Lucknow, a city of the state of Uttar Pradesh is often adjudged as the 'City of Nawabs'. As the city flourished in leaps and bounds during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, it soon became the artistic and cultural centre of India under the leadership of the Nawab of Awadh. Known to be the second-largest city of North India and the eleventh largest in the entire country, Lucknow is the perfect place for you to witness some of the greatest architectural marvels that date centuries back. Apart from its incredible history, the city is the perfect spot for food lovers. A paradise for mouth-watering dishes such as the Galouti Kebab, Boti Kabab, Tunday Kebab, Biryani and much more.

Places to Visit in Lucknow

1. Bara Imambara

One of the most exquisite and famous tourist spots in Lucknow include the most incredible monument, the Bara Imambara. The monument is majorly famous for its stunning maze on the top floor. The monument is said to be the largest structure in the world that has an unsupported construction. The building of the Bara Imambara involved no usage of any kind of wood or any form of metal. Hence, it is considered a top architectural marvel that exhibits stunning ancient Mughal architecture. The locals lovingly address the maze side of the Bara Imambara as ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’. The maze has approximately 1024 ways through which you could enter the maze, but only two ways through which you could come out. It is also known to house the ashes of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah and his crown. Tourists can get a glimpse of it in the Central Hall of the Bara Imambara that is considered as the largest vaulted chamber in the world. The monument is also popularly known as Asafi Imambara, dedicated to the Nawab of Lucknow who is given credits for constructing this incredible monument. The Bara Imambara has been known to be a place of worship for the Muslims. Every year the monument is the celebratory place for popular festivals such as Muharram.

2. Chhota Imambara

The Chhota Imambara or the Imambara of Hussainabad in Lucknow is one of the most stunning monuments to witness around the city. Located in the old city of Lucknow towards the waster end of the Bara Imambara, the monument is one of the most breathtaking sites to witness in the entire city. Built-in 1838 by Muhammad Ali Shah who was the third Nawab of Awadh, the Chhota Imambara came into form as a holy shrine for the Shia Muslims residing in Lucknow. Both the mausoleum of the Nawab and his mother have been housed inside the ancient monument.

The Chhota Imambara's interiors are perfectly enhanced by chandeliers that are added at the time of special events around the year. Due to this many foreigners that have visited Chhota Imambara adjudge it as the 'Palace of Lights' due to the stunning decoration that adds a ton of grace and elegance to the entire monument. If you are not visiting the Chhota Imambara on a special day then do not worry, on usual plain and boring days too it is one stunning piece of architecture that is enough to mesmerize you in a minute. Its beautiful Indo-Islamic and Persian architecture has been highly appreciated and left many in a state of wonderstruck. The exterior of the outer side of the monument has Quranic verses written in Islamic calligraphy. The intricate detailing of architecture and its significant history makes it among the topmost places to visit in Lucknow.

3. British Residency of Lucknow

Another popular spot to visit in Lucknow is the British Residency of Lucknow. The Residency, also known as the Residential Complex served as headquarters for the generals of the British East India Company. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, when the Indians revolted against the rule of the British East India Company, the British residential complex acted as the British refugee camp till the unsettling hours came to a halt. The residency houses a total of three levels. It used to house offices, libraries, the Begum Kothi, Mosque, a cafeteria that no longer exists. One of the walls of the residency holds a marble slab of all the soldiers who fought the Indian revolt. It also houses an ancient Banquet Hall that still adorns some remarkable carvings on the pillars and walls. Despite the building majorly in ruins now, you will still be able to spot the graves of the colonisers that lost their lives during the Siege of Lucknow (prolonged defence of the Residency within the city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857). You could also choose to visit the British Residency of Lucknow during the evening as every day of the week they host a magnificent light and sound show through which they depict the events of the 1857 revolt.

4. Rumi Darwaza

A must spot for tourists and travellers to visit in Lucknow, the Rumi Darwaza is a remarkable sixty feet tall gateway that can be witnessed in the old city of Lucknow. The monument lies exactly between the Bara Imambara and Chhota Imambara, hence can be easily spotted while you tour the other two prominent monuments of Lucknow. This stunning gateway was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula who was the nawab Oudh. The Rumi Darwaza is also popularly called the Turkish gate because of it has been modelled after the Bab-i-Humayun gateway in Turkey. The actual reason behind the building of this Darwaza was for charity purposes. As when a famine struck the Northern part of India in 1748, the Nawab of Lucknow initiated a plan where he will feed the stomachs of the people bearing the brunt of this famine. In return, the Awadhi workers had to build him the humongous Rumi Darwaza for him, in return for an everyday meal. Hence, it ended it up as a way of happiness for both sides.

