Lucknow, India which is the capital city of the Uttar Pradesh state is famous due to its ancient aura that embraces the place. The place had been a capital city to a number of dynasties that ruled the region. Today, it still has some of the monuments and structures built in the olden times that add heritage to the city of Lucknow.
It is believed that the foundation of the City of Lucknow started during the 13th century AD. The middle part of the city by the name of Lakshman Tila is considered to be the place where a major fort was built by a large family in Bijnor. It was said that the fort was claimed by the Sharqi rulers of the place called Jaunpur on the eve of the 13th century and controlled it until 1476 AD. The fort was then acquired by Sher Shah Sur who was the Sultan of Delhi in the year 1540.
In the years 1556 to 1605, Lucknow which was called Oudh at that time was under the reign of the Mughal Empero Akbar. This was the time where the place started to flourished under imperialism. Appointment to Nawab Sadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk as the governor of Lucknow, made by the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah took place during the year 1724. This event was the starting point of the Nawabs’ reign over Lucknow until the eve of the 18th century.
Asaf-ud-Daula who was the last of the Nawabs of Oudh had previously had his capital in Faizabad and moved it to Lucknow in the year 1775. He is the leader of Lucknow who started building monuments in the city with the goal of modernizing it. In 1774, Lucknow was under famine which prompted the Nawab to offer food for work to the locals in the region. To make sure that all the locals who were willing to work were employed, Nawab Asaf designed a dual policy for this construction that was very helpful to the employees that totaled to a number of 22,000 people.
It was in the year 1854, when the British invaded the Lucknow city and took it under control. After three years, India started to revolt against the British rule and after some time, British troops started to retreat to the place called Residency. The Residency was ruined after Sir Colin Campbell battled against Indian forces during the siege that lasted for 87 days.
The year 1947 is a memorable year for the Indians since it was the time when they finally gained back their independence from the British colony. Lucknow was then made a capital city of Uttar Pradesh, and now, it is the hometown of Atal Behari Vajpayee who is the current Indian Prime Minister.
History of Lucknow
Lucknow is at present the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is said to have got its name from Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama. According to Hindu mythology, Suryavanshi dynasty with Lord Rama as the king ruled that place in ancient times. Lakshman had another name Lakhan and so that place was called Lakhanpur. In the 14th century, Lucknow was a part of the Awadh region. It came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate after 1350 AD.
When Awadh was under the Mughal rule, a separate governor was appointed for the administration of that region. They were called Nawabs and they later became Nawab of Awadh. In 1722, Saadat Khan became the Nazim of Awadh. He had his capital in Faizabad near Lucknow. Awadh was very fertile during those times as the two major rivers Ganga and Yamuna flowed through the region. Therefore the place was known as the granary of India. As he had abundant wealth, the third Nawab Shuja Ud Daula did not want to be under the control of the British. East India Company fought against him and defeated him at the Battle of Buxar.
East India Company did not bring Awadh under their direct control because they did not want to earn the enmity of Marathas and Mughals. However, when the Mughal empire was disintegrated, the kingdom of Awadh became a stronger one. Asaf Ud Daula, the fourth Nawab of Awadh shifted his capital to Lucknow in 1775. He was a benevolent ruler and he patronized arts. He also contributed to the architectural establishments of the region including Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, and Rumi Darwaza.
Wazir Ali Khan ascended the throne in 1798.
But as he aimed for independence, he was replaced with Saadat Ali Khan, the brother of Asaf Ud Daula. Saadat Ali Khan was forced to disband his troops and serve as a puppet king in the hands of the British. Till 1819, Awadh remained a part of the Mughal Empire and according to the Treaty of 1801 British East India Company was allowed to use the vast treasuries of Awadh.
The region came under the direct control of the British in 1856. According to the Doctrine of Lapse, Awadh region was annexed by the British. The then Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah was imprisoned and Sir Henry Lawrence was made as the chief commissioner of the region. Later during the Revolt of 1857, 14 years old son of Wajid Ali Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal named Birjis Qadra was made as the ruler.
Following the events of 1857, Lucknow remained in the hands of the rebels for 18 months. After the Siege of Lucknow, it came under the control of the British once again. The Lucknow Pact of 1916 was signed in Lucknow between the Indian National Congress and Muslim League making the place more popular. Also, Khilafat Movement had its base in Lucknow. The region was merged with the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Lucknow became its capital in 1920.
