“Smile, you are in Lucknow”. This is the tagline of the City of Nawabs, Lucknow. This city is the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India. Come here to witness variety of places and people. This is the city you should visit if you are in North India. This blog is not a travel story. This is more of a travel guide.
How to reach
You can come to this place either by train or flight. The main railway station is named Lucknow (LKO) and the airport is named Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport. However, both of them are referred mostly by their aliases:
Lucknow (LKO) ~> Charbagh
Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport ~> Amausi Airport
The railway station is in the centre of the city. The airport is approximately 10 km far from Charbagh railway station. So, it is not a big deal.
Transportation within Lucknow
Transport is available to tourist places from the railway station. Ola and Uber both are available in the city.
If you are travelling on budget and want to save some pennies. Take 8 seater autos commonly known as Vikram rather than 3 seater. They are widespread in the city.
Tip: You will have to walk around 1 km from the airport arrival section to reach the 8 seater auto stand. It will cost you 20 rupees per person to reach the Charbagh station.
Best Time to Visit
Lucknow’s weather and climate is somewhat same as Delhi/Gurgaon. If this is the case, finding a suitable time to visit is no rocket science. Refrain coming here in summer or winter. Because unlike Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore, Lucknow weather can go upto 40 degree Celsius in summer and 4 degree Celsius in winter. Hence, come here in spring(Feb-March) and autumn(October-November).
Tip: Avoid coming on Friday and Monday. Some tourist places are closed on these days.
Places to Visit
The list could have been quite long. But I will only involve places that you must visit for sure. Let’s assume you have only one day. Visit the places in the order as described here.
1. Bara Imambara — 2 hours
This place deserves to be at the first place; no doubt. This is a ticket for you to witness the 1780’s by your own eyes. As soon as you arrive here, you will understand that not only you travelled through space but also the time! The monuments from both the sides of the road will give you an impression that you are in Mughal period. This place gets opened at 8:00 am even when it is chilling cold. So not only due to its beauty but the timings also suggest that you should visit this place first. For the people who think they don’t need guides, please don’t apply the same here. To understand the architecture and the reason behind it, you would need a guide or study the history yourself beforehand. The monuments not only are pleasing to look at, but also gives strategic benefits, if under attack.
There are so much wonderful experiences and knowledge about this place that I can write an exclusive blog focused on this place.
Tip: I have been three times here. Your experience of the visit mostly depends upon the knowledge of your guide and his/her guidance. I would personally recommend Shabab Hussain (Mob/Whatsapp no. 9807946040).
2. Indira Gandhi Planetarium (Optional if you have already visited one of these) — 40 min
Even if science is not your thing, the planetarium will give you a memorable experience. At first you may feel it as a normal theatre show. But, it is not. The difference is listed below:
Normal Theatre (Cinema)
Duration: 2–3 hours
Screen: rectangular and in front.
Seat: Can stretch for you to relax.
Indira Gandhi Planetarium
Duration: 30 minutes
Screen: hemispherical and on the roof.
Seat: Can stretch for you to lay and see the roof.So lay down and enjoy the stars in the night sky.
3. Residency Park — 2 hours
The remains of the residential quarters of the Britishers will lure you to take some camera shots. Only the walls are upheld. Most of the roofs have fell down. It would be a nice place to play hide-n-seek with your friends. It also has a museum. However, I haven’t been in the museum. It also has lush green garden with lots of guava trees. You can enjoy eating those.
Tip: Try Potato puffs/ Patties available at the stall, near the ticket counter. You would love eating those.
4. Regional Science City — 3 hours
Come here if you have a big appetite for science. This place has lot to offer. Two-three hours also are not well enough to visit this place thoroughly. If you have a kid with you, this place is a must visit.
5. Lucknow Zoo — 2 hours
This zoo have some good collection of animals kept. The white tiger is a major attraction. They also have a variety of reptiles ( particularly snakes ). They have variety of fishes in their aquariums. This might not be as exciting. But, it has brought you closer to the next tourist place.
6. Hazratganj market
I assume the sun is setting down and you don’t know where to go. I guess just a kilometre far there is a place where you can spend your eve.
This is a shoppers stop. You like to shop from street market, this place is for you. If you like branded items, still this place is for you. You would see nice pavement and food stalls everywhere. There is an alley filled with Chikankari apparel stores. You must have heard “chicken ka kurta”. Yes, that stuff is sold here. And not to miss, you can dine at nice restaurants and bars. Or if you prefer Pizza Hut, Mc Donalds, Dominos etc., Saharganj Mall is 1 km far from the Hazratganj Chauraha.
That’s all what we planned for the day. I know that some well known places have not made to this list. Those places are also nice to visit. But, I don’t find them quite intriguing/exciting. Ambedkar park is a park with statues made of marbles. Janeshwar Mishra Park is a big park with a lake. Lohiya park is simply a park. So, they did not make to the first day plan. Otherwise, if you have more days to spare, this city has more to offer.