Looking for best places to visit in Lucknow? Then you have come to the right place. Lucknow is one of those major cities of India best known for its royal culture and historical heritage buildings.
With a vast collection of old monuments, parks, gardens, palaces, Lucknow has popularized its tourism attracting thousands of people to visit the city during different seasons. Be it the exclusive Chikankari Collection or the tasty kebabs the tourists love everything here.
The city takes back all the visitors to the royal period of nawabs with its authentic cuisines, historical gateways, old ruined structures which are rare to find easily in the modern era. So before planning your vacation in Lucknow lets view in details about its famous tourist attractions.
Popular Places To Visit in Lucknow
Historical Places To Visit in Lucknow
Bara Imambara is one of the major tourist attractions in Lucknow. The most attractive feature of this monument is the never-ending complicated maze located at the top floor known as Bhool Bhulaiya. The monument follows the traditional Mughal architecture inspired by the Badshahi Mosque. It houses one of the largest central halls in the world.
The entire monument except the gallery is held together by bricks without any external support and the roof stands erect without the support of any pillar. It consists of two entrances one connects to the Asafi Mosque and other ends in a large well.
The small entrance to the left of the central hall leads to the amazing Bhool Bhulaiya which is the main attraction here. The monument celebrates Moharram with thousands of Muslim devotees every year. It is without doubt, one of the most famous places to visit in Lucknow.
Popularly known as the Imambara of Husainabad, Chota Imambara is an exemplary architectural beauty in the Lucknow city. The monument is very attractive and is located to the western part of Bara Imambara. It was constructed by Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah in 1838 as his private mosque for him and his mother.
The exterior is beautifully ornamented with golden dome while the interior consists of exclusive Arabic glass work, stunning Belgium chandeliers, gilt-edged mirrors, and colorful stuccos. The Imambara has 5 entrances signifying “Panjetan” which means holy five.
It consists of two halls along with a platform known as Shehnasheen housing the Zarih of Imam Hussain. The monument holds the tomb of Muhammad Ali Shah and the graves of his mother, son, daughter, and son-in-law.
The British Residency is one of the popular historical heritage buildings in Lucknow. The building gave shelter to 3000 British people when they made lucknow the center of their military activities for around 90 days. The building has a ruined structure today and consists of the graves of 2000 British people who lost their life in 1857 war, sparing the rest 1000 to survive somehow.
It was on November 17th when the British forces defeated the Indian army and achieved their victory under the guidance of Sir Collin Campbell. The building is a government office today. The building includes a museum which is well preserved and serves as a visitor’s attraction.
Rumi Darwaza is an ancient gateway located in the Old Lucknow city. The gateway is one of the finest examples of Awadhi architecture standing tall at the heart of the city as a memory of the royal past. According to history, this gateway was built by the Nawab in 1748 as a part of his plan to feed his citizens and something to make a mark in the city of Lucknow forever.
The Awadhi craftsmen hence built the structure of Rumi Darwaza in return for everyday meals. The gateway initially used to be the royal entrance of the city and still now hold its charm in the same way as it used to be years back. The gate highly signifies the culture and history of Lucknow and serves as a treasured architecture in the modern era.
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Chattar Manzil is another important structure of Lucknow having the dome as a glided umbrella. The structure was constructed by Claude Martin in 1781 along the banks of river Gomti. The construction was later continued by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and completed by Nawab Nassir Uddin Haider.
The building used to be the residence for the Nawabs also the freedom fighter’s meeting point during the battle of 1857. The underground areas or Tahekhanas of this building are a unique feature being submerged in the water of Gomti river so as to keep it cool during the summer time. The locations is a major tourist attraction and also ideal for some amazing photography.
Begum Hazrat Mahal Park
The park is one of the beautiful locations to behold in Lucknow. It was built in the memory of an extremely courageous lady ‘Begum Hazrat Mahal’. The memorial was constructed from marble which stands proudly in the Victoria Park of Old Lucknow city. The construction belongs to the era of 1962.
Later the monument in the park area was developed by the government on 15th August as a reward to the contribution of Begum Hazrat Mahal in the battle of 1857. The ceremony was grand with the monument being decorated in flowers and lighted up with neon tubes.
The park in recent times is one of the attractive locations in Hazaratganj decorated with marvelous fountains, stone pathways, colorful flowers, and trees attracting the citizens to spend some leisure time in the natural surroundings. The Park has an extremely serene ambiance which the visitors love a lot.
La Martiniere College
It is a famous and a grand educational institution in Lucknow. The college has two separate campuses for boys and girls. The boy’s college was built in 1845 while the girl’s college was built in the year of 1869. The Boys college holds high historical importance due to its major contribution for defense purpose in the war of 1857.
The La Martiniere group consisting of both the girl and boys institutions was founded by Claude Martin. Claude Martin dedicated his entire will to be used for the construction of three La Martiniere schools in the city of Lucknow, Kolkata, and Lyon in France.
He was unmarried with no heirs and instructed the remaining amount left to be used for the school maintenance. The eduction provided by La Martiniere is liberal for all religion people and uses only English as the instruction language.
