Places To Visit In Lucknow: Where Modernity And Tradition Co-exist
Lucknow is famous for most people as the land of Tunday Kababs, Nihari, and Tehzeeb. However, there is more to this place that is steeped in the city’s rich history, culture, and tradition. Take time and embrace this treasure trove of cultural diversity. From historical monuments of the Nawabs to the British architecture, every nook and corner of Lucknow has something from antiquity. Different from other touristy places, discover the charm and hospitality of a welcoming culture here.
Top 12 Places To Visit In Lucknow
- Bara Imambara
- Chota Imambara
- Rumi Darwaza
- Hazratganj market
- The British Residency
- Lucknow Zoological Garden
- Dilkusha Kothi
- Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden
- Janeshwar Mishra Park
- Ambedkar Park
1. Bara Imambara
You can start your tour of places to see in Lucknow with the Bara Imambara. The Bara Imambara, also known as the AsfiImambara is named after the Nawab of Lucknow who constructed the mosque. The Imambara is considered as the world’s largest structure that stands without any external support. This makes it a work of engineering genius and another example of the brilliance of Mughal architecture. To understand the beauty of this construction here are some facts about the construction – the whole building is made of lakhauri bricks, which are smaller than regular bricks and held together by lime plaster. There is no metal or wood in the entire body of the building. The central hall of the Bara Imambara is considered the largest arched hall in the world.
However, what steals the show here in this building is the maze of corridors known as Bhul Bhulaiya. Till date, visitors can go here only with a guide who knows the maze as otherwise you could get lost in this maze forever.
2. Chota Imambara
Near the Bara Imambara is the Chota Imambara, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in Lucknow and one of the prime tourist attractions. The Chota Imambara houses the remains of the Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh and his mother who is buried beside him. The structure is a fine example of Persian and Indo-Islamic architectural design. Quranic verses cover the external walls of the monument and the observant visitor will find the same delicate finesse on the interior walls of the monument as well.
The Imambara comes to life at night during the festivals and is a dream come true for photographers and tourists. The best time to visit the Imambara is throughout the year. Non-Muslim visitors will not be allowed to visit the mosque within the monument complex. It is a good idea to enlist the services of a guide to understand the background of everything in the complex.
3. Rumi Darwaza
Another example of the Awadhi royalty of the bygone times is the Rumi Darwaza, which stands sentinel in the middle of daily traffic and chaos in Lucknow. It is a close replica of a similar structure that existed in ancient times in the Byzantine Empire. Fascinating not only in terms of looks the Rumi Darwaza also has a fascinating history behind it. It was constructed in 1748 when a famine had struck this part of the country. The Nawab of Lucknow decided that he would provide the daily meals for the people and in exchange, they could build this structure for him. Today it might seem a bit lost in the dust and grime of the city but it still stands tall and proud. The Darwaza is best viewed at night when it is lit up. Do not forget to click photographs of the famed ancient monument of Lucknow.
4. Hazratganj Market
The Ganj as it is locally called is a famous market in Lucknow and almost every local’s favourite hangout spot. It can be compared to Connaught Place in Delhi and MG Road of Bengaluru in terms of the energy and vibrancy. Eat, shop, window-shop or simply just hang around doing nothing – the choice is yours. Treat yourself to delicacies at local haunts such as Royal Café and Chedilal or gorge on the popular Paanch Pani Ke Baatashe (also known as Golgappas in North India). Like many other places in Lucknow, the Ganj feels best in the evening and you could head here after viewing nearby places such as the Residency and the Dilkusha Kothi. This is one of the unique tourist attractions of the city of Lucknow.
5. The British Residency
The British Residency is one of the topmost attractions in Lucknow. Once upon a time it was home to the British Resident General and during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 it sheltered Britishers but today it primarily contains the ruins of the residences and the graveyards of British men, women, and children who died in the Sepoy Mutiny. Once a scene of fighting and brutality, today there is a peace and calm in this area that will soothe your senses as well.
6. Lucknow Zoological Garden
Spread across 72 acres of land, Lucknow Zoo is the place to visit with your family and friends if you want to spend a day in the midst of nature. The zoo is home to various exotic species such as the royal and white Bengal tiger, Gray wolf, Asiatic lion, swamp deer, Asiatic elephant, Himalayan black bear, and more. The zoo also has a British era train and a State Museum. Here you can find coins, sculptures, paintings, and a collection of natural history.
The Chowk area in Lucknow is one of the oldest markets in North India and one of the unique places to see in Lucknow. The Chowk is probably as old as Lucknow and it dates back to the times of the Nawabs and Kings that ruled this city. Whatever you desire from the famous Chikan and Zardori dresses, traditional jewellery, nagara shoes, ittar perfume to the mouth-watering tunday kababs, Chowk market has it all. Do not forget to taste the summer delights such as mango kheer and makhan malai. Radhey Lal Sweets is very famous for these. Bite into the flavours of a malaai pan or simply feast on the mouth-watering kachoris and shahitukda.
8. Dilkusha Kothi
Dilkusha Kothi was built in 1800 as a summer palace by a British officer, Major Gore Ouseley. It was supposed to be used as a hunting lodge too. However, like many other structures in Lucknow, it was damaged severely during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Today it exists with just a few towers and walls standing in place. Although not as popular as the other places on this list, this place is worth visiting and is fast picking up as one of the tourist attractions in Lucknow.
9. Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden
Known as the Prince of Wales Zoological Gardens, Nawab Wazid Ali Shah Prani Udyan or the Lucknow Zoological Garden is a great place for undertaking small treks. There are trails marked inside the park that will guide you in walking these treks. Nature photographers and zoology enthusiasts have a field day here apart from the usual tourists. You can visit the garden on all days between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
10. Janeshwar Mishra Park
The Janeshwar Mishra Park is a park that was constructed in 2014 in the memory of late political leader Janeshwar Mishra. The park has all urban amenities and the idea behind it was to provide a recreational space for the people of the city. The park is one of the largest recreational parks in Asia and it is open on all days from sunrise till sunset.
Another popular market in Lucknow, the Aminabad Market is one of the most popular shopping places and a popular place to hang out among locals. The best part about the Aminabad Bazaar is that tunday kebab and kulfi available here are delicious. Apart from delicious food, Pratap Market and Mohan Market here are famous for sarees and suits.
12. Ambedkar Park
The Ambedkar Park is a beautiful modern day structure that was built to honour the lives of Jyotirao Phule, Shahuji Maharaj, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Birsa Munda, Narayana Guru, and Kanshi Ram people who lived in different periods of human history but dedicated their lives to humanity. This memorial was constructed during the tenure of Mayawati the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. It was opened for public in 2008. The Pratimb Sthal is the main entrance to the park, which is guarded by 62 statues of elephants on either side. If you want a leisurely stroll in the evening, there is no better place than this tourist attraction in Lucknow.
Lucknow is one of those cities where tradition and modernity jostle side by side with neither gaining an upper hand. It is this unique balance that gives an attractive character to this bustling city. Do not miss out on the places to visit in Lucknow if you want to experience one of the theatres of Indian independence and rich heritage at one go.
Born in a big city, Varsha finds her heart in small towns. A free spirit, who loves to wander places in search of stories, within stories. At the end of a long day, she finds her therapy in long aimless walks and conversations, with the Moon.