|State||: Uttar Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: City Tourism|
|Area||: 310.1 sq km|
|Population||: 2,815,601 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 128 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Hindi, Urdu, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (0522), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 226001|
|What to buy||: Chikankari Clothes, Jadau jewellery, Jhumkas, metal ornamentation, antique Paandan, Khaasdan, other knick knacks|
|Food Specialties||: Nawabi and Mughal delicacies including Tunday Kebabs, Galawati Kebabs, Kakori Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Patili-ke-Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Ghutwa Kebabs, Seekh Kebabs, Biryanis, kormas, kaliya, zarda, naan, kulchas, roomali rotis, warqi parathas, sheermal, nahari, sultani dal, raita, shahi paneer, koftah, Paan, saffron flavored Kashmiri Tea, etc.|
|Local transportation||: Auto Rickshaw, City Bus, Taxi, Rented Cars|
Popularly referred to as the ‘the City of Nawabs’ and ‘the Golden City of the East’ Lucknow, the administrative command center of the Lucknow District & Division also serves as the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Bequeathed with the laurels ‘the Constantinople of India’ and ‘the Shiraz-i-Hind’, this metropolitan of Awadh (Oudh) region is honored to be one of the largest cities of northern, central and eastern India, second only to the National Capital Delhi. Lucknow, hailed as a multicultural city at all times flourished as the cultural and artistic capital of Northern India in 18th and 19th centuries AD. This salmagundi of imperial medieval monuments, theatrical gardens, majestic Nawabi lifestyle, cultivated mannerism (Tehzeeb & Adab), elaborate culinary tradition, intricate Chikankari, various forms of performing arts including Kathak, Urdu Literature and Poetry and the royal ambience of the civic today delineates an exceptional synthesis of tradition and modernism.
Nestled on the northwestern banks of the river Gomti, the city Lucknow derives its appellation from the name of ‘Lakshman’ the younger brother of Lord Ram, also known as ‘Lakhan’. As the legend goes, the present day ‘Lakshman Tila’ of Lucknow is the site of the ancient ‘Lakhanpur’ city that was established by Lakshman by the orders of Lord Ram. Priding on its grandiloquent Nawabi heritage and astonishing mythological background, the contemporary Lucknow city, the managerial seat of the government of Uttar Pradesh and the site of the UP state parliament, High Court and other governmental offices, also prospers as a vital axis of trade & commerce, finance pharmaceuticals, technology, aerospace, design, tourism, and so on. Not only that, Lucknow is also the home to a number of social and cultural institutions of national importance. Dotted with the residues of its rich cultural legacy, Lucknow is rightly credited as the essence of art, culture, dance, music, literature, cuisine and the idiosyncrasies of Northern India.
Lucknow; the cradle of the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh unison has earned international recognition for its sweet tongued, soft-spoken Awadh-Lucknowai culture that was founded on the basis of the polite and elegant behavior towards fellow human beings. Moreover, Lucknow; also certified as the epitome of Shia Culture in India is the preeminent seat of Shi’ism in the country. Famous for its mouth watering Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine and its delectable sweetmeat, Lucknow offers a true delight for the taste buds of its visitors. Lucknow the Land of Nawabs; synonymous with lavish extravaganza which still retains its old world charm and its baronial aristocratic ambience is undeniably an invaluable jewel studded in the glorious tiara of India’s ostentatiously dignified culture and its eminent historical heritage.
History Of Lucknow
The roots of Lucknow’s genesis can be traced back to the ‘Ramayana Period’ when Lord Ram’s younger brother Lakshman established a small township named ‘Lakshmanpur’ or ‘Lakhanpur’ in the suburbs of the Awadh or Ayodhya Kingdom. The modern history of Lucknow suggests that at the end of 12th century AD, with the conquest of Kanauj by the Afghans, Awadh along with its Lucknow Province surrendered to the Sultan of Ghazni and became a part of the Delhi Sultanate. Later, during the ascendancy of the Mughal Emperors, Awadh was conferred upon the title of a ‘Subah’ meaning province and remained so till 1719. However, with the gradual decline of the Mughal Empire, Awadh rose to prominence as an independent state and in 1722 Saadat Khan (Burhan-ul-Mulk) was coroneted as the ‘Nazim of Awadh’ who established his legislative seat at Faizabad near Lucknow. Soon after, the title ‘Nazim’ was changed to ‘Nawab’ which marked the onset of the Nawab tradition in Lucknow.
It is supposed that the Nawab of Awadh used to pay a certain amount i.e. ‘Nazar’ to the Mughal Emperor in exchange to their self-government. Awadh, the ‘Granary of India’ was a well-heeled kingdom who managed to retain its independence against the frequent threats from the Afghans, Marathas and British too until the third Nawab of Awadh ‘Shuja-ud-Daula’ formed animosity with the British East Indian Co. for helping Nawab Mir Qasim; the fugitive Nawab of Bengal. Subsequent to the comprehensive defeat in the battles of Plassey and Buxar, the Nawab of Awadh was forced to pay intense penalties and also relinquish significant expanse of territory to the British. Later on, over many years the Nawabs of Awadh kept on ceding their domain to the British Empire little by little. In the year 1773, a British Resident was established at Lucknow and in a little while the reigns of the kingdom were seized by the British rendering the Nawab a mere puppet.
Lucknow gained weight when the 4th Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula shifted his seat from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775. Progressively Lucknow grew as the cultural capital of Northern India under the patronage of magniloquent Nawabs who encouraged art, music and dance and also built a number of ostentatious edifices of Lucknow such as the Bara Imambara, the Chhota Imambara, the Rumi Darwaza, etc. for which the city is acclaimed ubiquitously in the present day. The fifth Nawab of Lucknow; Nawab Wazir Ali was made to renounce the throne by the British as he didn’t approve of their sovereignty. Later, Saadat Ali Khan ascended the throne who acted as a pawn to the British Raj and also ceded half of Awadh to the British East India Company in 1801. The treaty of 1801 turned out to be extremely beneficial to the Company as they could repeatedly use Awadh’s vast treasuries and also gained significant revenues.
However, the British wanting the direct control of Awadh imprisoned the Nawab in 1856 and annexed the state to the company domain under the Doctrine of Lapse. Lucknow acted as one of the chief centers of the ‘Rebellion of 1857’ and actively participated in the Independence Movement of India. After functioning as the capital of Oudh since 1775, Lucknow was merged in the newly formed United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in 1901, yet, it was made the provincial capital in 1920 when the seat of government was temporarily moved here from Allahabad. The ‘Khilafat Movement’ of 1919-24 received an active support from Lucknow and the Maulana Abdul Bari of Firangi Mahal, Lucknow keenly cooperated with Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Mohammad Ali in this struggle. After the Independence of India in 1947, Lucknow was anointed to the status of the administrative capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh which has held its position till today.