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For other uses, see Lucknow (disambiguation).
From top to bottom, left to right: Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara main gate, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Interior Mosque of Husainabad, Kashiram Smarak, Tomb of Raja Saadat Ali, La Martiniere College and Ambedkar Park.
From top to bottom, left to right: Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara main gate, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Interior Mosque of Husainabad, Kashiram Smarak, Tomb of Raja Saadat Ali, La Martiniere College and Ambedkar Park.
Nickname(s): The City of Nawabs, The Golden City of India, Constantinople of East, Shiraz-i-Hind
Lucknow is located in Uttar Pradesh
Location of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh
Coordinates: 26°50′49″N 80°56′49″E / 26.847°N 80.947°E / 26.847; 80.947Coordinates: 26°50′49″N 80°56′49″E / 26.847°N 80.947°E / 26.847; 80.947
Country  India
State Uttar Pradesh
District Lucknow
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Lucknow Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Dinesh Sharma (BJP)
 • Municipal Commissioner R.K. Singh
 • MP Rajnath Singh (BJP)
 • District 2,528 km2 (976 sq mi)
Elevation 128 m (420 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Rank 11th[4]
 • Urban 2,815,601[2]
 • Metro 2,901,474[3]
Demonym Lucknowite
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 2260xx / 2270xx
Telephone code +91-522
Vehicle registration UP 32
GDP Increase $22 billion[5]
Sex ratio 915 /

Lucknow /ˈlʌkn/ (Hindi: लखनऊ, Urdu: لکھنؤ‎, Lakhna'ū) is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.[6] Lucknow is a major metropolitan city of India and is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division.[7] It is the eleventh most populous city of India and is the second most populous city in Uttar Pradesh which is the the most populous state of India. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city and it flourished as a cultural and artistic hub of North India and as a seat of Nawab power in the 18th and 19th centuries.[8] It continues as an important centre of government, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.[9]

Lucknow stands at an elevation of approximately 123 metres (404 ft) above mean sea level and covers an area of 2,528 square kilometres (976 sq mi).[10][11] It is surrounded on the eastern side by Barabanki district, on the western side by Unnao district, on the southern side by Raebareli and on the northern side by Sitapur and Hardoi. The city is on the northwestern shore of the Gomti River. It is accessible from every part of India through air, rail and road. Hindi is the main language of the city and Urdu is similarly popular.

Lucknow is a historic city. It was the capital of Awadh and controlled by the Delhi Sultanate during Mughal rule. Later, it was transferred to the Nawabs of Awadh. When Lord Clive defeated the armies of the Nawabs of Bengal, the Nawabs of Awadh and the Mughals, it went under the rule of East India Company. In 1857, control was transferred to British Raj.[12] Lucknow (along with the rest of India) became independent from Britain on 15 August 1947.

Lucknow is the birthplace of British pop star Cliff Richard, the great Indian musician Naushad Ali, Indian playback singer Talat Mahmood, American entrepreneur Manoj Bhargava, founder of the Hindi Theatre Movement and founder-director of Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts Raj Bisaria,[13] film-maker Muzaffar Ali and the resident city of Subrata Roy who is the founder and chairman of the Sahara India Pariwar. Other famous people with close links to Lucknow include Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi, Javed Akhtar who spent his formative years here and former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who represented Lucknow in the Parliament.

Origin of name[edit]

According to the history, in the ancient times, the city of Lucknow was established by the younger brother of Rama, Lakshmana.Rama (worshipped by Hindus as the avatar of Hindu God Vishnu) was the king of Ayodhya (Capital of ancient Hindu kingdom, Kosala,which in recent history became Awadh).So his brother founded a city nearby. It was named Lakshmanpuri at the time.The name was changed a several times during the course of history, from Lakshmanpuri to Lakhanpur to Lakhnau after which it was anglicised to Lucknow.[14][15] The subah of Awadh, known as the granary of India, was important strategically for the control of the fertile plain between the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers known as the Doab. It was a wealthy kingdom, able to maintain its independence against threats from the Marathas, the British and the Afghans.[16][17]

Lucknow is also a name given to the community located in Bruce County, Canada. It was named after the Indian city where Indian foot soldiers, who were called Sepoy, fought on the British side in the Relief of Lucknow. Sir Colin Campbell was the leader of relief forces.


Further information: Awadh
Nawab Saadat Khan II (b. bf. 1752 – d. c. 11 July 1814)

Since 1350 CE, Lucknow and parts of the Awadh region were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, East India Company and the British Raj. Lucknow was one of the major centres of Indian rebellion of 1857 and participated actively in India's independence movement emerging as an important city of North India strategically. Until 1719, subah of Awadh was a province of the Mughal Empire administered by a Governor appointed by the Emperor. Saadat Khan also called Burhan-ul-Mulk was a Persian adventurer who was appointed as the Nizam of Awadh in 1722 and he established his court in Faizabad[19] near Lucknow.

For about eighty-four years (from 1394 to 1478), Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur after which Emperor Humayun made it a part of the Mughal Empire around 1555. During Emperor Jehangir's rule, he granted an estate in Awadh to a nobleman, Sheikh Abdul Rahim, who had won his favour. Sheikh Abdul Rahim later built Machchi Bhawan in this estate which later became the seat of power from where his descendants, the Sheikhzadas, controlled the region.

