Index Page of : Articles / Write-ups / Stories / Anecdotes

This section contains top-end articles based on Lucknow and its adjoining areas. These articles give you an insight of Lucknow's culture, cuisine and craft. Be it the architecture, dance, music or the daily lifestyle all can be found in this section. These and more such articles are published and reproduced by us to give you an authentic information on Lucknow. If you have any such article and wish to share it on this site, please send it to us and if it fulfills our parameters, we will publish it here.


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  • Gandhi’s footsteps in Lucknow

    Mahatma Gandhi’s life is full of instances where his heroism and patriotism reflects. One such movement was the Champaran Movement, the seeds of which were actually sown in Lucknow during the 31st Congress session in December 1916. The 1916 Congress session is also historic because Lucknow Pact between Congress and Muslim League was signed, laying […]

  • The rich in taste and magical in its aroma: our best picks from Awadhi cuisine

    The true beauty of any cuisine is in its originality. And that’s why Awadhi cuisine conjures taste like no other – it is sumptuous, flavoursome and till today holds it authentic taste. The Awadhi cuisine in Lucknow, though created ages ago, still gives the feel of being served right out of a nawab’s kitchen. However, […]

  • Awadhi cuisine: a legendary culinary art of Nawabs

    Lucknow was considered the richest city of the late 18th century, not only in terms of wealth and heritage but also in its nafasat (refinement) and nazakat (elegance). The city became synonymous with luxury, extravagance, creative arts, extraordinary buildings and architectural follies. Lucknow is a striking example of a post-medieval town, with a considerable capital […]

  • Explore the unique costumes of the Nawabi Era

    Whether you are a fashion buff or not exploring various dressing styles is always amazing. And understanding fashion becomes even more fascinating when viewed through the lens of history. When we explore the history of people, their fashion sense unveils itself. Every empire or era has its own taste of fashion which is unique in […]

  • Two notable women reviving the culinary culture of Wajid Ali Shah in his place of exile

    When a goose stops laying eggs but needs too much feed, what does the owner do? Probably, cook it away. Something similar happened with Awadh’s last Nawab – Wajid Ali Shah, who ascended the throne of Awadh in 1847 and was dethroned by the British in 1856. After the annexation of Awadh Empire, the British […]

  • Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah: a generous king who gave Lucknow its turning point.

    It is interesting to realise that the Nawabs of Awadh (present Lucknow), were peerless in a way that these kings were not known for their wars & victories as much as the unique Awadhi culture they embraced.  The era of the Nawabs of Awadh is known best for the exclusive cuisine it gave birth to […]

  • Gilbert Cole Memorial Tour of Michael Clapp in Fatehgarh with Tornos

    The background was that Gilbert Wheeler Cole joined the Indian Police Service straight out of school in the 1920’s after coming top in his examination group at Sandhurst for the Indian Civil Service.  By 1936 he was Superintendent of Police for the Fatehgarh district of the United Provinces next to the Ganges in Northern India.  On the night of 4/5th April, 1936 he was called out to a village about 10 kilometres from Fatehgarh to arrest a man who had just shot dead a couple of his relatives and was holed up in a village house.  Gilbert Cole lead an assault on the house and ended up being shot dead in the confusion and darkness.

  • What All You See in Diwali During Your Tour to India?

    Communities come together and every nook and corner lights up. The stunningly beautiful scene of Diwali is something that is worth a watch. This festival is dedicated to the victory of light over dark. The sound of crackers, the dazzling light of sparklers and a range of Indian sweets are a part and parcel of […]

  • Mutiny in Lucknow

    The Siege of Lucknow was the prolonged defence of the Residency within the city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After two successive relief attempts had reached the city, the defenders and the civilians were evacuated from the Residency, which was then abandoned.

