Lucknow – Heritage and Tradition

Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the biggest cities in North India. Its history goes back to hundreds of years when Nawabs were the rulers of Awadh Kingdom. They were huge admirers of literature, art, dance, music and food and hence this city was bestowed with an array of cultural treasures. Today, Lucknow is famous for an immersive heritage found in rich cuisine, vibrant embroidery, classical buildings, British bungalows, gorgeous gardens and intricately designed magnificent monuments. The royal culture of this city still exists in the behaviour and lifestyle of the people. No wonder Lucknow has been nicknamed as ‘City of Nawabs’.

It is believed that old name of Lucknow must have been Lakshmanpuri, coined after one of the heroes in the Epic Ramayana. It is also said that the settlement around Gomati River was called Lakhanvati which was dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. Lakhnau city is still referenced by the locals and is a Hindi version of the present name.

Lucknow, India primarily flourished in 18th and 19th centuries when the Nawabs took over the Awadh Kingdom. Before that, the city was a part of Delhi Sultanate and many different dynasties including Sharqi Sultanate and the Mughals ruled over it. Lucknow became prosperous during the era of Nawabs but then fell into the hands of East India Company. The cultural impact gifted Lucknow state with a diverse range of lifestyles which is still evident in different parts of this city.

Lucknow is also the home of famous personalities including writers, poets, shayars, singers and fashion designers. The traditional chikankari embroidery and zardosi originated in Lucknow and made a mark on a global scale. The traditional food has won it many admirers who come here from different parts of the country and world just to taste the famed galauti kebabs, biryani and nihari.

Today Lucknow is one of the fastest growing commercial cities in India. It is the second biggest city in North India and the eighth biggest in India. Population of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh is almost 28.2 lakhs. Common language spoken in Lucknow area is Hindi, Awadhi, English and Urdu.

Lucknow: A Quick View of the state 
Official Language Hindi, Awadhi, Urdu
Dial Code 522
Population 28.2 Lakhs (as of 2018)
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Time Zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
Area 2528 square km

Best places to visit in Lucknow

Lucknow has a rich collection of places worth visiting. From old buildings to unique galleries and even food lanes, there is a lot of options to explore during a visit to this city. Apart from the local sightseeing spots, Allahabad, Banaras and Vindhyachal are a few of the important tourist places near Lucknow. Here are a few popular attractions in the city that worthy of being added in every itinerary –

Bara Imambara

Bara Imambara was built in the year 1784 by Asaf - Ud – Daula. The design and the architectural style resembles the Mughal structures where similar delicate artworks and intricate patterns are incorporated. What makes Bara Imambara so special is the maze which is a series of endless galleries where one can walk all day and yet will not find a way out. Locally known as Bhool Bhulaiya, this structure is simply unique and worth experiencing. Bara Imambara is one of the most interesting places to visit in Lucknow and the premises also includes a mosque, several courtyards and gateways, and a step-well. It is recommended to hire a guide who’ll also share different insights about the main building along with others that are present in the complex.

Chandrika Devi Temple

This is the oldest temple in Lucknow dating back to 15th century. It is believed that the temple was constructed by Lord Lakshaman’s son Rajkumar Chandraketu and was destroyed in 12th Century. The new building that stands today is believed to be more than 300 years old. Devotees from faraway places come here to pay their respects as they believe that the deity will fulfil their wishes. The temple complex also comes alive during Durga Puja festival when a large number of visitors come here to offer prayers.

Chota Imambara

Chota Imambara is one of the significant historical places in Lucknow. It is also known as Imambara of Hussainabad and was built by Mohammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh. This magnificent structure also houses the tomb of Mohammad Ali Shah and his mother. The walls adorn rich textures of Persian and Indo-Islamic style of designs. The stunning hall is elaborately decorated with chandeliers and pretty crystal glass lamp-stands that is worthy of admiration.