Nawab – the plural of the Arabic word 'naib', meaning 'assistant' — was the term given to governors appointed by the Mughal emperor all over India to assist him in managing the Empire. In the absence of expeditious transport and communication facilities, they were practically independent rulers of their territory and wielded the power of life and death over their subjects. The Nawabs of Lucknow were in fact the Nawabs of Awadh, but were so referred to because after the reign of the third Nawab, Lucknow became the capital of their territory. The city was North India's cultural capital, and its nawabs, best remembered for their refined and extravagant lifestyles, were patrons of the arts. Under their dominion, music and dance flourished, and construction of numerous monuments took place.[20] Of the monuments standing today, the Bara Imambara, the Chhota Imambara, and the Rumi Darwaza are notable examples. One of the more lasting contributions by the Nawabs is the syncretic composite culture that has come to be known as the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb.

Gates of the Palace at Lucknow by W. Daniell, 1801

Many independent kingdoms, such as Awadh, were established when the Mughal empire disintegrated. The third Nawab, Shuja-ud-Daula, fell out with the British after aiding the fugitive Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim. He was comprehensively defeated in the Battle of Buxar by the East India Company, which forced him to pay heavy penalties and surrender parts of his territory. Awadh's capital, Lucknow rose to prominence when Asaf-ud-Daula, the fourth nawab, shifted his court here from Faizabad in 1775. The British appointed a resident in 1773 and over time gained control of more territory and authority in the state. They were, however, disinclined to capture Awadh outright and be brought face to face with the Marathas and the remnants of the Mughal Empire. In 1798, the fifth Nawab Wazir Ali Khan alienated both his people and the British, and was forced to abdicate. The British then helped Saadat Ali Khan to the throne. Saadat Ali Khan was a puppet king, who in the treaty of 1801, yielded half of Awadh to the British East India Company and also agreed to disband his troops in favor of a hugely expensive, British-controlled army. This treaty effectively made the state of Awadh a vassal to the British East India Company, though it nationally continued to be part of the Mughal Empire in name until 1819. The treaty of 1801 formed an arrangement that was very beneficial to the Company. They were able to use Awadh's vast treasuries, repeatedly digging into them for loans at reduced rates. In addition, the revenues from running Awadh's armed forces brought them useful returns while it acted as a buffer state. The Nawabs were ceremonial kings, busy with pomp and show but with little influence over matters of state. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the British had grown impatient with the arrangement and demanded direct control over Awadh.

Lucknow towards Cawnpore c1860

In 1856 the East India Company first moved its troops to the border, then annexed the state under the Doctrine of Lapse, which was placed under a chief commissioner – Sir Henry Lawrence. Wajid Ali Shah, the then Nawab, was imprisoned, and then exiled by the Company to Calcutta. In the subsequent Revolt of 1857 his 14-year-old son Birjis Qadra, whose mother was Begum Hazrat Mahal, was crowned ruler who was later killed by Sir Henry Lawrence. Following the rebellion's defeat, Begum Hazrat Mahal and other rebel leaders ascended to an asylum in Nepal.

In the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (also known as the First War of Indian Independence and the Indian Mutiny), those company troops who were recruited from the state, along with some of the nobility of the state, were in major. The rebels took control of Awadh, and it took the British 18 months to reconquer the region, months which included the famous Siege of Lucknow. The garrison based at the Residency in Lucknow was besieged by rebel forces. The siege was relieved first by forces under the command of Sir Henry Havelock and Sir James Outram, followed by a stronger force under Sir Colin Campbell. Today, the ruins of the Residency, and the picturesque Shaheed Smarak offer reminiscences of Lucknow's role in the stirring events of 1857.

Oudh was placed back under a chief commissioner, and was governed as a British province. In 1877 the offices of lieutenant-governor of the North-Western Provinces and chief commissioner of Oudh were combined together; and in 1902, when the new name of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh was introduced, the title of chief commissioner was dropped, though Oudh still retained some marks of its former independence.

The Khilafat Movement had an active base of support in Lucknow, creating a united platform against the British rule. In the Khilafat Movement Maulana Abdul Bari of Firangi Mahal, Lucknow actively participated and cooperated with Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Mohammad Ali. In 1901, after remaining the capital of Oudh since 1775, Lucknow, with a population of 264,049, was merged in the newly formed United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.[21] However, it became the provincial capital in 1920 when the seat of government was moved from Allahabad. Upon Indian independence in 1947, Lucknow became the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the erstwhile United Provinces.

