LucknowUttar Pradesh, India.
Lucknow is also known for its elaborate cuisine and Chikankaari or exquisite shadow-work embroidery on fine muslin cloth.
Lucknow is a historically important city and for many centuries was at the heart of North Indian culture. In particular, the city was famous for its Adab and Tehzeeb (manners and hospitality), intricate embroidery, beautiful gardens and dance forms such as Kathak. It was also one of the sites of the 1857 Indian Mutiny (or First War of Indian Independence). The Hindi spoken in Lucknow is considered the most beautiful and gentle in the country. The city has a population of around 3.4 million.
Lucknow is the heart of the art, cuisine, dance, culture and music of Northern India. It was the cradle of the Hindu-Muslim-symbiosis that was the epitome of India for hundreds of years. it brought in the best of various cultures and accepted Western institutions like La Martiniere in her womb. It was made famous by the soft-spoken, and sweet tongued, Awadh-Lucknowai culture that was based on civilised behaviour toward fellow human beings. Lucknow is the home of Urdu, Hindustani and Hindi languages. The city became known as a centre for Urdu poetry and courtly presence and diction, being the birthplace and city of residence for many poets. The Mushaira, an event of poetry recitation forms the heart of Lucknow's nightlife where Mushairas go on into the wee hours of the night. Lucknow's only rival in Northern India was Delhi, though Lucknowies were always embroiled in a healthy rivalry with Delhi, home of the famous poet Ghalib and others. Lucknow is also famous for its sweetmeat, the sweet shops in the old city dates to 1850s. Awadhi and Mughlai food is the delight of the visitors to Lucknow.
Another thing that may surprise visitors are the ubiquitous posters, billboards and signs boasting of great progress and bearing the picture of Mayawati. She is the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state and is quite controversial. Labeled by some as the "Dalit Queen," she has received criticism for misuse of public funds and abuse of power. She has spent millions of rupees on massive public works projects such as the Ambedkar Memorial (see below) which opposition leaders see as a waste. No matter who you speak to in Lucknow, everyone will have an opinion about her, and it's an excellent conversation starter.
Chaudhary Charan Singh AirportThe airport has daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Patna, as well as direct flights to Bangalore, Sharjah, Jeddah, Muscat, Dehradun, Indore, Pune, Goa and Varanasi. The Red Line of the Metro connects it to Charbagh station (and by extension Lucknow Junction).
By trainLucknow is on the Delhi-Gorakhpur railway route. Connections can be made from Agra and Allahabad.
A major railway junction, Lucknow is conveniently connected to many cities. Some of the important trains are : 12003/12004 Shatabadi Ex. : 15063/15064; Nainital Ex; : 19165/19166; Sabarmati Exp : 12553/12554; Vaishali Exp : 15609/15610; Awadh-Assam Exp : 12875/12876; Neelanchal Exp : 14283/14284; Ganga-Yamuna Exp : 12229/12230 Lucknow Mail : 12419/12420; Gomti Exp : 14257/14258; Kashi-Vishwanath Exp : 14011/14012; Nauchandi Exp : 11015/11016; Bombay-Gorakhpur Exp : 12511/12512; Cochin-Gorakhpur Exp.
The important contact for Lucknow Railways are: Railways Manual Enquiry 139, 2636132; reservation 0522-2635841; Badshahnagar 0522-2385182. 0522 is Lucknow's STD code.
There are two major stations in Lucknow - Lucknow Junction and Charbagh. Both of these form the same complex, but serve different trains.
By roadLucknow is connected by road with all the major cities of the country. Some of the major road distances are: Agra 363 km, Allahabad 210 km, Ayodhya 135 km, Kolkata 985 km, Corbett National Park 400 km, Delhi 497 km, Dudhwa National Park 238 km, Kanpur 79 km, Khajuraho 320 km, Varanasi 280 km.
By busThe bus stations are situated at Alambagh, and Kaisar Bagh and Polytechnic.
Roadways Inter State Bus Terminal Alambaghphone: +91 522-2458096
Buses from Sunauli-Bhairawa on the India/Nepal border stop on their way to Varanasi.
