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Lucknow - City of Many Splendours Package

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    Lucknow - City of many splendours:
    Lucknow - the hallmark of cultural extravaganza, known all over the world for its many splendours. A city that has a magical charm, a charm that forever and a charm that apart. Be it the cultural charm or the monumental one, all are well conserved here to make Lucknow The city of many splendours. Walking through the lanes and by-lanes of Chowk and Aminabad one finds Lucknow of yore. The tehzib or mannerism is still prominent and a topic of great appreciation. This is a city that still speaks the language of aap-janab and the dictum of pehle aap is still a part of everyday life for a true Lakhnawi. - and so natural it is - Aadab or salutation which has its own sophistication and style. Dress forms though have changed noticeably in the span of a century, yet the beauty and charisma of Chikan - the intricate and delicate hand embroidery, still rules the wardrobe. Lucknow is in fact among a few cities that duly understands the grace of the dupattas or the covering cloth.

    Mir Taqi Mir spent most of his time in Lucknow, and believed that the very air of Lucknow was inspirational and creative. Inspired by the shyness in the beauties of Lucknow he may have written :

    Izhar-e-Mohabat kar na sake,

    Kuch keh na sake Kuch sun na sake;

    Yan humne zuban hee kholee thee,

    Wahn ankh jhukee sharma bhee gaye.

    Wisdom, women and wine are the three things truly understood and respected by the Nawabs. Not a thing of condemnation but an institution it was the “kothas, where sons of Nawabs were deliberately sent to learn the culture, sophistication and respect for the fairer sex. Muzzafar Ali unforgettable film Umrao Jaan is a depiction of this social institution. Love was found in either Paris or Lucknow-- a proof of this is the lovers lane in the posh modern Hazratganj: these lanes were used as a meeting place for the lonely hearts to escape the monitoring eyes of their parents.

    Kan kauwe bazi or kite flying was not only a pastime but the means of sending love letters to the beloved, kal shaam kothe pe aana, hum intezaar kareinge tumhara-- Tomorrow in the evening come to the terrace, I\\\'ll wait for you. Such words were written on the patang or the kite and the kite was flown and dropped on the beloved’s terrace. A story goes that once a Chhote Nawab did this with his beloved and instead of the beloved getting the letter her mother found it and the love bug bit her, assuming that the Bade Nawab has done this sweet and naughty thing, she reciprocated in the same manner writing Intezaar tumhara hi to tha humein, umra bhar rahein takte rahe, der lagee aane mein tumko, shukr hai phir bhi aaye to-- I was waiting for this all my life, you came late yet now you have come. Thus started the love between the Bade Nawab and the Badi Begum which ended up in their marriage and left the real ones to repent.

    Shatranj or chess was another royal pastime for the Nawabs of yore .The peace loving nawabs took pride in winning the battles in the privacy of their drawing rooms. Major General Claude Martin was an ace chess player and was famous throughout Avadh for his English style of chess which had different rules and movement. Chess was a favourite pastime for the Major General and his close friend Nawab Asif-Ud-Daula.

    Cock fight was another mode of recreation and gambling - where estates were lost and won by these small birds. English and the Nawabs participated with full enthusiasm and the locals viewed it for pleasure. Cocks like sona tol who was weighed in gold due to its undisputed title were respected by Nawabs themselves. These fighter cocks were brought up with nazakat and grace like the true Lakhnawi themselves , fed by hands to protect the damage to the beaks -- an ideal diet would consist of saffron, almonds, crushed gems and gold foils to provide stamina and strength ; how lucky !

    Till date walking through the old parts of the city proves the traditional richness and uniqueness for instance churi wali gali or the bangle lane lures you by the glitter, colour and the jingling sounds. The jingling of these bangles had the powers of Venus --the goddess of love.

    \\\'Itra or the non alcohol based perfumes had their own charm. The modern day science recognises the miracles that smells can do but we at Lucknow had perfected this more than two centuries ago. A tiny bottle of itra can cost anything from rupees five to rupees five lakh depending on the quality, age and powers. It is said that these age old perfumes get embedded into the body and the body emits the perfume. A story goes that Wajid Ali Shah used to sweat a lot while dancing - thus an itra was developed specially for him which turned his sweat into a fragrance and the people in the court would re-use his sweat thereafter as a perfume itself. These perfumes can be chosen from the well decked windows of the royal perfumers Asghar Ali Mohammed Ali in Chowk or Sugandhco at Hazratganj. The air in the near by area of these shops is full of fragrance, the same ones worn by the Nawabs.

    Can food be left behind in an age where each pursuit was so delicately refined and perfected. In fact the kitchen and cooks were the areas with maximum expenditure, where around rupees two thousand a day was spent. Food was given the utmost importance and considered as the most sophisticated art. The way to the Nawabs coffers was through his stomach. Unlike cooking of Mughlai dishes or the Hyderabadi ones the food prepared in Lucknow was on an individual basis, in a delicate form and on a slow-soft fire. Sometimes a chicken preparation would take more than 24 hours to get ready. Dum cooking was also popular -- In this form of cooking the pots were sealed air tight and the food was prepared in its own juices, preserving the nutritional value and the natural aroma.