Geography and climate[edit]

Monsoon clouds Lucknow

The Gomti River, the chief geographical feature, meanders through the city, dividing it into the Trans-Gomti and Cis-Gomti regions. Situated in the middle of the Gangetic plain, Lucknow city is surrounded by its rural towns and villages viz. the orchard town of Malihabad, Kakori, Mohanlal ganj, Gosainganj, Chinhat, Itaunja. On its eastern side lies Barabanki District, on the western side is Unnao District, on the southern side Raebareli District, and on the northern side the Sitapur and Hardoi districts. Lucknow city is located in the seismic zone III.[22]

Lucknow has a warm humid subtropical climate with cool, dry winters from December to February and dry, hot summers from April to June. The rainy season is from July to mid-September, when Lucknow gets an average rainfall of 896.2 millimetres (35.28 in) from the south-west monsoon winds, and occasionally frontal rainfall will occur in January. In winter the maximum temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) and the minimum is in the 3 °C (37 °F) to 7 °C (45 °F) range.[23] Fog is quite common from late December to late January. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures rising to the 40 °C (104 °F) to 45 °C (113 °F) range, the average highs being in the high of 30s (degree Celsius). On 9 January 2013 Lucknow recorded its temperature of −0.7 °C (31 °F), lowest in 49 years.[24]

Climate data for Lucknow (Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.7
Average low °C (°F) 7.5
Rainfall mm (inches) 20.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.5 1.5 1.0 0.6 1.6 5.4 12.0 11.6 8.6 1.7 0.5 0.8 46.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 203.4 217.5 248.7 271.0 283.5 198.0 167.4 166.7 219.0 269.7 246.0 217.0 2,707.9
Source: Meterological Department of India[25]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Lucknow has a very low proportion of area under forest. The total area under forest (4.66 percent) is much less as compared to state average which is barely around 7 percent. The forest area is negligible in the district.[26] Shisham, Dhak, Mahua, Babul, Neem, Peepal, Ashok, Khajur, Mango and Gular trees are grown here.[27] Different varieties of mangoes specially Dasheri are grown in Malihabad block of the district and exported to other countries too.[28] The main crops are wheat, paddy, sugarcane, mustard, potatoes, and vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, brinjals are grown here. Similarly sunflowers, roses, and marigold are cultivated on quite a large area of the land. Apart from this many medicinal and herbal plants are also grown here. The City Zoological Garden made efforts to bring chinkaras to the Lucknow zoo.[29] Common Indian Monkeys are found in patches in and around city forests (like Moosa bagh, etc.).

The Lucknow Zoo, one of the oldest in the country was established in 1921. The zoo houses a rich collection of animals from Asia and other continents . The city also has a Botanical Garden which is a zone of wide botanical diversity.


Main article: Economy of Lucknow
Tata Consultancy Services Campus at TCS Awadh Park in Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar

Lucknow was ranked 6th in a list of ten fastest job creating cities in India as per a study conducted by Assocham Placement Pattern study.[30] The economy of Lucknow city was earlier based on the tertiary sector with about majority of the workforce being employed as government servants. Large-scale industrial establishments are low compared to other north Indian state capital like New Delhi. Currently the economy is growing with the contributions from more professionals in the fields of IT, Manufacturing and Processing and Medical/Bio-Technology. Business-promoting institutions viz. CII and EDII have set up their service centers in the city.

Lucknow is blooming into an upcoming IT hub of North India with various software and IT companies residing in many parts of the city . Tata Consultancy Services has been one of the major companies with its campus set up in Gomti Nagar, which also is the second largest establishment in Uttar Pradesh.[31] Also there are many local but noticeable Open Source technology companies like Medma Infomatix.[32] It also boasts some important National and State level headquarters of Sony, Reliance Retail etc. The State Govt. has also planned to set up an IT city on a sprawling 100 acre lands in the Chak Ganjaria farms on the Sultanpur Rd. The govt has already provided SEZ status to the project and the project is expected to give rise to thousands of job opportunities for the state.[33][34][35]

Lucknow has an enormous potential in handicraft sector and it accounts for 60% of the total exports from the state.[36] The major export items are marble products, handicrafts, art pieces, gems, jewellery, textiles, electronics, software products, computers, hardware products, apparels, brass products, silk, leather goods, glass items, chemicals.[37] The city has promoted public‐private partnerships in big way in sectors such as power, roads, expressways, and education.[38]

To give a rise to the Textile Industry in Lucknow, which has a high potentiality, the Indian Government has allocated Rs.200 crore ($2000 million) to set up a Textile mega cluster in the city.[39]

Government and politics[edit]

As the seat of the government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow is the site of Vidhan Sabha, the High Court (Allahabad bench) and numerous government departments and agencies.[40]

Since 1 May 1963, Lucknow is the headquarters of the Central Command of the Indian Army prior to which it was headquarters of Eastern Command.[41]

Lucknow extending from Mohanlalganj (Lok Sabha constituency) in the south to Bakshi Ka Talab in the north and Kakori in the east, is the political and administrative capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is administered by Lucknow Municipal Corporation[42] with executive power vested in the Municipal Commissioner of Lucknow, who is an administrative officer. The corporation comprises elected members (corporators elected from the wards directly by the people) with City Mayor as its head. An Assistant Municipal Commissioner oversees each ward for administrative purposes. The city elects members to the Lok Sabha as well as the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha (State Assembly). Lucknow has two lok sabha Constituencies named Lucknow & Mohanlalganj and 9 Vidhan Sabha constituencies. The current Chief Minister of the state for the 2012 Vidhan Sabha is Shri Akhilesh Yadav.

