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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)
 • MLAs
 • Total 5,593 km2 (2,159 sq mi)
Elevation 128 m (420 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Rank 11th[3]
 • Urban 2,815,601[1]
 • Metro 4,901,474[2]
Demonym Lucknowite
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 2260xx / 2270xx
Telephone code +91-522
Vehicle registration UP 32
Sex ratio 915 /

Lucknow /ˈlʌkn/ (Hindi: लखनऊ, Urdu: لکھنؤ‎, Lakhna'ū) is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.[4] Lucknow is one of the major and most famous metropolitan cities of India and is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division.[5] Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city and it flourished as a cultural and artistic hub of North India in the 18th and 19th centuries and as a seat of power of Nawabs.[6] Today it continues as an important centre of government, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.[7] Today, Lucknow is the largest city of Uttar Pradesh and is also the educational, commercial hub of the state.

Lucknow stands at an elevation of approximately 120 metres (390 ft) above mean sea level and covers an area of 689.1 square kilometres (266.1 sq mi).[citation needed] It is the second largest city of northern India after New Delhi and the eleventh largest city of India. It is surrounded on the eastern side by District Barabanki, on the western side by district Unnao, on the southern side by Raebareli and on the northern side by Sitapur and Hardoi. The city is on the northwestern shore of Gomti river, which flows through it. Lucknow is accessible from every part of India through air, rail and road. It is directly connected with New Delhi, Patna, Calcutta, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and other major cities by Amausi 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.

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.[8] 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.[9] Lucknow has 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 is the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Kathak, Khayal, Nawabs and Classical music.[10]

It 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,[11] 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.

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.

It is also known as the Golden City of East, Shiraz-i-Hind, Constantinople of the East and The city of Nawabs. Lucknow's society is very famous for its etiquette and tradition which has attained a rare degree of sophistication. Be it the cultural charm or the architectural wonders, everything is well conserved here to make Lucknow "The city of many splendours".[12] Distance between Lucknow and New Delhi is 498 kilometres (309 mi) and it takes 5 hours 20 minutes by train, 7 hours by road and 45 minutes by air to reach Lucknow from New Delhi.[13]


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

According to the history, in the ancient times, the city of Lucknow was established by the younger brother of Rama, Lakshman.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.(Lakshmanpuri → Lakhanpur → Lakhnau → Lucknow). 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.

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, participated actively in India's independence movement and emerged as an important city of North India. 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, a Persian adventurer was appointed the Nazim of Awadh in 1722 and he established his court in Faizabad[15] near Lucknow.

For about eighty-four years (from 1394 to 1478), Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur; 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; this 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 realm. 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 them music and dance flourished, and many monuments were erected.[16] 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 cede 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 ceded half of Awadh to the British East India Company and also agreed to disband his troops in favour of a hugely expensive, British-run 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 revenues 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 wanted direct control of 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 son of Begum Hazrat Mahal was crowned ruler, and Sir Henry Lawrence killed in the hostilities. Following the rebellion's defeat, Begum Hazrat Mahal and other rebel leaders obtained 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 major players. 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 in the same person; 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.[17] 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 over Lucknow.

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. The Gomti River, the chief geographical feature, meanders through the city, dividing it into the Trans-Gomti and Cis-Gomti regions. Lucknow city is located in the seismic zone III.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Climate data for Lucknow, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.7
Average low °C (°F) 6.9
Rainfall mm (inches) 21.9
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.6 1.1 0.7 0.5 1.0 4.2 11.6 13.1 7.4 2.0 0.3 0.7 44.2
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

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.[22] Shisham, Dhak, Mahua, Babul, Neem, Peepal, Ashok, Khajur, Mango and Gular trees are grown here.[23] Different varieties of mangoes specially Dasheri are grown in Malihabad block of the district and exported to other countries too. 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.[24] 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.


Religions in Lucknow[25]
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).

