नवाबों का शहर है लखनऊ And, you must explore it like one.
Travel to Lucknow to enjoy its culture, food, and beauty. It is the capital of Uttar Pradesh in North India. And, is also called the City of Nawabs or the City of Tehzeeb.
From varied food items to one of the most sought-after textile designs, Chikan, you will get immense options to explore and relish in this city. The history of Lucknow is magnanimous and finds a mention in almost every chapter of historic epics. It is located on the banks of river Gomti and is the pride of the city. The language has its origin in Urdu, but people majorly speak Hindi and Awadhi.
The original name of Uttar Pradesh was Awadh Pradesh. It was only once Lucknow was reinstated as the provincial capital of the United Provinces in 1920 that the state was renamed as Uttar Pradesh.
As you travel to Lucknow, you will realize that the city is a true amalgamation of old traditions and modern ideas. It is world-famous for its culture and the way people deal with warmth and are courteous. The people of Lucknow have stayed true to their roots and live by the morals taught ages ago. They display a fine taste in food, clothes, and standard of living.
The most famous thing about Lucknow is food. Famously known as Awadhi cuisine, the food here has a unique Nawabi touch to it. From biryanis to kebabs to Nahari-kulchas, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas, Lucknow has been a food paradise for centuries. As you plan to travel to Lucknow, you must enjoy the finger-licking food in the City of Nawabs.
So what if you have only 24-hours in Lucknow. We have shortlisted some of the must-see, must-do activities that will make it worth your time and memorable too.
Explore Lucknow in 24 hours.
1. Bada Imambara
The Bada Imambara is a majestic monument signifying the charm of the Mughal architecture. The Nawab of Awadh, Asaf-ud-Daula, built this in 1784. Its history is as enchanting as its architecture. The year 1784 was a year of devastating famine which lasted for over a decade. The Nawab, Asad-ud-Daula wanted to help the people and provide them employment opportunities. Hence, he ordered the construction of Bada Imambara.
It is believed that during the construction of the monument, people worked during the day constructing and noblemen and other elite members from the King’s counsel worked all night to break whatever was built. They did so to ensure that the project went on for a longer duration and people stayed employed.
As you will travel to Lucknow to explore the Bada Imambara, you will not miss noticing the central hall of the monument. The hall is the largest chamber in the world. Asaf-ud-Daula’s tomb is also here. Except for the galleries in the interior, there is no woodwork in the entire structure. The ceilings have no beams supporting them which makes it one of the largest such arched constructions in the world.
The premise also includes the large Asfi mosque, the Bhul-bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and a step well with running water. Two imposing gateways lead to the main hall. The beauty of the place is in its Bhul-Bhulaiyya. There are 1024 ways to reach the terrace, but only two to come back – the first gate or the last gate. Although an accidental architecture, this is what made it world-famous.
Since you have only 24 hours in hand, keep about 2 hours to explore the Bada Imambara, but do not miss getting lost in the Bhul-Bhulaiyya. That is an experience on its own.
2. Chhota Imambara
Chhota Imambara is one of the most beautiful and attractive buildings in the old city of Lucknow. Situated to the west of Bara Imambara, it is also known as the Imambara of Hussainabad.
Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh, built this Imambara in 1838 to serve as a mausoleum for him and his mother. After their demise, both mother and son were buried here.
The Imambara is also known as the Palace of Lights. During the Muslim festival, Muharram it is illuminated with lights and chandeliers and decorated with the finest to mark the festivities.
The architecture of the Imambara resonates with Indo-Islamic and Persian designs. The exterior walls are engraved with verses from the Quran in Islamic calligraphy, while inside the walls and ceilings have intricate designs and styles.
When you travel to Lucknow, spend 2 to 3 hours here to enjoy the beauty of the monument.
3. Hazaratganj Market
Where is the joy in traveling if you do not visit the main shopping arcade and shop to your heart’s content? Right?
Well, Hazaratganj market is one such shopping area that, if you visit once you will want to travel to Lucknow again and again, and if you missed visiting it, then you will miss the fun. Hazratganj is a Victorian-style shopping area that has showrooms, shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, theatres, offices, and businesses. Some of the best Chikankari dresses and sarees are available in this 200-year-old market.
Established in 1827 with an intent to sell stuff from China, Japan, and Belgium, this market has undergone many transformations since then. The most recent makeover was in 2010 when it completed 200 years. However, some of the oldest shops and coffee houses continue to serve customers. The Indian Coffee House is one such cafe. Established during the First World War (1914–1918), the cafe continues to be a hub for people of Lucknow. It was a paradise for writers, journalists, and great men of Indian history like Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Chandrashekar Yashpal, Amrit Lal Nagar, and many others. Mayfair, Ring Theatre, and Sahu Cinema are some other places of entertainment that have been here since the beginning.
Hazaratganj is also a food paradise. From yummiest chats to biryanis to different flavors of paan, you get it all here. Once you have done some sightseeing, you must come to the market and spend 3 to 4 hours shopping, eating, and enjoying the vibrant culture of the place.
4. Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Park
The Ambedkar Memorial Park was constructed in the memory of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar – Father of the Indian Constitution. The park also honors the lives and memories of some of India’s legendary and celebrated men like Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru, Birsa Munda, Shahuji Maharaj, Kanshi Ram, and all those who’ve devoted their life for humanity, equality, and social justice.
When you travel to Lucknow, you will see the beauty of the park. Sprawled across acres of land and built with white marble, this park is the pride of the city. There are many beautiful monuments inside the park which are a major center of attraction for tourists. It is advisable to visit the park after sunset to enjoy the lights and the cool breeze.
It will be a perfect day spent traveling around the city of Nawabs. Since you will have only 24 hours to explore Lucknow, do remember to carry back some lovely Chikankari kurtas for men, women and children as well. Also, remember to gorge on the various food items the city is famous for. These are some must-do things when you travel to Lucknow. Also, if you do get a couple of days extra, you might want to attend the Lucknow Mahotsav. It starts on February 25th and goes on till March 5th. It is a cultural fest which will display the ‘Lucknavi tehzeeb’ in full swing.
If you need help with planning a trip to Lucknow, hire a scout! You can seek their help to customise your trip and enjoy the city at leisure.