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Lucknow, the ‘golden city of the east’ retains an old world charm that fascinates one an all. Regarded as one of the finest cities of India, Lucknow emanates a culture that combines emotional warmth, a high degree of sophistication, courtesy and a love for gracious living.

Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. A city which saw great rulers and dynasties come and go, and in the process leave indelible impressions. Excavations at Lucknow have revealed a civilization of the pre-Christian era.

Lying on the banks of river Gomti, this beautiful city was the capital of the Wazirs and Nawabs of Avadh (Oudh) two centuries ago. It was once the pivot of a unique culture, art and etiquette – an ethos so unique that the term “Lucknavi” culture still continues to be a by-word for gracious living. The dynasty of Avadh was founded by a Persian named Saadat Khan in 1739 and the laudable work was carried on by his successors till 1814 after which it began to deteriorate. During the reign of Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-1797), Lucknow was at its zenith. It was practically the “Paris of India”, the country’s centre of art and culture. The year 1857 saw a mutinous Lucknow. The bullet-pierced walls of the Residency speak of the six tumultuous months of the 1857 uprising. The great Imambara, with the Central Hall measuring 162 feet by 53 feet, is one of the largest vaulted galleries in the world.

Lucknow is a city synonymous with the Nawabi Culture. The imperialistic splendor and magnificence of the Nawabi Era has been glorified and eulogized down the ages by writers, poets and historians alike.

Tremors of time have not effaced Lucknow of its cultural heritage and traditions, which once contributed in creating the city incomparable in its times. As the 18th century seat of the Nawabs of Avadh, Lucknow flourished becoming an important political and cultural center, rivaling Delhi in its patronage to art and literature. It was during this time that culture and architecture synthesized emerging in a distinct form now so typical to the Lucknow culture.

Tourist Attractions Lucknow

Bara Imambara


Bara Imambara luckhnow Built in the year 1784 by the champion of charity Nawab Asaf ud Daula, the Bara Imambara provided food to the famine stricken subjects of the Nawab. It is said that once even the rich persons worked here as laborers in the construction of this impressive monument. They worked at night to avoid the embarrassment of being noticed. The monument is known for its simplicity of style, sheer proportion and symmetry. To the left of the Imambara is a grand mosque. To the right is a row of cloisters concealing a huge well known as the Baoli.

Clock Tower

 The beautiful clock tower, constructed in 1887, is the tallest Clock Tower in India and one of the finest examples of British Architecture in India. The 221 feet tall structure was erected by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, Ist Lieutenant Governor of United province of Avadh in the year 1887.

Chhota Imambara

chhota Imambara luckhnowThough popularly called as the Chhota Imambara the Hussainabad Imambara stands to the west of Bara Imambara. Built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah (1837-42), it is more ornate in design with exquisite chandeliers, gilt-edged mirrors, silver mimbar and colorful stucco s which adorn the interiors. A golden dome and fine calligraphy on the exterior of the building makes it a truly exceptional monument of Mughal architecture (open 0600 hrs to 1700 hrs.).

Saadat Ali's Tomb

Saadat Ali TombThe twin maqbaras of Saadat Ali Khan and Khurshid Zadi, near Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, are one of the best examples of Awadh architecture. The proportionate domes with elegant kiosks and above all, well balanced architectural design makes them extremely interesting.

Lakshman Tila

Believed to have been one of the earliest habitations of the city, the Laxman Tila is situated to the north of the Imambara complex. The Tila contains the famous Alamgiri Mosque built by Sultan Ali, Governor of the province of Avadh, during the reign of Aurangzeb. The mosque is known for its outstanding symmetry of form and sobriety of decoration.

Rumi Darwaza

Rumi DarwazaThe Rumi Darwaza leads to the outer section of the Bara Imambara and is widely believed to be a facsimile of one of the gates of Constantinople. Also known as the Turkish Gateway, it is a brilliant example of Avadh architecture.

Chattar Manzil

 The Umbrella Palace is an imposing façade with huge underground rooms and a beautiful dome surrounded by a gilt umbrella. The European influence can clearly be seen in the architecture of this beautiful building. Today it houses the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI).

Jama Masjid

 The construction of this mosque was started in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah but it was finally completed by his wife Begum Malika Jahan after his death. This splendid mosque built in the typical Mughal style lies to the west of the Hussainabad Imambara. It is entirely free from pseudo Italian art then in vogue in Lucknow.

Moti Mahal
 There are three beautiful buildings on the fringes of the Gomti. The main one is the Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. The other two include Mubarak Manzil and the Shah Manzil. They were mainly constructed for the Nawab and his courtiers to watch animal combats from the balconies of the buildings, which were held at the other side of the river. The Nawabs also used these buildings to view the birds in flight.
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