The city is under the jurisdiction of a District Magistrate, who is an IAS officer. The Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the central government, and oversee the national elections held in the city. The Collector is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the city.

The Lucknow Police is headed by a Deputy Inspector General, who is an IPS officer. The Lucknow Police comes under the state Home Ministry. The city is divided into several police zones and traffic police zones, each headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Lucknow Police. The Lucknow Fire Brigade department is headed by the Chief Fire Officer, who is assisted by Deputy Chief Fire Officers and Divisional Officers. Former Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee had been member of Parliament for the Lucknow Parliamentary constituency until recently where he has been replaced by Lalji Tandon in elections of 2009 and Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety of India, the National Agency under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has its head office in the Northeast Railway Compound in Lucknow.[43]


Road transport[edit]

From Hazratganj intersection in Lucknow city, four Indian National Highways originate, viz, NH-24 to Delhi, NH-24B to Allahabad, NH-25 to Shivpuri via Jhansi, NH-56 to Varanasi and NH-28 to Barauni.The available multiple modes of public transport in the city are taxis, city buses, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws and CNG Low Floor AC or Non AC Buses. CNG was introduced as an auto fuel to keep the air pollution in control. Radio Taxis are operated by two companies Flashcab and MyCab. They can be hired through a phone call or can be just hired from Taxi Stands.

City bus service[edit]

An AC Tata Marcopolo bus

Lucknow city's bus service is operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation which is a public sector passenger road transport corporation headquartered in MG road. It has a fleet of 300 CNG operated buses in the city (9500 buses overall). At present, there are around 35 routes in the city. Terminals for city buses are Gudamba, Virajkhand, Alambagh, Scooter India, Engineering college, Babu Banarasi Das University, Pasi qila, Charbagh, Andhe Ki Chowki, Budheshwar Intersection. There are four bus depots for city buses: Gomti Nagar, Charbagh, Amausi, Dubagga.

Inter-state bus service[edit]

Lucknow city's major bus terminals is operated at Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar inter state bus terminal (ISBT) at Alambagh. It is the main inter and intra-state bus terminal in Lucknow. It is located on National Highway 25. It provides adequate services to the ongoing and incoming customers. The second important bus station in the city is located at Qaiserbagh. Earlier, another bus terminal was operated at Charbagh, directly in front of the main railway station, but this has now been re-established as a city bus depot. This decision was taken by the State government and UPSRTC to decongest the railway station area. Kanpur Lucknow Roadways Service is a very important service for daily commuters who go by and forth the city for business and educational purposes. Volvo buses named Royal Cruiser AC bus service is run by UPSRTC for inter state bus service. Main cities served by UPSRTC intra-state bus service are Allahabad, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Gorakhpur. The cities outside Uttar Pradesh that are covered by inter-state bus service are Jaipur, New Delhi, Gwalior, Bharatpur, Singrauli, Faridabad, Gurgaon,Dausa, Ajmer, Dehradun and Haridwar.

Rail transport[edit]

Lucknow served by several railway stations at different parts of the city. The main long-distance railway station is Lucknow Railway Station located at Charbagh. It has an imposing structure built in 1923. It acts as the divisional headquarters of Northern Railway division. Its neighbouring and second major long-distance railway station is Lucknow Junction railway station operated by North Eastern Railway. Lucknow is a major junction with links to all major cities of the state and country some of which are New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Siwan. The city has a total of fourteen railway sattions.[44] The meter gauge services originate from Aishbagh and connect to Lucknow city, Daliganj and Mohibullapur. Except Mohibullapur, all the stations are connected to Broad gauge and metre gauge. All the stations are within city limits and are well connected with each other via bus services and public road transport. Other suburban stations include Bakshi Ka Talab and Kakori.Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway was started in the year 1867 to cater the needs of commuters travelling beween Lucknow and Kanpur. The trains running under this service also cover numerous stations of different localities in the city, acting as suburban rail.

Air transport[edit]

Terminal-2 of CCS International Airport, Lucknow.

Lucknow is directly connected with New Delhi, Patna, Calcutta, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and other major cities via CCS International airport. The airport is suitable for all-weather operations and can provide parking facility up to 50 aircraft. At present, Air India, Air India Express, Jetlite, Jet Air, GoAir, IndiGo, Saudi Airline, Flydubai, Oman Air and SpiceJet are operating domestic and international flights from and to Lucknow. It is made on a sprawling 1187 acres of land with Terminal-1 operating as terminal for International flights and Terminal-2 for Domestic flights. The airport can handle Boeing 767 to Boeing 400 aircrafts and a huge passenger and cargo traffic.[45][46] International destinations include Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Dammam, Jeddah.

