Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs, is best known as a centre for Urdu poetry and courtly diction. It is still identified for its etiquette, culture, aabroo and tehzib . Lucknow is all about living life leisurely - everything happens here at a slow pace.
Major research institutes located in the state include Central Drug Research Institute, Industrial Technology Research Centre, Central Food Technology Research Institute, National Botanical Research Institute, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medicine and King George Medical College. Outstanding educational institutions like La Martinere School and the IIM Lucknow are also here.
Lucknow is connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
The Shatabdi Express and Lucknow Mail offer connectivity to Delhi.
Food is as much a pleasure and passion today as it was 200 years ago in the time of the Nawabs. The city is famous for its Awadhi delights, like kebabs, parathas, biryanis, raitas, quormas, roomali rotis, kundan qalias, navratan quormas, chaats, shahi tukras, phirnis, seviyan ka muzaffar, and kheer. Even better, you don't need to go to an expensive restaurant to indulge in these heavenly delicacies. The small eateries jostling for space on both sides of the Aminabad and Chowk areas churn out mouth-watering fare.
Lucknow, is of course, associated with the fine art of embroidery, including Chikankari (shadow-work) and Zardozi (silver and gold embroidery). From the ramps in Paris to affluent socialites the world over, there is a surging demand for garments with this exquisite craftsmanship. Be sure to pick up some cool summery saris, kurtas, or dupattas.
Also look for lightweight, hollow gold and silver ornaments, with emphasis on 'filigree' and open work. Huge jhumka earrings that don't hurt the ears, and impressive gold bangles that don't cost a fortune are characteristic of this city. The jadau (gem-studded) gold work of the region is very famous. Do drop by Gadbadjhala, a bazaar which provides competition to the bazaars of Morocco.
If time is limited, Gangotri, the official souvenir shop of the UP State Tourism Department, has a range of handicrafts from the state under one roof.
La Martiniere School
Built at the end of the 18th century by Major General Claude Martine, a French soldier, this well maintained building, blends Mughal, Hindu and Italian architecture and is a leading educational institution. Furnished elaborately with paintings, chandeliers, statues, plaster plaques, moats, stockades, secret passages and canons, it is a treat to saunter through.
Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara
They are both masterpieces of architecture.
Legend has it that this maze was created to facilitate the then Nawab's escape in times of crisis.
The Talkatora Karbala
The most important Karbala of the Shias is a replica of the 'Rauza' of Hazrat Hussain. It is an impressive monument, with a brass sheet embedded 'shahjehani' dome. A large boundary wall of red 'Gulam Gardish' surrounds the structure and the inlay work of glass on wood is unparalleled.
This holds pride of place amongst the colonial monuments of Lucknow. A large complex of many buildings set in spacious parklands, it was built for the British Resident. During the Mutiny of 1857, it was the seat of dramatic events, and you can still see the cannon marks on the walls.
Hussainabad Clock Tower
This decorative structure, one of the finest examples of British architecture in India, once stood on the entrance road. It has a majestic 20 feet square gun metal tower.
Kaiserbagh Palace complex
The yellow buildings on three sides of the quadrangle once provided quarters for the ladies of the harem. In the centre stands the Baradari, a picturesque white stone edifice which was earlier paved with silver.
National Botanical Research Institute
Located at Sikandarbagh, this was the site of pitched battles during the Mutiny of 1857.
Located at Banarasi Bagh, within the city, the state museum houses a large collection of artifacts and memorabilia and is a favourite picnic spot.
Kukrail Reserve Forest
A picnic spot developed by the forest department, it boasts of a deer park and crocodile nursery. A variety of birds and deer can be observed here, in their natural habitat.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Located on the Kanpur highway, this sanctuary attracts Siberian migratory birds.