Extraordinary architectural wonders of the Awadhi Nawabs and British era, the sandstone monuments, verdant parks, and pristine mosques are amongst the several places to visit while in Lucknow. It is often described as the ‘City of Nawabs’. Lucknow retains its charm and rich cultural heritage which allure visitors across the globe.
My trip to the city was grandiose and exhilarating. Here is your guide to exploring the City of Nawabs – Lucknow. So here are the places you must visit in lucknow.
Best Places In Lucknow
Located at the banks of River Gomti, the Bara Imambara refers to a shrine built by the Nawab of Avadh, Asaf-ud-daula in 1784. The shrine complex is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture and elegance. The complex includes the tomb of Asaf-ud-daula, the Asfi mosque, several courtyards, a ‘bawali’ or step-well, and the Labyrinth or Bhulbhulaiya.
The canter of Bara Imambara is the largest arched hall in the entire world. It is over 15m tall, and the arch spreads across the area of 800m2 without the support of any pillars. The Bhulbhulaiya is a marvel on its own with the convoluted passageways interconnected through identical doorways leading to rooftop balconies that give you a breathtaking view of the city.
Entry fee: ₹ 50 per adult and ₹ 25 per child
Opening hours: Sunday to Saturday, 6:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Chota Imambara is located next to the complex of Imambara in the heart of Lucknow city. It is fondly called as the palace of lights due to its magnificently lit chandeliers and decor that light up the Imambara on special occasions.
It was built by Nawab Muhammad Shah Ali who is buried alongside his mother here. The stunning architectural designs which are reminiscent of Mugal-Era have several minarets, doorways, domes, large courtyards, and sprawling gardens that make this place a must-visit historical monument in Lucknow.
Outside the complex, an unfinished 4 storied watchtower called the Satkhanda was built by the Nawab. It was supposed to have 7 levels making the building as tall as the Qutub Minar with the design similar to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Entry fee: ₹ 25 per person
Opening hours: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm, all days of the week
The Rumi Darwaz is also known as the Turkish Gate. It was built by nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784. It is one of the most impressive structures in Lucknow. The monument is a massive gateway built in times of famine.
It stands 60 feet tall and the arch has no other support from the outside and it stands still till today. This specimen of Awadhi architecture marks the entrance to Lucknow.
The intricate floral design and carvings, and vantage point that offers a magnificent view of the city are worth a visit. It resembles the entrance of Constantinople (known as Istanbul today).
Entry fee: NA
Opening hours: NA
British residency is one of the famous landmarks that mark history in Lucknow city. It is a historical monument and one of the major sites of 1857 Revolt against the British. The siege of Lucknow was fought in the residency of the British General.
The ruins of this battle with bullet grazed walls and gardens are kept as is to date. The main building also houses a museum that displays models of the original architecture.
Entry fees: ₹ 15 per person
Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm on all days, Monday closed
India is known as the land of craftsmen. From textiles to architecture we have gained immense popularity in every field of art. Textile industries all over India are known for its beautiful craft and techniques like painting and dyeing, brocading, embroidery, printing and more; but amongst all of these, embroidery of various kinds is ranked at the top.
Chikankari is one such art of embroidery and is the pride of Lucknow. It is a Persian craft brought by the Mughal queen Noorjahan to India around 400 years ago. Traditional chikan embroidery was done on muslin with a white thread. Gradually the art was used to beautify a variety of fabrics and at present, it can be done on voil, lenin, rubia, chiffon, khadi, georgette, terry cotton, etc. Chikankari is a mix of simple and complex stitches which gives the work an elegant look.
Lucknow is the best place to buy chikankari suits, sarees, and Kurtis. A visit to Lucknow without a shopping spree of chikan varieties remains incomplete.
Dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, this modern monument in Lucknow is a pit-spot for many tourists visiting the city. It is spread across an area of 107 acres of land located in Gomti Nagar. The monument is built with red sandstone brought in from Rajasthan.
