Lucknow boasts to be the capital city of the Nawab of “Awadh” and hence it is full of monuments with domes and minarets which were quite common in Mughal architecture. One the most populous capital city of India, Lucknow has architectures inspired from Mughals, British and ancient Hindu architectures. Some of the notable visiting places like “Bada Imambara”, “Constantia Palace” etc. narrate the story of a rich cultural heritage that this city possesses.
1) 1857 Memorial Museum, Lucknow
The 1857 Memorial museum is housed in a building annexed to the main Residency building which had a pivotal role in India’s first war for freedom from the British. The museum is an effort to paint an imagery of India’s freedom struggle in the minds of the visitors. It has a stunning collection of photographs, paintings, artifacts, older weapons etc which depict the story of the valor and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during this war.
The museum is spread across two floors: Ground Floor and Basement. In total, the two floors have 11 galleries. There has been a new gallery addition in basement where artifacts excavated from the southern part of the Residency complex have been put on display.
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Days: Monday Closed
Fees: Rs. 5/- per head
2) Aliganj Temple, Lucknow
The Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj, Lucknow is quite a sensation in itself. People throng this temple on Tuesdays which is ‘the’ day of Ram-Bhakt Hanuman. People in Lucknow also celebrate Bada Mangal (Big or Supreme Tuesday) which is the First Tuesday in the month of Jayestha (One of the months of Hindu Calendar year). The fair organized on this occasion itself is believed to be a tradition 400 years old.
A legend suggests that when the child of Lucknow’s nawab fell ill then the Nawab’s wife met the priest of Hanuman Temple to seek his blessings. The priest suggested leaving the child before the idol. Miraculously, the child recovered and by the suggestion of the priest, Nawab and his wife arranged a fair on Tuesday to offer their gratitude to the temple. Since then, the tradition is followed every year unabated and it attracts thousands of visitors.
3) All Saints Garrison Church, Lucknow
One of the beautiful and architecturally phenomenal churches of Lucknow can now said to be deserted. The church is not operational as is visible through its big neglected compound filled with wild bushes and trees with no upkeep. Earlier, the church used to hold congregations on Sundays but the practice has stopped in the recent years.
The Church located on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Lalbagh is in dire need of some attention from authorities otherwise it may fell prey to the Land Mafias who are always looking to grab old neglected properties. The church is currently looked upon by Reverend Daniel Subhan.
4) Aminabad, Lucknow
Lucknow is home to some famous Bazaar’s (Markets) of North India and Aminabad is one of them. The market is not only significant for its business but also for its long cultural heritage. It has been operating since the time of Nawabs of Awadh. Aminabad is home to the products of Chikan embroidery which is primarily manufactured in Lucknow but is in demand across the whole country.
Apart from shops selling Chikan works, there are establishments selling ornaments, Fashion garments, footwear, fancy dresses etc. The footpath market is a special attraction for the buyers who can get good quality products at throwaway prices. But, to get things at cheaper rates, you must be a master at bargaining.
5) Amiruddaula Public Library and Park, Lucknow
This public library is more than 100 years old. Founded as a part of the Provincial Museum established by the Britishers in 1868, the library initially was open only to students. In 1910, this library was declared public and shifted to Chhota Chattarmanzil. But, its days of prominence arrived when Taluqdar’s of Awadh decided to build a separate establishment for this library and name it after Amiruddaula Raja Mohmmad Amir Hasan Khan.
The association of Taluqdar’s, later in 1946 decided to gift the land in front of the library to the Indian government for development as a park. The foundation stone of the new building at Kaiserbagh was laid by Sir Harcourt Butler, the then Governor of UP.
6) Aurangzeb’s Mosque, Lucknow
The much talked about mosque of Aurangzeb is situated in Husaainabad, Lucknow closer to the mesmerizing and world renowned architecture “Bada Imambara”. Proximity to this monument has made this mosque quite busy with lots of people including tourists visiting this mosque. The Imambara gives a spellbinding panoramic view of this historic mosque.
The mosque dates back to 17th century and was constructed by demolishing a temple. During Aurangzeb’s rule several Hindu temples were destroyed to give way to mosques. The hill behind this mosque has a Mazar (Tomb) which is also quite famous with the locals.
