From Academic Kids

Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It had a population of 2,207,340 in 2001. It has a literacy rate of 68.63%. It is the second largest urban centre in Uttar Pradesh after Kanpur.



Both Hindi and Urdu are spoken in Lucknow but Urdu has been the lingua franca here for centuries. Under the rule of Nawabs, Urdu flourished and turned into one of the most refined languages. Hindu and Muslim poets like Aatish, Nasikh, Daya Shankar Naseem, Musahafi, Insha , Safi Lakhnavi and the great Meer Taqi Meer took Urdu poetry to dizzy heights. The two great poets, Meer Anees and Meer Dabeer, became legendary exponents of a unique genre of elegiacal poetry called 'Marsiya'centred on Imam Husain's supreme sacrifice in the battle of Karbala which is commemorated during the annual observance of Moharram.

The great revolutionary of Indian Freedom struggle Ram Prasad "Bismil "who was hanged by the British at Kakori near Lucknow was hugely influenced by poetry and wrote verse under the pseudonym of "Bismil". The towns like Kakori, Daryabad, Rudauli and Malhibad produced innumerable poets and litterateurs of Urdu like Mohsin Kakorvi, Majaz Lucknowi, Josh Malihabadi and Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi.


Lucknow's history begins with its elevation to a capital city under the Nawabs of Awadh. The architectural contributions of the Awadh rulers, many paintings of whom are maintained at the Art Gallery today, include numerous mosques and palaces. Of the monuments standing today, the Bara Imambara, the Chhota Imambara, and the Roomi Darwaza are notable examples, although neglect by the authorities has put them in danger of turning into ruins.

Claude Martin's palace, "Constantia" now houses one of five schools founded under his will. Photograph by John Edward Sache, working in India  1865 - 1882
Claude Martin's palace, "Constantia" now houses one of five schools founded under his will. Photograph by John Edward Sache, working in India 1865 - 1882

The province of Awadh (anglicized to Oudh) was annexed by the British rulers of India in 1856. In the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the garrison based at the Residency in Lucknow was besieged by rebel forces. The famous Siege of Lucknow was relieved first by forces under the command of Sir Henry Havelock and Sir James Outram, followed by a stronger force under Sir Colin Campbell. Today the ruins of the Residency, and the picturesque Shaheed Smarak offer reminiscences of Lucknow's role in the Mutiny.

Other architectural delights in Lucknow include the Vidhan Sabha (State Parliament) and the railway station at Charbagh with its yellow domes and pillars. One of the oldest schools in the world is also situated in Lucknow: La Martiniere, founded by the bequest of the immensely successful colonial enterpreneur Claude Martin (1735 - 1800).

In and around the city

Lucknow airport is located around 20 km outside the city at Amausi. Locations of interest in and around Lucknow include Kukrail (a picnic spot and crocodile sanctuary), Malihabad (home of the famed Dashahri mangoes), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Mirzapur. Lucknow is also home to the Central Drug Research Institute, the King George's Medical College (now King George's Medical University), Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany and the National Botanical Research Institute.

Chikan, an embroidered handicraft which has traditionally been associated with Lucknow, and Lakhnawi Zardozi are important small-scale industries around Lucknow. Old Lucknow's Chowk area is the location where the maximum number of Chikan factories and shops can be found. Apart from clothing, the Chowk area is also famous for its mouth watering sweets like Malai Gilauri, Badam Halwa and Ras-Malai, as well as the famed Chatpati chaat.

Aminabad, a quaint bazaar quite like Delhi's Chandni Chowk, is situated in the heart of the city and is a large shopping centre, catering to a wide variety of consumers. The Hazratganj area is the upmarket shopping area with colonial style buildings that also has a number of government and administrative buildings .

Kakori, 14 km from Lucknow is a unique place. It is famous for train dacoity during the independence movement and the memorial of the martyrs of freedom is located here. The town has a predominantly Muslim population and in 19th century had the highest percentage of civil servants in the country compared to any other place in British India. This town that is located in the Mango belt has three dozen mosques and numerous huge havelis besides being the seat of the Qadiria Qalandaria Sufi order. The Alavis of Kakori are renowned for preserving the most refined and uncorrupted Urdu. The Kakori kebabs are a delicacy famous across the world.

The Asafi Imambara ( populary called Bada Imambara ), the Husainabad Imambara ( populary called the Chhota Imambara )Dilkusha Garden, The Residency , Shah Najaf , La Martiniere are some famous monuments at Lucknow. The famous "Bhul Bhulaiya "(meaning labyrinth) is part of the famous Asafi Imambara.

Lucknow is also famous for culinary delights, including "makkhan malai" (flavored whipped cream) and "Tundey Kababs" and "kakori kebabs ".

External links

  • News articles by Frederick Engels, detailing the siege of Lucknow ( and its subsequent relief (

Template:India state and UT capitalsde:Lucknow eo:Lakno hi:लखनऊ nl:Lucknow


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