Guest Post || Lucknow – The City of Nawabs and Kebabs by Anushree

Sprinkled with exceptional British Raj–era buildings, Literature, performing arts, tehzeeb and famous throughout India for its lip smacking food, the capital of Uttar Pradesh is surely worth visiting.

Lucknow’s reputation as a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine has continued to this day from ages – the phrase for which conveniently rhymes in Urdu as: Nawab, aadaab (‘respect’), kebab and shabab (‘beauty’).

So “Muskuraiye ki aap Lucknow mein hain” (Please smile because you are in Lucknow)

 

Places to visit in Lucknow:

  1. Rumi Darwaza: Rumi Darwaza is a spectacular gateway and a popular monument of Lucknow city. It is an example of Awadhi architecture. It is also referred to as the Turkish gate which is 60 feet high. It was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula to generate employment during the famine of 1784.It is adjacent to the Asafi Imambara in Lucknow and has become a logo for the city of Lucknow. It used to mark the entrance to Old Lucknow City, but as the City of Nawabs grew and expanded, it was later used as an entrance to a palace which was later demolished by the British insurgents.Rumi Darwaza IC - Google Images
  1. Bara Imambara: The Bara Imambara is Asia’s largest hall without any external support from beams and is a symbol of Awadhi culture and architecture. This magnificent structure was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and is one of the architectural wonders of that era. It is also famous for its “Bhool Bhulaiya” a labyrinth.

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  1. Chota Imambara: Also known as Hussainabad Imambara, was built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah between (1837-1842).  The Imambara has a white dome and is richly decorated with chandeliers and a good number of crystal glass lamp-stands. For this profuse decoration Imambara was referred by European visitors and writers as The Palace of Lights. The exterior is also beautifully decorated with Quranic verses in Islamic calligraphy.

chota imambara IC - Google Images

  1. Ambedkar Memorial Park:  The foundation stone of the memorial was first laid in 1995.It is situated in the posh locality of Gomti Nagar.The construction is the heart of the entire memorial. The entire memorial is built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan.

Ambedkar memorial Park - IC - Google Images

  1. The Residency: The British Residency was the place that served as a refuge for approximately 3000 British inhabitants during the time of the uprising of 1857 – The Mangal Pandey Revolt. It reminds us of the Colonial past. The Residency still has within its walls; the graves of around 2000 British soldiers who died in the Revolt of 1857. You can also treat your eyes with a lot of greenery around.

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You can also visit the famous Hazratganj market, Lucknow Zoo, Clock Tower, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, Gandhi Museum, Dewa Sharif, Jama Masjid, Janeshwar, Mishra park, etc during your stay in this beautiful city of Lucknow.

What to Eat?

Lucknow is famous for its mouth watering cuisines, especially Non Vegetarian dishes. Lucknow is the perfect blend of Nawabi delicacies and Awadhi cuisines. From Kebabs to paan and biryanis you have it all!

You can miss tasting anything but not the world famous Tunday- Kebab!You have to try these dishes when you are in Lucknow or your visit is just incomplete!

  • Galawati Kebab
  • Boti Kebab
  • Tunday Kebab
  • Rogan Josh
  • Lucknowi Biryani
  • Tokri Chaat
  • Paya Ki Nihari
  • Malai Ki Gilori
  • Sheermals
  • Lucknawi Paan

And last but not the least- Prakash ki Kulfi

I believe, nothing can beat the delicious food of Lucknow.

I am sure next time if Anyone tells you, he/she is travelling to Lucknow, the first thing You tell him in case they are non-vegetarian that they should without fail try Tunde-Kabab and also get some packed for you!

What to buy?

The first thing that comes to mind while talking about shopping in Lucknow is of course the famous Chikan work of Lucknow. Chikan is a very famous thread work that is done by the skilled craftsmen of Lucknow. A white chikan kurta is a must buy! Chic and Designer Chikan garments  are available in stores like Ada chikan, Seva Chikan, Nazrana Chikan,Saraswati Chikan Store amongst a few.You can also buy chikan garments in wholesale prices with a lot of variety and colors from Chowk and Aminabad.

You can also visit Gadbadjhala, which is quite reputed for its exquisite jewellery works.

Hazratganj is also a major shopping area in the heart of the city. You can enjoy “Ganjing”Along with some mouth watering delights from Royal Cafe or your personal cup of coffee from Cafe Coffee Day.

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Among the malls, one finds some malls like Sahara Ganj, Fun Republic and East End Mall. One also finds some multiplexes like PVR, Waves and Fun Cinemas,,Inox, Cinepolis which provide entertainment around the clock.

Nightlife: Over the last decade Lucknow has witnessed a massive change when it comes to pub culture and nightlife. There are a lot of party places and nightclubs to enjoy your weekend.

