Popularly known as the ‘City of Nawabs’, this metropolitan city is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is famous for its multicultural heritage, historical buildings, delectable Awadhi cuisine, and literary contributions. It also has a well-developed modern infrastructure in place and offers various modern facilities to its residents and visitors.
Here’s our comprehensive list featuring the top 12 tourist hotspots of Lucknow which you should definitely visit:
1. Bara Imambara
This building complex is the hottest tourist attraction in Lucknow. Commissioned by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula and designed by the architect Hafiz Kifayatullah, this architectural marvel, this shrine complex was set up in 1784 AD. The main building houses the expansive Bhool Bhulaiya or labyrinth in its upper floor. Its central hall is 163-ft long, has numerous doors and leads to many corridors in a maze-like pattern. The building roof is propelled up by walls alone and without any pillar-support. The neighboring Asafi Masjid with its minarets also draws thousands of tourists and Muslim devotees throughout the year. This sculpted shrine is also home to the Nawab’s tomb.
2. Rumi Darwaja
Considered as the signature building of Lucknow, this 3-storied and 60-ft high gateway is also known as the Turkish Gate. Nawab Asaf-ud-daula erected this colossal structure in 1784 AD. He hired workers from Rome for its construction and hence it was named so. Intricately carved floral patterns adorn this gate and there is absence of any wood or iron support in its column. Interestingly, the entrance of the glorious Bara Imambara lies directly opposite to it.
Nawab Mohd Ali Shah commissioned its construction in 1842 AD. This 4-storied observatory actually resembles the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in appearance. According to Indian history, the Nawab wanted to make it a 7-storied watch tower as tall as the Qutub Minar of Delhi.
4. Chhota Imambara
Also known as, the Palace of Lights, this marvelous building complex is located nearby Satkhanda. Nawab Mohd Ali Shah constructed this ornate piece of architecture, in 1837 AD. This sit houses the tombs of the Nawab and his family members. Its interiors are decorated with Belgian chandeliers, gold-framed mirrors, glass-work, silver decor, and Arabic calligraphy.
5. Hussainabad Clock Tower
This 221-ft tall structure is located near Rumi Darwaja. It is, unarguably, the tallest clock tower in India. Nawab Nasir-Ud-Din Haider commissioned its construction in 1880 AD. This tower is fitted with a gigantic clock and depicts Victorian-Gothic architectural style. This still-working clock consists of a 12-petal designed dial and a 14-ft long pendulum.
6. Hussainabad Picture Gallery
Built in 1838 AD by the Nawabs of Awadh, this building has a treasure-trove of different types of paintings and portraits of Nawabs. Most of the portraits are large in size and done in colors. It is believed that some of the paintings were done using colors made of diamonds and on elephant skin instead of paper canvas.
7. British Residency
One of the sites where the First War of Independence (1857) was fought, this historic place houses a renovated two-storied museum and few dilapidated buildings. You can see the remnants of the violent clashes in the form of bullet-grazed walls of the remaining structures.
8. La Martinière Boy’s College
Previously named as the Constantia House, this place now functions as a premier educational institution in the country. This 18th century building is a blend of Italian and Indian architecture styles. It also houses the mausoleum of Claude Martin, a banquet hall, and few residential quarters.
9. Chhatar Manzil or Umbrella Palace
Formerly known as Kothi Farhat Baksh, it was built by Major-General Claude Martin in 1781 AD. Nawab Saadat Ali Khan bought this building and it became the official residence of the Nawabs of Awadh. This structure boasts of impressive fusion of both Indian and European styles of architecture.
10. Chakra Tirth Temple
This famous temple is located in Naimasharanaya area of the city. According to Hindu Mythology, Maharishi Vyas wrote the sacred books of Hindus, the Puraans, at this place. There is a circular pond in the vicinity where devotees take bath for religious purposes.
11. Lucknow Zoo And Museums
This sprawling zoo covers 71.6 acres of land and was set up in 1921 to celebrate the visit of the Prince of Wales to the city. It houses numerous species of birds, reptiles, and mammals and also runs breeding programs for certain endangered species such as the Hog Deer and White Tiger. This zoological park also contains the Lucknow State Museum and Folk Arts Museum. You will find more than 1 lakh of antique artifacts and memorabilia such as pottery, weapons, and manuscripts on display, here. Its oldest historical objects mainly belong to the ancient-era Gupta dynasty. Another attraction of this zoo campus is its operational toy train for the visitors.
12. Dr. Ambedkar Park
This 107-acre large park is situated in Gomti Nagar and has a red sandstone-made monument dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It also has a water canal and several well-kept green lawns which attract both locals and sightseers throughout the year.
This city also abounds with lesser known historic monuments and modern buildings which are worth a visit. You can make a trip to view Saadat Ali Khan’s tomb, Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Ganga Aquarium, and Regional Science Centre. The beautifully designed mausoleum of Saadat Ali Khan will leave you amazed with its stone carvings, marble floors, encrusted semi-precious stones, and numerous stylish jharokaas or windows.
Welcome to our City of Nawabs!