My Lucknow My Pride

Published: April 12, 2024

Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh , India , it is situated on the banks of the Gomti river . As the legends run , the city of Lucknow was founded by Lakshman , the younger brother of Lord Shri Rama and accordingly named Lakshmanpuri / Lakshmanpur which through passage of time became Lakhanpur and finally Lucknow .


Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh , India , it is situated on the banks of the Gomti river . As the legends run , the city of Lucknow was founded by Lakshman , the younger brother of Lord Shri Rama and accordingly named Lakshmanpuri / Lakshmanpur which through passage of time became Lakhanpur and finally Lucknow . From 1350 onwards , Lucknow was ruled by the Delhi Sultanate , Sharqi Sultanate , Mughal Empire ,Nawabs of Awadh , the British East India Company and the British Raj .The Nawabs of Lucknow , in reality , the Nawabs of Awadh , acquired their name after the reign of the third Nawab when Lucknow became their capital . The city became North India’s cultural capital , and its Nawabs , best remembered for their refined and extravagant lifestyles were all patrons of art . Under their dominion , music and dance flourished , and construction of numerous monuments took place . Now Lucknow is known for its Urdu and Hindi literature . Lucknow is known for many things such as Chickankaari or exquisite cuisine or elaborated embroidery work on muslin cloth , monuments like Bada Imambara , Chota Imambara and the Rumi Darwaza .Another thing the Nawabs made Lucknow popular for , is tehzeeb or way of etiquette .


The third Nawab , Shuja-ud-Daula , fell out with the British after aiding the fugitive Nawab of Bengal , Mir Qasim . Roundly defeated at the Battle of Buxar by the British East India Company , he was forced 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 to the city from Faizabad in 1775. The British East India Company appointed a resident (ambassador) in 1773 and by early 19th century gained control of more territory and authority in the state. They were, however, disinclined to capture Awadh outright and come face to face with the Maratha Empire 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 take the throne. He became a puppet king, and in a treaty of 1801, yielded large part of Awadh to the East India Company while also agreeing to disband his own troops in favour of a hugely expensive, British-controlled army. This treaty effectively made the state of Awadh a vassal of the East India Company, although it continued to be part of the Mughal Empire in name until 1819. The treaty of 1801 proved a beneficial arrangement for the East India Company as they gained access to 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 the territory acted as a buffer state. The Nawabs were ceremonial kings, busy with pomp and show. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the British had grown impatient with the arrangement and demanded direct control over Awadh .Lucknow was one of the major centers of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and actively participated in the struggle of the First War Of Independence . The Khilafat Movement also had an active base of support in Lucknow , creating united opposition .Upon Indian Independence in 1947 , the United Provinces were reorganized into the state of Uttar Pradesh , and Lucknow remained its capital . Lucknow witnessed some of the pivotal moments in the history of India . It is has seen the pages in the golden history of Bharat turn from the names of Rama to Babur to British Raj to Azadi to PM Modi and many more to come .POPULOUS SITES IN LUCKNOWLucknow is known for many things and one of those is its beautiful sites , many of them being popular tourist attractions and some being hidden gems , there is a reason why it is known as the Architectural Hub of Northern India .From centuries – old Mughal and British edifices and fun filled amusement parks to gardens, street bazaars , museums and temples to more. Some of the popular tourist attractions are-

Bada Imambara Chota Imambara British Residency Rumi Darwaza Chattar Manzil Dilkush kothi Husainabad Clock Tower Amrapali Water Park Four seasons fun city water park Aminabad market Hazratganj market Chowk Indira Gandhi Planetarium Ambedkar park Nawab Wahid Ali Shah Zoological Garden State museum Ram Manohar Lohiya park Gomti Riverfront park Janeshwar Mishra park Chandrika Devi Templ Jama Masjid Constantia House Satkhanda Mankameshwar Mandir St. Joseph’s Cathedral Begum Hazrat Mahal Park Kukrail picnic spot Moti Mahal Palace


The city of Lucknow covers a total surface area of 349 square kilometers (135 square miles) . In combination with the growing number of residents in Lucknow , the population density comes to 8,000 residents per square kilometer (21,000 people living per square mile)The metro area population of Lucknow in 2020 was 3,677,000 , a 2.42% increase from 2019 . Lucknnow has a sex ratio of 940 females for every 1000 males and a literacy rate of 79.33%. The city has a total literacy rate of 84.72% according to Census 2011 Directorate. The total number of literate population totalled 2,147,564 out of which 1,161,250 were males and 986,314 were female . With an estimated population of 3.8 million , Lucknow is the 11th largest city of India .