5. Lucknow Zoo

A famous tourist spot that you could choose to visit with your kids in Lucknow is the Lucknow Zoo. The zoo is often visited by both Locals of the city and tourists. It has been highly appreciated for its great initiatives that include spreading the importance of the environment and why it is essential to safeguard our wildlife. The Lucknow Zoo is home to around 447 mammals, 348 birds, and 57 reptiles. Some of the most popular animals that you'll get to spot include the Royal Bengal tigers and white tigers, as well as lions, wolves, Hoolock gibbons, Himalayan black bears, and Indian rhinoceros. More further down the area of the zoo, you'll also come across some golden pheasants and silver pheasants roaming together. The sight of the Great Pied Hornbill is loved and adored by many. The Lucknow zoo also features programmes such as the Touch Table Programmes that are conducted on Fridays every week. This gives visitors a chance to understand the skin of different types of animals, the kind of eggs birds produced and, the tusks of elephants, and much more. Kids are especially going to love exploring the zoo especially by hopping on the Toy Train operated inside the arena.

6. Hazaratganj

If you are someone who loves shopping or not, a trip to the city of Nawabs, definitely calls for a visit to the famous shopping spot of Lucknow, Hazaratganj. Known as the heart of Lucknow, the district was established in 1810 by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan who had acquired the throne in January 1798 with the help of the British. The district has been named after Hazarat Ali who was the fourth caliph. The market of Hazaratganj is divided into numerous tiny lanes. These lanes are loved by people who share a love for art, music and poetry. This spot was actually the favourite spot of the British officials, NAwabs and Zamindars who often liked taking a tour of the area. From those yesteryear eras to the present, Hazratganj has managed to remain not only relevant but also frequently buzzed with the chaos of local and foreign shoppers. One of the most loved and admired pieces of clothing that shoppers look forward to buying here includes the famous Chikankari Kurtas and sarees are among the topmost things you need to buy in Lucknow. Other things such as jewellery, handicrafts, handloom and electronics could also be taken home.

7. Indira Gandhi Planetarium

The Indira Gandhi Planetarium is a great insightful place for kids and adults who find great joy in learning more about science and astronomy. The Planetarium is located in the Surajkund Park neighbourhood of Lucknow, besides the bank waters of the River Gomti. The building has been constructed in the shape of Saturn with five rings around its central body. It boasts of striking architecture that signifies the solar system. The Indira Gandhi Planetarium, also known as the Taramandal Show, houses various models of the Indian satellites. There is also accurate and diverse data available on many renowned Indian scientists such as Aryabhatt, Varahamihira and many more. This planetarium is a must-visit for astronomy lovers because it gives you the wonderful opportunity of taking a virtual trip to space and get an almost real-like feeling of how it is like swaying across stars and witnessing the massively astonishing galaxy. All this is possible to witness through the amazing 3D Space shows that are conducted for viewers at the Indira Gandhi Planetarium.

SOME UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT LUCKNOW

A lot of dilemma and uncertainty surrounds the city of Lucknow. A lot of myth surrounds the city's origin. It is believed that Lord Lakshman, brother of Lord Ram is the one who actually is responsible for discovering the ancient city of Lucknow that was built on and around an elevated piece of land near the Gomati River. It is said that his brother Lord Rama instructed him to build a city on his own. Before using the name Lucknow, the city was earlier named Lakshmanpur, Lakshmanpuri, Laksmnaut, Laksnaut, Laksnau and Laknau.
The city of Lucknow houses the tallest clock tower of India. Constructed in 1881, the Hussainabad Clock Tower has a great height of 220 feet. It is one of the most incredibly constructed architectural pieces to witness in the entire city of Lucknow. The Hussainabad Clock tower has been inspired by the magnificent Big Ben Tower located in London. Big Ben's height is around 320 feet that acts as one of the most incredible monuments to visit in the entire world. The Hussainabad Clock tower is located near the popular Rumi Darwaza of Lucknow.
Not many people of India are aware that the city of Lucknow is also called as the CCTV city of India. Lucknow is the first place in the entire country that has installations of more than nine thousand CCTV cameras. The number of installation of cameras as compared to other megacities in India is the highest.
The city of Lucknow houses the beautifully magnificent Bara Imambara. The monument is said to be the largest hall without any additional support in the entire Asian continent. The Bara Imambara was built in the eighteenth century by the Nawab of Aqadh so that the Muslims could get a place where they could perform their own religious practices. It is also said to be the largest building in the entire city that is rumoured to have tunnels which lead to cities such as Agra and Faizabad.
During the Rebellion of 1857, the city of Lucknow was the prime spot for numerous rebellious activities. It was also the first city to rebel against the British Empire. The fire of the uprising spread from Lucknow to Kanpur and then in the far east to the state of Bengal.
If you are planning to reach the city of Lucknow by train, then you will be lucky enough to witness one of the most beautiful railway stations in the country. The Charbagh railway station looks like a beautiful chess board when especially witnessed from above. Unless you own a drone or get the permission to fly it over the station, you will not be able to witness the unbelievable view of the Lucknow railway station.

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Author's Bio: 

Unleash your passion to visit the city of Lucknow. From the ancient palace to planetarium, the city attract number of visitors. Fun places are the zoo, the city and the street delicacies.