Constantia House in Lucknow was built by Claude Marin in 1785. The building follows different architectural patterns having the corners decorated with Mogul Cupolas, the ramparts adorned with shrines of Greek Gods and Goddesses, and the symbolic Lions of the East India Company. The unique part of this building is the basement which receives cooling from the vents at the top and houses the grave of its founder Claude Martin much similar to the one of Mumtaz in Taj Mahal.
There are two stories regarding Constantia – some say Martin dedicated it to his true love Constancy while others say it was named after Martin’s principle of ‘Work and Constancy’. The building now resides inside the La Martiniere College in 200 acres lands and houses students and teacher’s residential quarters.
This is another famous tourist attraction in Lucknow. It was constructed by Wajid Ali Shah during the period of 1848 to 1850. Wajid Ali had a vast knowledge of the art and architecture during that time and he built the palace with an aim to help it attain the position of the eighth wonder of the world.
The palace stands as the finest example of marvelous architectural work with its magnificent Moorish minarets, columns, banisters, lanterns, Hindu umbrellas, and pediments. The palace house an amazing white stone structure, known as Baradari which was earlier wrapped in silver.
The Mughal style pavilions, European statues and the skillful use of gilt crows make the beauty of the palace alluring to the visitors and mark itself as a famous historical structure of Lucknow city.
Dilkusha Kothi Palace
This is one of the topmost historical structures in Lucknow. The palace is basically the remaining structure of the age-old house built by Major Gour Ouseley. It takes you back to the historical period being situated in the off bat area of Lucknow. It follows the British baroque style architecture and has a ruined structure.
The gardens around the palace are still preserved while a major part has collapsed leaving only a few towers and outside walls of the main structure. The walls are carved with various patterns. The Palace doesn’t house any courtyard unlike the traditional Indian style and stands tall in the area with not so expansive space.
The most important structure of the palace is the Seaton Delaval Hall which is quite similar to the same structure in England. The ruined architecture of Palace thrills the visitors and they love exploring its history.
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Popular Places To Visit in Lucknow (Local Markets)
This is a premium shopping destination in Lucknow housing a number of branded showrooms and malls. The market is 100 years old and used to be directly associated with the Nawabs, British, and the Awadh rulers. The royal market however in the past 100 years has undergone various transformations and today it stands as the most modern shopping area in Lucknow.
The Market houses exclusively branded showrooms of authentic Chikankari work like Seva Chikan, and also includes Janpath Mall, Lovelane Mall, and Sahara Mall. The Chikankari salwar suits, Kurtis, Chikan embroidered sarees, Khadi outfits, and ornaments are the main highlights of this market.
It also consists of other hi-profile showrooms, movie theaters, restaurants, and factory outlets. The market sells everything as fixed price with a big no to bargaining. It is one of the best places to visit in Lucknow to do some local shopping.
It is a very old market of the Lucknow city from the era of Nawabs. The market is the most crowded area of Lucknow city catering to all your daily needs with more than 5000 shops located in the narrow lanes on both sides. The authentic collections of this market are the Chikankari Work, Zardozi work, handmade traditional jewelry, wood, bamboo, and ivory items for decoration, different flavors of ittar, nagara shoes and many other amazing items.
The market is different from the modern shopping destinations and has the royal ambiance. The area can be also called a food paradise serving authentic royal cuisines in shops built around hundreds of years ago like kebabs, biryanis, niharis, sheermal, Makkhan Malai and many more. The market makes the past history come alive and a compulsory destination to visit while you are in Lucknow.
Aminabad market is another old market of Lucknow covering a large area. The market caters to every need of the visitors at affordable prices. Starting for the varieties collections of Chikankari sarees, salwar suits, Kurtas for men to artificial jewelry, shoes, handcrafted items, lehangas, sherwani, bookstores you will get everything here.
The Market is most famous for the Chikan embroidered garments with fabulous collections suited to modern trends and fashion. You can but a number of items here without much thinking about pricing as you can bargain here and if your skills are good you can grab the most of it.
Some of the popular shops of this market are –Madan Sarees, Dupatta Mahal, Sargoda Cloth House, and Om Prakash Seth with authentic traditional collections catering to Lucknow culture.
Other Important Places To Visit in Lucknow (Parks And Museums)
Dr. Ambedkar Park
The Park is a giant structure covering an area of 107 acres in the city of Lucknow. The park is named after Bhimrao Ambedkar and a beautiful grand elaborate structure of Lucknow. The interior of the Park houses the majestic statue of Dr.Ambedkar and other stone works and statues contributing to the life history of Dr.Ambedkar.
The memorial in the park was constructed from the red sandstone exclusively for Rajasthan especially for the people whose main motto in life was humanity, equality, and social justice. Some of those personalities were Dr. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule, Narayana Guru, Shahuji Maharaj, Kanshi Ram, and Birsa Munda.