These include the Resto bars, pubs, Hookah bars, and sports bars.

To name a few – Underdogs Sports Bar, Mocha, Zero Degree, EOS club, Lebua, Cappuccino blast are very famous amongst the youngsters.

How to reach?

Lucknow being the capital city is well connected to all major cities by air, rail and road.So do not think twice if you have to visit Lucknow. I am sure you are very likely to fall in love with it.

About the Author:

Anushree SinghStory contributed to yatripandit.com by Anushree Singh who is fondly called by nickname Anu and is a Marketing Professional. She loves to travel to new places exploring local food, shopping and has been lucky to have done what she loves the most.

She is a girl with many aspirations in life likes to read books and write.She believes in reading the firsthand experience about places before planning a visit to a new place and yatripandit.com has been her one of the handpicked websites to read travel tales.

Disclaimer :  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.** Some of the images are taken from google images. Yatripandit owns neither images nor the story.

Picture Courtesy : Shravani Ayyagari(food photography) and Google images

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Raiding Mighty Himalayas – Himachal Pradesh

As you might have understood by far that I am a road trip person.

Before getting to the trip, let me introduce to a new member – A white Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and the owner is none other than, my brother from another mother, Sandy. He has recently shifted to the capital city, New Delhi imparting me a chance to plan and RAID the Mighty Himalayas.The new family member Swift VDi

Coming back to the journey, I booked myself on late night flight to Delhi from Mumbai and landed to be received by Sandy at the Airport. Trust me I was more excited to see the car than seeing him. We reached Sandy’s place around 2am and tried to get some sleep before the Raid, but the butterflies of excitement in our stomach had planned the other way round.

We left early in the morning and our breakfast haul was at Sukhdev Dhaba in Moorthal just outside the national capital. The paranthas are to die for and you cannot afford to miss the white makkhan (butter) even if you are on diet. Filling out tummies and satisfying our souls we are all set to hit the road again.Sukhdev dhaba

We stopped at Ambala to meet an old friend from the university and continued our journey. After crossing Chandigarh bypass, we were welcomed by a board saying, “Welcome to great Himalayan Highways.” There we are, the commencement of uphill journey begins. After, a few KMs we could not control of emotions and urge to have Maggie noodles on one of the Maggie points (Any hill u go in India, Maggie points are omnipresent)

In about 10 hours we reached Kasauli (our would be basecamp) and wasting no time we booked Hotel Pine View located off Chandigarh – Shimla Highway, towards Kasauli. It was a budget hotel, which offered us a Room for two in Rs 1300/- (excluding Meals). Not a bad deal at all, being a long weekend.Hotel pinewood

Kufri:

We decided to rest that night and dozed off after having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant itself.

On the 2nd day, we left after having tea and breakfast to reach Kufri, on the journey we drove through Solan, Shoghi and Shimla (bypass) . The dist. Is about 100 kms but Kandaghat is not easy to drive on, the average speed was about 20 km/h. We obviously stopped at some Monsoon waterfalls and Maggie points to grab a hot tea and Maggie. Reached Kufri in around 6 hours and then our guide (avoid hiring one) told us to take a horse ride to see some sightseeing points (we came back half way disappointed by the ruthless way the horses are treated and made to walk in the mud slurry till knee height) We had to pay the full amt. about Rs. 350/- per horse. Nonetheless, we decided to visit, The Himalayan Nature Park. It is home to about 30 Himalayan wild animals and birds. Witnessing this was a true delight. We started our return journey at 4:30 pm from Kufri ( as we had decided to avoid driving after dusk ) we managed to reach our base camp by 8pm. We had dinner at very famous Giani Dhaba, but it turned out to be even worse than what we could have got at some other not so famous place. AVOID GIANI DHABA.

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Note: The area is a landslide prone, so be cautious while driving and follow sign boards strictly.

Shimla:

Next Morning was the most pleasant one, I have experienced in my lifetime. The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds and the fog was waiting to embrace us in its arms. Wasting no time we head started our journey to state capital – Shimla. Driving through Kandaghat was not as difficult as the weather was pretty clear.Fresh apple from the orchid

Do not forget to take an apple break at the magnificent apple mandi(market) in Solan.

Reached Shimla in about 5 hours and had to struggle a lot to find a Parking place. We headed straight to Mall Road, which is a must visit when you are in Shimla. Bought some Pashmina shawls and stoles for our loved ones, after a lot of bargaining. We were mesmerized to know about the history and importance of Gaity theater. This theater was constructed by British and is one of the six theater left on the planet to be built on Victorian Gothic Architecture. After wandering around and having luscious Chole bature and Chole Samose, in a local Stall, at Mall road. We decided to explore Shimla a little more and click some pictures.