Metro and monorail service[edit]

Plans for mass rapid transit system, The Lucknow Metro and Mono rail Services have been finalised. Delhi metro rail (DMRC) prepared plans for its constructions.[47] The collection of soil samples for metro construction began on 5 August 2009. and was completed in September the same year. The report concluded that the soil condition was feasible for metro rail. Decision to go ahead with the Lucknow Metro project was taken in the Uttar Pradesh state budget for 2013–14. In February, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had given the green signal to set up a metro rail system for the state capital. It is divided into two corridors, the North-South corridor connecting Munshipulia to CCS International Airport and the East-West corridor connecting Charbagh Railway Station to Vasant Kunj. This would be the most expensive public transport system in the state, providing rapid means of mass transport and decongesting city roads. Construction of first phase will be completed by 2016–17.[48]


Population growth 
Census Pop.
1991 1,619,115
2001 2,763,000 70.6%
2011 4,589,838 66.1%
Religions in Lucknow[49]
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).

As reported in the Census of India 2011 Lucknow city had population of 2,815,601 of which males and females constitute 1,470,133 and 1,345,468 respectively.[2] There was a change of 25.36 percent in the population compared to the population in 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Lucknow recorded an increase of 34.53 percent to its population compared to 1991.[50]

Between 1991 and 2001 the district population registered a decadal growth of 32.03 percent which was much less than the 37.14 percent which was registered between 1981 and 1991 decade.[51] The initial provisional data for the district suggests a density of 1,815 in 2011 compared to 1,443 in 2001.[51] Total area under Lucknow district is of about 2,528 square kilometres (976 sq mi). However, the density of population was much above that obtained at the state level (690 persons per km2.). The SC population of the state at 21.3 percent to total population is above the state average (21.15 percent).[52][53]

A very high percentage of the total population (36.37 percent) resides in rural areas which means that barely around 63.3 percent is urban in nature.[54] These are, however, very high figures as compared to the state as whole, where urban population constitutes around 21% only of the total state population.[55] With regards to Sex Ratio in Lucknow city, it stood at 915 females per 1000 males in 2011 compared to 2001 census figure of 888. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate.[2]

Another indicator where the city leads is in terms of literacy. Total literacy level is 84.72% as compared to 56.3% in U.P. as a whole.[2] Average literacy rate of Lucknow district in 2011 was 77.29% to 68.71% of 2001. Male and female literacy were 87.81% and 81.36% respectively. For the district as a whole, the litertacy rate was 82.56% for males and 71.54% for females. The same figures stood at 75.98% and 60.47% in 2001 respectively. Total literate population in Lucknow city was 2,147,564 of which males and females constituted 1,161,250 and 986,314 respectively.[2] There has been a marked improvement in the literacy rate in the district as compared to 1991.[56] Despite the fact that the overall work participation rate in the district (32.24%) is higher than the state average (23.7%), the work participation rate among females in Lucknow is very low at 5.6 percent which has registered a decline from 1991 status of 5.9 percent.[57][58]




Lucknow skyline at night as seen from Ambedkar Memorial park in Gomti Nagar
Jama Masjid near Hussainabad, Lucknow

UPTU Faculty of Architecture was an experiment by the resurgent Nawabs of Awadh. It was an attempt to preserve the Mughal school of architecture by experimenting with different materials and innovating new concepts.

Among the extant architecture there are religious buildings such as Imambaras, mosques and other Islamic shrines, and secular structures like enclosed gardens, baradaris, palace complexes.

The following are distinct features of Lucknow architecture :

The Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara and Rumi Darwaza are testament to the city's Nawabi mixture of Mughlai and Turkish style of Architecture. And La Martiniere Lucknow on the other hand, is a testament to the Indo-European style of architecture. Even the new buildings are fashioned with the characteristic domes and pillars, and monuments lit at night form a main attraction of the city. The city's main market of Hazratganj is a fusion of the old and modern style of architecture. It has a multi-level parking lot in place of an old and dilapidated police station making way for extending the corridors into well-aligned pebbled pathways, adorned with piazzas, green areas, wrought-iron benches and with beautifully crafted tall cast-iron lamp-posts, reminiscent of the Victorian era, flanking the two sides of the street.[59]


The residents of Lucknow call themselves Lucknowites or Lakhnavi.[60][61] Like other metropolitan cities in India, Lucknow too is a multicultural city hosting people with different dialects and languages. However, English and Hindi are the most widely spoken languages across the city. Awadhi, a dialect of the Hindi dialect continuum, has been an important part of Lucknow and is still alive in the rural areas and urban population on the streets.

The city's primary official language is Hindi, but the most commonly spoken language is colloquial Hindustani. Indian English is also well understood and is widely used for business and administrative purposes, as a result of India's British heritage and Commonwealth tradition, as well as globalisation. The Urdu language is also a part of Lucknowi culture and heritage. Mostly it is used by the more wealthy families and the remaining members of the royal family and also in Urdu poetry and on public signs.

Many of the cultural traits and customs peculiar to Lucknow have become living legends today. The credit for this goes to the secular and syncretic traditions of the Nawabs of Awadh, who took a keen interest in every walk of life, and encouraged the traditions to attain a rare degree of sophistication.

Language and poetry[edit]

Lucknow has been one of the great centres for Muslim culture.[62][63] Two poets, Mir Anis and Mirza Dabeer, became legendary exponents of a unique genre of Muslim elegiacal poetry called Marsia centred on Imam Husain's supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Karbala which is commemorated during the annual observance of Muharram.

