The ‘Muskuraaiye Aap Lucknow Mein Hai’ Welcome Sign says it all, it is basically a prediction than a statement that construes, days spent in this capital city will be the best memories you are going to have! Lucknow’s exquisiteness makes one speechless, and it alludes history buffs, foodies and explorers, big time. That Tunday Kabab, the Rahim ki Nihari, the fun outing at Kukrail, the picnic at the Indira Dam, day exploration of Imambara, and the night-time hangout at Marine Drive never let one’s hope down. Ringed around with rich artistic and cultural ambiance, Lucknow certainly calls out to be one of the best places to visit and promises some of the craziest and super fun things to do in Lucknow.
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1. Heritage Walk
Steeped in culture and history, Lucknow certainly earns its many monikers like the City of Nawabs, the Golden City of India and Constantinople of the East. Some of the many enjoyable pastimes of the residents and tourists of the city are the many heritage walks organized in the city. UP Tourism department organizes such a heritage walks covering the many monuments scattered across this beautiful and charming city. Led by an English-speaking guide, the walk begins outside Tali Wali Masjid, followed by a trip to Bara Imambara and a walk through the maze of alleyways in the Chowk District. This heritage walk gives you a unique glimpse of the traditions of the city handed down through the centuries and still kept alive in various forms especially indigo block printing, unani (traditional) medicine and vark (edible silver foil) making. You'll also get a chance to savor a variety of traditional cuisine like Thandai while on this walking tour.
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2. Culinary Journey
Are you a die-hard foodie? The perfect activity awaits you in the City of Nawabs, Lucknow. Like their ancestors, the people of this historic city are connoisseurs of tasty culinary feats, especially the Awadhi cuisine. The citizens are so dedicated to food, they even have a chef’s colony called Bawarchi Tola. Its streets are lined with traditional and modern restaurants that provide simply mouth-watering delicacies, made with recipes perfected over the centuries. Begin your interesting walk from Akbari Gate on Victoria Street complete with a guide and the basic dining equipment and your own set of cutlery. These will be provided to you so that you can forget the hassles of how to eat and later clean your hands. You will stop at various places like Mubeen’s Pasanda, Tundey’s Kabab, Raheem’s Nihari Gosht and Rehmat’s Halwa Shop. You can also sample from the delicious food prepared by the roadside eateries.
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3. Sufi Sojourn
If you are an ardent fan of anything Sufi, then this is a chance not to be missed! Be a part of the Sufi Sojourn and visit Dewa, an hour’s drive away from the city of Lucknow. Visit the mausoleum of the renowned Sufi saint, Waris Ali Shah. A Sufi researcher or guide will accompany you, providing delightful insights into the mysticism and depth of Sufi culture. Dewa Sharif, the tomb of the saint, promotes an architecture that is a harmony of Hindu and Iranian styles, in keeping with the teachings and beliefs of the saint himself. Pay your respects at his shrine and offer Chadar Posh, a grave-covering cloth, and flowers. Later, sit down to some soulful Sufi music by devotional singers known as Qawals. Even without the translation of your guide, the music alone will fill your mind with serenity.
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4. Visit Bara Imambara
Bara Imambara is a colossal architectural marvel. The tomb of a holy Shiite, it has evolved into one of the iconic landmarks of Lucknow. Its upper floors are a curious labyrinth of corridors that lend a unique touch to the mausoleum. Known as the Bhulbhulaiya, this interesting set of narrow pathways is the most attractive feature of Bara Imambara. The labyrinth eventually leads out to the rooftop balconies. While exploring the Bara Imambara, it is handy to have a torch since many of the pathways are quite dark. Next to the tomb, occupying the same courtyard is a mosque and a baori or step well. The tomb is also home to one of the world’s largest vaulted galleries. The interesting fact about purchasing a ticket to Bara Imambara is that the same ticket will also give you entrance to several other nearby monuments like Chota Imambara, the clock tower, and the Baradari or Summer Palace.
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Historical Context: The Bara Imambara was built by the Nawab of Awadh in the year 1784. One of the objects was to provide the people with something to do during the harsh famine that ravaged the region during the time. It was built by the Shia Muslims for Azadari or Mourning of Muharram. A reflection of ornamented Mughal design, the building is one of the grandest in the city of Lucknow.
