Friday, 10 October 2014

10 Quirky Things About Lucknow

Quirky Indian Cities’ series –

Chhota Imambara

Lucknow is a little queer city. It has got a lot of character and charm to it, but it’s also sordid in some ways. Although it is presumed to be a Nawabi (royal) city with ‘politeness’ embedded in its texture, the real face of Lucknow is far from its preconceived image.

Just like Delhi, I have lived in Lucknow for a decade. Therefore, I know the city quite closely and I can talk about its many quirks, belittled gems and also a few gray shades.

Before I begin, I’d like to share that Lucknow has seen a substantial growth in terms of infrastructural developments in the past years, which has changed its face to a great extent. It is a much better city today in the wake of good roads, multiplexes, shopping malls, eating joints and discotheques. But, I’m going to share with you the Lucknow that I knew, which is timeless -   

1.The royal bygone era still begs for your attention.

If you think Lucknow is a kind of city, where you will find people exchanging royal greetings, you are absolutely mistaken. The city is very much like any other Indian city. There are no old-fashioned mannerisms in people. Everything is very ordinary in their everyday lives. But, the era of Nawabs still lives somewhere in the Mughal palaces and their illustrious history.  
      
The old-era still reflects...

2.Eve-teasing can be a nuisance in Lucknow.

I don’t intend to misrepresent Lucknow, but I have experienced very annoying eve-teasing there. I don't know if that has changed now. 
    
3.Food is a serious business.

Lucknow relishes great Mughlai cuisine. From Biryani, Korma, Chicken curry to the much-loved Tunde Kababs, the richness in food needs to be seen to be believed.

Image source: Google

4.People have a certain amusing way of talking.

It’s quite easy to pick a Lucknowi style of talking, which has a very desi (rustic) appeal to it. A typical inhabitant of Lucknow uses hum (we) quite often. 
      
5.Lucknow has an awe-inspiring architectural beauty.

As I mentioned earlier, the old-era still peeps from somewhere and it’s evident in the architectural treasures of the city. Besides the mysterious Bara Imambara and the glorious Chhota Imambara, there are some ruined buildings as well, such as The British Residency and Dilkusha Koth, which have an intriguing history to tell.
   
Architectural gems: Bada Imambara and Bhul Bhulaya 

6.The legendary markets never lose their sheen.

The two most popular markets in Lucknow are Hazratganj and Aminabad. They are not just great shopping hubs, but they are also charming places for snacking on some traditional savoury stuff like Chaat, Kulfi and Malai Makkhan. Besides, the atmosphere of the two places is undyingly charismatic. Aminabad is more conservative, while Hazratganj is more towards the modish side.
   
Image source: Google

7.Lucknow has high standards when it comes to shopping.

Well, it may not be a metropolitan, but shopping is nothing less than bliss for women. If you have good taste in clothes, the variety is immense. Although the Chikan embroidery is easily the highlight of Lucknow, other stuff like shoes, bags, accessories and western wear are also worth going for.    
 
Image source: Google
 
8.The Taj of Lucknow looks ethereal.

Vivanta by Taj in Lucknow is a sheer delight. It is one of the most beautiful Taj hotels in India. It would be absolutely apt to say that it lives up to Lucknow’s majestic past. Also, it’s a good way to experience Lucknow’s Nawabi culture. 

The Taj of Lucknow: Backyard view

9.Lucknow isn’t really a ‘safe’ city.

It is an easy-going and modest city, but the crime rate cannot be overlooked. There is a huge mix of people in Lucknow, which makes certain smaller neighbourhoods in the city a bit unsafe.

Lucknow is waiting to be explored.

10.Lucknow isn’t aware of its tourism potential.

This is perhaps the funniest thing about Lucknow that it has got a tremendous calibre of drawing travellers, yet it seems to be nonchalant about it. Lucknow’s food, shopping and architecture are superlative. If only they adopt the enthusiasm for hospitality and the locals create a tourist-friendly atmosphere, things can drastically change.

What do you say? Is Lucknow your kind of a city?


If you enjoyed this post, you can –
Subscribe to receive ‘new post’ updates through Email.

14 comments:

  1. Super post! I am also really fond of Lucknow...can relate to all of these :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Siddhartha! :) I'm glad to hear that. Yes, Lucknow is an inviting city. It just needs state govt.'s support for tourism.

      Delete
  2. Too true. Lucknow is a traveller's gem, though I'm glad it remains somewhat undiscovered :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that way it will always be easy to travel there.

      Delete
  3. Lucknow looks like a wonderful city. I'm especially intrigued by its architecture and the history. That's too bad the city hasn't realized it's tourism potential. I'm always baffled when I visit cities that have so much to offer but tourism just doesn't seem to be on their radar. (I found a lot of places in the Philippines were like that.) But Lucknow seems like a place I would love to visit, even if it is a little unsafe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, Justine. Lucknow may be a little unsafe, but it has got a lot to offer. I'm sure you will like it. :) I have heard that even some places in Italy are also unsafe, but it is on my bucket-list!

      Delete
  4. Such a cool post here. I really enjoyed the photos and learning about a previously unknown spot in India that I definitely want to see now. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, Lucknow is a little hidden spot in India.

      Delete
  5. Sorry to hear you experienced some harassment there. As a student of Urdu, and as a Muslim living in the subcontinent, I feel really drawn to Lucknow for obvious reasons. I'd really really love to go there one day. And it's true what you say that it hasn't realised its tourism potential - I know so many people who haven't even heard of it, yet they know other 'small' cities like Varanasi, for example. Will you be going to Kolkata or Chennai on your quirky tour of Indian cities? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, even I wonder that people are aware of Varanasi, but not Lucknow! But you should definitely head there...it's going to be a great experience. Well, I can't say about Kolkata, but Chennai is definitely a possibility in the near future. That's why I have given a break to the 'quirky' series. I may write about more cities as I get to experience them. :)

      Delete
  6. Love Lucknow for its Mughal quarter and food. Nice post, Renuka.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the Mughal quarter and the food of Lucknow are its essence.

      Delete
  7. nice the way of to describe my city.. well done renuka..
    as a tourism student well understand but here localitie's mentality is same as Indian "karenge wahi jo karne ko mana kia gaya ho." :D
    but you missed the British Residency ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shobha! :) Yes, it's the mentality of people that keeps them from flourishing as a city. That's sad. What do you mean by I missed the British Residency? :) I have mentioned it in the post.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...