From Lucknow to New Delhi: There is a luxury air-conditioned bus from Quaiser Bagh Bus station. Route for this bus is Lucknow - Sitapur - Bareilly - Muradabad - Ghaziabad - Delhi
By metroOne line in a north-south route has been built that connects the city centre to several other places, including the airport and Charbagh railway station.
By hired carThere are many car rental companies available. One should hire cars with local drivers as traffic is dangerous for anybody not used to local traffic conditions.
By taxi and rickshawTaxi and rickshaw drivers in Lucknow are of the more insistent type, although few of them speak enough English to go to locations that are out of the way. Trilok Battery Rickshaw has launched a battery-operated tricycle. Now the plan is to introduce solar tricycles also. CNG buses and rickshaws are available to get you around the whole city. Metro Project was approved by the government in 2013 and was scheduled to be available 3-4 years later. The rickshaws in Lucknow are both manpower and motor-powered. The rickshaw pullers are available everywhere from Gomti Nagar to Hazratganj.
Ambedkar MemorialA large, 107-acre development to honour Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who was the architect of the Indian constitution. Impressive stone work, statues and fountains intermix with carefully sculpted gardens.
Amrapali water park
Bara Imambara and Bhool BhulaiyaA large and impressive tomb complex built in 1783. There is an interesting labyrinth too. You could easily spend half a day wandering around these beautiful but crumbling examples of Mughal architecture. If you hire a guide, do not expect him to know the way around; some are known to get lost in the labyrinth. The ticket also includes the Chhota Imambara, the Husainabad clock tower and picture gallery. Lone couples are not allowed to enter the labyrinth inside the complex without a guide. This prohibition is not brought to notice while buying the entry ticket. You will also have to pay a man 2 rupees to mind your shoes while exploring the complex: shoes are not allowed inside.
Botanical GardensThis is the best place for a nature lover ever in India. It provides you with peacocks to cactus museum to research labs.
Buddha ParkA small park on the side of a noisy congested road in Lucknow. A statue of the Buddha gives the park its name. The park features fun rides and boating facilities.
Cathedral Schooladdress: HazaratganjIt is a school and comprises of a massive church. Lot of celebrations take place around Christmas time and is packed.
Chhota ImambaraAn imposing mausoleum built by the third Nawab of Avadh in 1837. The ticket for Bara Imambara is also good for admission to Chhota Imambara.
Colvin Taluqdars CollegeA must see place it has great architecture built in 1896 named after Sir Auckland Colvin.
Crocodile sanctuary at KukrailOne of the biggest sanctuaries in Asia.
- Deva Shariff, around 30 km from the city, is a place of worship and faith where people from all the religions gather, a symbol of unity and love.
Farangi MahalThe Oxford and Cambridge of India author/poet Shibli Naumani. For more details see the book Ul Farangi Mahal by Francis Robinson
Husainabad Clock Toweraddress: Hussainabad LucknowA British landmark, set in a park with the somewhat poorly curated picture gallery, and a lake. A great place for sunset. The ticket for Bara Imambara also grants admission here.
phone: +91 2629176address: 9, Nabi Ullah Road , Suraj Kund ParkA building in the shape of Saturn.
Marine Driveaddress: Near Inox Cinemas, GomtinagarBeautiful Gomti river-side and monumental structures view for fun with Family and friends. Best time to visit is 16:00-18:00, during the sunset.
La Martiniere CollegeBoys college. Building also known as Constantia, La Martiniere College is one of the oldest schools in the country. It was built in 1840 and started as a school in 1845. The school building is still well maintained. The best time to visit is either in the morning at around 08:00, when one can see the assembly, or after the school finishes at 15:30. This landmark building has also featured in several Bollywood films.
The Ram Krishna Mathaddress: Nirala Nagar
Rammanohar Lohiya park
Ruins of the Lucknow Residency and MuseumThe bloody history of the demise of this Raj era compound is immortalised in the museum in the basement. This was the scene of the 1857 First Battle for Independence, referred to by the British as `The Indian Mutiny.´ Although you can still clearly see numerous cannon ball marks in the ruined buildings, thankfully it is a peaceful place today. So much so in fact, that you are likely to stumble across couples taking a little private time in the leafy shady groves. The Residency is clearly recognised by the locals and tourists alike as a breezy haven to escape from the bustle and dust of a busy Indian city. The Residency will try to sell you a photo pass for an additional ₹25. The guard will also ask you if you have a camera. However once you are inside, no one will say anything if you take photos.