Lucknow can give you a decent lifestyle even at a mediocre income . The cost of living is much cheaper compared to other cities in the country , Lucknow is among the top 6% of the least expensive cities in the world . The GDP of Lucknow District as of 2019 is 8 billion dollars (₹59031.41 crore ) .Family of four estimated monthly costs are 86,887₹ without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 24,958₹ without rent. Rent in lucknow is , on average 43.81% lower than Bangalore. You can live here with your family even in the price range of 10,000 per month to 40,000 per month , it depends on your requirements .


Slums have been part of the history of most cities, particularly in the early years of industrialization. Rapid urbanization and the mismatch in the provision and maintenance of proper housing conditions result in environmental decay, which further leads to origin and spread of health problems and diseases. Objective: To study the housing and sanitary conditions of the households residing in urban slums of Lucknow.A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in urban slums of Lucknow city from February 2014 to September 2014. A total of 384 households were assessed for housing and sanitary conditions through house-to-house survey with the help of predesigned, pretested, and semistructured questionnaire. Result: Among 384 households included in the study, 77.1% were situated in congested locality with 69.5% having a back to back and continuous type of house setup. About 47.3% and 25.0% of the houses were having inadequate ventilation and lighting, respectively. A total of 74.5% of the houses had unsafe practices for water storage and handling. The practice of hand washing before cooking food and eating was found in 77.9% and 52.6%, respectively. A total of 51.1% of the households reported open field defecation. Conclusion: This study reveals the need for developing and providing a more effective and comprehensive package of facilities related to housing, water, sanitation, and garbage disposal for urban slums.Though the general living conditions of the city are good there is still a noticeable portion of the city living in less than adequate conditions . Total no. of Slums in Lucknow city numbers 65,629 in which population of 364,941 resides. This is around 12.95% of total population of Lucknow city.Lucknow was ranked “India’s second happiest city” in a survey conducted by IMRB International and LG Corporation, after only Chandigarh. It fared better than other metropolitan cities in India including New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Lucknow was found to be better than other cities in areas such as food, transit and overall citizen satisfaction.


Lucknow is a metropolitan city and is continuously growing in different aspects and fields . The major industries in the Lucknow urban agglomeration include aeronautics, automotive, machine tools, distillery chemicals, furniture and Chikan embroidery .Lucknow is among the top cities of India by GDP. It is a centre for research and development as home to the R&D centres of the National Milk Grid of the National Dairy Development Board, the Central Institute of Medical and Aromatic Plants, the National Handloom Development Corporation and U.P. Export Corporation.Lucknow is ranked sixth in a list of the ten fastest growing job-creating cities in India according to a study conducted by Assocham Placement Pattern ,Lucknow’s economy was formerly based on the tertiary sector and the majority of the workforce were employed as government servants. Large-scale industrial establishments are few compared to other northern Indian state capitals like New Delhi The economy is growing with contributions from the fields of IT, manufacturing and processing and medical/biotechnology. Business-promoting institutions such as the CII have set up their service centers in the city. Major export items are marble products, handicrafts, art pieces, gems, jewellery, textiles, electronics, software products, computers, hardware products, apparel, brass products, silk, leather goods, glass items and chemicals. Lucknow has promoted public–private partnerships in sectors such as electricity supply, roads, expressways, and educational ventures.Multiple software and IT companies are present in the city. TATA consultant services , HCL industries are present in the city. IT companies are located in Gomti Nagar. There are many local open source technology companies. The city is also home to a number of important national and state level headquarters for companies including Sony Corporation and Reliance Retail. The handicrafts sector accounts for 60 percent of total exports from the state.Companies such as Hindustan Aeronautics limited, KARAM, TATA ,Marcopolo, Exide Industries, TATA Moters set up there plants in Lucknow. Lucknow is an emerging automobile hub. Tata Motors have a plant primarily for light commercial vehicles. It was set up in 1992 and has a production capacity of 640 vehicles per day. Additionally there is a plant of TATA in the city.To promote the textile industry in the city, the Indian government has allocated Rs. 2 billion (2000 million rupees) to set up a textile business cluster in the city.A sprawling 100 acres (40 ha) IT city costing 15 billion Rupees is planned by the state government at the Chak Ganjaria farms site on the road to Sultanpur and they have already approved special economic zone status for the project, which is expected to create thousands of job opportunities in the state .A defense industrial corridor is also coming in the city.Lucknow is growing in economic status day by day which has opened roads for growth in various other fields .


