Uttar Pradesh is one of the most undiscovered states from the touristic point of view. Agra keeps topping the popular list due to Taj Mahal and quite few people move beyond to explore other cities of UP. Lucknow, also known as the Golden City of the East, is one of the oldest cities of India appointed as an Uttar Pradesh capital. I accidentally happened to visit this city and fell in love with its history and architectural monuments. Somehow it represents a combination of old reflected in Imambara and Residency monuments and contemporary reflected in the atmosphere of Ambedkar Memorial.
If you are in the Eastern part of India, I recommend reserving one day for Lucknow to get a vast intro into this wonderful city. Here are some places that you can’t skip during your visit:
This is one of the grandest monuments I’ve visited in India. Built by the ruler Asaf-Ud-Daula, this complex includes the main hall, mosque, labyrinth and bowli (a step well with running water). Lucknow old constructions reflect Mughal architecture and style. Take an audio/real guide with you to get a deeper insight of the meaning of each part of the complex.
- Ticket cost: 50 INR – Indian, 500 INR – foreigner. This price comes as the package that includes several monuments. You can pay separately for each, though I think it’s a nice deal.
- Working hours: 6 AM – 6 PM
- Duration: around one hour. It took me almost two hours as I like to read and touch every stone.
It’s a historical monument dating back to 1770s. It was built to host British residents stationed in that area. The complex consists of several houses, banquet hall, mosque, museum, lawns and main building of residency itself.
- Ticket cost: 15 INR – Indian, 300 INR – foreigner.
- Working hours: 10 AM to 5 PM
- Duration: 2-3 hours
Take a lunch break. Lucknow is a great destination for foodies, especially in non-vegetarian options: kebabs, kachoris, biryani, breads, combos – just think of an option. Don’t forget to try local sweets and paan. You can find plenty of options in the area of Chowk Market.
After lunch, you can make a visit to the Chowk market. It is one of the top places to shop in Lucknow whether you are looking for souvenirs or you would like to improve your bargaining skills. If you are a shopaholic, then you might need 2-3 hours to roam around.
I’m personally a great fan of local markets as they give a great feel of Indian buzz and culture. They teach you a lot about trade and human behavior.
This is a grand monument dedicated to all those who have devoted their life to social justice, equality and humanity. The entrance is guarded by 62 stone elephants that lead you to a huge walking area and a museum. I felt I could just sit and watch the site vies for hours. It’s very clean place filled with peaceful atmosphere.
I would suggest visiting it around 4-5 PM. In this case, you will catch the park view in the daylight and see the evening panorama with lights.
- Ticket cost: 10 INR
- Working hours: 11 AM to 8 PM
- Remember that all the monuments have one day off that is normally Monday.
If you are an architecture and history fan or a foodie willing to discover new tastes, you will love this city. I would suggest arriving or leaving from Lucknow train station because it is an architectural masterpiece itself.
If you have been to Lucknow, what other tips would you suggest?