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5. Tonga Ride
Are you a history buff? Do you feel that you are living in the wrong century? Well, here is your chance to experience something straight out of your history books! Come and feel the magic of riding in an open horse-drawn carriage through the heart of Lucknow City. The lavishly decorated two-wheeled carts that were used during the reign of the Nawabs as a means of conveyance are displayed here. The advancement of technology and the advent of fast cars may have replaced their use but not their novelty or charm. Starting from Bara Imambara, these carriages, known as Tongas, will give you an unforgettable tour of the City of Nawabs. Get to know the feature of Lucknow in the same way the Nawabs did and visit places like Rumi Gate, Jama Masjid and the banks of the river Gomti. Multiple rides are available throughout the day, so choose your most convenient time and be prepared to be entertained like never before.
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6. Fun At Dream World Resort
Just 25 Km away from the heart of Lucknow City, DreamWorld Resort offers a quick refuge from the hectic schedule of daily life. Located on 20 acres of land blessed with nature’s gifts, the resort is easily accessible for all being situated on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway. The resort has entertainment facilities for people of all ages. It is a place to relax and unwind from the stress of everyday life. Equipped with an indoor water park, club, DJ Hall, amusement park, party lawns, games parlor and a variety of restaurants, DreamWorld guarantees you a fun-filled time with friends and family. The place is also ideal for celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries. Grab your close buddies and come to DreamWorld for a weekend of pampering and unforgettable fun, that too at affordable prices. Any reason is a good reason to visit DreamWorld, and once you have tasted the pomp and flair here, you will keep coming back for more.
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7. Explore Lucknow Zoo
Built in the year 1921 to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales to Lucknow, and spread out over 7 acres of land is the Lucknow Zoological Gardens. It is a haven for wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts. A trek through green-canopied paths of the zoo will give a glimpse of many wild animals including the royal Bengal tiger, the white Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, Himalayan black bear, Asiatic elephant, giraffe, zebra and various species of deer. It is one of the only two zoos in India that houses an orangutan. Aside from the variety of fauna that one encounters here, the Lucknow Zoo also boasts of a State Museum. The museum houses many rare artifacts related to Awadh culture and history. A toy train and a vintage train make up the other attractions in the zoological park.
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8. Visit Dr. Ambedkar Park
Built entirely using red sandstone from Rajasthan, Ambedkar Park is a public park and memorial which commemorates the lives of several prominent people in the history of India including Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram, Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru, and many others. Opened to the public in the year 2008, the park is a good place to spend a day with your family. The Ambedkar Stupa is said to be the heart of the memorial. It contains several statues depicting the life of Dr. Ambedkar. The park also consists of a museum which houses several artifacts of various political and social figures in the history of India. The park offers some stunning views for those interested in photography. The place has also been featured in several Bollywood movies and music videos. The park is open to the public year-round.
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They say our destiny is written in the stars, and our ancient forefathers spent many sleepless nights charting the course of many stars and constellations that the naked eye could see. Today, technology is far more advanced, and we know a lot more about the universe in which we live. And yet, the fascination that a sky full of stars has for man has changed little. Visit the Indira Gandhi Planetarium in Lucknow and be spellbound by the beauty of the stars of the sky, recreated using magic known as modern technology. Favored by people young and old, the place presents the story of our galaxy and the world in which we live in an unforgettable manner. Grown-ups can simply sit back and be mesmerized by the twinkling beauties above, many of which we cannot spot today due to the pollution affecting the Earth’s atmosphere and perhaps reminisce about childhood when you laid back on the dew-covered grass and tried to read your destiny written in the stars.
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10. Swedish Massage Therapy
Today’s lifestyle does not offer anyone the pace to relax and simply breathe for some time. Consequently, all of us have accumulated stress in our bodies and minds that will adversely affect our health. Massages are a guaranteed way to ensure that your mind relaxes, and your body loosens all the knotted muscles. Well, a spa in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow is now offering Swedish massages. Lasting only one hour, these massages are done by professional therapists using mainly olive oil to increase the blood flow. They will apply mild pressure on your pressure points ensuring that your muscles will relax. You can also take home some simple tips and tricks to avoid accumulating stress in your body.
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Q. Why lucknow is called the city of Nawabs?
A. One of the main reasons for this is that Lucknow in the 18th century was ruled by Nawabs. Its name was Oudh or Awadh. It was a city famous for both its chikan and chicken. No other city can match to the Nazakat (exility), Nafasat (sophistication) and Tehzeeb (culture) of the city of Nawabs.
Q. What is tunday kebab
A. Tunde Ke Kabab (Hindi: टुंडे के कबाब, Urdu: ٹنڈے کے کباب), also known as Buffalo meat Galouti kebab (Hindi: गलौटी कबाब, Urdu: گلوٹی کباب), is a dish made out of minced meat which is popular in Lucknow, India. It is part of Awadhi cuisine. It is said to incorporate 160 spices.