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Lucknow

Travel Guide Asia India Lucknow

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Introduction

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Popularly known as the City of Nawabs, Lucknow is located on the banks of River Gomti. Capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, it was founded by Nawab Asaf ud Daula, a ruler of Awadh dynasty. It is known for its impressive monuments, courteous culture and mouthwatering delicacies.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Aminabad
  • Badshah Nagar
  • Dilkusha
  • Gola Ganj
  • Gomti Nagar
  • Hazratganj
  • Indira Nagar, Lucknow
  • Sarvodaya Nagar
  • Trans-Gomti area
  • Usman Enclave, Lucknow

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Sights and Activities

Lucknow hosts a range of magnificent monuments.

Bara(Big) Imambara

Asaf-ud-Daula, the fourth ruler of Awadh, built Bara Imambara in the year 1784. The monument has a unique style of construction. The central hall is one of the largest arched halls in the world. The hall is 50 metres long and reaches height of 15 metres. The blocks have been set with interlocking system of bricks. There is absolutely no use of girders and beams. It is known for its incredible maze called Bhulbhulaiya. From the top of the monument, one can have sweeping view of the city.

Chotta(Small) Imambara

The Hussainabad Imambada, also known as Chhota Imambada was build by Mohammed Ali Shah in 1837. It is believed to be the mausoleum of Mohammed Ali Shah himself. The Imambara also encloses a tank with small imitations of the Taj Mahal on each side. The main Imambara is topped by a golden dome, which is supposed to be the tomb of Ali Shah and his mother. There is also a watch tower just opposite the tomb. The Imambara is illuminated during the occasion of Muharram giving it a wonderful look.

Residency

Residency in Lucknow is a well-known historical landmark. Now declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, it served as a refuge for approximate 3000 British people during the uprising of 1857. The Residency has the graves of many British soldiers who died fighting in the revolt. It also has a well-maintained museum.

Rumi Darwaza

A magnificent architectural structural, Rumi Darwaza was constructed in the year 1784 by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula. The monument goes upto a staggering height of 60 feet. The upper part of the huge gate comprises of an octagonal Chatri (Umbrella) carved beautifully. The beautifully carved flowers and designs speak volumes are evident of the eye for detail.

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Events and Festivals

Lucknow Mahotsava is a major 10-day event organized by the tourism authorities in the city, usually in the months of November/December. During the course of this festival, events like plays, classical music and dance recitals, kite flying and Tonga races take place. There are shopping stalls also where local artisans sell their handicrafts products. The Mahotsav is also a great event for the food connoisseurs, from Thandai to Kesaria milk, Kebab- parathas and other mouth watering exotic dishes are available.

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Weather

Lucknow experiences a typical subtropical climate with hot summers and cold dry winters. The summer season lasts from April to June and the temperatures can reach up to 48 °C, while the average is in the 40s.Hot dry winds generally called “loo” blow in the summer months the season unbearable. Monsoon sets in the month of July and lasts till September. The city receives its majority of rainfall during these months. The winters start from October and last till February. The winter season is quite pleasant with the average temperature around 11 °C. It is the best time to visit this historic city.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max22.4 °C26.1 °C32.2 °C38.1 °C40.2 °C38.5 °C33.9 °C33 °C33.1 °C32.6 °C29 °C24.2 °C
Avg Min7.4 °C10 °C14.7 °C20.6 °C24.7 °C26.9 °C26.1 °C25.6 °C24.3 °C19.2 °C12.4 °C8.2 °C
Rainfall18.9 mm17.6 mm8.7 mm6.2 mm20.1 mm105.6 mm269.7 mm265.9 mm197.3 mm46.7 mm7.3 mm15.2 mm
Rain Days1.91.81.30.81.86.613.5169.51.70.50.8

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Getting There

By Plane

Lucknow International Airport (Airport code LKO), also known as Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport is located in Amausi, around 20 kilometres from the city centre. The airport handles domestic flights to all the major cities of the country and international flights to a few destinations which include Dubai, Sharjah, Jeddah, Riyadh and Muscat. Some of the domestic airlines operating from Lucknow include Kingfisher, Indigo, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines. Pre-paid taxis are available from the airport to the city centre and recently a city bus service has also been started to service the airport.

By Train

Lucknow Charbagh station is a major railway junction and is connected with train services to all the regions of the country. However the Charbagh station has two separate blocks, the bigger one and through which major trains pass is owned by the Northern Railway and other smaller one by North Eastern Railway. Tourists are advised to reach the station well in time so that the change of blocks is possible in case of need. Train timings, fare and availability of berths can be checked at the official Indian Railways website.

By Car

Road conditions have improved considerably and the city is connected with good quality roads with the important cities like Varanasi, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Allahabad.

By Bus

Lucknow is well connected by bus services with the neighbouring cities and towns. Deluxe and air-conditioned buses are also available on popular routes such as Lucknow - Allahabad, Lucknow - Kanpur and Lucknow -Varanasi.

By Boat

No boat service is available to the city.

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Getting Around

Taxi and riksha drivers in Lucknow are of the more insistent type, although few of them will speak enough English to go to locations that are out of the way.

There are many car rental companies available. One should hire cars with local drivers as traffic is dangerous for anybody not used to local traffic conditions.

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Eat

Eating out in Lucknow shouldn't be any of your concerns, as you will find many places to eat here and there. In Lucknow, restaurants are aplenty and you will never be faced with a problem of finding a place to soothe those hunger pangs of yours. Lucknow is famous for its local cuisines like kebabs and biryanis so rest assured you shall not have a problem thinking what to eat in Lucknow. For all those who live to eat, Lucknow offers a delightful palette to suit your tastes. Do not hesitate to try new dishes and cuisines. Of course, you can burn those calories the next day!

The people in Lucknow are known for their courtesy and will attend to every whim and fancy of yours. The service is excellent and the food is heavenly! There are some high-end restaurants and also those small restaurants on the roadsides. As long as you are satisfied with the service and food, it shouldn't really matter whether you eat at a plush restaurant or a decent lodge. For those who want easy and fast food, head onto the nearest Dominos and McDonalds outlet and have your kind of food.

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Drink

Finding alcohol is not a problem, but most bars are seedy and are to be avoided, except for those in five-star restaurants. A safer drink alternative is the famous local lassi yogurt drink. shikanji. Not all retail shops of wine/liquor are authorised to serve so it's always suggested to drink in a bar or at your home or hotel.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Homestay Lucknow110-D Mall AvenueHostel-
Hotel Manglam92, Gautam Budh marg,opp old rto office, LatoucheHotel75
Hotel Mandakini Saket9/9A, Old R.T.O. Compound Latouche Road, G.B. MargHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 26.84943
  • Longitude: 80.919724

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This is version 14. Last edited at 13:41 on Feb 5, 14 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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