Lucknowites are still known for their polite and polished way of speaking which is noticed by visitors to this city. In recent time the government is taking many path breaking steps to promote Urdu language.[64] The great revolutionary Ram Prasad Bismil, who was hanged by the British at Gorakhpur jail, was largely influenced by the culture of Lucknow and remembered its name in his poetry.[65] The surrounding towns like Kakori, Daryabad, Tehseel Fatehpur, Barabanki, Rudauli and Malihabad produced many eminent poets and littérateurs of Urdu like Mohsin Kakorvi, Majaz, Khumar Barabankvi and Josh Malihabadi. Recently in 2008 which is the 150th year of 'mutiny' of 1857 a novel has been released which uses 1857 as a backdrop. 'Recalcitrance' is the first English novel by a Lucknowite on the 'mutiny' of 1857.


Kebabs are an important part of Uttar Pradesh's cuisine. Lucknow is known for its galawat ke kawab

The Awadh region has its own distinct Nawabi style cuisine, the most famous cuisine of Awadhi Region consist of various kinds of biryanis, kebabs and breads. Kebabs are also of different types – Kakori Kebabs, Galawati Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kababs, Patili-ke-Kababs, Ghutwa Kababs and Seekh Kababs are among the known varieties.[66]


Common Indian Festivals like Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Vijayadashami are celebrated with great pomp and show in the city. Some of the other festivals are processions are as follows:

Lucknow Mahotsava is organised every year to showcase Uttar Pradesh Art and Culture and in particular Lucknowavi 'Tehzeeb' so as to promote Tourism. The year 1975–76 was observed and organised as South Asian as The Tourism Year. On this occasion in the motive to promote Lucknow's Art, Culture and Tourism for national and international tourists, the decision to organise the Lucknow Festival was taken. During this period with exception to a few years Lucknow Mahotsava has been organised every year.

  • Muharram
Main article: Azadari in Lucknow

Lucknow is known as a seat of Shi'ism and the epitome of Shia culture in India. It is famous for Muharram and associated azadari movement. All the communities including Hindus, observe the Moharram on the 10th of Moharram in the memory of Imam Husain (the grandson of the prophet Muhammad) who sacrificed his life to uphold the principles of humanity in face of tyranny.

The processions of Muharram in Lucknow have a special significance. They were started during the reign of the Awadh Nawabs.

The processions like Shahi Zarih, Jaloos-e-Mehndi, Alam-e-Ashura and that of Chup Tazia have special significance for Shia community, which are taken out with great religious zeal and fervour. These processions which started during the reign of the Awadh Nawabs continued till the year 1977 when government of Uttar Pradesh banned the Azadari processions in public. For next twenty years processions and gatherings were carried in private or community space like, Talkatora karbala, Imambara Asifi (Bara Imambara), Imambara Husainabad (Chhota Imambara), Dargah Hazrat Abbas, Shah Najaf, Imambara Ghufran Ma'ab etc. Ban was partially lifted in 1997 and Shias were successful in taking out the first Azadari procession in January 1998 (21st of Ramzan). Today the Shias have been given nine processions out of nine hundred that are registered in the festival register of the Shias.

  • Chup Tazia

The procession under the name of Chup Tazia have originated in the Indian city of Lucknow before spreading to other parts of South Asia. The procession dates back to nawabi era and was started by Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan Sahukat Yar Jung a descendent of Bahu Begum. It is one of the most important processions of azadari in Lucknow and is currently one of the nine allowed processions. During nineteenth century this procession of Nawab Aggan Mian's family which earlier was raised on the day of Chehlum (20th Safar) was shifted to eighteenth day of Chehlum i.e. 8th of Rabi' al-awwal. This last mourning procession taken out on the morning of 8th of Rabi' al-awwal, includes alam, zari and tazia, originates from Imambara Nazim Saheb in Victoria street and moves in complete silence while passes through Patanala until it terminates at Karbala Kazmain, where the colossal black tazia is buried. On 26 May 1969, after a series of fairly serious clashes and murders, another riot broke out when a Shia Alam and Chup Tazia procession which had passed through the predominantly Sunni mohallas of Pul Ghulam and Mahmoodnagar almost peacefully was suddenly brick-batted from a Sunni mosque as the procession reached Mahmoodnagar

Along with the Twelver Shi'a, the Ismailis, Alawites and Alevis also hold the day of Nowruz in high regard. The day upon which Nowruz falls has been recommended as a day of fasting for Twelver Shi'a Muslims by Shi'a scholars, including Abul-Qassim al-Khoei, Imam Khomeini and Ali al-Sistani. The day also assumes special significance for Shias as it was on 21 March 656 CE when the first Imam Hazrat Ali assumed the office of Caliphate.

Dance, drama and music[edit]

Kathak, the classical Indian dance form took shape here. Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, was a great patron and a passionate champion of Kathak. Lachhu Maharaj, Acchchan Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj have kept this tradition alive.

