“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” This is one true thing said by Saint Augustine. The world is one big, beautiful, fascinating book with different places being the different pages,each presented in a unique color. And this is something that I realized during the summer of 2014. The first year of college, the year filled with classes, never ending assignments, fests and semester exams finally ended and I decided to go on Lucknow darshan.
Lucknow is called the ‘city of nawabs’ and there would be nothing wrong in calling it the ‘heart of Uttar Pradesh’. I never imagined that Lucknow would have so much to offer. The city has anything for everyone. From the wandering ‘galliyan’ to the beautifully constructed parks, from the ‘pani-puri walas’ to McDonalds, KFC and Dominos, from the non-veg delicacies to the ‘Chikan’ hand looms and from the narrow ‘lanes’ for shopping the latest trends to the Vero Moda showrooms, the city interests everyone. It is the city of illusions.
To start off, it is in the chowk area that one can get the varieties of ‘chicken’. And no, I am not talking about the mouth watering dishes but the glamorous garments too. Yes! Lucknow is world famous for its ‘Chikankari’. The style of clothing found here is not only original but has also kept the ‘nawabiyat’ of the city intact. It is the place’s speciality. Lucknow endorses family of Kebabs, right from-Kakori Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Patili-ke-kebabs, Ghutwa kebabs and Seekh kebabs…pheww..!! Yes, the yummy taste doesn’t only end here. Lucknow has ‘Meetha paan’- a wide variety of of delicate paan which leaves you with sweet taste and lingering fragrance. It is only in this city that you can eat anything pretty much anytime.
It is only in Lucknow that one finds a beautiful coexistence of innovation and tradition . It is the most linguistically charged city in India. It is here that you can find ‘Saaf Urdu’, ‘Shudh Hindi’ and ‘Fluent English’going hand in hand. ‘Shayaris’ and ‘Gazals’ still have a place here. The best part of the place is that not only is it saving its tradition but is also going along with time. The growing number of pubs will make sure you won’t miss the metropolitan feel. However, it is the historical monuments that make it beautiful and worth taking a look at. The ‘Bara and Chota Imambaras’ is a beautiful splendid building which has the ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’, the ‘Shahi Bawali’ is the royal well with bathrooms, the ‘Rumi Darwaza’ is the signature building of Lucknow, the ‘Hussainabad Clock Tower’ is the biggest clock tower in India, the ‘Hussainabad Picture Gallery’ has enormous pictures of Nawabs, the ‘Jama Masjid’, the ‘Lucknow Residency’, the ‘Constantia’ and the ‘Chattar Manzil’ or ‘Kothi Farkhat Baksh’ are the most beautiful and visited places in Lucknow. Most of these buildings were constructed in the 18th century and infact many of the buildings in the outside world have taken inspiration from the buildings in the city. Even bollywood directors couldn’t take their hands off the city. ‘Ambedkar Park’, ‘La Martiniere school building, ‘Hazratganj ki galiyan’, ‘Chowk’ area, all of these have had an enormous role in some of the biggest movies in India. Whenever you listen to the song ‘Suno na Sangemarmar…’ or ‘Main Pareshaan…’ it is Lucknow that pops in the head first. The beauty of these places has been shown in a very classy way. And now with ‘Dawat-e-ishq’ the yummy mouth watering delicacies have made their way to the Film Industry.
Not only does the city have all these monuments that make it beautiful and the malls that make you want to shop all day long, but it is the walk around ‘Hazratganj’ market which will make you forget the malls. The Narrow ‘Galiyan’ to walk around for love birds, the narrow ‘lanes’ for shopping of the latest trends, the ‘Pani Puri Walas’ that give you the yummy taste, the ‘Momo carts’, the ‘Makkhan Malai’ trolleys, the ‘Chaat Pakoras’, the ‘Thandai’, well Hazratganj has everything to offer to everyone. It is the ‘Shopping district of Lucknow’. Not onyl this but the city has temples, mosques, churches for people to connect purely to God. From ‘Chandrika Devi’, ‘Mankamehswar mandir’, ‘Parijaat tree’ (tree from heaven), ‘Chakra Tirth Mandir’, to ‘Aurangzeb’s mosque’ and ‘Jama Masjid’ to ‘St. Joseph’s Cathedral’, and ‘Christ Church’ the city gives you the complete freedom to connect with the supreme power. The city is full of talent which you can never let go of. One gets to see the best of the talent at ‘Lalit Kala Academy’, ‘K.D. Singh Babu Stadium’, and ‘Sangeet Natak Academy’.
Lucknowites, who are known to be really ‘Courteous People’, make you feel the ‘Pehle Aap’ And ‘Aadab’ Etiquettes. This city is full of surprises and illusions and paints one of the most colourful pages in the book of the world. This travelling experience in the city of nawabs not only gave me a stress buster but also the experiences that I have been wanting for a long time now. This place can and will offer a lot to everyone. So whenever you think of having the next tour, do not forget to include Lucknow in your bucket list of trips and explore the magic of the city. And remember, even in a single city, Travel as much as you can, As far as you can, As long as you can, ‘cause this life of yours is not meant to be lived in one place. 🙂