The official Census 2011 details of Lucknow city and Lucknow district have been released by the Directorate of Census Operations in Uttar Pradesh. Enumeration of key persons was also done by census officials in Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh. 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.[1] 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.[26] 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.[27] The initial provisional data for the district suggests a density of 1,815 in 2011 compared to 1,443 in 2001.[27] 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).[28][29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1] There has been a marked improvement in the literacy rate in the district as compared to 1991.[32] 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.[33][34]



Lucknow skyline at night as seen from Gomti Nagar
View Of Lucknow Skyline As Seen From Ambedkar Memorial park


Jama Masjid near Hussainabad, Lucknow
Way to the Elephant Gallery
Ambedkar Udyaan Lucknow Left Dome
Night View of the Ambedkar Memorial at Lucknow

The Lucknow School 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.

Civic administration[edit]

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[35] 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 Chief Minister of the state for the 2012 Vidhan Sabha is currently 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.

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.[36]


Main article: Economy of Lucknow
Pratibimb Sthal
Ambedkar Stupa Night view

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.[37] 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 a presence in city.

Lucknow also is blooming into an upcoming IT hub of North India with various software and IT companies residing in many parts of the city including Gomti Nagar. Tata Consultancy Services has been one of the major companies with its campus, which also is the second largest establishment in Uttar Pradesh, in Software/IT park in Lucknow.[38] Also there are many local but noticeable Open Source technology companies like Medma Infomatix.[39] Apart from it, it also boasts some important National and State level headquarters of Sony, Reliance Retail etc.[40] The 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.[41][42][43]

Lucknow has a great potential in handicraft sector and it accounts for 60% of the total exports from the state.[44] The major export items from are marble products, textiles, handicrafts, art pieces, gems and jewellery, textiles, electronics, software, computer, hardware and software, apparel, brass work, silk, leather and leather goods, glass items, art metal, chemicals.[45] The city has promoted public‐private partnerships in big way in sectors such as power, roads, expressways, and education.[46]

Education and research[edit]

La Martiniere College

As far as education is concerned there were almost 7 primary schools per lac of population while the corresponding figure for upper primary schools was around 26.6.[47]

Lucknow is one of the leading cities in India in terms of number of institutions including 7 universities, 1 technical universities and a large number of polytechnics, engineering institutes and industrial training institutes.[48] Other research organisations in the state include Central Drug Research Institute, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Central Food Technological Research Institute, National Botanical Research Institute, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and King George Medical College.[49][50] Lucknow is home to IIM Lucknow, a well known management institute, 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: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.

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.[51]


This sublime cultural richness blends the cultures of two communities living side by side for centuries, sharing similar interests and speaking a common language.

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.[52][53] 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.[54] 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.[55] 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.


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.[56]

Tunday Gilawati Kebabs[57] and 'Kakori kebabs' are very popular with food lovers.


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.all the other things.

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 has traditionally been a sports-loving city. In the past pehlwani, kabbadi, chess, kite flying, pigeon flying, and cock fighting were popular pastimes. 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. There has been a proposal by the Indian Olympic Association to make joint bid from Lucknow – Delhi for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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, another at Babu Banarsi Das Engineering College, 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.

An Inspiration for 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.[58] Veteran Bollywood and Bengali film actor Pahadi Sanyal came from the renowned Sanyal family of Lucknow.[59][60] 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.[61] Places like Lal Pul, Taj Hotel, Roomi Darwaza (or Roman Gate) have been used in Tanu Weds Manu.[62] Recently some parts of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Bullet Raja,[63]Ishaqzaade[64]Ya Rab and Dabangg 2 have been shot in Lucknow or at other sites nearby. Song such as Sangmarmarr of film Youngistan and s ome parts of Baabarr were shot here.. A major part of the recent Bollywood movie, Daawat-e-Ishq starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra was shot in the city.[65]


Road transport[edit]

From Hazratganj intersection in Lucknow city, four Indian National Highways originate, viz, NH-24 to Delhi, NH-25 to Shivpuri, Jhansi (M.P. Border), NH-56 to Varanasi and NH-28 to Mokama (Bihar).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. These can be booked on phone or can be just hired from Taxi Stands.

City bus service[edit]

Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (JNNURM of UPSRTC). It has a fleet of 300 buses. All are CNG. 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 Chauraha. There are 4 bus depots for city bus: Gomti Nagar, Charbagh, Amausi, Dubagga.