  • Gastronomy in the courts of Awadh

    This article is one of the best on the gastronomical expedition of Awadh. Food was an area that attracted the maximum expenditure of the courts of Awadh. Even an average Lucknowite spends the most on food and the most sophisticated art still is food in Lucknow. It of course goes without saying that a visit to Lucknow is somewhat incomplete without experiencing the taste of its cuisine and till date it is food that excites the people most and has had the most loyal diners who still go out to eat their own cuisine. In this article, which is an excerpt from Abdul Halim Sharar’s book, Last Phase of an Oriental Culture, the author has so well described the culinary expedition of Lucknow.

  • The Battle of Chinhat

    158 years ago, on the morning of June 30, 1857, British officer Sir Henry Lawrence received reports of a force of insurgents making their way to Oudh. Resolved to ambush the rebels, he led his troops to the village of Chinhat. An easy victory was certain and the East India Company’s officers had advanced ahead of the Kukrail bridge when they were suddenly fired at by sepoys hiding among mango groves at Chinhat. Led by Barkat Ahmad, a highly trained mutineer of the Company’s Army and joined by a number of Indian sepoys who defected from the Army on the site, the rebels had managed to completely outflank the British.

  • Handcrafting a Culture

    The hub of Lucknow and its crafts is still the Chowk – the crossroads and central square in the heart of the city where silversmiths, saree vendors, chikan embroiderers and gold zari sequin workers carry on their business side by side in narrow shops. Slipping off your shoes and sitting cross-legged on pristine white sheets against white bolsters, you can slip backwards into time and get a flavour of the old Lucknow – before jerry-built bungalows replaced the gracious havelis, and criminal politicians took the place of exquisitely erudite nawabs.

  • Afternoons in the kothas of Lucknow

    In the words of the author, Veena Talwar Oledenberg, this article appreciates the kotha culture of Lucknow and goes further to explain the real story.: “I came to appreciate these powerful, alluring, independent, bold, even wild women. In conversations that were as hilarious as they were informative, they dismantled the clichés and prejudices that informed my view of them. They managed to stand my conventional opinions of courtesans and wives, of ‘wicked’ and ‘normal’ woman in the ‘normal’ world, slowly but surely on their head. These extraordinary women unveiled the secrets of the kotha, sharing with me their clandestine, devious, and intimate ploys for survival and economic independence, challenging the very ‘respectability’ of society’s central pillar – marriage”.

  • A Mesh of Memories

    This article by Nasima Aziz is a personal memoir of the author and throws light on all aspects of Lucknow, a sort of story telling to understand this city and how life evolved around it : “I spent six wonderful months in Lucknow meeting Lakhnavis from every walk of life, letting them talk to me about how life was lived – all those memories, myths and legends – a nostalgia binge that soothes my restless memory genes….”

  • Shaher-e-Nigaraan

    Lucknow has been the city of both the written and spoken word – the language of day to day life, of humour and etiquette, of love and romance, of poetry and eulogy. Even the unlettered wrote poetry and spoke in velvet smooth tones. Today the city is confronted with cinema and television, with the language of politics and modern education. Political bigwigs from outside Awadh have devastated the delicate and vulnerable ethos of this city that has given its identity.

  • My Lucknow

    This article is based on personal experience or rather memoirs of the author himself, Saleem Kidwai, who was from Lucknow and left the city in the late sixtys, to come back to his roots and finally settle in this city, that is too hard to be left or forgotten. Rarely would one find a soul, who lived in Lucknow and has not missed it, when has moved out of this city. “We used to live on the edge of Hazratganj. I knew where to get what I needed. I could walk to six of the best movie halls and the other three were an easy rikhshaw or bicycle ride away…..”.

  • A study of dying culture

    Awadh remained an independent entity till 7 February 1856 when Lord Dalhousie annexed it to the British Empire in India. Earlier, in 1801, Lord Wellesley had truncated the province. Despite the truncation, Awadh when it was annexed held an area of 23,923 square miles with a population of 5,000,000 and yielded to the British government revenue of £1,300,000. But what was more important than these dry-as-dust figures of area, demography and revenue was the fact that from the second half of the 18th century to the time Awadh was annexed, Lucknow, the capital city, had emerged as a great centre of cultural refinement and sophistication. Lucknow set the standards of adab and taste in matters of music, food, dress and so on.

