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Lucknow

  Lucknow is a city synonymous with the Nawabi Culture. The imperialistic splendor and magnificence of the Nawabi Era has been glorified and eulogized down the ages by writers, poets and historians alike.

At the same time its mystical elegance and amorous ethos has caught the fascination of many world famous romantics. Known for its Adab and Tehzeeb (cultural refinement), Lucknow is also associated with its legendary hospitality, leisurely moods of life, fabled edifices steeped in history, world-renowned cuisine and exquisite Sham-e-Avadh.

Tremors of time have not effaced Lucknow of its cultural heritage and traditions, which once contributed in creating the city incomparable in its times. As the 18th century seat of the Nawabs of Avadh, Lucknow flourished becoming an important political and cultural center, rivaling Delhi in its patronage to art and literature. It was during this time that culture and architecture synthesized emerging in a distinct form now so typical to the Lucknow culture.

AurangabadNaming Lucknow: Lucknow-the name can be traced to the epic Ramayana. After 14 years of exile when Lord Ramchandra returned to Ayodhya, he gifted this place to his younger brother Lakshman. Lakshman is believed to have stayed in Lakshman Teela, a high ground near the banks of the river Gomti. Later the region was named after him; 'Lucknow' is derived from the name Lakshman. There are other stories that do the rounds: Lucknow was named after a very influential person called 'Lakhan Ahir' who built the fort 'Qila Lakhan'. The name 'Qila Lakhan' later became Lucknow. Some other source says that one Lakhu Khan who was earlier a non-Muslim by name Laxman Singh has lent his name to Lucknow.

Old City: The ravages of time has left its mark on Chowk, the oldest street of Lucknow. But a walk through of the streets is still a memorable experience because of the series of unfolding scenes. The rhythm of hammers beating silver into paper, the smell of flowers, the fragrance of ittar, the fineness of chikan embroidery and the mouthwatering aroma of roasting meat at a kabab shop. Venturing beyond the streets into the bylanes you confront a private world of courtesans' houses with their many stories and anecdotes, past and present.

The Raj Connection: In the annals of Indian history, Lucknow forms the traditional link between tradition and modernity, the decline of the Mughals and the rise of the British. The timing of its rise, however, cut short Lucknow's cultural effluence. The land of etiquette and manners, of the 'pehle aap' tehzeeb received a serious jolt with the siege of the British Residency during the great revolt in 1857. Eager for revenge, the last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, proved a suitable scapegoat. Awadh was annexed on the pretext of administrative failure and the Nawab was packed off to Calcutta with a pension.

Lucknow Travel Info:

Climate :
The city experiences extreme climate; hot summers and cold winters. The tourists season extends right through the year but the best time to visit is October to March.

Language Spoken :
Hindi, Urdu and English.

Clothing :
Cool cottons in summer and warm woollen for winter.

What to buy :
Lucknow is famous for its Himroo Shawls, Mashru & Kimkhab weaves, Bidriware artifacts, agate stones and Pathani silk salees.

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