We were back to Kasauli by 8:30 pm and decided to have dinner at Haveli, trust me the food was delicious and way better than what we had @Giani Dhaba last night.

It was an amazing journey with Sandy who got hitched recently. We enjoyed every bit of the mountains. Pure air, green mountains, warm hospitality, well maintained roads, lip smacking food and the most welcoming Pahadis. That’s Himachal for you.

This trip to Himachal Pradesh – The land of Gods will be relished till we leave the land to meet Gods in heaven.

Signing off with a song playing in my mind in loop,”maye ni meriye” by Mohit Chauhan. Here is the link

Trip Duration – 5 days

Expense – Approx. INR 9000 PP (Excluding Flight tickets)

— Abhimanyu@yatripandit

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Warangal- Weekend gateway to kakatiya’s dynasty

Spending an extended weekend sitting idle at home is never a good idea. So, as always I planned a roadtrip to nearby place called Warangal, approximately 150 km away from Hyderabad with my husband. Warangal is referred as the cultural capital of Telangana state. It was the capital city during the flourishing days of mighty Kakatiya dynasty.

We started our journey from Hyderabad around 8 am just to stop for breakfast at one of our favorite places called Udipi Uphar. After that we started our journey towards the city of Warangal. Reached the destination around 1:00pm in the afternoon and checked in our hotel immediately.

How to reach Warangal:

Nearest airport to Warangal is Hyderabad which is approx. 150 Kms

Public Buses- There is direct connectivity from Hyderabad. Buses leave very frequently and take around 6-7 hours to reach Warangal

Train- Warangal is well connected by train routes to major railway corridors in India.

Roadtrip- This is my favorite. The roads are in good condition and one can easily reach within 5 hours.

Accommodation:

1. Haritha kakatiya, Warangal- This hotel is managed by government of Telangana and offers good accommodation, restaurant and a health club

2. Hotel Suprabha- This lovely mid range hotel lets you stay with complimentary breakfast option. This is located in Hannamkonda in Warangal

Places to visit:

Warangal fort– This places is in ruins form but maintained well by Archaeological survey of India (ASI). Fort was commissioned by king Ganpathi Deva. It has beautifully carved arches and pillars that surprised us. Also, has four main ornamental gates to welcome. One can find a Shiva temple with statue of Nandi and many more idols of Hindu Gods like lord Ganesh, Vishnu, Shiva. The extensive rock carvings on the pillars and arches will leave you mesmerized.

Kush Mahal – This architectural masterpiece built by Shitabh khan is located very close to the Warangal fort and is of great historic and architectural importance.

Ramappa Temple – This temple is around 60 km away from Warangal city. It is also called as Rudreshwara temple as this temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Temple is a legendary example of kakatiya art. The temple was constructed during the reign of kakatiya ruler Ganpati deva. Here we hired a guide, who explained the history and other details of the carved pillars of temple. There are three entrances to the temple the main entrance to the temple faces the east where a Nandi mandapa placed. The interesting part is that, across India you will find Nandi sitting in relaxed position in all Shiva temples but here the Nandi is sitting in an alert position waiting to execute the command of lord Shiva.

Thousand pillars temple– It is located in Hanamkonda also called as Tirkutalayam signifying three gods as lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. The six feet high monolithic Nandi is a sight to watch. The temple was built by king Rudra-1 of the Kakatiya dynasty. Temple is situated on a platform raised above ground level and consists of a central hall with three shrines in different directions.

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Nandi at Thousand Pillar Temple

Shri Bhadrakali temple– Close to thousand pillar temple is Bhadrakali temple which has an idol of goddess kali in a sitting posture. The nearby lake called as bhadrakali lake which gives a magnificent view of the place surrounded with lush green hills. It imparts the temple and its serene surrounding a mystical air.

Nearby places:

Pakkhal lake– This huge manmade lake is enveloped by forested hills around few miles away from main city. The Pakkhal wildlife sanctuary can also be visited to unwind in the wilderness.

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Pakkal Lake

Laknavaram lake– Approximately 50 km away from Warangal, Laknavaram lake is located. Built by the Kakatiya rulers, this massive lake is of a bowl like structure having 13 small islands which are scattered amidst the jungle. This makes it a serene and perfect bird watching spot. Also, has a one of a kind suspension bridge connecting three islands managed and maintained by Telangana tourism department.

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Laknavaram Lake

Few quick Tips:

1. Plan your trip during winters (October to January) as in summer it’s too hot and you will not enjoy your trip to the fullest.

2. Carry sufficient cash as ATMs are rare in the villages around Warangal.

3. If you are going by train or bus please book your cabs for city travel and sightseeing in advance for a hassle free trip.