Lucknow Zoo

Lucknow Zoo is a popular tourist spot in the city and is a nice place to take a stroll in the morning or in the evening. Among all Lucknow Sightseeing spots, this zoo is perfect for families looking for an educational trip for their young ones. Lucknow zoo is home to home 447 mammals, 348 birds, and 57 reptiles. The premises also house a toy train for family entertainment. It’s an ideal place to enjoy some fun time away from the hustle bustle of the city and find an escape from the hot afternoons in the cool and calm premises of the zoo complex.


Anyone with an interest to try delicious cuisine and mouth-watering sweet dishes would love to visit the Chowk. Chowk is home to many iconic food joints that serve all sorts of amazing dishes. This location is counted among Lucknow’s best places where one can spend quality time with their friends and family. It is one of the top recommended places to visit in Lucknow in night as all the restaurants and stalls come alive after the sun sets.

British Residency

British Residency used to be the home of the Colonial officials who lived in Lucknow during Pre Independence era. The Residency’s grounds also contain around 2000 graves of British soldiers who died during the revolution. It is often frequented by history lovers due to its significance. It is a great place for children who want to learn new tales about this country’s glorious past. The beautiful collection of gardens, ruins and colonials buildings makes this spot one of the most unique places to visit in Lucknow with friends and family.

1857 Memorial Museum

This museum located inside British Residency is a major tourist attraction. Here, multiple galleries exhibit and offer great insight into the great revolt of 1857 that marked the first chapter in Indian Independence struggle. The whole series of event is shared in a chronological order with help of multiple diorama, photographs and canvas paintings offering a time travel like experience.


Lucknow Food trail

Lucknow’s food has an iconic status and is quintessential to Lucknow’s history. The Nawabs were admirers of food and their favourite delicacies got a historical name and fame with a status that is even revered today. People of Lucknow like to visit these legendary outlets for quick bites of Kebabs and Biryanis. Cuisine of this city is one of the main USP of Lucknow tourism. Regular Awadh Food festivals are organized in different parts of India in order to celebrate the tradition of creating world class cuisines, all of which originated in this city.

Some of the must try food in Lucknow are –

Galauti Kebabs – Galauti Kebabs are the only kebab in this variety that does not come with bones. Galauti was invented by a local expert some 300 years ago when the Nawab of Lucknow demanded to create something that he could eat without chewing. Galauti Kebabs are found at many places in Lucknow but the best ones are available with Tundey Kebabs, run by the grandsons of the man who came up with its idea.

Biryani – Awadhi Biryani has a name and fame that is on the level of its counterparts from Hyderabad and Kolkata. Awadhi Biryani is special because of the rice and wonderful flavours without the addition of any colours in the final preparation.

Kebabs – The lanes of Aminabad are filled with small shops that are as old as 100 years and prepare amazing variety of kebabs. Soft and savoury seekh kebabs with rumali roti are very popular in Lucknow. Chicken tikka is another favourite variety here.

Basket Chat – Basket Chat is a unique creation that is exclusive to this city. Basket is prepared using fried potato and chat is prepared by mixing lentils, peas and spices with curd and many different chutneys. The chat is then served inside the basket lending it a crunch bite.

Makkhan Malai – Makkhan Malai is a winter delicacy. There are different stalls selling this heavenly piece of dessert and it’s usually found around the streets of Hazratganj and Aminabad. Makkhan Malai is not only one of the famous things in Lucknow but also in entire UP.


How to reach Lucknow

Lucknow city is connected with major cities of India via rail, road and air. Being an important industrial and commercial hub of North India has increased the relevance of the city. A number of tourists arrive here for sightseeing and indulge in the amazing Lucknow cuisine. For their benefit, the city has a number of trains, flights and buses arriving and departing on a regular basis.

By Air

Lucknow International Airport is a fully fledged operational airport which is connected with major Indian cities via air. Regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata and Chennai arrive and depart from here at regular hours. Lucknow is also connected with Dubai, Sharjah, Jeddah and Muscat on international routes.