  • The monuments, the makers, the real city

    A visitor to Lucknow in the 1760s would not have found, as is commonly thought, a meagre collection of villages on the banks of the River Gomti, but a large walled medieval town clustered round the Macchi Bhawan fort on the highest land in an otherwise flat, dull plain. The city was already famous for its bidri work, silver inlay in gun metal, its textiles and beautiful calligraphy, as well as its tobacco and sugar which were exported as far away as Afghanistan. Walking through the narrow Chowk, which still exists today, the visitor would have passed the Royal Mint striking coins in the name of the Mughal emperor, and the buildings of the Faranghi Mahal, a Muslim seminary. But he would have searched in vain for the foreigners who gave their name to the palace now inhabited by the learned mullahs.

  • Behind the Purdah

    The importance of royal women in the history of Avadh has not been fully appreciated. Their importance is made even greater because the zenana has always been a world unto itself, impenetrable and inscrutable. Indeed, one is forced to ask that had some of the wives and mothers been the rulers of Avadh instead of their husbands and sons, would the course of history of Avadh been different? It is in fact often forgotten how crucial the role of some of the Begums of Avadh was during this time, not only in response to the changing times and its compulsions, but to the little that has survived today of that great efflorescence of what came to be described by Avadhi and Lucknowi culture.

  • Nawabs and Kebabs

    Lucknow is the city of ‘Nawabs and Kebabs’ as it was first coined to the author, the city of royal extravagance and vibrant street life; of the aristocrat’s intricate and playful haute cuisine, and the affordable yet equally satisfying street food and how the two intertwine, particularly through the rituals of Shi’ism. The city where food is spiced specific to the person through the hakim, or doctor of Yunani medicine; where food is dependent on the etiquette and manners of serving, with Urdu sweetly on the lips.

  • On Foot in Lucknow

    Though a short article, but it describes the most of the area covered in the Heritage Walk through Gol Darwaza. A well presented article that introduces you to the sights, smells and society of Lucknow. There is not one but many facets to this fabled city and the walk in this part of the city show case the lifestyle that made this city what it was in its hay days.

  • Almost Forgotten, if Not Unknown: Australian and Indian Capital Connections

    n late November 1935, Walter Griffin reached Lucknow; then, as now, a destination far removed from the tourist path. Perhaps most notably, the city entered Western ken in 1857 as an epicenter of the First War of Indian Independence or, for the British, the Mutiny. The conflict’s consequences were not exclusively political: the British victors physically and emphatically transformed Lucknow’s urban fabric in the aftermath. In Griffin’s day and in ours, one might be tempted to appreciate Lucknow’s parks and boulevards only aesthetically as benign civic “improvements.” In reality, these vandalic urban interventions were palpable, spatial expressions of colonial power. In the opening decades in the twentieth century, Harcourt Butler and his successors continued to remould Lucknow

  • The Midnight Feast in Lucknow

    Do we call it a food capital of India or a place that never lets foodies down. At times local dishes in places are more popular with visiting guests and tourists, but in Lucknow, its own citizens have been loyal to its own food and come what may they do relish it the most. Ramzaan is a month of fasting and this very religious custom has been known to bring life to otherwise silent and sleepy nights of Lucknow. Food is woven very finely into the cultural fabric of Lucknow and Lucknow’s culture can not be talked about without a mention of food.

  • Glory of La Martiniere College

    La Martiniere College is not just an educational institution, but a history that unfolds and is still made everyday. A visit to this place is like being transported to a dream land, so awesome is the building that it stops your breath for a moment and you wish, you should have studied here as a child. Rosie Llewellyn Jones and authoritative author on Lucknow, fell in love with Lucknow and the affair started after she visited the school for her research all the way from England. This article takes you through the history of this school that has been woven into the city’s cultural fabric since its inception in 1845.