Rumi Darwazaaddress: Hussainabad Lucknow
The Zoo/Museum, closed on MondayIt has the trains of joy for children and a large number of animals in here. Many museums of owls, and fish aquariums also available. Available here is tasty western-style food.
CIMAP (Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants)
East End Mall & Wave Cinemasaddress: Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar
Fun Republic Mall & Fun Cinemas
HazaratganjThe city centre provides the food of the Mughals to Chinese and dosa of marksmen to the tastiest rabdis of moti mahal. The choice of cloth are the best for any occasion and the showrooms give every sort of thing you want. The celebrations of India's wins during world cups and solar powered lights make it a forever young market. The hanuman temple is the place for you to express your devotion perfectly
NBRI (National Botanical Research Institute)
Phoenix United Mall & PVR Cinemas
River Side Mall & Inox Cinemas
Sahara Ganj Shopping Mall & PVR Cinemasaddress: Shahnajaf Rd
phone: +91-522-2349472address: Tornos House, C-2016 Indira NagarThey offer some great heritage walks including a culinary walk.
Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthaladdress: Gomti Nagar
Aminabad MarketVery old market, good for buying chikan (hand-embroidered clothes), leather shoes/bags and for chaat/sweets. There's a reasonably large book-market, consisting of an entire street. Gadbad-jhala is a market to get cheap bangles and fashion jewellery.
ChowkLively market. This is the place to find bargains, and check out the locals. Visit in the evening.
Hazratganj MarketVery trendy and upscale. All recognizable Western brands will be available here.
InoxMovie multiplex and shopping mall
Nishatganjaddress: Nishatganj, NH-24A very big fruits and vegetable market is here. Also, one can buy latest fashion trends clothes at a huge market area under the Nishatganj Gurudwara located nearby NH24.
Sanatkadaaddress: 130, Jagdish Chandra Bose Road, KaiserbaghSells wide variety of crafts, including woven and hand embroidered garments, short tops, sarees, dupattas, home furnishings, artefacts, silver jewellery and accessories, organic honey, jams, preserves and herbs.
SaharaGanj Malladdress: Sahanajaf Road, Hazratganj, LucknowThe first and biggest mall in the city. Gives the experience of xbox for guys who don't have it
phone: +91 2349472address: Tornos House, C-2016 Indira NagarThey have great collection of book on Indian Mutiny. One can visit to read pr watch a film on Lucknow. They will offer tea/coffee free of cost. But nothing is for sale - great place for evening. All this by appointment (call: 0522-2349472)
The Food Court at Sahara Ganj, near Hazrat Ganj is the recent hot favourite with a number of fast food joints. If coffee and tea is something you like, you will find a huge variety at Cappuccino Blast at Mall Avenue. At Akbari Gate, during winters one can also enjoy Kashmiri Tea (a red coloured hot tea) with cream and Makhan Malai (a local variant of ice cream, saffron flavoured, made by hanging unsalted butter overnight in dew and then aerating it by beating it).
AlzaiqaYou can find great non-vegetarian food here, specially chicken.
Bajpai Kachauri Bhandar
Dainik Jagaran ChaukCheap and delicious non-veg food
Haji Sahib's Shopaddress: Akbari GateThis is in the heart of Old Lucknow. Serves the juiciest Nihari (lamb shanks in gravy) and Kulchha (a traditional bread).
Jai Durgmaa HotelVery good vegetarian food etc.
Prakash kie kulfiTry the faloodha kulfi.
Ram Asrey Sweet ShopVery good sweets and snacks like Namkeen, Daalmonth etc.
Tundey's KebabsHas been serving kebabs for more than 50 years. The place offers wonderful kebabs with parantha and also sells biryani.
Idrees Biryaniaddress: ChowkServes a good biryani.