An AC Tata Marcopolo bus
Low floor bus AC Purple TATA Marcopolo in Lucknow

Inter-state bus service[edit]

One of Lucknow's major bus terminals is Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar inter state bus station (ISBT) at Alambagh. It has very modern facilities and is the main inter- and intrastate terminal in Lucknow. Another important bus station is at Qaiserbagh. Earlier, another bus terminal operated at Charbagh, directly in front of the main railway station, but this has now been re-established as a City bus depot. The move was taken to remove congestion in front of the railway station. Kanpur Lucknow Roadways Service is a very important service for commuters.Swanky Volvo named Royal cruiser AC bus service is run by UPSRTC for many cities.Buses being very comfortble are very much in demand nowadays. Main cities they serve are Allahabad, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Gorakhpur.Bus service to inter state cities is also very good. All the Main and important cities of north India is connected by bus. The cities outside Uttar Pradesh that are covered by bus service are Jaipur, New Delhi, Gwalior, Bharatpur, Singrauli, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Dausa, Ajmer, Dehradun, Haridwar.

Rail transport[edit]

The city is served by several railway stations at different parts of the city. The main railway station is Lucknow Railway Station at Charbagh. It has an imposing structure built in 1923. The main terminal belongs to Northern Railway (NR) (station code: LKO) division of Indian Railways and the second terminal is run by the North Eastern Railway (NER) (Station Code: LJN). Lucknow is a major junction with links to all major cities of the state and country such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Siwan and many more. Lucknow has a further eleven railway stations viz. Alamnagar, Malhaur, Utretia, Gomti Nagar, Badshahnagar, Manak Nagar, Amausi, Aishbagh junction, Lucknow City, Daliganj and Mohibullapur. Now meter gauge services originate from Aishbagh and connect to Lucknow city, Daliganj and Mohibullapur. Except Mohibullapur all the stations are also connected to Broad gauge. All the stations are within city limits and are well connected with each other via road networks and public road transport. Other suburban stations include Bakshi Ka Talab and Kakori.Many stations are covered by Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway. It serves daily commuters. Some of the trains are operated from Barabanki city.

Air transport[edit]

Terminal-2 of CCS International Airport, Lucknow.

The Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Amausi serves as the city's main airport and is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city centre. Lucknow is directly connected by air with New Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad, Goa, Pune, Chennai. Oman Air, Flydubai, Saudi Airlines, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Go Air, Indigo Air, Spice Jet and many more international airlines that are operating international flights from Lucknow.[66] International destinations include Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Dammam, Jeddah.

Metro and monorail service[edit]

Plans for high capacity mass transit system, The Lucknow Metro and Mono rail Services have been finalised. Delhi metro rail (DMRC) is preparing plans for its constructions.[67] 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. This would be the most expensive public transport system in the state, providing speedy mass transport and decongesting city roads. A committee headed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani will oversee the "formative steps" of the ambitious metro rail project for the state capital, officials said on Friday. The Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) has offered the Uttar Pradesh government financial assistance for the Metro rail project.First phase approved by government of Uttar pradesh and construction likely to start from November 2013. Construction of First phase will be completed by 2016–17.[68]


Local channels[edit]

There are numerous local channels in Lucknow. Most of them show movies throughout the day and then news and educational programmes in the evening. There are many TV channels catering to the Muslim population in the city like Husaini Channel. All the channels are run by local cable operators.


Lucknow has historically been a major centre of journalism. "The Pioneer", started in 1865, is the second oldest English language newspaper in India that is operational. 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.


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.[69]


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.

Notable people from Lucknow[edit]

List of historical places[edit]

Important annual events[edit]

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.

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.

Shopping and shopping-centres[edit]

A major part of Lucknow is its shopping-centres and markets/bazaars. Hazratganj (Hindi: हज़रतगंज, Urdu: حضرتگںج) is a major shopping area situated in the heart of Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In addition to bazaars, it also contains shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, theatres and offices.
A shopping in Lucknow which had firm cultural links from mediaeval time of the navabs. In spite of its shayri and mujras, the noble city of Lucknow is famous for cotton textiles and chikankari work from the ancient times. Perfumes of Lucknow are well known in India. 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) [70]
Phoenix United Mall NH 25, LDA Colony 2010 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2) [71]
Fun Republic Gomti Nagar 2007 970,000 sq ft (90,000 m2) [72]
Westend Mall Gomti Nagar 2004 314,500 sq ft (29,220 m2) [73]
Riverside mall Gomti Nagar 2008 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) [74]
Sahara Ganj Mall Hazratganj 2005 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2) [75]
Gardens Galleria Mall Rae Bareli Road, South City 2012 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) [76]
Omaxe City Centre Mall Omaxe City 2011 700,000 sq ft (65,000 m2) [77]
Ratan Square LalBagh 2011 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) [78]
Shopping Square Sushant Golf City 2012 [79]
Essar Mall Rajajipuram 2011 [80]
City Mall Gomti Nagar [81]

