India in pictures

The City of the Nawabs

8:27 AM

Gate to the Chota Imambara in Lucknow

Lucknow! The city I am heading to next weekend. DH's native place. A city with a rich cultural heritage, an unmatchable culinary tradition...

Lucknow has like many cities in North India, vestige of Islamic and Mughal architecture. THE architecture most foreign tourists associate with India. The India of the tourist books. Here, you have the entry gate that leads to the "Chota Imambara" one of the two well known palaces in Lucknow. the other one being the "Bara Imambara". Chota means small, Bara means big. The small one is still big enough for something small though, and having visited the two of them back in 2006, that one was far better maintained. Though the big one was going through renovation that last time we were in Lucknow.

Between the Chota and Bara Immambara, the Chota one is my favourite. Sorry for being partial, I just really loved the intricate architecture and beautifully maintained water strip and gardens. When I visited it, a lot of glass and crystal chandeliers were displayed inside, while its big brother offered a big empty cavernous space. Both are grand in their own way, that goes without saying.

Have you visited Lucknow? Which of the two Imambara was your favourite?

9 comments

  1. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I have never been to lucknow but I do intend to visit in the near future. Especially the chikangari market. I live in Hyderabad which is another sister city of Lucknow. Of course Hyd is way more sophisticated but both are land of Nawabs sharing the same cuisine and culture. Lucknow famous for its chikangari and galouti kebabs and Hyd for its signature biryani and pearls. Which is why Hyd is also known as city of pearls. Oh u must visit Hyd someday. It is very weather friendly with very very less humidity. The mix of Nawabi and South Indian culture here is quite amusing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of years ago we almost planned to relocate to Hydrabad as there was a job for DH there, but ended up not doing it. That is one city I want to visit one day. In Luck ow you find a lot of Chikankari dress material in the "Chowk" which has a whole sale market, and of course there are shops and emporiums and showroom all over the city. And quite obviously, having ties to Lucknow I have a few Chikankari outfits, there is a shop within walkable distance of my in-laws place.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous7:10 PM

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6zCsn-he5Kk

    This is a link to the movie "shataranj ke khiladi" (chess players). The movie shows the political and social realities of lucknow on the verge of its annexation by the british in nineteenth century. The film is about two nawabs who are fond of chess and the life of nawab wajid ali shah the last ruler of lucknow. The movie has beautiful language and classical dances. It showed what our rulers were doing while the british gobbled up half of india. It is difficult not to feel sympathy for the king who despite knowing his shortcomings is a benovelant person
    Amazing analysis of the social and political situation of lucknow at that time.

    Apple

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:54 AM

    To be honest I prefered the Chota one too.
    Lucknow is such a wonderful city. I just stayed there twice for a few days and liked it very much. Still hope to see more of it, maybe next time. And of course a wonderful Chickan-suit is hanging in my wardrobe, waiting for the next opurtunity to see the sun again. Greetings from CH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep I thi the Chota one is having more human proportions :-)

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    2. Anonymous9:31 AM

      What about "BulBhuliay" the labyrinth in Lucknow. What was your experience??

      Apple

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    3. Sadly haven't been to that part yet. the time I went I was without DH and they wanted to extort an extra 300 rupees to take us upstairs to see it, and I mean 300 bucks extra for each of us, which meant 5 foreigners, and I told them to just get lost because it smelled a scam a mile away. Later FIL told us that most of the Bulbhuliya has been closed to prevent tourists from getting lost in it, and a guide was no longer really a necessity as it once was in the past. In all the subsequent trips I did to Lucknow we have always been too busy or it was too hot for us to visit the place again.

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    4. Anonymous1:13 PM

      Here I found the movie "Shataranj Ki Khiladi" both the parts. It still remains one of the most brilliant analysis of the decaying Indian aristocracy. Some time culture itself is not enough, rich culture should grow and change with changing times. The film has a collection of finest actors of Indian cinema together. The language pure Urdu is a treat to listen.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je26TvXakyk&list=PLD787A9F467130846

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVq7rWGMoyU&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=2

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5vPGaMpGws&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=3

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxDxQbtGO3Y&index=4&list=PLD787A9F467130846

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrDeTiPFFZ8&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=5

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uk6sIRGFsU&index=6&list=PLD787A9F467130846

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P3a0jiHEEs&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=7

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twDPU3p7_GQ&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=8

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n45i3eqJjFU&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=9

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3MoF-eyQF4&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=10

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkU0KfvMCtc&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=11

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4gd2wuEElI&list=PLD787A9F467130846&index=12

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lvnl_W59IE&index=13&list=PLD787A9F467130846

      Apple

      Delete

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