Home is where the heart lies. As a proud Lucknowite, the feeling of homesickness quadruples every time I crush over this city. It is not just home for me, but a beloved tourist destination for many. Endowed with a rich heritage and Nawabi culture, you must have associated Lucknow with two things: KEBABS and Nawabs! Lucknow is definitely the place to be for food enthusiasts and hungry wanderers. Devouring and exploring mouth-watering street food in the narrow alleys of old Lucknow is something you couldn’t have missed during your last visit. You are not a true Lucknow lover if you did not pick up some tehzeeb and nazakat back home, and inculcating the same in your demeanor. The land of the Nawabs leaves that mark on you.
Apart from these two mainstream things, there’s a lot that the city withholds, for its residents and tourists, that the article shall delve into. While most Lucknowites would experience a nostalgic rush while reading this article, our travelers might feel the urge to mark their calendars for a Lucknow visit.
Let this not confuse you with Chicken Tikkas, for that is another thing you’d find here at every other nook and corner. Chikankari is one of the most precious assets of Lucknow that makes it a shoppers’ heaven. This traditional embroidery style originated here. It is said that it was first introduced by Begum Nur Jahan, wife of Mughal Prince Jehangir. Lucknow shelters some of best chikankari houses, that flaunt some finest quality of chikan work.
No, we aren’t talking about the film. If anyone of you has ever paid a visit to Lucknow, you must have explored this real, mystic place. It is one of the attractions in the premise of the Bara Imambara. This curious labyrinth withholds many secrets and comprises several passageways. It was built by the Nawabs to offer a safe hiding place to their army in case of invasions. While the army was well-versed with its routes, the enemies would lose their way and patience, making them easy preys. The labyrinth has many windows, one of which is structured to offer a distant view, beyond the outskirts of the city. Such vision was to ensure an eye on approaching invaders. The glory of this place is unparalleled!
Yes. Even the Nawabi land boasts of a wonderful marine drive, alongside the dazzling Gomti river. Frequented by locals at night, this stretch has become a perfect hangout spot for a late night drive. The aesthetic appeal of this smooth road strip makes it even more inviting, with ice-cream vendors alongside to complete your evening adventure.
The heart of the city is Hazratganj, the dazzling Ganj of Lucknow! This place is beset with everything; markets, food joints, restaurants, offices, malls; that make it one of the most crowded and happening destinations in the city. Hazratganj also boasts of the famous and one of oldest food joints, India Coffee House. This place has a legacy of over 75 years; and has been visited by top politicians, leaders and celebrities of all times to sit down for a cup of coffee and start an intellectual conversation.
Chowk ki Thandai
The faintly sweetened, cool, light drink is made out of churned out milk, kesar and exotic nuts. Lucknow, known for being a foodie’s paradise boasts of this drink, available at the food central of the city called Chowk. Make sure you visit this place to flatter your taste buds with the best of delicacies, including Thandai.
Sweets: Shahi Tukda and Rabdi!
It is not just Kolkata, but also Lucknow that brags of some best sweets that were once served as dessert to the Nawabi rulers. Thus, these sweets have royal flavor to them. Shahi Tukda is one our special delicacies, straight from the royal kitchens. One of oldest sweet shops like Ram Asrey and Chappan Bhog are the best places to embrace this sugar rush.
It a sweet dish usually relished during the chilly winters in Lucknow. Fresh, frothy malai combined with a pinch of kesar, oh, this dish has a wondersome delight and nostalgia attached to it! It is one of the most famous servings on the streets of Lucknow, that characterize our winter extravaganza.
Dasheri Aam (Mangoes)
Summers in Lucknow, or for that matter in northern/central India are incomplete without mangoes. The Dasheri variety of the same is something that Lucknow is known for. Abundant supplies of Dasheri Aam are brought in from Malihabaad, a small district in Lucknow. This sweet delight makes the unbearable sun a wee bit easier.
Pottery at Chinhat
Chinhat is a locality located in the outskirts of the city, and an absolute paradise for pottery lovers. This place withholds one of the finest variety of potteries’ products: from teacups to vases. We are blessed with diversity and skill. Although this industry has suffered a setback in the past few years due to inflow imported products, this place is still frequented by ceramic lovers and admirers of fine, indigenous goods.
Janeshwar Mishra Park
Made in the memory of late politician Shri. Janeshwar Mishra, the park is claimed to be Asia’s largest parks (376 acres). It was made on the lines of the Hide Park in London, with a grand artificial lake in its premises for boating purposes. The park was an attempt to bring people closer to the nature’s cradle, keeping in mind modern techniques and health benefits as well. Pay a visit to this lovely green place!
*wipes away a tear, books tickets*