    The meals of yesteryears was an art of carefully mixing all the ingredients and to be very particular in the style of preparation, presentation and consumption too. Be it The Nav-ratn Pulao with colours of nine gems where each grain would taste differently or the rich heermals coloured with saffron and marinated in pure ghee each dish was mastered by a special master chef and they were the most handsomely paid subjects of the court.

    \\\'Kakori kababs were developed for an aged Nawab without teeth -- it is a preparation that simply melts in the mouth. Till date Tunde-ke-kabab holds the supremacy of the lingering taste and the captivating fragrance which have not spared people like Ratan Tata, Jamshed Irani, Shabana Azmi, Ronald Reagan, Indira Gandhi and many more. If you are spared, you may join the above list now. These can be savoured at the two shops in Aminabad and Chowk.

    \\\'Warq is the other essential on the royal dastarkhwan laid on pulao korma and sweet dishes. Inside the Gol Darwaza amongst the shops of perfumes, jewelry and kababs the three shops of warq or the silver foil can be easily spotted with the continuous nonstop rythimic beating of hammers. A tiny bit of silver is placed between the two leather sheets and beaten to form a thin spread of silver. The pleasing music emitted by the beating will first lure you to the shop -- speak to the Bade Miyan (shopkeeper) and and he will give you the host of benefits that the warq promises.

    Today in Lucknow many things may have impurities but preparations like those of Tunde-ke-kabab, Rahim-ke-kulche nihari, Bismillah-ki-biryani, Radhey-ki malai gilori and lassi, Raja-ki-thandai ya Sharma-ki-chaat have held their heads high due to purity and standards maintained. Good eateries in Lucknow are often found in the serpentine lanes of old Lucknow.

    What a gastronome were the Nawabs and we at Lucknow in the age of KFCs, McDonalds and Dominos are still keeping the traditional cuisine alive. Till date the people of Lucknow are fussy on the dining tables and the delicate lifestyle is still prevalent. Kitchens are still considered to be the most important place of a Lakhnawi’s house.

    Nawabs redefined the tastes in almost all areas of life and the music was also of a supreme consideration qawallis sung on the topics of women and wine gained prominence. They would also be religious, This was a distinct form of singing in the group with chorus of different voices, clapping of hands and the sudden changes in the notes - had special attraction. The Sufi clan can be credited for its refinement -- a direct conversation with god was the beauty of this form of singing.

    Thumris and dadras were the other prominent styles of singing -- songs of love, romance and passion. The music of the Gangetic soil merged with the court dances of Lucknow. It also provided the backdrop to Wajid Ali Shah kathak. In the later years Begum Akhtar the queen of Lukhnawi thumri and ghazals told the world the sweetness and the diverse combination that Lakhnawi singing could have. Her style reflected special elegance that was Lucknow and the true form of art emerged from Lucknow -- a land that inspired many like Majaz, Mir, Josh and Anees to select the city and its people as a muse for their poetry.

    “Sham-e-Avadh” is the other attraction in Lucknow that promises you a sham or an evening to mull over all your life. The sight of the setting sun the rejuvenating thumri, some go out for a gup bazi, some to the “nukad ka paanwala”, families go out for chaat or just a stroll at the Hazratganj market better known as Ganjing. So many of you would have been born in Lucknow like me, but will agree that each day is distinct. The shades of the monuments differ with each sun and moon. You discover and rediscover Lucknow everyday. No one has known Lucknow to the full and will never. That is why :

    Jisey Aap Kehtein Hein Lucknow -
    Usey Hum Kehtein Hein Duja Jahan
    (The place that you call Lucknow -
    we call the other world)

    Lucknow being the capital of Uttar Pradesh (Indian State) is well connected by Air, Rail and Road from all major cities of India. From Delhi you can even take an excursion trip to Lucknow by air and enjoy the city splendours. New Delhi has seven flights daily to and from Lucknow, similarly Mumbai (Bombay) and Calcutta have two. One flight each to Bangalore and Hyderabad (via Delhi) gives it an access to the south of India. Fast trains connect Lucknow with cities like Allahabad, Agra and Jhansi apart from other major cities and metros. Road links are quite comfortable and safe - You need to check the distance and time taken from any city to Lucknow and then decide on embarking this journey, taking a car from Varanasi to Lucknow via Allahabad / Ayodhya or vice versa is not at all a bad deal - you get to see an add-on destination with no extra cost. For specific details on the connections and options send us an E-mail and we will work out the best for you.

    Around Lucknow:

    Please note: Costs quoted for each tour are just to give you an idea for the transport. This may not be the real end cost and may differ depending upon the car type and other services taken apart from a car. Please do contact us for more details and exact costing.

