A Hastened Trip To Lucknow & Its Heritage

Arched architecture of Lucknow
The arched architecture

Our history books always described Lucknow as the city of Nawabs. Now you don’t see them anymore around. But the legacy of ‘Tehzeeb’ that they left behind is still the trademark of the city, that if you take the time to mingle with the old timers of the city.

Lucknow Visit

Lucknow had been on my ‘to be visited’ list for a very long time. So as soon as I got an opportunity to visit it, I jumped to take it. I got to see the Bada Imambara, Chhota Imambara, Shahi Hammam, Clocktower and swift through the Hazrat Ganj, courtesy a friend who works there. After a long time got a joy ride on Tonga through the old city

Imambara, Lucknow

Bara Imambara & Bhool Bhulaiya

The most memorable part of this visit was a small conversation with the guide who took me around the Bara Imambara and Bhool Bhulaiya. To begin with, I was just another tourist for him. But as I started talking to him he started telling me a lot of things. He kept calling me ‘Bitiya’ and the ‘Adab’ with which he spoke I had never heard of. He had been a guide all his life and was in his late fifties. And he took me through a way in Bhool Bhulaiya and asked me to trace my way back. Which I managed to and he was not too happy about it. As he almost challenges all his tourists for that. I took some time to explain to him that since I was concentrating on the way, I could make it.

But in a panic situation, it would be impossible to make the way through those dark corridors that can lead you to the same place where you started from. He then took me to the Bauli and explained to me the history and the architecture of the place.

Lucknow through the arches
City through the arches

Tourist’s Dilemma

Some key observations on how the tourists get handled in most of the places in India, and I found a re-enforcement of the same in the city. We try to cheat people as soon and as far as possible. Probably people will be willing to pay them the same amount as they fleece if only they would be more upfront. The heritage buildings are in pits and no one, not even the people who make an earning out of it try to keep it clean. I asked my guide, why don’t you try and keep it clean. All it takes is to have a dustbin put in few places here and there. But the answer was as anticipated, the government is to be blamed, I wonder ‘Is it?’


The traveler in me says the Chowk area of the city is a perfect place for walking tours. Covering all the above locations and maybe a boat ride at Gomti River, and a shopping stop at some reliable Chickankari shop. There are people who are passionate about this place. There is a culture that this city has to offer. And there is a heritage that the next generations need an introduction to. Any takers for organizing walking tours in this Nawabi city….:-)

Recommend you read following travel blog posts on places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.

City of Jhansi Ki Rani

Dholaks of Amroha

Khurja – A potter’s town

Gems of Mathura Museum

Finding Kabir in Kashi


  1. hai,
    this is surya, and I am a colleuge of santosh. after going through your blog, it seems to me that u are a travel freak, an independent, funloving lady. what u told about luvknow was true, I visited that place when my brother was doing his MBA over there.
    cool anyhow nice to read ur blog, from now on I will follow it regularly.


  2. Hi Surya,

    Thanks for visiting…yes, I love to travel and i want to have a career in tourism, just trying to plan something out so that I can be doing what I like to do all the time…


  3. i would love to go to lucknow… anytime for me.
    I wish you’d brought back some pictures from the life there…
    the idea that someone has been to a place i havent been to somehow makes the butterflies in my stomach going, i just hunger to travel and see.

  4. Hi,
    I am one of those whom Anuradha mentions as “passionate about the this place”, having spent about fifteen years in that city !!!.
    Now,not being there , I realize how many things there are ,that I am missing but nonetheless, it’s always there in my memories and I try to relive the gone moments everytime I visit Lucknow [though for very short trips 🙁 ].

  5. Hi,
    Looking at a blog like this makes you feel good and proud of the place where I belong.
    I am a lucknowite to the core and now trying to spread that “Culture” in Bangalore.
    I am sure you had quite a satisfying trip to lucknow but, any travelogue of lucknow would be incomplete without the
    Mention of the “Mehmaan Nawazi” of the place. Lucknow has lots of places for people to visit and relish the authentic
    “Awadhi Cuisine”. “Tunde kebabs”, “kareem’s nihari”, “Galawatis”, “Kakori’s” and the list is endless.

  6. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.


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