Basket Chataddress: at Royal Hotel, hazratganj and at sahara ganj
Cappuccino Blastphone: +91 522 223 6238address: 12 The Mall Avenue, Lucknow, UP, IndiaCafe, hookah lounge and restaurant serving continental, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
DastarkhwanExotic non-vegetarian delicacies, specially the special chicken masala, shaami kebabs and rumali roti/mughlai parathas.
phone: +91 0522-424-4857address: DineOut 297 A Sector 10 Indira NagarPure vegetarian restaurant for family dining.
Kewal'sFamous for their tea and mouth watering samosas (potato stuffed pancake).
LalbaghFamous for their tea and mouth watering samosas (potato stuffed pancake).
MintOffers alcoholic beverages and great food. Food festivals are common.
Paani Batasheaddress: Near chappan Bhog
ParamparaSweets near the centre of Lucknow.
SakhawatA lesser-known but good joint for connoisseurs. Operating since 1911, it has a limited stock and little seating space, with a select clientele.
Sharma Tea HouseFamous for their tea and mouth watering samosas (potato stuffed pancake).
Ultra Violetaddress: Mall AveOffers non-alcoholic beverages, great food and has a great ambience. Food festivals are common.
Aryan'sis also located at many various parts of the city
The Saltaddress: Sapru Marg, LucknowFamily restaurant
kool breakbest food
- A safer drink alternative is the famous local lassi yogurt drink.
- Not all retail shops of wine/liquor are authorised to serve so it's always suggested to drink in a bar or at your home or hotel.
Cool Breakaddress: ashok margNice ambience, rich menu.
Hotel Mansi Gangaphone: +91 522 263 0513, +91 522 263 7841address: Pandariba Road, pandariba Road Charbagh, Khalsa Hospital,
phone: +91 522 223 5460address: 110-D Mall Avenue110D Mall Avenue. Has WiFi, home cooked meals and boasts of space. Just off The Mall. The hosts are friendly, and a mine of information.
New Sharma Hotelphone: +91 522 263 0544, +91 522 263 5901, +91 522 404 5586There are two Sharma Hotels.
Sharma Hotelphone: +91 9369266335 (Contact person Shujat Hashmi)Opposite charbagh railway station
Arif Castlesaddress: Rana Pratap Marg, Hazratganj
Carltonaddress: Rana Pratap Marg
phone: +91 522 272 0987address: Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar
phone: +91 522 401 1111address: Rani Laxmi Bai Marg, Kaiserbagh Officer's Colony
- Hotel Gomati near Hazratgunj and Sharagunj mall is run by Uttar Pradesh Tourism and offers decent rooms at moderate cost.
phone: +91 522 407 3402, +91 98100 68858address: 92/3-A, Old R.T.O. Compound, Gautam Budh Marg (Latouche Road)Located in the cluster of hotels just north of the railway station. Reasonably friendly staff, just don't ask where to eat nearby, instead go a block or two back towards the station. The hotel doesn't have a restaurant but does offer room service. Rooms are reasonably clean but the air-con units are ancient and noisy. Large LCD TVs with cable. You may be able to negotiate a double room down to ₹1350 in the low season.
address: La Place, Hazratganj
phone: +91 522 261 6500address: Parivartan Chowk, Mahatma Gandhi MargOne of the more centrally located hotels in Lucknow. Clean, well-kept and very smart. The restaurant named "Falaknuma" at the ninth floor has the right ambience to enjoy a Mughlai dinner with awesome views of the city. The Murg Malai Tikka is recommended. The service at the restaurant leaves much to be desired however, and the alcohol selections are in no way on par with what would be expected from an upscale hotel elsewhere. Wi-fi is available for a price.
phone: +91 522 405 9999address: Vipul Khand 5, Gomti Nagar
Piccadily Hotelphone: +91 522 409 6000address: Kanpur Road, Sector B, Bara BirwaA luxury hotel. 3 km from Lucknow Airport.
Phone numbers in Lucknow begin with 0522, typically followed by seven digits. To call Lucknow from outside India you will need to dial the international prefix for your country, followed by India’s country code 91. If you want to dial a landline no. from a mobile, then you have to add 0522 before the number.
Emergency Helplinephone: 108
Fire Departmentphone: 101
Women Power Helplinephone: 1090
Emergency Helpline (India)phone: 112