Let me tell you first, this trip was really a whirlwind trip for me and I hardly been able to cover each and every corner of Lucknow which is said as "City of Nawabs".
So...for me it was checking out the major tourist attractions of this Avadhi queen and taste legendary local cuisines.
I reached Lucknow from Varanasi via Begampura Express which took around 5 hours in afternoon. Pantry service was not so attractive , so I would suggest pack your lunch before boarding train.
I have a full and a half day in my hand so I had to plan it in such a way, that I could cover the major attractions and food joints as much as possible.
I was staying near Sahara Ganj Mall on Shahnajaf Rd, Prem Nagar, Hazratganj. This area is a very prominent area to stay.
Attractions: Started the day with a visit to Lucknow Residency. It is one of the historical remnant of British era which is carrying the every mark of mutiny of Sepoy in 1857. Many stories of valour and cruelty from both sides had been written centering this residency. It was besieged by the sepoys. But in the battle of Sikanderbagh, British finally defeated the sepoys.
Nawab Asaf Ud-Daulah started building and Nawab Sadat Ali Khan finished it for British General. The Residency became the administrative office for British. It became the the home for British commissioner of Awadh.
The reminiscence of British era has still the marks of bullets and canons on everywhere. What are left as piece of that era are interesting for history buffs. The Baillie guard gate ( honoring the name of Col. John Baillie ), the treasury hall, dining hall, kitchen and many more key buildings to explore. I did had a shortage of time, so I had to skip exploring each of them. Behind the Residency there is a cemetery of soldiers who died during the battle of 1857.
There is Memorial museum as part of the Residency. The museum houses old photographs, paintings, lithographs, maps , cannons , guns even .
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula built Bara Imambara, Lucknow's biggest landmark in the year of 1784 as a food for work programme during a famine. The great hall with a 163 ft high of vaulted ceiling is an architectural marvel. To support such construction, it was needed to make the tomb hollow and let the wind pass through different sides. Finally which actually produced a labyrinth and mysterious maze to decode for outsiders. This is famous in the name of Bhulbhulaiya. This lead to an intricate roof, from where you will get to see awesome all around view of Lucknow.
There are many more things in and around Bara Imambara compound. Shahi Baoli, Rumi Darwaza, Chota Imambara to name a few.
Few Tips to remember : Alike other tourist attractions, these places are always crowded and hardly any guide available to take you alone without any group. Shoes have to be kept outside and camera might not be allowed inside.
Food in Lucknow:
I should be guilty if I don't mention about the food of Lucknow. All heart in food...the city of Nawab will welcome you with lots of awadhi cuisine.
As I mentioned, I was staying near SaharaGanj mall in a hotel named La Sarovar Portico and accompanied by couple of senior citizen in-laws. The area was not in old Lucknow bazar but was easy to commute in abundance of Rikshaw, app-cabs and Autos.
The day we reached Lucknow, we headed towards Saharaganj Mall to find a branch of Tunday Kebabi for pickup some Lucknow delicacies like Biryani, Tunday Kebab and Galowti Kebab.
The next day morning we did our breakfast with famous masala chai (tea) in Sharma ji ki chai with big samosa and butter bread. After the tiring tours of Residency and Bara Imambara, we landed in famous mughlai restaurant Dastarkhwan for lunch. Try Biryani, Shammi Kebab and Galowti Kebab if you are here.
Finally the day we departed, we had our pure vegetarian breakfast at Motimahal with their Puri-Sabji and mithai(sweets ).
Few Tips to remember:
If you have love for shopping or you want to take home something memorable from Lucknow. Don't forget to buy Lucknow Chikonkari dress material or readymade suits. This is something designer work of threads weaved on dress materials.
One thing to remember, there are opportunists, touts like any other tourist places who will try to trick and take you to their preferred eateries or shops.
How to reach Lucknow:
Lucknow has an airport ( Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport ) which is connected to all metro cities or major cities of India There are many trains from Delhi to Lucknow. It's well connected to all over India different cities We reached Lucknow from Varanasi by Begumpura Express.
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