Last Updated: January 22, 2020 Abhishek Gurung
The ‘Muskuraaiye Aap Lucknow Mein Hai’ Welcome Sign says it all, it is basically a prediction than a statement that construes, days spent in this capital city will be the best memories you are going to have! Lucknow’s exquisiteness makes one speechless, and it allures history buffs, foodies and explorers, big time. That Tunday ke Kabab, the Rahim ki Nihari, the fun outing at Kukrail, the picnic at the Indira Dam; day exploration of Imambara, and the night-time hangout at Marine Drive never let one’s hope down. Ringed around with rich artistic and cultural ambiance, Lucknow certainly calls out to be one of the best places to visit.
The list below offers you top 10 things to do and see during your visit in this ‘City of Nawabs”:
Explore the Bara and Chota Imambara
The superior structure of Bara Imambara offers a feeling of bygone era as you wander in the midst of the mughal ruins. This monument that has been standing still since 1784 will amaze you by its beauty and might. It is an important place for the Muslims and it receives millions of devotees during the religious festival of Muharram. An interesting fact about Bara Imambara that will blow your mind is that, the central hall is said to be about 50 meters long, thus making it the largest arched hall in the world and an unsupported structure, now this is something mind boggling. Inside the complex, you can also explore the Asifi Mosque and Shahi Bauli.
Located about 1.5 kilometres west of Bara Imambara, another architectural masterpiece in white texture with a mosaic of green patterns is Chhota Imambara. This 19th century structure holds its allure among visitors with its colourful lamps and chandeliers that glare as the sun sets, giving an impressive appeal and look to the mausoleum. Inside the complex, you can also find the tomb of Muhammad Ali Shah and that of his family members.
Without a doubt, these two memorials having its old charm and modern marvel will impress all genre of travellers during their Lucknow tour.
Hangout at Hazratganj
There is always that one favourite place to chill and relax and ‘Ganj’ as it is locally called offers just that. Hazratganj is a renowned attraction, placed in the city’s central area, similar to the casual crowd puller of Delhi’s Connaught Place and the MG Road of Bangalore, this vibe seekers’ corner is the best place to shop, slurp, eat and simply ‘walk the talk.’ Ganj is intact with a number of coffee shops and fine dining restaurants like Royal Cafe, Jone Hing, and Chedilal. Here you can also find the popular Paanch Pani Ke Bataashe (Golgappas with five assorted flavoured water) that shouldn’t be missed. And the best time to visit is during the onset of darkness when the entire place illuminates with glittering lights; it is also when Lucknow’s night crawlers meet for jaunty activities. While here, watch out for Ram Advani Booksellers, they are the best for bookworms. Ganj’s vicinity also comprises a number of iconic historical monuments, for instance, the Dilkusha Kothi and Lucknow Residency.
Stroll at Marine Drive (Gomtinagar)
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Named after the famous tourist place in Mumbai, Lucknow’s Marine Drive is equally popular amongst locals, who make sure their guests and friends from other cities arriving in the city visit this comparatively new attraction. The Marine Drive is a magnificent long stretch road along the Gomti River and it often attracts a number of youngster. Here, you can see sculptures of elephants aligned uniformly coloured in reddish brown and after sundown, many people come to enjoy the calming ambiance where young music fanatics play some soothing hindi songs with acoustic guitar. In fact, the beauty of the place arouses only during this time, with its long pathway lit with brilliant lights making the place even more spectacular. The Marine Drive is not just deemed as a popular place for young generations but even elderly couples to enjoy a stroll on the sidewalks of the drive, simply relishing the scenic beauty ‘away from the chaotic city life.’
Go on Heritage Walk around Lucknow
Thanks to the Uttar Pradesh Tourism, you can pick this exhilarating activity of walking around the city of Nawabs. Through this guided tour, you can experience sightseeing the local way; feel the influence of the Mughal presence through their ruins and smell the aroma and taste their flavoursome Mughlai cuisine. Ideally, two heritage walks are arranged that gives a tour of the old city of Lucknow – Chowk Area and Kaiserbagh Area. You will be guided to tourist places such as historical monuments, heritage homes inside Chowk and of course an opportunity to taste some mouth-watering delicacies. You can ease your forehead’s crease for these heritage walks are organised by UP Tourism. To learn more about these walks, you can click here.
