Wrapped in history, tradition and art, Lucknow is one of the most enthralling tourist destinations in India. Surprisingly, it is not as popular as its well-known cousins Agra and Varanasi. The most populous state in India would do well to market it more intensively. Although the city comes within the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc, an initiative of the state government to promote tourism, it does not receive tourists in droves which is bad for the tourism sector but good for the visitors.
You can enjoy the cheerful old-meets-new ambience and the vibrant lifestyle at your own pace, without encountering the frenzy that sought-after tourist spots possess, especially in peak season. A die-hard history buff, I enjoyed every moment of my Lucknow tour, what with a comfortable homestay to cater to my needs and provide me guidance whenever I sought advice. This tour was planned with great excitement because I had read a lot about the “City of Nawabs”. And when I landed at the sights, they were much better than their textual description.
Bada & Chota Imamabara with Clock Tower and Baradari
When you buy the ticket to the awe-inspiring Bada Imambara, you are eligible to enter the smaller one and two other monuments nearby. This is an enormous building with a mosque, step well and a huge hall in its courtyard. The famous “Bhulbhullaiya” is further inside. The labyrinth tricks and intrigues you with its winding ways and when you come to the exit route, leading to the rooftop balconies, it feels like you have cracked a mystery. The Chota Imambara is also enchanting. The Clock Tower is quiet and quaint, exuding a strong sense of oblivion. The Baradari, overlooking a lake comes forward as an ideal Summer Palace, where anyone would wish to live.
Coming here is like taking part in the historical siege that took place at the spot during the First War of Indian Independence. The enormous structure, partly in ruins, bears a remarkable tragic brilliance that is easily visible from the walls, carrying bullet marks and scars of cannon balls. The beautiful museum gives you plenty of food for thought. The gardens further delight your heart and when you have tired yourself from walking all around; your soul feels satiation of a unique kind.
Exotic and beguiling, this imposing gateway is the mix of Turkish and Mughal style architecture. Decorated with lavish embellishments, it makes you feel as though you are a royal dignitary, entering the city.
Had it not been for “Daawat-e-Ishq”, I would have missed the mouth-watering delicacies of the hospitable city. The Tunde kebabs at the Chowk and the Biryani had me raving for days and how can I not mention the slurpy chaat, kulfi and gol gappas, offering as many as 12 kinds of water flavors. And yes, the Sheermal was simply awesome, exactly like the Lakhnavi Tehzeeb (culture), you are always longing for more and even the slightest dose is sufficient to fulfill your hunger.
Lucknow had me awe-struck thoroughly and I have to say, I am in love with the city.
Tags: places to see in Lucknow