Travelogue

This section contains interesting 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.



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 […]

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Rich in taste and magical 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, […]

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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 of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Gilbert Cole Memorial Tour of Michael Clapp in Fatehgarh with Tornos

This is a travelogue by Michael Clapp who visited Fatehgarh with Tornos to trace his Grandfather’s tragic death history as a Police Officer serving British Police of United Provinces (Now Uttar Pradesh) in 1936. The trip was coordinated and researched by Team Tornos to track the Police Memorial and obtain necessary permissions. Gilbert Cole is a celebrated […]

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Mutiny in Lucknow

(Handout Material)  The great Rebellion of 1857 (also called the Indian Mutiny, Sepoy Rebellion, and First war of Independence) began as a mutiny by Bengal army soldiers, against their commanders in the army of the British East India Company. The rebellion came out of the sepoy’s long-held grievances about unfair assignments, low pay, limited opportunities […]

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Gastronomy in the courts of Awadh

The most important activity in human life is eating. As any community or nation progresses, its diet is the most salient guide to its refinement. For this reason I should like to discuss the attitude of the court of Lucknow towards its cuisine and the extent to which the people of Lucknow improved the art […]

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The Battle of Chinhat

An important victory for the `rebels’ of 1857, the Battle of Chinhat has all but been completely effaced from history. 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 […]

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Handcrafting a Culture

Lucknow, like much of India, is full of paradoxes – down-at-heel elegance, raffish charm, indolent culture, tehzeeb and thuggery. A city created by male chauvinist nawabs ruled today by a Dalit woman chief minister. In 1858 William Russell marvelled at its ‘vision of palaces, minars, domes of azure and gold, cupolas, colonnades and long facades […]

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Afternoons in the Kothas of Lucknow

By : Veena Talwar Oldenburg In the days when I was tramping around in the alleys of Lucknow trying to capture the ineffable essence of this multi-layered city, I was led to a small group of old and young courtesans in Gulbadan’s kotha near the Akbari Darwaza in Chowk. Over a decade (1976-1986), in more […]

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A Mesh of Memories

By : Nasima Aziz Going home to Lucknow between Foreign Service assignments with my husband was always hurried and rushed. Post retirement, I have plenty of time at last. I have a deep need to reconnect with my childhood, my place, and to come to terms with the loss of people who are gone forever. […]

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Shaher-e-Nigaraan

By : Muzaffar Ali Culture is all about feeling, and it is only poets who have been able to encapsulate feelings that have been able to outlive their times and are true reflections of a culture. Moinul Hasan Jazbi, a recent poet of Aligarh, puts across this very feeling: Sarv o saman bhi mauj e naseeme […]

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My Lucknow

By : Saleem Kidwai I left Lucknow in 1968 to go to college in Delhi, believing that I was severing my connection with the city. I used to return regularly for vacations but gradually the visits became briefer and seemed to coincide mostly with weddings or funerals which, given that I was a part of […]

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A study of Dying Culture

By : Rudrangshu Mukherjee The independent principality of Awadh was established in 1722 by an Iranian adventurer called Saadat Khan who refused the imperial order transferring him to Malwa and made Lucknow the seat of his power. Awadh remained an independent entity till 7 February 1856 when Lord Dalhousie annexed it to the British Empire […]

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Behind the Purdah

By : Vijay Khan  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 […]

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Nawabs and Kebabs

‘Guth-ti,’ Suleiman Mahmudabad noted, referring to the first liquid to pass a newborn’s lips, ‘depends on the mother and the father’s humours, and the family’s characteristics.’ We are in conversation in his office, a spare high-ceilinged room except for the enormous desk scattered with books behind which are shelves of more books. Appropriately, his family’s […]

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On Foot In Lucknow

Mention Lucknow to an outsider and their mind conjures up visions of nawabs, ornate palaces, equally rich food and perhaps an even more lavish culture. Sadly, the city’s new nawabs have an incorrigible taste for glass and concrete, but parts of the old city retain their charm. Driving to Chowk past Shah Meena Sahib, a […]