  • Personalities of Hazratganj

    There are a very few places that have the distinction of rising to an utmost glory, falling and rising again. Hazratganj is one of those places, that was and is looked at with awestruck eyes for its rich history, architecture and so very Victorian style, that till date is considered as the most happening place to be and to be seen at. Often compared superiorly to the High Street at Oxford. This place has a charm that is hard to resist and define. We re-produce an article by the legendary Ram Advani, that was published in The Times of India’s book Hazrtaganj, edited by Dr. Rosie Llewellyn-Jones.

  • Tunda’s Magic Taste

    Tundey Kebabs are not just any kebab but rather a religion that is followed by the die-hard Luckhnowis. Tunde or Tundey is a brand that has lived in Lucknow for more than 150 years now and branded the usual Galawati Kebabs to make them a must-have when visiting Lucknow.

  • The Revolt of Cawnpore (Kanpur) & The Massacre of 1857

    The worst event took place in Cawnpore. No other place in India has gone through such worst events that changed the course of history in India and re-wrote the events that followed the British rule in India.

  • An Account of the Opening of The Indian Mutiny at Meerut, 1857

    Alas! how differently closed the Sabbath which dawned so tranquilly. We were on the point of going to the evening service, when the disturbance commenced on the Native Parade ground. Shots and volumes of smoke told of what was going on: our servants begged us not to show ourselves, and urged the necessity of closing our doors, as the mob were approaching. Mr. Greathed [her husband], after loading his arms, took me to the terrace on the top of the house…

  • The Experience of Lieutenant C.H.Mecham – Mutiny at Lucknow, May 1857

    One of the focal points of the Indian Mutiny was the siege of the Residency at Lucknow. Lieutenant Mecham was one of the besieged British officers who survived. He wrote of his experiences in his book published in 1858. One particularly memorable incident occurred on 18th August when a mine blew up throwing him into the air and killing 7 members of a corps of drums.

  • A journey through Kaiserbagh

    A vivid description of one of the most beautiful palace complex in this city of superlatives. Kaiserbagh was not only a palace complex but rather a sort of mini Awadh contained in a complex. Built in 1847 by Wajid Ali Shah, Kaiserbagh was no less than a self contained city for the royal at that time. In the mutiny of 1857 Kaserbagh became a point of prestige for the British and thus had to tolerate the maximum burn. Today, only the memories and a few pictures remain to tell the saga of this unique architectural marvel.

  • The Sepoy War of 1857 – Mutiny or First Indian War of Independence

    An article that gives a true picture of the siege and rather asks the readers to decide if it was a mutiny or rather a war for freedom from the British rule. Very clearly the write-up, shows different causes that led to the revolt and how and where it took place. This article is a point to point detailed analyses of the Siege of 1857. It would not be wrong if we call it an ‘academic point of view of the siege’.

  • Hazrat Mahal – the rebel Begam of Oudh

    A woman no less illustrious than Rani of Jhansi overshadowed the revolutionary history of Oudh. She was the woman of great courage; she was Begum Hazrat Mahal, wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She made the British experience some of the toughest encounters of the whole history of the rebellion. So, come lets have a brief encounter with the life of this great rebel begum of Oudh.

  • Cultural richness of Lucknow

    Lucknow ‘the city of adab (manerisim)’ is a cultural renaissance, which reached its zenith under the royal patronage. Among various cultural ingredients that have contributed to the richness of this unique city, mention must be made of the Urdu language, shairi, expressive dance form, buzzing chowks and exciting games like patang-bazi, bater-bazi and kabootar-bazi. So lets have a peep through the rich culture of the city.

  • Tomb of Sir Henry Havelock

    The tomb of Sir Henry Havelock is the living example of courage and bravery of British Soldier who led the first relief column into Residency in 1857 Mutiny. He died of dysentery, achieving an immortal fame.

  • Swan-Song of a poet King (Wajid Ali Shah)

    This is an article on the last days of King Wajid Ali Shah whose love for his native land “OUDH” could be seen in the form of Matiaburj in Calcutta. Although a very few monuments exist today but the story of these relics is history embroidered with legend and hearsay.

