Epiconic Travel

Lucknow – The City of Nawabs

Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, has long served as a centre of government and culture. According to the ancient legends, Lakshmana, who travelled with Lord Rama during his exile, was the one who founded the city of Lucknow, which was built on and around an elevated piece of ground close to the Gomti River. It is the home of Urdu, Hindustani and Hindi languages. A historically important metropolis for many centuries which was at the heart of North Indian culture. In particular, the city is famous for its intricate embroidery, beautiful gardens and dance forms such as Kathak. The Hindi spoken here is considered the most mellifluous and full of ardour. The credit goes to the Nawabs of Awadh, the patrons of the arts, poetry, music and all things fine, who took a keen interest in every walk of life and encouraged them to attain a rare degree of perfection. In addition, it is a hotspot for exquisite delicacies like the Galawati Kebab, Boti Kebab, Tunday Kebab, Biryani, and many others. The list of delights that appeals to most foodies in India is quite elaborate when it comes to a city like Lucknow. The cuisine here is undoubtedly making its way onto the wish lists of travelers and food enthusiasts from around the world.

There is something about this majestic city that evokes memories of its sparkling former glories, which are still present in the heritage that shapes its foundation today. The famous – “ Lakhnavi Tehzeeb ” of Lucknow has maintained a perfect blend that radiates emotional warmth, extreme refinement, politeness, and a love for graceful living. The beauty of this unique metropolis has been enriched by a variety of cultural elements making it the one-stop destination to experience hospitality in its true sense.

A Culinary Journey

India’s rich culinary history is knitted with stories about hundreds of royal courts and their kitchens, with Dastarkhwans of Nawabs of Lucknow being at the top. The enticing aroma of freshly cooked food greets you as soon as you arrive in the city. From Chole Bhature at Shree Lassi, Chai Samosa at Sharma, to Malai Kulfi at Prakash and Tokri Chaat at Royal Café, the city offers a wide array of dishes for food lovers. Hitting the food trail in Lucknow is nothing less than a pilgrimage for the lovers of fine cuisine. 

Galawati Kebabs  

The meat dishes from Awadh were particularly well-known, notably the juicy kebabs. However, the inevitable starting point of any debates around Lucknow’s supremacy over kebabs is the Galawati Kebab, the hallmark delicacy of the nawabs and their city. The initial purpose of these unique melt-in-your-mouth kebabs was to satisfy the craving of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, who is said to have lost his teeth but still desired the taste of Kababs. A one-armed chef by the name of Haji Murad Ali perfected the Galawati dish. His son established Tunday Kababi, a century-old establishment that continues to provide Galawati prepared following the original, secret recipe. Minced meat, yogurt, gram flour, onion, and a medley of over a hundred spices are used in its preparation. The undisputed companions of kebabs are Indian breads like roti, chapatti, and naan. If you are in Lucknow, you can give it a try with the incredibly thin rumali rotis. 

Nihari Kulcha

Non-vegetarian lovers cannot leave Lucknow without trying this lip-smacking combination. Nihari is a hearty mutton gravy with a delicate flavor, while kulchas are a dense leavened bread. Romeo and Juliet hold a candle to this blend of pure love. Raheem’s Hotel, right next to Tunday in Chowk, serves the best Nihari Kulcha in town. Meat lovers never forget Rahim ki Nihari, as locals fondly refer to it, on special occasions, like the holy month of Ramzan.

Tokri Chaat 

Near the renowned Royal Cafe in Hazratganj, you will find one of the most well-known chaats in Lucknow- The Basket Chaat. Katori or tokri, you find this scrumptious basket fashioned with grated potatoes and peas at almost every nook and corner in the streets of Lucknow. In essence, it is aloo tikki with curd, chutney, and spicy namkeen on top. The variety of flavors adds to the delight of the big tokri of chaat. 

Malai Paan

There is a backstory behind almost every speciality you will be served in Lucknow, and our revered Malai Paan is no exception. The folklore goes that the Nawabs of Lucknow found themselves at a loss after a ban on paan was imposed. Royal chefs then, coming to their rescue, came up with a delicacy to deceive the eye. Malai Paan shares its look with a paan but is prepared with milk and malai.