Savour the famous Tunday Kebab and Prakash Kulfi at Aminabad
Aminabad holds a reputation for being the oldest market in Lucknow, ever since the reign of Nawabs of Awadh. The market is often blurred with a hefty crowd but one thing you got to know, Aminabad solves all your purpose. The USP of Aminabad bazaar is the popular Tunday Kebab and Prakash Kulfi, it is impossible to miss out on these two outlets. In Tunday Kebab, you can devour plates full of kebabs, mutton biryani and tandoori chicken and get yourself a frozen treat by savouring kesari falooda kulfi. The market however, has a large complex and it has many sub markets with different names and each market possesses specific items making shopping convenient. For instance, Pratap Market and Mohan Market are widely known for its range of exquisite suits and sarees. Its narrow lanes are all compiled with a number of shops selling all kinds of garment, there are also jewelry shops, paan shops and more. It is a perfect place to make a day.
Dine at the Renaissance and Enjoy the Panoramic View of Lucknow
After constantly wandering to popular places in Lucknow, a little break is essential to detox your mind. Make yourself welcome to the Renaissance Lucknow where you can dine-in in two of the finest restaurants. Savour delicious buffet meals in the L14 restaurant while relishing a bird eye view of the masterpiece, Ambedkar Park. Sky Bar is another canditate for round of applause, as it offers breathtaking view of Lucknow and serves exquisite meals. In addition to that, you can get access to the pool and even organize pool parties. The vibe the restaurant offers is beyond compare; perfect for a warm summer evening to hangout with friends and family.
Eat and Shop at the Chowk
It is evident for every place to have multiple shopping destinations, and for Lucknowites, Chowk is one of the favourite places. It is a major crowd puller for both shopaholics and foodies, it is here you can see the the cultural and historical heritage of the city. A busy business point, this marketplace is popular for its divine makhan malai and Rahim’s nahari kulcha. Other major attractions of the place are the embroidered Chikan Garments, a collection of itra, traditional and modern ornaments etc. It is also the best place to buy some handicrafts and if you happen to make it to the Golden Darwaja area of the market, do check out the beautifully handcrafted products like knifes, lampshades, ivory shirt pins, nagra shoes, and chappals.
Spend a Day in the Lucknow Zoological Garden
Occupying about 71.6 acres of land, Lucknow Zoo is located in the midst of the bustling city. Here, you can see species like the royal and white Bengal tiger, gray wolf, Asiatic lion, hoolock gibbon, Himalayan black bear, blackbuck, swamp deer, Asiatic elephant, silver pheasant etc. Lucknow Zoo also looks after the breeding of animal species such as swamp deer, hog deer and barking deer, Indian wolf, and pheasants. This is an ideal place for family picnics. The zoo also houses attractions such as the toy train, the track of which is 1.5 kilometres long, covering almost every corner of the zoo. An added attraction is the British-era Vintage train and the State Museum. Inside the building, you can find anthropological specimens, sculpture, paintings, bronzes, textiles, decorative arts, natural history and coins collection.
In the vicinity of other monuments such as Bara Imambara, Tehri Kothi, and High Court Building, this picturesque British Residency is a famous attraction that must be visited. The complex houses several buildings constructed during the rule of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan II. Those were the times when it served as the residence for the British Resident General, today however, it is adorned with rustic shattered walls oozing a solitary beauty. The ruined buildings are surrounded by green carpeted lawns and alluring flowers and plants and calming ambiance. There also exist a cemetery that has the graves of Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, a British soldier and statesman in India, who died in the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion; and that of around 2000 men, women and children of that era. If you want to seek peace, or simply spend some time amidst tranquillity, British Residency is a place for you.
Get Awe-inspired by the Ambedkar Park
An iconic memorial worthy for its architecture and ambience, Ambedkar Park honors the lives of those who devoted their life for equality, social justice and humanity. This renowned Park in Lucknow is seated in a posh locality of Gomti Nagar and was built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan. Here, you will see effigies of great Indian leaders like that of Birsa Munda, Shahuji Maharaj, Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru, Bhimrao Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram. Other feature that the park houses is Ambedkar Stupa, it consists of many statues portraying the story of B.R Ambedkar. Similar to that of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C, Ambedkar Stupa too is erected in likeness. Pratibimb Sthal is beyond imagination, it is the entrance to the attraction and is aligned with statues of 62 elephants on each side. One must visit to believe it, you may even feel you are in a place a new.
Its whimsical bazaars, savory street food, the marvelous mix of Mughal and British structures and affable locals appeal visitors from all directions to visit. Its treasured masterpieces are well-maintained in the capital city, deemed to be Uttar Pradesh’s pride. If you are in for a trip to the city of Nawabs, you can call us @ +91-9212777223 or email us at email@example.com and we will help you get the best of Lucknow with our easy on pocket travel packages.
Published: 21 Jun, 2017
Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.