Lucknow is also the city of eminent Ghazal singer Begum Akhtar. She was a pioneer in Ghazal singing and took this aspect of music to amazing heights. "Ae Mohabbat Tere anjaam pe rona aaya" is one of her best musical renditions of all times. The Bhatkande Music Institute University at Lucknow is named after the great musician Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts (BNA), also known as Bhartendu Natya Academy, a Theatre Training institute situated at Gomti Nagar in vikas khand-1, is deemed university and an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Culture, Government of Uttar Pradesh, set up in 1975 by the Sangeet Natak Akademy (Government of Uttar Pradesh), and became an independent Drama school in 1977. Apart from government institutes, there are many private theatre groups like IPTA, Theatre Arts Workshop (TAW), Darpan, Manchkriti and the largest Youth theatre group, JOSH. Josh Group is basically a group for youth and kids theatre activity, workshops and training. Lucknow has given music stars like Naushad Ali, Talat Mehmood, Anup Jalota and Baba Sehgal to the entertainment industry. It is also the birthplace of British pop star Sir Cliff Richard.

Lucknow Chikan[edit]

Front view of Chikan embroidery being done over temporary block printed pattern
Chikan embroidery from the back

Lucknow is known for the embroidery works like chikankari, zari, zardozi, kamdani, gota making (goldlace weaving), etc.

Chikankari is a famous and popular embroidery work that is known all over India. The 400-year-old art of Chikan embroidery in its present form was developed on Lucknow and it is the only place to preserve this art to this day. It is mainly practised in and around Lucknow. Chikankari is famous as 'shadow work' and is a very delicate and artistic hand embroidery done using white thread on fine white cotton cloth usually fine muslin or chiffons. Sometimes yellowish muga silk was also used in addition to the white thread. The work is done on caps, kurtas, saris, scarfs and other outfits.

The chikan industry which was almost unknown in the nawabi has not only survived but is in flourishing state, to-day and is destined to last long. About 2500 entrepreneurs are engaged in manufacturing the chikan for local, national and international market. Lucknow is the largest exporter of Chikan embroidery garments.[67]

As the ultimate proof of recognition, Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) status for chikankari in December 2008, which recognised Lucknow as an exclusive hub of chikankari.[68]


La Martiniere College

Lucknow hosts several educational and research organisations like IIM Lucknow, Central Drug Research Institute, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, National Botanical Research Institute, IET Lucknow, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and King George Medical College.

Lucknow comprises many educational instituitions in the city including 7 universities,1 Central University, 1 technical universities and a large number of polytechnics, engineering institutes and industrial training institutes.[69] Other research organisations in the state include Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute.[70][71]

Lucknow is home to IIM Lucknow, an autonomous public business school established by Government of India and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, one of India's National Law Schools. Some of the major schools in the state are located in Lucknow, which include:Mount Carmel College,Colvin Taluqdars' College, St. Francis' College, Lucknow, Loreto Convent Lucknow, La Martiniere Lucknow, Bal Vidya Mandir, Lucknow, Lucknow Public School and City Montessori School, the only school in the world which holds a Guinness World Record and has been awarded UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow is a Central University of India and was established in 1996.

The prestigious National P.G. College, affiliated to Lucknow University has been ranked the second best college imparting formal education in the country by National Assessment and Accreditation Council.[72]


Entertainment and films[edit]

Lucknow has been a major influence on the Hindi film industry of India. Famous poet, dialogue writer, script writer Late Mr.K. P. Saxena was born and died in Lucknow.[73] Veteran Bollywood and Bengali film actor Pahadi Sanyal came from the renowned Sanyal family of Lucknow.[74][75] Moreover, several famous movies have used Lucknow as their backdrop, such as Shashi Kapoor's Junoon, Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan and Gaman, Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khiladi. Ismail Merchant's Shakespeare Wallah, PAA, Seher was partly shot in Lucknow.

In the movie Gadar: Ek Prem Katha Lucknow has been used to depict Pakistan.[76] Places like Lal Pul, Taj Hotel, Roomi Darwaza (or Roman Gate) have been used in Tanu Weds Manu.[77] Recently some parts of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Bullet Raja,[78]Ishaqzaade[79]Ya Rab and Dabangg 2 have been shot in Lucknow or at other sites nearby. A major part of the recent Bollywood movie, Daawat-e-Ishq starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra was shot in the city.[80] Baawre, an Indian Television drama show, airing on the popular channel Life OK has its shooting done entirely in Lucknow.[81]


The Pioneer logo

Lucknow has historically been a major centre of journalism. The Pioneer headquartered in Lucknow, started in 1865, is the second oldest English language newspaper in India that is operational. The The National Herald, the newspaper started by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru before World War II was published from Lucknow and edited by Manikonda Chalapathi Rau.

The prominent English dailies of the city are The Times of India, North India Times, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer and Indian Express. Several daily newspapers in Hindi and Urdu are published in the city. Amongst the Hindi papers are Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Dainik Hindustan, Rashtriya Sahara, Jansatta, I Next and Swatantra Bharat. The main Urdu papers are The Inquilab, Rozanama Rashtriya Sahara, Sahafat, Avadhnama, Qaumi Khabrein, Aag" Roznama Urdu and Subahnama Urdu

The Press Trust of India and United News of India have their offices in the city and all major Indian newspapers have correspondents and stringers in Lucknow.


