar Pradesh








Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah (1775–1797)
Nawab Saadat Khan II (b. bf. 1752 – d. c. 11 July 1814)
Lucknow towards Cawnpore c1860

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 inFaizabad, 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, theSheikhzadas, 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 byW. 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 subsequentIndian 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. UponIndian independence in 1947, the United Provinces were reorganised into the state of Uttar Pradesh, and Lucknow remained its capital.






Flora and fauna

Lucknow is known for its Dusshehri mangoes, which are exported to many countries
Baby elephant at Lucknow Zoo

Lucknow has a total of only 4.66 percent of forest, which is much less than the state average of around 7 percent. Shishamdhakmahuammbabulneempeepalashokkhajur, 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.







Multi-storey apartments
Bada Imambada, Old Lucknow
La Martiniere School, one of the oldest and most reputed schools of India
The Cathedral, Hazratganj
Hazratganj market, one of the most upmarket and beautiful markets of the city

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.

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.






In common with other metropolitan cities across India, Lucknow is multicultural and home to people who use different dialects and languages. Many of the cultural traits and customs peculiar to Lucknow have become living legends today. The credit for this goes to the secular and syncretic traditions of the Nawabs of Awadh, who took a keen interest in every walk of life, and encouraged these traditions to attain a rare degree of sophistication. Modern day Lucknowites are known for their polite and polished way of speaking which is noticed by visitors. The residents of Lucknow call themselves Lucknowites or Lakhnavi.







Kebabs are an important part of Uttar Pradesh's cuisine. Lucknow is known for its galawat ke kawab

Tunday's Gelawati Kababs, Lucknow's specialty and famous throughout the world.

The Awadh region has its own distinct "Nawabi"-style cuisine. The best-known dishes of this area consist of various kinds of biryanis, kebabs and breads. Kebabs are served in a variety of styles; kakorigalawati , shamibotipatili-keghutwa and seekh are among the available varieties.The Tunde ke kabab restaurant has operated for more than a century and is the most popular source of kebabs. The reputation of Lucknow's kebabs is not limited to the local population and the dish attracts people not only from other cities but also from other countries.

Lucknow is also famous for its delicious chats, street food, kulfi, paan and sweets. Nahari, a dish prepared using mutton, is very popular among non-vegetarians. Sheermal is a type of sweet bread (paratha) prepared only in Lucknow. Some restaurants in the city are around 100 years old; there are also many high-end restaurants, bakeries, lounges and pubs which cater to the affluent class and foreign travelers.







Common Indian Festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Vijayadashami, Christmas are celebrated with great pomp and show in the city.Some of the other festivals or processions are as follows:



Muharram procession in Lucknow, January 2007

Lucknow Mahotsava (Lucknow Festival) is organised every year to showcase Uttar Pradesh art and culture and to promote tourism. With 1975–76 designated South Asian Tourism Year, Lucknow took the opportunity to promote the city's art, culture and tourism to national and international tourists. The first Lucknow Festival was staged as a part of this promotion and ever since, with some exceptions, Lucknow Mahotsava has taken place annually.

Main article: Azadari in Lucknow

Lucknow is known as a seat of Shia Islam and the epitome of Shia culture in India. All communities including the Hindus, observe Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar and on Ashura (the 10th day of the month) celebrate the memory of Imam Husain, grandson of the prophetMuhammad.

Muharram processions in Lucknow have a special significance and began during the reign of the Awadh Nawabs.

Processions such as Shahi ZarihJaloos-e-MehndiAlam-e-Ashura and Chup Tazia had special significance for the Shia community and were effected with great religious zeal and fervour until in 1977 the government of Uttar Pradesh banned public Azadari processions. For the following twenty years, processions and gatherings took place in private or community spaces including Talkatora karbala, Bara Imambara (Imambara Asifi),Chota Imambara (Imambara Husainabad), Dargah Hazrat Abbas, Shah Najaf and Imambara Ghufran Ma'ab. The ban was partially lifted in 1997 and Shias were successful in taking out the first Azadari procession in January 1998 on the 21st of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month. The Shias are authorised to stage nine processions out of the nine hundred that are listed in the festival register of the Shias.

The Chup Tazia procession originated in Lucknow before spreading to other parts of South Asia. Dating back to the era of the Nawabs, it was started by Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan Sahukat Yar Jung a descendent of Bahu Begum. It has become one of the most important Azadari processions in Lucknow and one of the nine permitted by the government. This last mourning procession takes place on the morning of the 8th of Rabi' al-awwal, the third Muslim month and includes alam (flags), Zari and a ta'zieh (an imitation of the mausolems of Karbala). It originates at theImambara Nazim Saheb in Victoria Street then moves in complete silence through Patanala until it terminates at the Karbala Kazmain, where the colossal black ta'zieh is buried.






Parks and recreation

Lohia Park in Gomti Nagar features sprawling green lawns, lakes and jogging tracks.
Ambedkar park, Lucknow 1
Man made lake in Janeshwar Mishra Park

The city has various parks and recreation areas managed by the Lucknow Development Authority. These include Kukrail Reserve Forest and the surrounding picnic area, Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Gautam Buddha Park, Qaisar Bagh, Rumi Park, Nimbu Park, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel Park, Dream Valley Resort, Swarn Jayanti Smriti Vihar Park, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, the Ambedkar Memorial and Janeshwar Mishra park.

Besides these major parks, there are a number of small parks, water fountains and recreational areas, majority of them falling in the new Lucknow area.





Shopping and shopping-centres

Hazratganj is an upmarket shopping area in Lucknow city.
Janpath Market Street in the city

Lucknow features a large number of shopping-centres and markets/bazaars. Hazratganj is a major shopping area situated in the heart of the city, which is home to bazaars, retail complexes, restaurants, hotels, theatres and offices.
Major shopping markets are also found in Yahiyaganj, Aminabad, Kapoorthala, Janpath, Chowk, Bhootnath, and Gomti Nagar.

Shopping mall in various parts of the city include:

NameLocationYearSize (Gross Leasable Area)
Walmart Best Price Store Sushant Golf City, Amar Shaheed Path   600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2)
Phoenix United Mall NH 25, LDA Colony 2010 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2)
Fun Republic Gomti Nagar 2007 970,000 sq ft (90,000 m2)
Wave Mall Gomti Nagar 2004 314,500 sq ft (29,220 m2)
Riverside mall Gomti Nagar 2008 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2)
Sahara Ganj Mall Hazratganj 2005 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2)
Gardens Galleria Mall Rae Bareli Road, South City 2012 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2)
Ratan Square LalBagh 2011 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2)
Shopping Square Sushant Golf City 2012  
Essar Mall Rajajipuram 2011  
City Mall Gomti Nagar  

Lucknow is also famous for its jewellery and ornament shops.










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