Lucknow’s buildings show different styles of architecture with the many iconic buildings built during the British and Mughal era. More than half of these buildings lie in the old part of the city. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department organises a “Heritage Walk” for tourists covering the popular monuments. Among the extant architecture, there are religious buildings such as Imambaras, mosques, and other Islamic shrines as well as secular structures such as enclosed gardens, baradaris, and palaces. Ghanta Ghar, the tallest clock tower in India.Bara Imambara in Hussainabad is a colossal edifice built in 1784 by the then Nawab of Lucknow, Asaf-ud-Daula. It was originally built to provide assistance to people affected by the deadly famine, which struck the whole of Uttar Pradesh in the same year. It is the largest hall in Asia without any external support from wood, iron or stone beams.The monument required approximately 22,000 labourers during construction.The 60 feet (18 m) tall Rumi Darwaza, built by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784, served as the entrance to the city of Lucknow. It is also known as the Turkish Gateway, as it was erroneously thought to be identical to the gateway at Constantinople. The edifice provides the west entrance to the Great Imambara and is embellished with lavish decorations.Various architectural styles can be seen in the historical areas of Lucknow. The University of Lucknow shows a huge inspiration from the European style while Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture is prominently present in the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha building and Charbagh Railway station. Dilkusha Kothi is the remains of a palace constructed by the British resident Major Gore Ouseley around 1800 and showcases English Baroque architecture. It served as a hunting lodge for the Nawab of Awadhs and as a summer resort.The Chattar Manzil, which served as the palace for the rulers of Awadh and their wives is topped by an umbrella-like dome and so named on account of Chattar being the Hindi word for “umbrella”. Opposite Chattar Manzil stands the ‘Lal Baradari’ built by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan I between 1789 and 1814. It functioned as a throne room at coronations for the royal courts. The building is now used as a museum and contains delicately executed portraits of men who played major roles in the administration of the kingdom of Oudh.Another example of mixed architectural styles is La Martiniere College, which shows a fusion of Indian and European ideas. It was built by Major-General Claude Martin who was born in Lyon and died in Lucknow on 13 September 1800. Originally named “Constantia”, the ceilings of the building are domed with no wooden beams used for construction. Glimpses of Gothic architecture can also be seen in the college building.Lucknow’s Asafi Imambara exhibits vaulted halls as its architectural speciality. The Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara and Rumi Darwaza stand in testament to the city’s Nawabi mixture of Mughlai and Turkish style of architecture while La Martiniere college bears witness to the Indo-European style. Even the new buildings are fashioned using characteristic domes and pillars, and at night these illuminated monuments become the city’s main attractions.Around Hazratganj, the city’s central shopping area, there is a fusion of old and modern architecture. It has a multi-level parking lot in place of an old and dilapidated police station making way for extending the corridors into pebbled pathways, adorned with piazzas, green areas and wrought-iron and cast-iron lamp-posts, reminiscent of the Victorian era, flank both sides of the street.