  • The Kingdom of Avadh

    This article recollects the memories of the by gone era of 1857 when Lucknow was indisputably the largest, most prosperous and most civilized pre-colonial city of India which gained uniqueness for its language, etiquette, culture and cuisine.

  • Djinns of Lucknow

    The general belief of people on super- natural powers. They believe that the invisible djinns who hover over the domes of Lucknow mosques can solve their problems. A peep through this article can give you a chance of a close encounter with the djinns and their glory.

  • Gomti – a life line of Lucknow

    This article throws light on Lucknow’s very own river – ‘Gomti’, which is unique for its shape and nature and has been the witness to each up and down that Lucknow faced. The article deals with the fixation of the people of Lucknow with this river. Times have changed but Gomti remains a life line of Lucknow.

  • La Martiniere and the mutiny

    La Martiniere an architectural landmark build by Maj Gen Claude Martin is the standing testimony to the courage shown by the British in the mutiny of 1857. Considered as the “East India Company’s answer to the Taj Mahal” the school feels proud of its glorious past even after 147 years of Mutiny.

  • Music in Awadh

    Awadh, ‘the land of art and culture’ takes the credit of producing some great artist whose work created history. So lets go through the article to enjoy the melancholy of Awadh.

  • A city lost to the forces to the darkness

    Lucknow, which was indisputably the largest most prosperous and civilized pre-colonial city in India, seems to have been lost to the forces of darkness. The city, which once use to boast of its unique culture and tradition is loosing its delight day by day. It is a present day plight of this city that is lamented in this article.

  • Lucknow then & now

    Lucknow, once known for its culture and language is standing on the ruins of its own culture today. The glorious past of Lucknow is agitating for its existence. The dying culture of Lucknow has raised a big question, that is it the same Lucknow which we proudly call ”Duja Jahan” (the other world).

  • Magic of the thread

    ‘Chikan’ embroidery originated in Persia but now better known with the prefix of Lucknow “LUCKNOW CHIKAN”. It is a delicate art of embroidery introduced by Nur Jahan but patronized and popularized by the Nawabs of Lucknow in the 18th century. Chikan is one such cordial thread that has kept Hindus and Muslims bound in utter harmony and brotherhood.

  • Lucknow Food, Streets and Bazaars

    Only a foodie can understand the food circuits of a city, and food takes the center stage of all things in Lucknow even today. Be it the home of a Lucknowite or the streets and the bazaars all are dotted with not one but many food joints that people from Lucknow have been loyal since ages irrespective of their social standings and financial abilities. When it comes to food Lucknow unites and forgets all its social, cultural, religious and economic boundaries. No other city, but Lucknow has been so loyal to its food as Lucknow. In this article Mukul Mangaliktraces a journey through Lucknow, making food its vehicle and tracing his childhood and youth trails that often bring him back to this fabled city.

  • Epicurean Delights

    A visit to Lucknow is incomplete without its delightful cuisine. Whether it is tundey kabab or yakhni pulao, the very sight and the aroma of the food is mouth watering and the credit goes to the Nawabs of Awadh, who not only laid the foundation of dazzling culture but patronized such a form of cuisine which created a niche for itself in the kitchen of even the ordinary subjects. So let us enjoy this epicurean delight.

  • The Siege & The Relief of Lucknow:1857-58

    Greatest set-back to the anti-Indian British policies was the Mutiny of 1857. British undoubtedly fought this uprising with their best abilities yet the casualties were so huge that British were forced to reform their polices and take each step very carefully and analytically. The Defense of Residency is one such topic that reigns supreme in the Indian-British history. The war in Lucknow and Kanpur were the two episodes that tell the tale of valour for both sides – the Indian & the British.

  • Interesting Story Behind Two Legendary Kebabs of Lucknow

    Do you know the tale behind the world famous kebab brand called Tunde Ke Kebab from the ‘City of Nawabs’ ? The aura that surrounds this famous food joint has an interesting story that is little known to the world. Over 100-year old food joint is no less than a food pilgrim to the visitors […]