This capital of Uttar Pradesh has a number of historic buildings,monuments and gardens.Standing on the banks of the river Gomti,Lucknow is famous for its typical culture,cupolas and refinements.With the disintegration of the Mughal Empire the Nawabs of Oudh became very powerful and independent .They ruled this part of the province for about a century after the fall of the Mughals.The builder of modern Lucknow was Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-1797) ,the fourth Nawab in succession.In this dynasty Wajid Ali Shah was the last ruler,known for his extravagant pleasure loving pranks ,and other tantrums.In 1856 he was deposed and deported to Calcutta by the British. Then after ,the First War of Independence in 1857 took place in which the small chieftains and princes of the adjoining states took on the British forces but they lost eventually. The traces of the struggle of 1857 are still visible here.Its historical buildings are mainly of the 18th century. Aminabad and Hazratganj are its two main shopping centres.In the old city the bazaar , popularly known as “Chowk” a large variety of artistic pieces,brocades, saris, pottery, embroidery and chican work overflow the shops. Lucknow is also famous for Dusseri Mangoes ,Kakadis and a variety of orginal dishes. This capital city is very well linked with all the major towns and cities of the country by air,rail and road connections.
The following spots in Lucknow deserve special mention:
(a) The Great Imambara
Popularly known as ‘Bara’ Imambara,this was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784.With its estensive frontage and the huge tomb measuring 15 metres wide ,49 metres long, and 16 metres wide,without any supporting pillars,this is the largest vaulted hall in the world .Its labyrinth of corridors are popularly known as ‘Bhulbhaliyah’ . From the top of this massive structure one can have a fine view of the city .This Imambara was started as a famine relief project in 1784.
(b) The small Imambara
This small or ‘Chota’ Imambara of Hussainabad was built in 1837 by Mohb. Ali Shah. It contains the tomb of Ali shah’s family and the Nawab’s silver covered throne.The edifice is crowned with domes and minarets. The central dome is golden.
(c) British Residency
This extensive structure,reminding of the 1857 struggle for Independence, is now a quiet place with its well maintained gardens and lawns. It was built in 1800 for the British residents in Lucknow.During the uprising of 1857 all the British residents of LUcknow took refuge here till they were rescued on the 87th day by Sir Hevelock.But the revolutionaries besieged it again till sir Colin Compbell broke through the siege the seconed time .Just in front of the Residency is the Martyrs Memorial erected in the honour of the martyrs who dies in 1857 uprising.