The city has parks and recreation areas managed by the Lucknow Development Authority. These include Kukrail Reserve Forest, Qaisar Bagh, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, Eco park of Lucknow, the Ambedkar Memorial and Janeshwar Mishra park, the largest park in Asia. It boasts of lush greenery, a man-made lake, India’s longest cycling and jogging track and a variety of flora. The plan is also to set up a giant Ferris wheel inside the park on the lines of London Eye, providing a panoramic view of the city. Kukrail Picnic Spot (crocodile-breeding sanctuary), located near Lucknow Indira Nagar Area. This is Asia’s largest crocodile-breeding center. This along with a small zoo and ample open space make it unique.


Chaudhary Charan Singh international airport has ranked second best in the small airport category.Lucknow metro is the fastest growing metro network in the worldAn under-construction cycle track network by the government of Uttar Pradesh is set to make Lucknow the city with India’s biggest cycle network.


In common with other metropolitan cities across India, Lucknow is multicultural and multilingual. Many of the cultural traits and customs peculiar to Lucknow have become living legends today. The city’s contemporary culture is the result of the amalgamation of the Hindu and Muslim rulers who ruled the city simultaneously. 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 these traditions to attain a rare degree of sophistication. The residents of Lucknow call themselves LUCKNOWITES , NAWABIS or LAKHNAVI . It also represents the melting pot of globalization where the legacy of Nawab’s culture continues to be reflected in the traditional vocabulary of the Hindi language of the city along with its effect on the monuments , food and overall lifestyle

(“My Lucknow My Pride” is a mobile app launched by the district administration of Lucknow circa December 2015 in efforts to preserve “the cultural heritage of Lucknow” and to encourage tourism.)


Although Uttar Pradesh’s primary official language is Hindi. Indian English is also well understood and is widely used for business and administrative purposes, as a result of India’s British Heritage and Common wealth , as well as globalization. The Urdu language is also a part of Lucknow’s culture and heritage. It is mostly used in Urdu poetry and on public signs. The government has taken many innovative steps to promote Urdu. Awadhi a dialect of the Hindi , is the native dialect of Lucknow and has played an important role in Lucknow’s history and is still used in the city’s rural areas and by the urban population on the streets. Historically, Lucknow was considered one of the great centers of Muslim culture. The 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.


The Awadh region has its own distinct Nawabi-style cuisine. Since ages, the Bawarchis (chefs) and Rakabdars (royal chefs) have developed great finesse in cooking and presentation of food, under royal patronage. This gave rise to the art of cooking over a slow fire (or Dum style cooking), which has become synonymous with “Awadhi” cuisine. These Bawarchis added elaborately prepared dishes like kababs, kormas, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis and warqi parathas to the traditional “Awadhi” dastarkhwaan (feast of dishes). The best-known dishes of this area consist of biryanis, kebabs and breads. Kebabs are served in a variety of styles; kakori, galawati, shami, boti, patili-ke, ghutwa and seekh are among the available varieties. Tunde ke kebab restaurants are popular for a type of soft kebab developed by a one-armed chef (hence the name Tunday) for a Nawab who had lost his teeth.The reputation of Lucknow’s kebabs is not limited to the local population and the dish attracts people from other cities as well as other countries.Lucknow is also known for its chaats, street food, kulfi, paan and sweets. Nahari, a dish prepared using mutton, is popular among non-vegetarians. Sheermal is a type of sweet bread (paratha) prepared in Lucknow. Makkhan-malai is another sweet delicacy of Lucknow made and sold only during winters. Some restaurants in the city are around a century old; there are also many high-end restaurants, bakeries, lounges and pubs which cater to the affluent class and foreign travellers.


Indian festivals such as Christmas , Diwal, Durga puja , Eid , Holi ,Raksha Bandhan and Dussehra are celebrated with great pomp and show in the city. Some of the other festivals or processions are as follows

1.Lucknow Mahotsava Lucknow Festival is organised every year to showcase Uttar Pradesh art and culture and to promote tourism. With 1975–76 designated South Asian Tourism Year, Lucknow took the opportunity to promote the city’s art, culture and tourism to national and international tourists. The first Lucknow Festival was staged as a part of this promotion and ever since, with some exceptions, Lucknow Mahotsava has taken place annually.

