The bazaars of Aminabad and Chowk are fascinating places to wander. Down the narrow lanes of Aminabad you can buy "attar" - perfume made in the traditional way from essential oils which are mixed with flower fragraces. In Chowk, Nakkhas is the bird-sellers' district. Several states have their government emporia in Hazratganj. The Gangotri government emporium is a good place for local handicrafts including the hand-woven embroidery known as chikan. It's made into saris for women and kurtas for men.



The capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow rose to prominence as the capital city of the nawabs of Oudh (Avadh). Safdar Jang lived in and ruled from Delhi and his tomb is a familiar landmark near Delhi's Safdarjang airport. The huge mausoleums of the nawabs and the pock-marked ruins of the Residency make Lucknow an interesting place to visit. It has recently become popular with Western followers of the octogenarian guru, Poonjaji. Bara Imambara: The central hall of the imambara, 50 metres long and 15 mtrs high, is one of the largest vaulted galleries in the world. An external stairway leads to an upper floor laid out as an amazing labyrinth known as the bhulbhulaiya. From the top there is a fine view over the city and the Aurangzeb Mosque. There is a mosque with 2 tall minarets in the courtyard of the Imambara. To the right of this, in a row of cloisters, is the baoli, the 'bottomless' well. Rumi (Roomi) Darwaza : Beside the bara Imambara and also built by Asaf-ud-Daula, this huge and finely design darwaza (gate) is the replica of one Istanbul. Lakshman Tila : This high ground on the right bank of the River Gomti was the original site of the town which became known as Lucknau in the 15th century. Aurangazeb mosque now stand on this site. Hussainabad Imambara : It is also known as the Chhota, or small Imambara. The large courtyard encloses a raised rectangular tank with small imitations of the Taj Mahal on each side. One of them is the tomb of Mohammed Ali Shah's daughter, the other that of her hushband.



The main building of the Imambara is topped with numerous domes (the main one is golden ) and minarets, while inside are the tombs of Ali Shah and his mother. The watchtower opposite the Imambara is known as Satkhanda, or the 7-storey tower. Clock Tower : Opposite the Hussainabad Imambara is the 67-mtr-high clock tower and the Hussainabad Tank. Picture Gallery : Also facing the Hussainabad Tank is a baradari or summer house, built by Ali Shah. Now it houses portraits of the various nawabs of Oudh. Jami Masjid : West of the Hussainabad Imambara is the great Jami Masjid with its 2 minarets and 3 domes. This is one of the few mosques in India. Residency : There is a model room in the main residency building which is worth visiting. The whole place would make an excellent film set and indeed during the winter months there is supposed to be a Sound and Light show here. Shah Najaf Imambara : The Imambara is the tomb of Ghazi-ud-din Haidar Khan. Inside the mausoleum are chandeliers. Other Attractions : There is the Kaiserbagh palace and also a summer house in a well-kept garden. The State Musuem is in the Benarasi Bagh. The zoo here has a large collection of snakes. Sikandarbagh is the home of the National Botanical Research Institute. Nadan Mahal is the tomb of the first governor of Oudh. Other buildings nearby include the Sola Khamba pavilion and the tomb of Ibrahim Chisti.



Festivals : The Lucknow Festival is held in February.There are processions, plays, Kathak dancing, gazal and sitar recitals as well as kite flying and cock fighting during the 10 day festival. Lucknow is a good place to see the Shi'ite Muharram celebrations.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR There are daily connections to Delhi and three flights a week to Patna, Calcutta, Varanasi and Bombay on Indian Airlines. Vayudoot also operates flights to Kanpur and Delhi. BUS There are two bus stations : Charbagh near the railway station, and Kaiserbagh. From Charbagh there are several buses to Kanpur regular departures to Allahabad. From Kaiserbagh there are buses for Delhi, Gorakhpur, Sanauli and Faizabad and an overnight bus to Naini Tal. TRAIN The two main stations are side by side in Charbagh : Lucknow and the mainly metre-gauge Lucknow Junction. On the Shatabdi Express, Lucknow is only 6.5 hours from Delhi and 1.5 hour hours from Kanpur. Varansi is 4.5 hours on the Himgiri Express three times a week. There are overnight trains to Agra, Dehra Dun and Kathgodam. TO/FROM NEPAL From the border at Sanauli, where you enter Nepal, it is an 11-hour bus ride to Lucknow.

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