The surrounding areas of the memorial are an absolute eye treat with the decorative statues and the green gardens. It also consists of a museum containing statues of Dr.Ambedkar and all the above-mentioned personalities. The park highly reflects the city’s political and historical background. I would highly recommend to add this park to your list of best places to visit in Lucknow.
The State Museum of Lucknow is an important tourist attraction in the city. It is situated at Banarasibagh and comprises a three-storeyed structure. The museum is famous for its exclusive collections of Awadh artifacts, customs, habits, and Indian mythology. It also houses the antique collections from Lord Buddha’s birthplace Piparahawa, and Kapilavastu.
The museum present displays exhibits of bronze, sculptures, paintings, coins, textiles, anthropological specimens, natural history, and beautiful arts. The museum is a hub of interesting facts and also consists Egyptian mummy with the wooden sarcophagus of 1000BC.
It also includes some rare collection from the 17th century like the- Wine jar named Aurangzeb Alamgir, a jade chamakali from 1036 AD named Jahangir, a painting of 16th century from Kalpasutra, a copy of Harivansha in Persian from the 16th century, and some unique silver and gold coins.
It is the biggest wildlife attraction of Lucknow attracting millions of visitors every year. The zoo is located in the central part of Lucknow city spanning around an area of 71.6 acres and was created in 1921. Initially, it was named as Prince of Wales zoo but later renamed as Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Prani Udyan.
The zoo is a home to different wildlife species like Royal Bengal Tiger, Lion, Wolf, Blackbuck, Swamp Deer, Indian Rhinoceros, Barking Deer, Hog Deer and many more. The rich wildlife in this area is a sight to behold with different bird species like Golden Pheasant, Great Pied Hornbill, and Silver Pheasant.
The zoo never fails to entertain the tourists with an exhibit of a Vintage Train, a toy train ride touring the entire zoo area, and a museum showcasing the Awadhi artifacts.
Janeshwar Mishra Park
Janeshwar Mishra Park of Lucknow comes in 10th position in Asia’s largest parks. It is the most favorite hangout destination of Lucknow citizens and even loved by the tourists travelling there. The Park is often termed as Multifunctional garden since it is not only a biggest example of eco friendly atmosphere but also serves for many recreational activities.
The Park has been named after Janeshwar Mishra who was a politician and a member of the Samajwadi Party. The park is highly inspired from the famous Hyde Park of London and holds a mesmerizing scenic beauty.
The Park is designed with the aim of creating a sustainable environment for all species. The park houses shimmery water bodies surrounded by the green slopes. It is a complete man-made nature’s treat for every visitor.
Religious Places To Visit in Lucknow
Chakra Tirth Temple
Chakra Tirth or Naimishaaranya temple is situated at a distance of 90 km from Lucknow in the Sitapur district on the banks of Gomti River. The term Nemi refers to the outer disc of the Chakra and the location where the Nemi of the Chakra fell is known as Chakra Tirth.
It is a holy bathing are having a circular chakra shape in the middle of the waterbody. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu killed demons in this location within a fraction of second which is termed as Nimisha in Hindi and hence the place is known as Naimishaaranya.
People taking bath in the holy water does a parikrama along the chakra like structure which covers a circumference of 16 km. The area inside the Chakra is considered to be extremely sacred where devotees offer prayers to Goddess Shri Lalitha on a full Moon day to wash away their sins.
Jama Masjid of Lucknow is one of the famous historical mosque attracting the visitors over years. It was built in 1423 by Sultan Ahmed Shah in yellow sandstone and is one of the most beautiful mosque ever. It is also popular by the name of Jami Masjid and an extremely holy place for the Muslim devotees who gather together and celebrate many auspicious occasions here.
It blends the Hindu and Muslim style architecture perfectly. The mosque is full of detailed intricate designs supported by 260 pillars and 15 domes having the arched structure of different heights.
The mosque has an expansive courtyard housing the tomb of Sultan Ahmed Shah on the east side. The entire structure holds magnificent beauty and a must visit destination in Lucknow. It is one of the most famous religious places to visit in Lucknow.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral
St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a beautiful old church situated in the heart of Hazratganj. The church was constructed in 1860 by Fr. Willian Gleeson who was an Irish priest and he dedicated the holy structure to St.Joseph. The Church was further renovated and in 1970 the 99 years old structure was replaced with the present one.
It stands at a height of 170ft and follows a triangular shape having a basement and groundfloor. The staircase at the entrance leads upwards towards the congregation hall. The interior of the church is breathtaking and the walls keep on narrowing finally ending at the altar. The Church is a must-visit destination with your family members to attain peace in the calm environment.
Best Time to Visit Lucknow
Lucknow famous for its Chikankari work and historical monuments can be visited at any time of the year but it is preferable to visit the destination during winter time between October to March to enjoy properly and explore the different locations. The winters generally have temperatures between 5 to 27 degrees offering a chilled pleasant climate to the tourists making it perfect for traveling.
The summers are however hot between the months of April to June with temperatures ranging between 28 to 45 degrees which is not favorable. The monsoons between the months of July to September are not bad with temperatures between 24 to 32 degrees accompanied by rainfall.
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