The notable features of this park are –
- The Ambedkar Stupa
- Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sangrahalay with large statues and bronze murals
- Pratibimb Sthal – the main entrance of the memorial which has 62 huge statues of elephants on either side
- Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Drashya Sthal – an 80 ft tall pyramid structure which has a panoramic view of the entire park.
Entry fees: ₹ 10 per person
Opening hours: Sunday to Saturday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Gomti Riverfront Park is an aesthetic attraction constructed in Lucknow. It was built with the concern of renovation and development of Gomti River. The park was inaugurated by the honorable CM of Uttar Pradesh on 16th October 2016.
The beautiful park stretches over 2 km and includes a predominant musical fountain which can be seen from either side of the riverside. The lush green surroundings have been developed as per international standards. Ambedkar Park also consists of a huge amphitheater, walking and biking tracks, boating house, and large play area for kids.
It is a peaceful place for visitors that are looking for hangout vicinity for family and friends.
Entry fees: ₹ 10 per person
Opening hours: 6 am – 10 pm, all days of the week
Also known as the Prince of Wales Zoological Park, the Lucknow Zoo is a famous tourist attraction in the city. It was built in 1921 and holds a variety of species of animals, reptiles, and birds to marvel upon. The zoo plays an important role in educating the masses about the importance of wildlife and its preservation.
The zoo is popular for housing and breeding endangered wildlife species like the Indian wolves, White tigers, Royal Bengal tigers, Hoolock gibbons, Indian rhinoceros, and Himalayan black bears, etc. You may be lucky to spot silver and golden pheasants, or great pied hornbill.
The zoo also features a toy train and ‘Touch Table Programmes’ which let you get tactile experience to learn about various zoo animals.
Entry fees: ₹ 60 per adult person
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm on all days; Monday closed
Indira Gandhi Planetarium
The Suraj Kund Park located at the bank of Gomti River houses a special attraction, the Indira Gandhi Planetarium. This planetarium was erected in 2003 with an architecturally marvelous design imitating planet Saturn. The unique shape and Saturn ring around the building leave every visitor awe-stricken.
The building is centrally air-conditioned and it boasts a state-of-the-art projection system equipped for all kinds of wow-worthy special effects during the screenings.
Entry fees: ₹ 25 per person (above 3 years age)
Booking hours: 11 am – 5 pm, remains closed on Monday
Showtimes: 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm
The Chattar Manzil is one of the go-to destinations in Lucknow. It literally means the Umbrella Palace. The palace was the residence of the Nawabs of Awadh in the 18th century.
The architecture of this building was inspired and built-in Indo-European-Nawabi style. It was later restored and preserved as per the choices of the Britishers. The palace was named after the chattris or umbrella-shaped domes on the octagonal pavilions that crown the building.
Hindi film Jolly LLB 2 was shot in the Chatter Manzil, Lucknow.
Entry fees: NA
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.30 am – 6 pm, remains closed on Saturday and Sunday
Jama Masjid isa prominent mosque and famous attraction spot amongst the tourist in Lucknow. The beautiful mosque is entirely built-in off-white sandstone by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423.
This architectural structure with its intricate carvings and calligraphy on the pillars will leave you spellbound. The Jama Masjid is spread across a staggering area of 4,950 m2, standing tall with a total of 260 pillars and 15 arched domes. The tomb of the sultan himself is on the eastern entrance of the mosque.
Entry fees: NA
Opening hours: All days of the week, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Hazratganj is a major shopping destination in the city of Lucknow. You can get items ranging from souvenirs to handicrafts, and jewelry to electronics in the bazaars of Hazratganj. The traditional white chikan piece is what you should get your hands on here. I didn’t miss a single chance to fill my bags with goodies from the bazaars.
The place is located in the heart of the city and contains various restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, and a library. You can have a leisure walk around the streets and get inspired by the beauty of art and culture of this area.
I was impressed with the architectural wonders and rich cultural heritage of Lucknow. You must plan a visit to Lucknow if you’re the one seeking for art, food, and leisure.