2.Lucknow Literature Festival This is an annual literature festival held in the month of November every year since 2013. Lucknow LitFest is India’s second-largest literature festival featuring some of the greatest writers and thinkers from across the globe.

3.Muharram Lucknow is known as a seat of Shia Islam and the epitome of Shia culture in India. Muslims observe Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar and on Ashura (the tenth day of the month) mourn the memory of Imam Husain , grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.Muharram processions in Lucknow have a special significance and began during the reign of the Awadh Nawabs.Processions such as Shahi Zarih, Jaloos-e-Mehndi, Alam-e-Ashura and Chup Tazia had special significance for the Shia community and were affected with great religious zeal and fervour until in 1977 the government of Uttar Pradesh banned public Azadari processions. For the following twenty years, processions and gatherings took place in private or community spaces including Talkatora karbala, Bara Imambara, (Imambara Asifi), Chhota Imambara (Imambara Husainabad), Dargah Hazrat Abbas, Shah Najaf . The ban was partially lifted in 1997 and Shias were successful in taking out the first Azadari procession in January 1998 on the 21st of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month. The Shias are authorised to stage nine processions out of the nine hundred that are listed in the register of the Shias.

4.Deva Mela Deva Mela is celebrated during anniversary of Sufi saint Haji Waris Ali Shah at Dewa Sharif, India which 26 K.M from Lucknow city. Sufi songs (Qawwalis) are recited at the Dargah. Devotees also carry sheets/Chadars to the shrines.

5.Bada Mangal festival is celebrated in the month of May as a birthday of ancient Hanuman temple known as Purana Mandir. In this festival fairs are conducted by the local public in the whole city. Bhandaras are organised by local people almost in all streets across the city which serves free food to all the passersby irrespective of religion. Many of the Muslim Community also set up these bhandaras. It is celebrated in the name of Hindu God Lord Hanuman and reflects the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb.


The classical Indian dance form Kathak originated from Lucknow.Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, was a great patron and a passionate champion of Kathak. Lacchu Maharaj, Acchchan Maharaj , Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj have kept this tradition alive.Lucknow is also the home city of the eminent gazal singer Begum Akhtar. A pioneer of the style, “Ae Mohabbat Tere anjaam pe rona aaya” is one of her best known musical renditions. Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts (BNA), also known as Bhartendu Natya Academy, is a theatre-training institute situated at Gomti Nagar. It is a deemed university and an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture, Government of Uttar Pradesh. It was 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 including IPTA, Theatre Arts Workshop (TAW), Darpan, Manchkriti and the largest youth theatre group, Josh. This is a group for young people to experience theatre activities, workshops and training.Lucknow is also the birthplace of musicians including Naushad, Talat Mahmood, Anup Jalota and Baba Sehgal as well as British pop celebrity Sir Cliff Richard.


Lucknow is known for embroidery works including chikankaru, zari , zardozi, kamdani and gota making (gold lace weaving).Chikankari is an embroidery work well known all over India. This 400-year-old art in its present form was developed in Lucknow and it remains the only location where the skill is practised today. Chikankari constitutes ‘shadow work’ and is a delicate and artistic hand embroidery done using white thread on fine white cotton cloth such as fine muslin or chiffon. Yellowish muga silk is sometimes used in addition to the white thread. The work is done on caps, kurtas, saris, scarfs, and other vestments .The chikan industry, almost unknown under the Nawabs, has not only survived but has flourished. About 2,500 entrepreneurs are engaged in manufacturing chikan for sale in local, national and international markets with Lucknow the largest exporter of chikan embroidered garments.

“LUCKNOW Hum par fida hai Hum Fida-e LUCKNOW,Kya hai taaqat aasmaan ki jo churaae LUCKNOW “

-Naubat Rai Saxena Nazar Lucknawi (1866-1923)



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