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Behind The Havelis: The Best of Lucknow City Tour

Lucknow City Tour

The city of Lucknow is not like every other city in India. While the hands of modernity have gripped the city, it is still resting in the laps of the old world charms. This laid back city is still back in the earlier centuries, where horses roamed the streets and Havelis dominated the roads. Here time stands still, and everything moves at its own pace.

On your Lucknow City Tour, witness the magic and the nostalgia that Lucknow radiates, through its ruined yet heritage Havelis, and its many historical monuments, all of which have a story to tell.

Lucknow is not just famous for its history and culture, but also its delicious cuisine. The Nawabs might have left Lucknow, but they surely kept their cuisine back. Each lane here smells of mouth-watering delicacy, as you make your way through the peeling lanes and the fading Havelis.

The stunning mosques, the arching gateway, and the old Havelis tell a story of the time when Lucknow was filled with royals. With bungalows and palaces dotted the skyline. Today, they are fading away into oblivion, and yet even in such a dilapidated state, they manage to tell tales of a bustling city that you must explore.

Here are some of the must-visit places on your Lucknow City Tour

Bara Imambara

The first thing you will come across on your Lucknow sightseeing tour is the gorgeous Bara Imambara. This iconic monument is a landmark in the city of Lucknow. It is unlike any other historical monument you will see in the city.

The Bara Imambara is a huge complex with comprise of the stunning Asfi Mosque, the Bhulbulaiya, and a Bowl. The highlight of the Bara Imambara is the mesmerizing Bowli. The Bowli is essentially an intricately carved step well. It is not just aesthetically pleasing, but also has many anecdotes and a lot of history attached to it.

The Bhulbulaiya, which the maze, is also a famous tourist attraction. This labyrinth is quite confusing, and you must only get into it if you dare.

The architecture is a reflection of the Mughal era, with its delicately etched motifs and beautiful designs.

Jama Masjid

You just cannot complete your Lucknow City Tour, without witnessing the iconic Jama Masjid. This sparkling mosque has loomed over the city line of Lucknow for years, as tourists from all over the world come here to witness this gorgeous 15th-century wonder.

The exterior walls of the Jama Masjid are made of glistening white sandstone, which shines just as the sun rays touch its surface. You will find stunning calligraphy etched in its walls, as the enchanted minarets and picturesque domes dot the complex.

The Jama Masjid itself has about 260 pulls and 15 arched domes, all of which are brimming with awe-inspiring artwork. The Jama Masjid is so mesmerising, that it is among one of the must-visit mosques in India.

The Residency

Another popular sightseeing site on your Lucknow City Tour, the Residency is a group of many buildings belonging to the era of the Nawabs. These buildings are part of a residential complex and are now called the Residency.

When you visit the Residency today, you will see it lying in ruins with dust and weed collecting on it. It is hard to imagine, that it was once filled with royal bungalows and rich havelis. You can also see the cannon shots that have plundered the walls. These walls recite the story of the war, and while there is nothing much left, there is a lot of anecdotes and stories left in these ruined bungalows.

These ruined havelis are also surrounded by flower beds and lawns, which gives it a certain allure and a hope of resurrection some time in the future.

Lucknow Museum

The city of Lucknow is bustling with ancient history. Lucknow has seen many rulers, kingdoms, wars and sieges, which has turned the city into what it is today. So much has happened in this city, that it is a sin to not read or walk through its past. To learn about its glorious past, visit the four-storied Lucknow Museum, and take a trip down the memory lane.

The state museum of Lucknow is a must-visit stop on your Lucknow City Tour. Here you will find an ancient artefact that tells a story of the Nawabs and the warriors. You will find displays from the stone age. There is an art gallery and also mesmerising sculptures that were recovered from the palaces of the Nawabs.

This place is not just for the history buffs but also for the tourists.

Ambedkar Memorial Park

The beautiful Ambedkar Memorial Park should be the next stop on your Lucknow City Tour. As the name suggests, the park is dedicated to Dr B.R Ambedkar and is quite a stunning sight. Spread across 107 acres, this massive park is not just a strolling area, but also has many monuments and structures inside it. You will find the Ambedkar Stupa, a museum, a photo gallery and many more such things.

All of the monuments are made up of red sandstone, which was imported from Rajasthan. Once you are done visiting the surreal monuments, you can take a laid back walk through the park or sit on the soft green grass and enjoy the day go by.

Sikandar Bagh

The Sikandar Bagh is not just another garden. There are history, bloodshed, and brutality that took place inside the Sikandar Bagh, making it a historical site. The Siege Of Lucknow rained down on Sikander Bagh, as army men stormed here.

This garden was once the summer resident of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, making it the prime target of the battle. The garden itself houses a villa, some tunnels, walls, and a gateway till today.

After the siege, this place was left in ruins, however, after some restoration work, the Sikandar Bagh is now standing tall with flowers and vibrant soft grass to tell its tale.

Your guide will tell you all about the bloody and the happy anecdotes that took place at the Sikandar Bagh.

Chattar Manzil

The culture and heritage of Lucknow are omnipresent in every nook and corner in the city. The Chattar Manzil is another such heritage monument that will make you gasp at the beauty of this city. On your Lucknow City Tour, witness the gorgeous Chattar Manzil, also known as the Umbrella Palace. This used to be the residence of the wives of the Awadh Rulers.

The architecture itself is a blend of Indo-European-Nawabi style, making it different from the other Mughal style monuments.

The domes are shaped like umbrellas, which gives it its name.

Lucknow Zoo

You might be thinking, how does a Zoo become a must-visit place on your Lucknow City Tour. The Lucknow Zoo is not just like every other zoo. It is much more than just a zoo. Popularly called the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden, the Lucknow Zoo is the perfect green escape from the hustle-bustle of the chaotic city life.

Resplendent and brimming with nature, the Lucknow Zoo goes back in time. It was established in 1921, well before the independence of India. Inside this historical zoo, you can engage in several activities like- riding a toy train, exploring the zoo by walking, sailing on a serene boat and even riding a battery-operated vehicle.

You can easily spend about four to five hours without feeling the passing of time.


The city of Lucknow is not just blessed with a wonderful history, but also with delicious cuisines and must-visit markets. To encounter all of that under one roof, visit the bustling Hazratganj. The downtown part of Lucknow, Hazratganj is your one-stop destination for brimming and colourful markets coupled with Mughlai cuisine and even movie theatres.

You can shop till your heart drops, or eat till your stomach has had enough. Here at Hazratganj, you can live like there is no tomorrow. Each little lane of this place reveals a new avenue which is waiting for you to be explored. The intimidating and historical buildings in the background add another layer to the entire setting.

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lucknow on your City Tour is just simply by walking. The entire city is a heritage site, and you will feel the culture of Lucknow reflected in every nook and corner of this city. Just sit back, sip the warm chai, and watch as the culture of the city slowly starts to unfold in front of you.

Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita is a student, who has always dabbled with a bit of writing here and there. She has always made herself look into things in a different way than others, which has allowed her to explore certain feelings and emotions which many cannot. She is a bold writer and believes in the saying, 'a pen is mightier than the sword'. She strongly believes that the writing should be so compelling that the writer feels that they are on a journey they read through the article. The writing must make the reader feel something, otherwise it pointless

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