Lucknow is also famous for its jewellery and ornament shops.

Lucknow Chikan[edit]

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, famed for its tehzeeb or refined style of behaviour where chikan reached its most elaborate and distinctive form. 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 topis (caps), kurtas, saris, cogds (a kind of scarf) and other outfits. There are number of tales narrate about the birth and development of this subtle art. The word chikan itself is said to have been derived from the Persian word chakeen meaning embroidery or designs. Abdul Halim Sharar, a novelist and historian, in his book 'Lucknow: the Last Phase of an Oriental Culture', says that "chikan embroidery became popular during the time of Nazir Ud Din Haidar in the second quarter of the 19th century when in a mohalla in Daliganj, Lucknow, Bade Miya Zazira designed the first piece of chikan embroidery on an angarkhan (waistcoat) and showed it to the Badshah, who was delighted and paid him generously for it."[82] During the first half of the 19th century a school of chikankari developed in Lucknow with its own unique style and aesthetic. It is an intricate embroidery involving 38 types of stitches (morri, katao, and bakhia) produced on textiles. 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. The four kinds of chikan work in Lucknow are: katao, where minute patterns of different materials are sewn into the muslin; murri, where designs are embossed upon the muslin with the use of thread ; phanda, a design made of thread in chain stitich; and jali kholna, in which individual threads are carefully removed from material and re-used in the same place to form design. 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.[83]

Other famous embroideries[edit]

Lucknow has also a name for other forms of embroidery. Gold and silver embroidery is executed with a variety of tinsels, such as salma, ghizai, sitara, kamdani, and kalabatun. Lucknow's zardozi and kamdani work is quite popular, and for decades, dazzled the courts of the Nawabs of Oudh. Zardozi and kamdani are the two variants of gold and silver embroidery work being carried out in Lucknow. The essential difference is that kamdani is work done with gold or silver thread (fir) and Zardozi done with salma and sitara, also zardozi is heavy and elaborate and the kamdani is lighter and simpler. The well-known kamdani work is similar to chikan but is done in gold and silver threads on white cloth. Kamdani is done with flattened silver or gilt wire on lighter materials. The needle is threaded with ordinary thread which is doubled, the two ends being secured with a knot. In Lucknow, zardozi and chikan were co-existent, but more or less in parallel. Zardozi is the name given to heavy embroidery on silk fabric in raised silver and gold thread. The fabric is stretched in a frame and the design traced. The zardozi of Lucknow is of a bareek or fine variety, however it is the quicker zari work that is more popular. In 2013 the GIR accorded the GI registration to the Lucknow Zardozi – the world renowned textile embroidery from Lucknow. The Zardozi products manufactured in areas in Lucknow and six surrounding districts of Barabanki, Unnao, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Hardoi and Amethi became a brand and can carry a registered logo to confirm their authenticity.[84]

The principal kinds of lace made at Lucknow from gold and silver wire are called lachka, kalabatu, and lais. In lachka the warp is of silver-gilt strips, woven with a woof of silk; it is often stamped with patterns in high relief. Kalabatu consists of strips of gilded silver twisted spirally round threads of yellow silk and then woven into ribbon. In lais the warp is of silk and the woof of the wire. Lucknow is also famous for gota (gold lace) and kinari (silver lace). Gota work involves placing woven gold cloth onto other fabric to create different surface textures. Kinari is the fringed or tasselled border decorations. The weaving of gota gota and kinari is still done in Lucknow.

Chowk area of Lucknow still houses the exotic crafts of Lucknow such as making of warq, itra, zarda, chikan, kamdani, zari, gota, kinari etc.

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]