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

Australia has long recognised Walter Burley Griffin as the American who designed its federal capital city, Canberra. More recently, it has begun to acknowledge Marion Mahony Griffin as the capital’s co-author. Walter’s wife and professional partner, Marion Griffin was an architect and graphic artist in her own right. Today they are popularly known by their […]

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The Midnight Feast in Lucknow

Credits : Deep Saxena (Holy month of Ramzan in Lucknow is time to explore the areas where street food is at its yummiest best) It’s that time of the year once again when for the full month the sun dose not the set in Aminabad. With the holy month of Ramzan well into the second […]

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Glory of La Martiniere College

Of all the buildings of old Lucknow, surely none has a stranger or more romantic history than that of La Martiniere. Kipling described it in Kim as the school where his young hero was a reluctant pupil for a term, although he called it St. Xavier’s. Satyajit Ray filmed part of Shatranj ke Khilari in […]

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Personalities of Hazratganj

In the mid-twenties my parents, along with two other Sindhi families from Karachi, came to Lucknow in search of a new world. I was very young and recall living in Hazratganj. I went to St. Joseph’s school. My father opened the Lucknow Book Shop where the current Kashmir Emporium is, as well as bookshops in […]

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Tunda’s Magic Taste

In Lucknow, what do Rahman the Butcher at Chowk and Jimmy the Raja of Jahangirabad have in common? What does Raffo Apa, 53, of La Place in Lucknow have in common with Times FM deejay Roshan Abbas of Lalbagh? What indeed is the shared passion of the Shias and the Saxenas, the Rastogis and the […]

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

The Siege of Cawnpore was a key episode in the Indian rebellion of 1857. In the 19th century, Kanpur was an important British garrison with barracks for 7,000 soldiers. During the First War of Independence 1857, 900 British were besieged in the fortifications for 22 days by rebels under Nana Sahib The besieged British in […]

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

Sunday, the 10th of May, dawned in peace and happiness. The early morning service, at the Cantoment Church, saw many assembled together, some never to meet on earth again. The day passed in quiet happiness; no thought of danger disturbed the serenity of that happy home. Alas! how differently closed the Sabbath which dawned so […]

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

While the 7th Oudh Irregular was at Lucknow a large section of the regiment Mutinied. This was repeated in many regiments throughout the Bengal army. On 30th April 1857 the men started complaining about using the new cartridge which involved biting greased paper. Rumours had spread about it’s being unclean. Lieutenant Mecham remonstrated with them […]

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A journey through Kaiserbagh

During the eighty years of the Nawabi rule in Lucknow three new palace complexes were built and the old fort of the Sheikhzadas modified. Initially, after coming to power, Macchi Bhawan, the fortified palace of the Sheikhs was rented by Nawab Burhan-ul-Mulk. By 1766 it was largely improved and extended by the later Nawabs. The […]

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

The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked. Did they not, in India, to borrow an expression of that great robber, Lord Clive himself, resort to atrocious extortion, when simple corruption could not […]

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Hazrat Mahal – the rebel Begam of Oudh

From the date of the Sepoy victory (July 30, 1857) at Chinhut near Lucknow till the last phase of the rebellion of 1857-58, the revolutionary history of Oudh was overshadowed by a woman who was in no respect less illustrious than the Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi. She was Hazrat Mahal, a Begam of the […]

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Cultural richness of Lucknow

‘Lucknow’, this name is synonymous with architectural beauties of ‘Lakhauri’ bricks, the fragrance of ‘itra’, musical notes, the sound of dancers’ trinklets, the sweetness of ‘dussheri’ mangoes, ‘malai’ and ‘gulab revadis’, and of course its ‘Mehman Nawazi’. Known for its refinement in speech, entertainment, dresses and manners, Lucknow is also called the ‘City of Adab’. […]

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Tomb of Sir Henry Havelock

En route to Kanpur, besides the remains of the Alambagh Fort lie the remains of Sir Henry Havelock. Until recently this dilapidated grave was left uncared for until Mark Havelock Allen (descendent of Havelock’s) read about the condition of the grave in a local newspaper in England. His immediate reaction was to approach the Indian […]