Logo of 93.5 Red FM

One of the earliest stations of All India Radio has been operational in Lucknow for quite some time.

FM radio transmission started in Lucknow in 2000, and the city today has following FM radio stations.[82]


The city has broadband internet connectivity and video conferencing facilities. Major companies like Sify, BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Communications, Aircel, Tikona, Hathway & STPI, have a wide infrastructure to provide broadband Internet Bandwidth.


For decades Lucknow hosted the prestigious Sheesh Mahal Cricket Tournament. Today cricket, football, badminton, golf and hockey are among the most popular sports in the city.

The city has a good record in modern sports and has produced several national and world-class sporting personalities. Lucknow sports hostel has produced international-level cricketers such as Mohammed Kaif, Piyush Chawla, Anurag Singh, Suresh Raina, Gyanendra Pandey, Praveen Kumar and R. P. Singh. Other famous sports personalities include hockey Olympians K. D. Singh, Jaman Lal Sharma, Mohammed Shahid and Ghaus Mohammad Khan, the tennis player who became the first Indian to reach the quarter finals at Wimbledon.

Lucknow also houses the prestigious Lucknow Race Course in Lucknow Cantonment. The race course is spread over 70.22 acres with the racing track 3.2 km long. This makes Lucknow race course the longest race course in India.[83]

City-based clubs[edit]

Club Sport League Stadium Founded
Awadhe Warriors Badminton Indian Badminton League Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy 2013
Uttar Pradesh Wizards Field hockey Hockey India League Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium 2012


The main sports hub is the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium which also has a world-class swimming pool and indoor games complex. The other stadiums are Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium, Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta Stadium at Northern India Engineering College,[84] Babu Banarsi Das UP Badminton Academy, Charbagh, Mahanagar, Chowk and Sports College near Integral University.

The Lucknow Golf Club, on the sprawling greens of La Martinière College, is a famous golf course. The international-level Cricket Stadium and Cricket Academy project in Lucknow took a step forward & is under construction on very fast pace in Gomti Nagar.[85]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The city of Lucknow has various spots for recreation managed by Lucknow Development Authority. Parks and recreational spots in Lucknow[86] include Kukrail Reserve Forest and surrounding picnic spot, Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Gautam Buddha Park, Qaisar Bagh, Rumi Park, Nimbu Park, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel Park, Dream Valley Resort, Swarn Jayanti Smriti Vihar Park, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, Ambedkar Memorial.

  • Ambedkar Memorial is a beautiful park located in Gomti Nagar area. It is basically a memorial dedicated to the glory of Jyotiba Phule, Narayan Guru, Shahuji Maharaj, Bhimrao Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram. This memorial was constructed by Mayawati, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh during the regime of BSP in Uttar Pradesh. The entire memorial is built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan. It is built in Gomti Nagar which is the largest planned residential colony of India. Cost of the memorial is estimated at seven billion Rupees.
  • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park is a Jogger's park and a recreational spot located in Gomti Nagar. The park has a very long track for jogging activities and also has a Boating spot in the artificial lake constructed inside the park. The park is maintained by the Lucknow Development Authority. A special arrangement has been made for the morning visitors of the park where from 6 to 7 in the morning, the park's visitors can avail of vocal and instrumental music.[87] The park offers a free to use fitness zone constructed over an area of 300 sq meters for daily joggers.[88]
  • Swarn Jayanti Smriti Vihar Park[89] is a jogging and recreational park located in Indira Nagar near Khurram Nagar intersection on the Ring Road. The park houses jogging track more than 3 km long for the daily joggers and various swings installed for children.

Shopping and shopping-centres[edit]

'Parivartan Chowk' or 'Change Plaza' in Hazratganj, Lucknow

A major part of Lucknow is its shopping-centres and markets/bazaars. Hazratganj is a major shopping area situated in the heart of Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.[59] In addition to bazaars, it also contains shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, theatres and offices.
The major shopping markets are Hazratganj, Yahiyaganj, Aminabad, Kapoorthala, Janpath, Chowk, Bhootnath & Gomti Nagar.

Name Location Year Size (Gross Leasable Area) Source
Walmart Best Price Store Sushant Golf City, Amar Shaheed Path 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2) [90]
Phoenix United Mall NH 25, LDA Colony 2010 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2) [91]
Fun Republic Gomti Nagar 2007 970,000 sq ft (90,000 m2) [92]
Westend Mall Gomti Nagar 2004 314,500 sq ft (29,220 m2) [93]
Riverside mall Gomti Nagar 2008 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) [94]
Sahara Ganj Mall Hazratganj 2005 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2) [95]
Gardens Galleria Mall Rae Bareli Road, South City 2012 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) [96]
Omaxe City Centre Mall Omaxe City 2011 700,000 sq ft (65,000 m2) [97]
Ratan Square LalBagh 2011 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) [98]
Shopping Square Sushant Golf City 2012 [99]
Essar Mall Rajajipuram 2011 [100]
City Mall Gomti Nagar [101]

Lucknow is also famous for its jewellery and ornament shops.

Notable people from Lucknow[edit]

List of historical places[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]


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