After the independence of India, Lucknow became the capital of the Uttar Pradesh state. Now it is one of the top ten fastest growing cities of India and Lucknow photos and Lucknow videos will prove the same.
Lucknow – Touring the Nawabi Town
A part of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow even serves as the capital of the state. Located on the banks of Gomti, it has a unique identity, a little different from the rest of the Indian cities, yet, perfectly Indian. Famous for its urbane manners and mannerisms, Lucknow has well maintained its culture. One ruled by the high profile and pompous Nawabs, the city still has a strain of the lavishness.
Structures from the Nawabi days and the Raj era are dotted all around the city. Living since ages, Lucknow has become a bit congested and might overwhelm a stranger to town. However, the magnificence and splendor that it holds are sure to make good for the same. Founded by a scion of a small-time dynasty, Nawab Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk, the city soon rose in prominence and became huge enough to be regarded as the largest and most prosperous city in the country.
The glory was well maintained even during the time of the British. Sometime around the nineteenth century, the Times of London is said to have compared it with the illustrious Rome. It was during the Nawabs that Lucknow developed a taste for arts like poetry and dance.
The rich past has left a lot of cultural and architectural wealth for Lucknow. Buildings from the Nawabi era and structures of the British still remain an attraction for visitors to the city. One of the finest examples of Islamic architecture is the Bara Imambara. A massive structure, it is a tomb of the Nawab. The labyrinth is particularly interesting and can keep one occupied almost for a day.
La Martiniere College here is worth visiting for the sheer fact that it is one of the oldest running schools in the country. The building is a marvel in itself and has been featured in many Indian movies. The Jami Masjid is an attraction for its massive structure and yellow sandstone majesty. One of the finest in the country and the largest in the city, the mosque exudes immense artistic value.
The Lucknow Residency is one site one should not miss when in Lucknow. The ruins of the once glorious building now stand as a testimony to the bloody demise of the British from the country.
Tourists can’t move out of Lucknow without shopping here. It is an absolute paradise for shoppers. Undoubtedly, it is the Chikankari and Zardosi works that make the best buys here. When it comes to eating, Lucknow is best known for its Moghlai and Awadhi cuisine.
A visit to Lucknow can only let you know the wealth it has in its winding streets and crammed bazaars. A maze of many odds, the city offers a unique and enchanting world to explore.
Historic Attractions From Lucknow
A trip to Lucknow ensures lots of merriment. The city is a smorgasbord of delights offering a world of delectable cuisines and loads of satiating sightseeing experience. While Tunday ke Kebab has become something of an institution, monuments such as Imambara and Residency have stirred the imaginations of filmmakers and renowned novelists. This erstwhile city of nawabs has also inherited a legendary historic legacy. While visiting Lucknow, one may conveniently check out the nearby destinations of Kanpur and Sitapur. Take a closer look at some of the most popular attractions in Lucknow and the destinations of Kanpur and Sitapur by checking out this Lucknow travel guide.
A Tour of Bara Imambara
The Bara Imambara is probably the biggest highlight of one’s Lucknow travel. This humongous structure is especially well known for its central hall, which is said to be the largest known arch room in the world. The interesting thing is that the hall does not has a single pillar for support. This has even earned it the epithet, ‘Gravity Defying Palace’.
The famous Bhool Bhulaiya of Lucknow is also a part of the Bara Imambara and is located on the upper floor of this grand building. For those who are not aware of the Bhool Bhulaiya. It is a highly confusing maze and you are unlikely to find your way out of it without a guide. Overall, the Bara Imambara is so famous that it has become one of the mainstays of the burgeoning Lucknow tourism industry.
The journey of Sikandar Bagh
Starved for some natural beauty during your travel to Lucknow? Well, head to the Sikandar Bagh. The beauty of this serene garden belies the fact that it was a witness to the violent revolt of 1857. Built during Nawab Saadat Ali Khan’s reign in 1800 AD, the Sikandar Bagh has been named after the beautiful wife of Wajid Ali Shah, the last monarch of Oudh. The huge well maintained lawns here are like a sea of tranquility. A pavilion in the center of the garden hosts astounding performances by classical and folk artists. A visit to the Sikandar Bagh definitely deserves to be included in your travel planner for Lucknow.
