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Fast Facts
Location : Uttar Pradesh
Popular As : Capital City of Uttar Pradesh, City of Nawabs
Attractions : Bada Imambara, Lakshman Tila, Hussainabad Imambara, Residency, Lucknow Mahotsav etc.
Best Time To Visit : October to March

Introducing Lucknow
Bada ImambaraLucknow the capital of north India state of Uttar Pradesh is popularly called the 'City of Nawabs'. Once served as the centre of the nawabs of Avadh, Lucknow is also referred to as the 'Golden city of the east' for its splendour. After the decline of the Mughal empire, the nawabs of Avadh controlled this region of north-central India and erected a number of interesting structures.

During the reign of Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-97), the capital of Avadh was moved from Faizabad to Lucknow. Nawabs of Avadh were great patrons of the arts, especially dance and music. Lucknow's reputation as a city of culture and gracious is coming on from that time. Despite modernization, still Lucknow retains its old charm and known for its musical gharanas and exquisite chikan work.

So, plan a trip to the city of nawabs and experience the unique culture on your own. Also savour the delectable nawabi cuisine, kebabs and check out chikan garments as well.

How to Reach Lucknow
By Air : Lucknow airport is located at Amausi, just 15 km from the city centre. A number of airlines operate several daily flights to and from Lucknow to major cities and towns of India. Taxis and auto rickshaws are available from the airport to different parts of the city.
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By Rail : Lucknow is a major railhead and has two railway stations namely Lucknow and Charbagh. Several superfast and mail trains connect Lucknow with important railway stations of the country. From Delhi a number of trains ply to Lucknow every day. Shatabdi Express run daily from New Delhi to Lucknow and return back same day.

By Road : National and State Highways connect Lucknow with important places of Uttar Pradesh rest of the country. Buses ply frequently to Lucknow from Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Agra and many other places of Uttar Pradesh. Deluxe and state transport buses are available to and from Delhi to Lucknow. Road distances of some of the important places from Lucknow are Kanpur (77km), Allahabad (238 km), Varanasi (300km), Agra (363km), Delhi (497km) and Dehradun (582km).

Local Transport : Taxis, auto-rickshaws, rickshaws are mode of local transport in Lucknow.

Places Where You Can Stay
Lucknow has a number of good hotels that offer the traditional Nawabi hospitality. Hotels in Lucknow ranges from five star to budget hotels. Equipped with all the modern facilities the Lucknow hotels provide comfortable stay to guests. Most popular hotels in Lucknow include Taj Residency, Hotel Clarks Avadh, La Palace Park Inn, Hoter Arif Castles, Hotel Gomti, Hotel Sagar international, Hotel Deep Palace and Comfort Inn.

Tourist Attractions in Lucknow
Bada Imambara : One of the major attractions of Lucknow, Bada Imambara was built in 1784 by Asaf-ud-Daula as a famine relief project. Actually a tomb of a Shiite Muslim holy man, Bada Imambara is known for its central hall. An arched room, the central hall - 50 m long and 15 m high - is one of the largest vaulted galleries in the world, without any pillar. Bhulbhulaiya is another attraction of Bada Imambara, which can be reached by external stairway. In the tomb complex there is a mosque with two tall minarets, but non-Muslims are not allowed to enter inside. In addition to Bada Imambara, there is an imposing gate called Rumi Darwaza and built by Asaf-ud-Daula.

Lakshman Tila : Set on the southern back of the river Gomti, Lakshman Tila was the original site of the town. In the 15th century, Lakshman Tila became known as Lucknau. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's mosque stands on Lakshman Tila.

Hussainabad Imambara : Also called the Chhota (Small) Imambara, Hussainabad Imambara was constructed in 1837 by Mohd Ali Shah as his own tomb. The Imambara has a large courtyard that encloses a raised rectangular tank with small Taj Mahal like imitations on each side. One of them is the tomb of Ali Shah's daughter and the other that of her husband. Main structure of the Imambara is topped by a golden dome and contains the tombs of Ali Shah and his mother. Just opposite of the Imambara is the decaying watchtower, known as Satkhanda or the Seven Storey Tower. West of the Imambara lies the Jama Mosque.

Hussainabad ImambaraResidency : Constructed in 1800 by the British Resident, the Residency (a group of buildings) became the stage for the important events of the Uprising of 1857. Now mostly in ruin, the Residency is peaceful and surrounded by lawns and flowerbeds. Since India's Independence very little has changed in the structure of the Residency, only major work done here was the unveiling of an Indian Martyr's Memorial. The model room in the main Residency building is worth visiting, downstairs you can see the cellars where women and children lived throughout the siege.

Other Attractions : Shah Najaf Imambara, Sikandar Bagh, Tombs of Sa'adat Ali Khan and his wife close to remnants of Kaiserbag Palace, Lucknow Zoo, State Museum within the zoo and La Martiniere School are other attractions of Lucknow.

Special Events in Lucknow : Lucknow Mahotsav, organized every year between late November and early December is a special event. During the 10 day festival the spirit of the Nawabs returns in Lucknow. Highlights of the festival include colourful processions, stage plays, kathak dance, ghazals, sitar recitals, tonga races and kite flying. Lucknow has been the principal Indian Shiite city, since the nawabs arrived and known for celebrations of Muharram.

Tourist Attractions Around Lucknow
Kanpur : Mainly an industrial city, Kanpur is 77 kms away from Lucknow. Kanpur is the very place where the first cotton mills of the country was set up. The city is also home to one of IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) of India. Besides an industrial city, Kanpur also has some interesting historical monuments.

Faizabad : A historic place, Faizabad is situated at a distance of 124 km from Lucknow. Once the capital of Avadh, Faizabad is home to a number of number of interesting monuments. Fort Calcutta built by the third Nawab of Avadh - Suja-ud-Daula and mausoleum of Bahu Begum and Gulab Bari are main attractions of Faizabad.

Ayodhya : Ayodhya is just 6 kms away from Faizabad and a holy town for Hindus. People believe that Ayodhya is birth place of Lord Rama, the most popular incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the hero of the epic Ramayana. Ayodhya is dotted with several temples.

Sravasti : Sravasti lies 150 kms northwest of Lucknow and home to a famous Buddhist monastery - Jetavana. It is said that Lord Buddha preached here after getting enlightenment

Shopping in Lucknow
Shopping in Lucknow is a delightful experience. For local items of the city to items of daily use, you will find everything in Lucknow. While shopping in Lucknow, chikan - the hand-woven embroidered cloth remained in top priority. Lucknow chikan garments such as kurtas, sarees or dupattas are famous worldover and you may buy these items to carry as a souvenir for family members or freinds. For those who are fond of jewelleries, Lucknow is a good place. Gold and silver ornaments with exquisite filigree (metal ornamentation) and jadau (gem studded) are some of the famous jewellry items of Lucknow. Visit the Gadbadjhala market to check out jewellery, especially the huge jhumkas (ear-rings). Lucknow is also known for Attar - scented pure essential oils. Sugandhco is the best place to buy attar in the city. Main shopping areas of Lucknow Aminabad, Hazratganj, Janpath, Yayaganj, Kapoorthala and the Chowk. Do remember to visit the handicrafts shop of the UP State Tourism Department for handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh and from different parts of India.

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