The capital and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, situated on the banks of river Gomti, welcomes you with a heartwarming note of "Muskuraiyein, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hai". A city of kebabs and nawabs, of architecture and history, of literature and culture – that is Lucknow in a nutshell for you. The people of Lucknow are known for their courtly manners and endearing 'pehle aap' (you first) culture, which always leaves behind a smile on the faces of its visitors. From a slice of rich colonial history to modernized museums, this artistic hub of Awadh region beautifully brings together the opulence of a glittering past and the simplicity of a modern city.
Rumi Darwaza, the Mughal Gateway built in the centre of the capital divides Lucknow into 'Old Lucknow' which is ancient, more crowded and comprises most of the Muslim population, and the 'New Lucknow' which is urban and one of the most planned cities of Asia. Old Lucknow is home to the iconic Mughal monument known as the Bara Imambara - an architectural marvel in and of itself and an exemplary embodiment of Awadhi architecture and culture. At the grand monument is located the famous Bhool Bhulaiya which is an intricately designed labyrinth with around 500 almost-identical doors and around a thousand passageways connected by multiple flights of stairs. Close by, Husainabad Clock Tower exhibits traces of Victorian architecture, while Moti Mahal serves as an excellent vantage point for bird watching.
Most of Old Lucknow is well-known for its bustling vibrant streets, authentic, mouth-watering kebab and biriyani outlets, lakhnavi chikan market, and the wholesale jewellery stores.
New Lucknow, on the other hand, hosts people of varied cultures and is structurally planned with wide roads, shopping malls and parks built to serve diverse entertainment purposes. The most famous among these parks are the Ambedkar Park and the Gomti Riverfront Park, both ideal places for visiting and strolling around with friends and family in the evening.
Hazratganj, a major shopping area located in the heart of Lucknow, is famous for its 'chaat' and 'kulfi' eateries, posh Mughlai restaurants, and various shopping complexes. All the buildings in Hazratganj have a distinct Victorian architecture, and you can shop for literally anything – starting from inexpensive accessories and trinkets to high-end clothes, shoes and jewellery.
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