    Deva Sharif:
    42 Km / 1 hour from Lucknow is Deva Sharif located in the district of Barabanki. It is the mazar of Haji Waris Ali Shah (a sufi saint) in whose memory an annual fair is organised on the lines of Pushkar (Rajasthan) between the festival of Dusherra and Deepawali (October/November). A trip from Lucknow to Dewa takes just an hour and will not cost more than $30 (USD).
    Stay: Not recommended. Same day return trip.
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    The Gods came down here to request for arms to fight the devils, such goes a Hindu mythological story. This place is a spiritual and intellectual centre. It is said that any Hindu pilgrimage is incomplete without a visit to Naimisharanya. It is 90 km / 2 hours from Lucknow and a trip to this place is within $65 (USD).
    Stay: Not recommended. Same day return trip.
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    Shravasti: 170km from Lucknow it is one of the most famous Buddhist sites. It is termed to be an ancient capital of Koshal kingdom. It is here that you find the tupas known as Kachhi Kuti and Pakki Kuti\\\'. The monastery where Lord Buddha lived for several years is here. This is also the birthplace of Sambhavanatha the third Tirthankar of Jains. A trip to Sravasti will take 4 hours and should not cost more than $115 (USD).
    Stay: Not recommended. Same day return trip.
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary : Far from the hustle and bustle of the city life of Lucknow, 45km on the Lucknow-Kanpur national highway 1 hour drive from Lucknow is located Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary. It is a host to more than 1000 species of migratory birds in the winter months (November to January). A day spent here is worth the cost of $20 (USD).
    Stay: No need, but Rahi Motel (UP-Tourism) offers AC and N/AC rooms, Bar and a Restaurant. A room on double occupancy would cost $ 65 (USD). We recommend same day return trip from Lucknow.
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    Dudhwa National Park:
    The park is situated at a distance of 300 km from Lucknow on the Indo-Nepal border in the district of Lakhimpur Kheri. This untouched forest area offers an abundance of fauna and flora for visitors interested in the wild side of India. Animals found here are Tigers, Panthers, Sambhar Deer, Reptiles and over 400 species of birds. The park is among those of project tiger and is open from October to May (Please confirm the dates before planning a visit).
    The drive to the park from Lucknow takes about 6 hours and it would cost about $200 (USD) for two days car at disposal including visits in the jungle area in the same car (Entrance fee not included).

    Stay: Forest Department has normal grade accommodation on pre-booking and canteen is located within the compound. This has to be booked well in advance from Lucknow office of the Forest Department - no random accommodation can be arranged within the park. A private A grade resort by the name of Tiger Haven has a jungle plan on offer, which includes all meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) and jungle safaris costing around $125 for a night (entrances are extra).
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    Kanpur & Bithur : Kanpur (90 km from Lucknow) was established as a trade center on the banks of the river Ganges by the early British settlers. Even today it is purely a commercial and industrial city. Kanpur is said to have been the center of the most tragic events of the Mutiny of 1857. Today the All Souls Garrison Church that stands on the site that was the Wheeler entrenchment bears testimony to some of the most horrific events of that time. Sati Chaura Ghat is also called the Massacre Ghats (river bank) is situated on the banks of the Ganges.

    Bithur is situated on the banks of the Ganges 24km upstream from Kanpur and about 114 km from Lucknow. According to Hindu mythology, Bithur was known as Brahmateerth and Rishi Valmiki is supposed to have composed the Ramayana here. Life on earth is said to have begun from here by Lord Brahma. This is also the site where the Sepoys followed by the British crossed over the Ganges on their way to Lucknow in 1857. Places of interest here are the Brahmavarta Ghat, the temples of Luv-Kush, Dhruv Tila and the Valmiki Ashram.

    A drive down to Kanpur and Bithur (Combined) would take about 3 hours and would cost about $45 (USD). If you wish to visit just Kanpur it should not cross $100 (USD).

    Stay: Not recommended. Same day return trip.
    Transport: By Car (Road).

    Faizabad / Ayodhya / Chappiya : Faizabad, the former capital of Avadh during the rule of the Nawabs is famous for its monuments. The most attractive are the Gulab Bari, Moti Mahal, Kursheed Mahal, Dilkusha, Tulsi Smarak and the famous Guptar Ghat.

    7km from Faizabad is Ayodhya, the birth place of the Hindu God Rama. Of late it has appeared in the media as a controversial site for the building of the Ram Temple at the Ram Janam Bhoomi (birthplace of Lord Rama). It came into the limelight in 1992 when the Babri Masjid, built by Babar, was demolished by a sentimentally aroused hindu mob. The Babri masjid is believed to have been built after the demolition of a temple that existed on the site. Ayodhya is now famous for its temples, ghats and some Buddhist and Jain shrines. 50km ahead is Chapiya famous among Gujaratis for Swami Narayan Temple. Lord Swami Narayan was born in Chappiya - this is the famous sage and the Akshardham temples in Gujrat and Delhi are dedicated to him.

    A 163km drive through the country side would take you to Ayodhya via Faizabad and one way travel time would be 3 hours. You can very conveniently take a same day return trip which will not cost you more than $155 (USD).
    Stay: Not recommended. Same day return trip
    Transport: By Car (Road).

Contact Detail

Connoisseur Hospitality Consultant

Contact Person :-

Mr Rajnish

Address :- Jopling Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India - 226001
Contact Number :- 9506XXXXXX View Contact

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