By Train

Lucknow has a strong railway network and falls on Delhi – Gorakhapur route and is connected with all the important train stations. There are regular trains from Chennai, Patna, Varanasi, Delhi, Kolkata, and many more important stations that either start or stop at Lucknow location. There are regular ultra luxury trains like Rajadhani and Shatabdi connecting Lucknow with Delhi and Varanasi.

By Road

Lucknow District has modern luxury buses from UPSRTC that connect Delhi, Allahabad, and Varanasi. These buses are air conditioned, and come in seating and sleeper categories. A number of private bus operators run between these cities but they are not on the same level as UPSRTC coaches in terms of comfort and punctuality. Non AC buses are comparatively cheaper than the luxury buses but lack the comfort level.

Internal transport inside Lucknow City

AC and Non AC cabs are available to travel around Lucknow. Hand pulled cycle rickshaws are also recommended for short distances. Shared auto rickshaw and city buses are cheaper but finding the one going in the right direction can prove to be hectic. Ride hire apps are a better way to search for taxis and cabs with genuine rates. Visitors are advised to download a Lucknow map in order to find easy directions around the city.


Best time to visit Lucknow

Lucknow UP is located in the plains of North India which means that it experiences the extreme side of all the weathers. Temperature in the summer season goes up to 40 degrees, the winters are chilly and it rains mercilessly in the monsoons.

December to January

Lucknow weather is the coldest during December and January. Temperature drops down to 10 degrees and warm clothes are required. This is also the time when winter special Lucknow famous food comes out in various shops and restaurants. A few of these delicacies include, Moong Dal Halwa, Carrot Halwa and Makkhan Malai. Evenings are pleasant and perfect for a stroll around the heritage part of the city.

February and March

As the winter season starts fading away in February, the climate becomes pleasant to explore the various places to see in Lucknow. The winter special delicacies are also available because of Vasant Panchmi and Holi being celebrated during these months.

April to June

Summer season arrives in North Indian plains by April and the afternoons become really unbearable during this time. The temperature rises to 40 degrees because of which it is not suitable to explore Lucknow tourist spots during afternoon time. The chances of heatstroke are also high and it is advised to stay indoors and only opt for sightseeing in the evening.

July to August

This marks the advent of the monsoon season. The rains are harsh and it often rains for hours and even days. Lucknow rain brings life to a standstill and the city often gets waterlogged due to floods in Gomti River. One must avoid travelling during this season as it will be almost impossible to explore any famous places in Lucknow.

September to November

The monsoon season ends and the weather become pleasant. This is the best time to plan a visit to Lucknow as the afternoons are favourable and the evenings are perfect to explore the tourist places in Lucknow including Rumi Darwaza, Bhool Bhulaiya and the food alley of Aminabad. Durga Puja and Dipawali fall during these months and the city celebrates both of them with great grandeur.


Important FAQ about Lucknow

Q. Where is Lucknow? 

A. Lucknow is in Uttar Pradesh state of India.

Q. What is the measurement of Lucknow City area? 

A. Lucknow is spread in an area of 2,528 sq km. It is the second biggest city of North India and a prime industrial hub.

Q. What is the distance between Lucknow and Delhi? 

A. It takes 7 hours to travel between Lucknow and Delhi. Distance between Delhi and Lucknow is 557 kilometre.

Q. Where can I find Lucknow in India Map? 

A. Lucknow is located on the Northern part of India. On map, the city will be close to Delhi and in Uttar Pradesh region.

Q. What is the best time to plan Lucknow travels?

A. Best time to visit Lucknow is from late September to early March.

Q. What are the best places near Lucknow? 

A. Some of the recommended places close to Lucknow are Allahabad, Varanasi, Agra, Delhi and Nainital.

Q. What are the recommended places to visit in Lucknow 

A. Lucknow’s attractions include, Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, Begam Hazrat Mahal Park, British Residency, 1857 revolution museum, Chowk, Aminabad, etc.


Lucknow City Map

Language Spoken

Hindi, Awadhi, Urdu

Currency used:

Indian Rupee (INR)


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