Lucknow is probably the most popular tourist destination in Uttar Pradesh. Commonly known as the city of Nawabs, its rich Mughal culture is very evident even today. Be it the marvelous historical monuments that showcase the brilliance of Mughal architecture or the vibrant food offerings in every nook and corner of the city, there's much to explore. As you soak in the vibe of the city, you can't help but marvel at the beautiful blending of the old and the new that make Lucknow stand apart from other Indian cities.
So if you are planning a trip to Lucknow, here are seven things that you cannot miss out on:
1. Visit the Bara Imambara
Every sightseeing tour in Lucknow starts from the Bara Imambara. Built by Asaf-ud-Daula, it is said to have started as a charitable initiative to save his people from famine by offering them food for labour. The intricate carving, arched doorways, manicured lawns and grand tombs make visiting the Mughal monument a wonderful step back in time. While here, you should also visit the Bhool Bhulaiya and Shahi Baoli.
2. Indulge in Tunday kebabs
For food lovers, Lucknow is almost synonymous to Tunday kebabs. While there are many outlets of the legendary Tunday Kababi across the city, locals always point to the original one at Chowk, which has its own charm. But you need to brave up to fight through the narrow and annoyingly crowded lanes of Old Lucknow to indulge in the kebabs, said to have been made for a toothless Nawab and comprises over 120 masalas. There are of course several other and equally popular kebab places across the city - Dastarkhwan, Alamgir, Shekhawat, etc.
3. Buy Chikankari kurta or suit
Been thinking of adding a pretty kurta with intricate chikankari to your ethnic wardrobe? Lucknow is, of course, the best place to find a wide range of stylish kurtas, anarkalis, suits and even sarees with the traditional embroidery detailing. You can buy them here for much cheaper prices while choosing from a wide range of fabric.
4. Bite into Tokri chaat
Lucknow's street food is legendary. Don't be surprised to find yourself claiming to have had the best chaat in life while digging into the signature tokri chaat. As the name suggests, it's served as a basket loaded with chopped potatoes, sprouts, pomegranate, curd, saunth, mint chutney and lots of other goodies. Then there's also matar chaat, dahi bhalla, papdi chaat and more to try.
5. Walk through The Residency
Also known as The British Residency, there isn't much left of this place, but it still makes for a pleasure walk to soak in the old world charm of the city. Back in the days, it was the residence of the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of the Nawab. It still has well-maintained lawns and old ruins for kids to explore.
6. Instagram the Rumi Darwaza
Another pride of Mughal architecture in Lucknow, the Rumi Darwaza gives us a glimpse of the beautiful city that Lucknow must have been during its glorious years. Standing 60 feet tall, it is said to have been modeled after the grand doorways in Istanbul. It is almost certain that while in Lucknow, you will find yourself driving through it at least once.
7. Pick ittar
Love nice smelling things? There are many markets in Lucknow where you can buy the traditional perfume oil called ittar. These tiny scent bottles come in all sort of aromas - jasmine, rose, sandalwood, etc.
So what are you doing this weekend?