7) Badshah Bagh, Lucknow
Badshsah bagh has an intriguing past which is hidden from the majority of visitors and even the residents of the very own city where it is located. The King of Awadh used to host Basant Mela on these grounds which also featured Meena Bazaar during his heydays. The erstwhile Royal Garden was designed and developed by Naseer-ud-din Haider for Nawab’s wife Qudsia Mahal. The garden lost its lustre during the mutiny of 1857.
The Britishers sold Badshah Bagh after this movement to the King of Kapurthala who then decided to donate a part (90 Acres) of the garden to Canning college which later became the Lucknow University. During the days of its glory, the garden was home rare birds and animals kept in cages for the delight of visitors and a canal used to flow with clear sparkling water.
8) Bal Sangrahalay, Lucknow
The Bal Sangrahalaya is located on Motilal Nehru Road in the busy charbagh area of Lucknow. The children museum has a collection of artifacts that children love like Paintings, sculptures, toys, tools, scientific models etc. These objects are arranged and displayed in various galleries. Apart from this, the museum also plays movies thrice a week (usually Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) for 3 hours a day.
The museum opens at 10:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM and remains closed on Mondays.
9) Baradari, Lucknow
The Baradari or Safed (White) Baradari is a white marble building built for the sole purpose of mourning by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. It was an Imambara to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his supreme sacrifice at Karbala. The Nawab’s empire was annexed in the British Empire in 1856, before the bloody battle of freedom in 1857.
The Britishers used Baradari building to hold courthouse. They would hear to the petitions and claims made by the officers and nobleman who served Nawab during his reign. Later this monument was handed over to the taluqdar’s of Awadh in good faith. The building is now also known as Kaiserbagh Bagh Baradari.
10) Bauddha Vihar Shanti Upvan, Lucknow
The Bauddha Vihar is spread across a sprawling area of 27 acres and is a unique mix of architecture and visual imagery which is a treat to the eyes of the visitors. Constructed on the highway connecting Kanpur and Rae Bareli, the Vihar is home to some marvelous architecture made completely from sandstones.
It is ample parking space and green lawns, peaceful ways and beautiful water fountains to attract tourists. Meditation Hall, the Library and Bhikshu Niwas are its main attractions. The memorial of Kanshi Ram is in close proximity and so is the market of Alambagh. The place gets a huge influx of tourists due its nearness to Lucknow airport and railway station.
11) Shahi Baoli, Lucknow
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula is credited with the development of much of the historical architectures that we witness today. The Bada Imambara, Asafi Masjid etc. are some of his famous undertakings. Housed within the complex of Bada Imambara, the Shahi Baoli was built as a reservoir which would become the perennial source of water supply.
Apart from the reservoir it also accommodated Royal guests who found a water source near to their stay quite amusing and magnificent. The five storied structure is lying in shambles with only a portion surviving. But, even then it is one of the main attractions for visitors visiting the Bara Imambara complex.
12) Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Lucknow
The beautiful Park is positioned right in the heart of the city in Hazratganj opposite to Hotel Clarks Awadh. The park was earlier used for rallies, Dussehra festival and renowned Lucknow Mahotsav. Even today, it is viewed as a place to enjoy evenings and weekend getaway with family.
Named after Begum Hazrat Mahal, the first wife of Nawab of Awadh Wajid Ali Shah, who rebelled against the British Empire during the 1857 rebellion, this park is a paradise for walkers with its lush green cover. With water fountains in center and artificial pond within, the park creates a soothing environment for mind and body.
13) Bhool Bhulaiya, Bara Imambara, Lucknow
“Bada Imambara” is one of those monuments and an architectural marvel too. The imambara built by Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah has a labyrinth (Bhool Bhulaiya) built inside which still proves to be confusing for the visitors. The building is managed by ASI which mandates all tourists to visit this grandiose architecture with an official guide.
14) Bhootnath Temple, Lucknow
The temple is made by the disciples of Baba Bhootnath who was a famous tantric and a master of the art. One of his disciples, baba Batuknath has been named as his successor and given the ardent task of carrying his legacy forward.
The temple is quite famous in Lucknow and is located in one busiest areas of the city, Indiranagar.