Lucknow’s own variant of rotis, sheermal, is a popular delicacy of Lucknowi cuisine. It is a special preparation of refined flour, clarified butter, and sugar kneaded with milk and infused with saffron. Typically baked in an iron tandoor, it derives its taste from the sprinkling of saffron and cardamom-flavoured milk. It complements kebabs and kormas to give you a lip-smacking experience.

The baqarkhani is an elaborate variation of the sheermaal that is fried on a griddle instead of being baked in a tandoor. Zafrani and Hazri Sheermal are other varients of sheermal. There is an entire road in Lucknow devoted to sheermals. The greatest location to enjoy this unique offering from Lucknow is the Sheermal Wali Gali, which is located in close proximity to the Akbari Gate.

Lucknow’s Heritage

Lucknow is well recognised for its magnificent structures that were built throughout the city’s golden past. It combines the bustle of the present with the peace of a bygone era and is legitimately a feature of Uttar Pradesh’s historical arc due to its rich ancient vibrancy. 

Bara Imambara

The most amazing landmark, the Bara Imambara, is one of Lucknow’s most magnificent and popular tourist destinations. The beautiful maze on the top floor of the monument is largely responsible for its fame. The monument is reputed to be the biggest freestanding structure in the entire world. No type of wood or metal was used in the construction of the Bara Imambara. As a result, it is regarded as a top architectural wonder that displays beautiful old Mughal framework. The Bara Imambara’s maze side is affectionately referred to as “Bhool Bhulaiya” by the locals. There are only two ways to exit the maze that you could enter 1024 separate ways.

British Residency

The Residency, once the home of the British Resident General, is surrounded by lovely gardens and lawns and overlooks the River Gomti. It  served as the British refugee camp during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 when the Indians rose up against the British East India Company until the unsettling hours came to an end. There are three levels of residency – Offices, libraries, the Begum Kothi, a mosque, and a restaurant that is no longer housed there. A marble slab commemorating each soldier who took part in the Indian uprising is mounted on one of the residence’s walls.

Constantia House, Lucknow

Visit the Constantia House if you want to see the splendor of British engineering at its prime. It is a component of the esteemed La Martiniere College, a top university in the area. The structure holds Major Claude Martin’s tomb, a French general who began work on it in 1785. The Constantia House, widely regarded as the largest European landmark in the nation, displays an uncommon fusion of architectural types.

Heritage Walk 

The Lucknow Heritage Walk is a unique offering from the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department. It’s a pleasant guided tour that lets you experience Lucknow firsthand. You’ll meet your English-speaking guide at the starting point outside TilaWali Masjid after scheduling your walk time on your phone or through their website. From there, you’ll follow them as they first circle the mosque, then make their way to the Bara Imambara, and finally enter the intriguing labyrinth of the Chowk neighbourhood. You’ll get to try a variety of regional treats along the route, like thandai, which is made with milk, cardamom, almonds, fennel, saffron, and possibly marijuana. You’ll also get to see stores selling ancient coins, Gandhi’s former residence in Lucknow, and much more.


One of the most popular embroidery forms in India is Chikankari. Believed to have been originally crafted by Nur Jahan, the gorgeous and skilled wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Lucknow is where it gained its splendor and perfection. This timeless embroidery is popular among women for all the right reasons. The intricate detailing of this craft can impress just about anyone. Chikankari attire epitomizes grace and elegance while adding a subtle charm to the personality of anyone who wears them.

The best way to discover a place is through its art. If you ever get the chance to travel to Lucknow, you must stop by several Chikankari studios to witness the craft. In conversation with these masters at work, much can be learned about the city’s culture and artistic history. You will feel more connected to Lucknow’s cultural roots giving a greater significance to your journey. Not to forget, the quantity of original and intriguing tales you will return home with is going to be priceless.

This place is “Home” because of the warmth people offer you here, their simplicity is so innocent that it forces you to love them. The brotherhood you see between people coming from different places here is difficult to find at any other place. In this city, people are always willing to provide a hand, and regardless where you move in the future, a piece of your heart will always be here.

“ लखनऊ है तो महज़ गुम्बद ओ मीनार नहीं, सिर्फ एक शहर नहीं, कूचा ओ बाज़ार नहीं,

 इसके दामन में मोहब्बत के फूल खिलते हैं, इसकी गलियों में फरिश्तों के पते मिलते हैं | ”

“ Indeed, the city exudes a character like none other with its intermingling of history and contemporary, the traditional as well as the modern, a city which one falls in love with.” 

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