 

Story by -Shikha@yatripandit

Pictures by – Utkarsh Tiwari

Story appreciated and shared by Telangana Tourism Facebook page. 🙂

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Pink City Jaipur

“A city of colors, the city charms its admirers and visitors with it confluence of terrains, colors, and cultural heritage”

Palaces and forts has always excited curious minds and explorers, I always wanted to explore history and mystery of India and one of the best thing (apart from awesome food !) about getting married to a Rajasthani girl is you get to visit this amazing place at least once in a year. If you think one have to be born in royal family to feel like a King or one has to be a princesses to  get the feel royalty of Queen then you should visit Jaipur to prove it wrong.

So if you haven’t explored this awesome city,  pack you bags and hop on!

Me and my wife were travelling to Kota in Haduti region of Rajasthan to attend a marriage ceremony. We were left with 3 days after the marriage and we had our flight back to Hyderabad from Jaipur and as Lao Tzu has said “A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

Day 1

We left for Jaipur from Kota around 6:30 AM and reached Jaipur at 11:30 AM. I had some Redfox Hotel reward points left from my previous business trip. We checked in and tossed our luggage in our room and left for Johri Bazzar for awesome Lassi and Dahi Bada at  LMB.

LMB, is a well-known restaurant and sweet shop amoung local people in Jaipur Established in 1954 it is most known for its restaurant and mithai shop (sweet shop), which are a popular tourist attraction, serving traditional sweets like paneer ghewar, and the sweet lassi, apart from snacks, like samosa, chaat and Aloo tikki.

Next thing on our list was Pride of Asia Rajmandir cinema opened on 1 June 1976 designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi in Art Moderne style. It has a meringue-shaped auditorium which is metaphor of design and architecture. The main attraction of Rajmandir is at the beginning of the movie when curtains are up.

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We watched Neerja movie, after which we had some street side food at Panch Batti Square.

Since we were already tired we went back to hotel room and crashed.

Day 2

Next day morning we wake up @ 8 AM had breakfast and left for site seeing. A cab which was arranged by Hotel was waiting for us in the parking lobby.

Our first pit stop was Amber Fort 

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One of the principal tourist attractions in Jaipur, located high on a hill. Amber Fort Was Built By  Raja Man Singh I. Amber Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Rajput elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.

Main attractions at Amber Fort is ‘Sheesh Mahal’, ‘Diwan-i-Aam’ and ‘Sukh Mahal’.

Don’t miss the royal elephant ride while you are at it!

While coming back from Amber we saw most serene sight amidst the chaos of Jaipur the beautiful Jal Mahal it appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake.

 

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constructed from pink sandstone and follows the classical Rajput symmetrical style which is found throughout of Rajasthan.

Madho Singh, who constructed the Jal Mahal in 1750, simply wished it to be a lodge for himself and his entourage during his duck hunting parties. Madho’s son Madho Singh II greatly enhanced the Jal Palace during the 18th century interior of the palace adding the courtyard grounds and much of the exterior as seen today.

After spending some time with scenic beauty of Jal Mahal we left for Royal Residence The City Palace of Jaipur

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Right in the centre of the Old City the palace has been enlarged and adapted over the centuries. Outer wall was built by Jai Singh. There are buildings from different eras, some dating from the early 20th century are a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Palace reflects Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles although the palace was designed to Vaastushastra treatise, walls and gates are ornately designed to Mughal style, with various murals, lattice and mirrors adorning them from sides.

A complex of courtyards, gardens and buildings, the impressive gates adheres to
the royal heritage of the City Palace.

Awe-inspired by City Palace we left for our last stop of the day, Albert Hall 

“…That’s why we have the Museum, Matty, to remind us of how we came, and why to start fresh, and begin a new place from what we had learned and carried from the old.”
― Lois Lowry, Messenger

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Completed in 1887 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob

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The foundation stone of Albert Hall was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward

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Indo-Saracenic architecture and stone ornamentation, became a source of reference for varied classical Indian styles of design from Mughal to Rajput. Even the corridors were decorated with murals in a variety of styles including the Ramayan, reproducing paintings from illustrations in the Persian Razmnama prepared for Emperor Akbar. European, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Babylonian civilizations were portrayed in the other murals to enable the people of the region to compare and contrast them with their own and develop their knowledge of history and art.

Albert Hall became a centre for imparting knowledge of history of civilizations, inspiring artisans to improve their skills, and preserving & developing traditional Indian arts, crafts, architectural forms.

Albert Hall has one of my favourite architecture of any building in India.

After spending Quite and peaceful evening in Albert Hall museum we came back to Hotel had King Size Dinner and crashed on to our bed.

Day 3

We had our afternoon flight back to Hyderabad. We had very little time left we quickly went to Govind Dev Ji Temple and from there we left for Airport, promising each other that we will come here more often to witness gallantry of our royal past and amazing hospitality of our wonderful present.

 

-Utkarsh@YatriPandit

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