Lucknow Journals

A Weekend in Lucknow

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A December 2005 trip to Lucknow by phileasfogg

Picture Gallery Photo, Lucknow, India More Photos
Quote: Lucknow is a city of extremes--of a very well-developed cultural past and a somewhat droopy and commercial present. Of squalor and luxury. Of the colonial West and the never-say-die East. Unashamedly exotic.

A Weekend in Lucknow

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Overview

The Jama Masjid Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
Lucknow is jam-packed with experiences that can leave you feeling pretty heady. This is an amazing city that lures you into exploring it further--and the discoveries you can make are invariably fascinating. The big attractions are the surprisingly (for an Indian monument) well-maintained Residency; the Bara Imambara; the Chhota Imambara; the Chhota Imambara; and the Jama Masjid. Satkhanda, a four-story structure that was left incomplete (it was supposed to be seven stories high), was made to view the moon at Eid, but it can’t be climbed, so it's no great shakes. Neither is the Clock Tower nearby, and neither is the Picture Gallery, a disappointin...Read More

Clarks Avadh

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Hotel

Clarks Avadh Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
The reason we chose this hotel--despite the fact that we usually stick to budget accommodation--was that a guidebook said that its rooms offered the best view of Lucknow. Okay, maybe that wasn’t all. We were also keen on something a little upmarket where we could be comfortable. And that Clarks Avadh definitely was. Getting off the overnight train from Delhi (horrendously sleepless night on a narrow bunk, where I thought I’d topple over every time the train went over a sleeper), we reached Clarks Avadh early one foggy morning. An unassuming multi-storied building of tan stone, the hotel was still quiet; the lobby--white marble floor, gleaming brass chandeliers, large paintings of bygone Avad...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Clarks Avadh
8 Mahatma Gandhi Road
Lucknow, India
(26) 201-3133

Raheem’s

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Restaurant

Quote:
Nahari has always been for me a will o’ the wisp--enticing and elusive. When I was a kid, my mother told us stories of her childhood, when their servant would sneak in bowlfuls of slow-cooked, delicately spiced nahari for my uncle, who loved trying out stuff that hadn’t been cooked at home. And nahari definitely rated high on the list of things that couldn’t be cooked at home--who would sit up through the night, making sure the meat cooked just right, neither underdone nor mashed to a pulp? Nahari was bought at a nearby food stall early in the morning--about the only time it’s available all across India, in Muslim-run food stalls and restaurants. Nahari, yo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Raheem’s
Akbari Gate, Off Victoria Street, Chowk
Lucknow, India

Bara Imambara

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Attraction

Bara Imambara Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
Lucknow’s pièce de resistance’s run-down, badly restored, and graffiti-covered, but worth a visit- if only for the air of faded grandeur and surreptitious intrigue that pervades it. The Bara Imambara isn’t a mere palace, nor just a `dwelling place of the holy Imam’ (that’s what it means). It’s straight out of a medieval fantasy. The Bara Imambara began as a food-for-work famine relief project under the Nawab of Awadh, Asaf-ud-Daulah, in the 1700s. The work continued for decades, with sections built during the day being demolished at night so that labourers would have work the next day. Coming through the gateway and passing the front lawns, we entered the vaulted hall on the far left....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Bara Imambara

Lucknow, India

Chhota Imambara

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Attraction

Chhota Imambara Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
Bara, in Hindustani, means large. Chhota is the opposite--small. The Chhota Imambara is not exactly tiny, but it’s pretty modest compared to the sprawling Bara Imambara. It’s also a lot less exotic, a lot less intriguing, and (fortunately for visitors), much better maintained. The building of the Chhota Imambara can’t be seen from the road; it’s hidden by a solid gateway. We walked through this, onto a wide, paved pathway flanked by lawns and gardens, leading to the Imambara. All along the centre of the path runs a watercourse with fountains (none of which were playing at the time we visited). As we walked toward the one-story building that comprises the Chhota Imambara, we discovered th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Chhota Imambara

Lucknow, India

Picture Gallery

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Attraction | "The Picture Gallery"

Picture Gallery Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
The entry fee to the Picture Gallery is included in the price of the ticket to the Bara Imambara. So if you’re keen on getting your money’s worth, it’s a good idea to walk down the road from the Bara Imambara, through the fantastically decorated arch of the Rumi Darwaza and beyond the towering red Clock Tower to the Picture Gallery. If the little bit extra you spent on your ticket to the Bara Imambara is good enough for you and you’ve had your fill of culture, then give the Picture Gallery the miss: this is really nothing spectacular. The Picture Gallery is worth seeing from the outside--the view from the road is delightful. The building is a neat, well-maintained colonial structure of red brick, s...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Picture Gallery

Lucknow, India

Culture in the Cow Belt

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Story/Tip

Tomb of Saadat-ul-Khan Photo, Lucknow, India
Quote:
The expanse of land stretching more or less horizontally across the `chest’ of India, below the northernmost states of Jammu and Kashmir, yet above the peninsular states such as Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, is often referred to as the `Cow Belt’. This isn’t just a mere reference to the fact that much of this area is dominated by agriculture (and bullocks, not tractors, are often the means to help plough fields). This has loads of other connotations. The fact, for instance, that it’s a pretty backward region, where issues that India would much rather sweep under the carpet, like poverty, illiteracy, caste discrimination, and the subjugation of women are more the rule than the exception. ...Read More