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

METIYABRUZ is a warren of single-storied houses, squalid yards, open drains and bustling bazaars. Beyond, there are scrubby fields and hyacinth-choked ponds. Dominating the scene are innumerable factory sheds ant the huge Garden Reach shipyard. its gigantic steel machinery looming against the skyline. Today this Calcutta locality has little claim to distinction. But just a […]

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The Kingdom of Avadh

On the eve of the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Lucknow, the capital of the Kingdom of Avadh, was indisputably the largest, most prosperous and most civilised pre-colonial city in India. Its spectacular skyline – with its domes and towers and gilded cupolas, palaces and pleasure gardens, ceremonial avenues and wide maidans – reminded travellers of […]

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Djinns of Lucknow

The Djinns you loved to watch in popular TV serial, ‘I dream of Jeannie’ was comic, comely, visible female-and susceptible to human emotions like love and jealousy for her undeniable handsome master. The Djinns who float in and out of the masjids of Lucknow are however not quite so easy to describe. For one, nobody […]

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Gomti – a life line of Lucknow

It seems a historical snub to the river Gomti to call Avadhi culture a Ganga-Yamuni tehzeeb. For neither of these holy rivers flows through Lucknow at all or even through Faizabad, one time headquarters of Avadh. It is the Gomti, a loop of the Ganges and one of the rivers that does not carry the […]

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La Martiniere and the mutiny

On the eve of the event, known variously as the Revolt of 1857, the First war of independence or the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Lucknow, the capital of the kingdom of Avadh was one of the largest and most prosperous pre-colonial cities in India. Under the Nawabs, Lucknow experienced a virtual Renaissance. Much of the […]

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Music in Awadh

This article is full of technical words and phrases in relation to Indian music. Should any term interest you but are unable to understand, please contact us and we will mail back more details on it. The history of an exotic and highly cultured Lucknow with all its pomp and splendour and its romantic Shan-e-Avadh […]

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A city lost to the forces to the darkness

Indian independence and partition destroyed the city of Lucknow and its Hindu-Muslim culture. William Dalrymple mourns the passing of a civilisation….. On the eve of the great mutiny of 1857, Lucknow, the capital of the kingdom of Avadh, was indisputably the largest, most prosperous and most civilised pre-colonial city in India. Its spectacular skyline- with […]

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Lucknow then & now

A discotheque in Lucknow was recently witness to a dramatic scene that best reflects the changing contours of Avadh’s once-proud capital. A woman stormed onto the dance floor, slapped a teenaged girl, her language replete with references to tahzeeb (etiquette) and tameez (manners), even as she dragged the hapless girl out. The girl, along with […]

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Magic of the thread

When one talks about the refinement in style Lucknow figures as a superlative – A center de art, where even alien art forms flourished with high degree of refinement and amalgamated with the lifestyle of Lucknow as if these originated and belonged here.’Chikan’ – style of embroidery, is one such art that came from Persia but […]

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Lucknow Food, Streets and Bazaars

Mangoes, green and yellow ones, luscious red-topped golden ones, shapes as subtly varied as the many hues, would arrive in Lucknow piled onto horse-drawn carts as if on a flood-tide. Suddenly they would be all over the city, seductive splashes of colour in the scorching heat of early June. Mangoes made me long for summer […]

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Epicurean Delights

It was 137 years ago that the last of the kings of Avadh walked on the sarzameen (land) of their beloved Lucknow. While these monarchs sat on the throne of Avadh, there was nothing that they left untouched, thankfully, for their touch was like the proverbial magic wand. It could raise the most mundane of […]

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The Siege & The Relief of Lucknow:1857-58

If Delhi was the symbolic centre of the Indian Mutiny, and Cawnpore provided its most horrific episode, it was Lucknow that caught the imagination of the British public and became, perhaps, the most well known action of all Britain’s 19th century wars. It had all the dramatic elements of a siege and even better, a […]

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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 […]

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The monuments, the makers, the real city

LUCKNOW – ‘City of Vice and Roses’ as a British writer described it earlier this year, or ‘the last memento of Mughal culture’ as Maulana Sharar called it in the 1920s. Somewhere between the well-trodden clichés on the tawdry glitter of the Nawabi Court and the cosy view of a Mughal fly trapped in colonial […]

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