Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is known for its rich heritage, delicious kebabs and of course its unique tehzeeb. Testimony to the region’s rich past, the city has the title of the ‘City of Nawabs’ to its credit.
Lucknow is home to many attractions that are examples of distinctive architecture and lifestyle. Built in the elegant Mughal style, they represent the history of the city. Following are some of the major attractions of the town, laced with tales of a glorious past.
Built in 1784 by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, the name of Bada Imambara is synonymous with that of Lucknow. Lying on the banks of the Gomati River, the magnificent structure consists of various courtyards, a holy mosque, a jewelled entrance, and a Bhul Bhullaiya. The terrace at the Bada Imambara promises you the most picturesque view of Lucknow’s skyline.
In the compound of the Bada Imambara lies the Asafi Masjid, also built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah. The grandeur of the mosque is such that Bada Imambara is also known as the Asafi Imambara. The mosque has two magnificent prayer halls, each with eleven arched doors at their facades. The mosque consists of an additional platform at the height of 28 steps from the ground. Many visitors swear by the air of tranquillity that surrounds the mosque, which is unlike that of any other place.
Badshah Bagh or the ‘Royal Garden’ was built by Nawab Nasiruddin Haidar. It served as a picnic place for his Queens who lived across the Gomti River in the Chattar Manzil Palace. The high-walled garden has two gateways, a wide canal, a beautiful bridge, and many flower beds. In present times, the main campus of the Lucknow University lies in a small portion of Badshah Bagh. Another portion of Badshah Bagh serves as a home to different varieties of fauna and flora. The beautiful gardens are one of the best places in Lucknow to go for a picnic.
Baradari, situated at Banarsi Bagh, is another picnic favourite among Lucknowites. The significance of the name ‘Banarsi Bagh’ lies in the fact that when it was being built, plants were specially brought from Banaras to be planted in the garden. It makes for a perfect place in the city to hang out when the weather is pleasant, especially for families with children.
Begum Hazrat Mahal Park was built in 1962 in the memory of the Begum of Awadh, Hazrat Mahal. History remembers her as one of the brave hearts who revolted against the British in the 1857 uprising. The park consists of a marble memorial bearing the Coat of Arms of the Awadh royal family. Begum Hazrat Mahal Park is a must visit, with some of the best hotels in Lucknow situated nearby.
Dotted with such mesmerising attractions, offering you an insight into the whims and manners of royalty, the charm of Lucknow is both unmatched and unending. The city has managed to maintain its distinct culture amidst all the development, a fact that makes it worth more than a single visit.