Visit the Kaiserbagh Palace
Another lovely historic attraction for your Lucknow tour. This magnificent palace was built on the orders of Wajid Ali Shah, who is known more for his artistic talents such as poetry and singing rather than handling affairs of the state. Well, this structure is the outcome of this romantic man’s attempt to build a structure with an aspiration to make it the 8th wonder of the world. Naturally, the Kaiserbagh Palace was bound to become a tremendous architectural feat. While Mughal styles have been used in the construction of pavilions, the decorative statues here are of a European style. Definitely, plan a trip here when you visit Lucknow.
Visiting Lucknow by Air
You stand fair chances of bagging cheap flights to Lucknow as the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport here is one of the busiest airports in North India. Naturally, it serves many airlines and travelers can pick the best of the lot. Some of the airlines using this airport are Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways, and GoAir. Before you plan your tour, carefully check out the lowest available fares.
Tourist Places near Lucknow
A couple of reasonably popular tourist places near Lucknow are Kanpur and Sitapur. In case, you plan to visit these destinations, check out this travel planner to both Kanpur and Sitapur from Lucknow.
Trip to Kanpur
The Lucknow to Kanpur distance is approximately 80 km. There are quite a few options for traveling from Lucknow to Kanpur. You may travel from Lucknow to Kanpur by car in about 1 and a half hours. Numerous travelers also go from Lucknow to Kanpur by bus. Those interested in rail journey would be happy to know that fares for Lucknow to Kanpur trains start at about Rs 50.
Trip to Sitapur
The distance from Lucknow to Sitapur is about 240 km. By car, this journey takes around four hours’ time.
Lucknow – The Multicultural Constantinople of India
Lucknow is one of the oldest cities in India whose foundation was laid during the thirteenth century. It is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and historically it is referred to as Awadh. The entire city is famous for its royal grandeurs, marvelous gardens, kebabs, Urdu and music.
This city is commonly referred to as the ‘City of Nawabs’ and the Constantinople of India because of its amazing building architecture and construction.
It is the second largest city within the northern region of India after Delhi. This marvelous city is located at the historically renowned Awadh region. The city was founded by Nawab Asif Ud Daula and it has grabbed the designation of a multicultural city. The city of Lucknow explains a great and glorious historical era and hence it is rightly known as the cultural center of Northern India.
Besides being one of the fastest growing industrial areas, the city of Lucknow has also emerged as a wonderful tourist destination of India. It offers some of the most prominent tourist attractions such as Bara Imambara, Chota Imamabara, Rumi Darwaza, Sikandar Bagh and many other must visit attractions within the city area.
Bara Imambara is a magnificent example of architecture built by Asaf-ud-Daula. This marvelous monument holds a very deeply rooted cultural, historical and sentimental significance. The monument includes Bhul-Bhulayah, Asfi mosque and summer palace.
The Bara Imamabara reflects a unique construction style. It is said that the hall of the building has the largest arched hall in the world. The length of the hall is about fifty meters while its height is around fifteen meters. The most fascinating thing about its construction is that the blocks used for construction have an interlocking system. The building is constructed without using any sort of girders and beams. The roof of the building is intact without the support of pillars.
The complex also accommodates an amazing maze known as Bhulbhulaiya located at the upper floor of the building. This monument gives you an opportunity to take a glimpse of the entire city from the top of the building.
Chota Imambara exhibits a perfect amalgamation of the structural design of Charbagh, Islamic and Persian architecture. This incredible building was established in the year 1837 has now become a historical landmark of the city. The design of the building followed the Charbagh pattern having a stream of water running at the middle of the garden. The interior of the building exhibits a great Arabic calligraphy and glassworks.
Rumi Darwaza is another Impressive architecture of the city which was built in the year 1784 by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. The Gate is also known as Turkish Gateway as it is believed the design is the replica of the gateway in Constantinople. The height of the gate is around sixty feet with an octagonal Umbrella at the top of the gate. It also exhibits a lantern placed at the top of the gate to light up the structure at night.
This is a must visit tourist destination in Lucknow as it truly stupendous to watch the architecture of the gate.
The city also accommodates several parks attracting a lot of people during holidays and weekends. Some of the most prominent parks of city include Swarn Jayanit Park, Aurobindo Park and Ambedkar Memorial and Lohia Park that one would not afford to miss.