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Forever associated with the mutiny that marked the official beginning of British rule in India, Lucknow is a fascinating window onto the history of the Raj. Colonial buildings abound, from the crumbling ruins of the Residency — where the mutineers held the British population of Lucknow hostage for 148 days — to the extraordinary Gothic fantasy that is the Martiniere College. Juxtaposed against the colonial city is the ancient capital of the nawabs, the Muslim rulers of Lucknow, who lie buried in grand mausoleums scattered around the city. Less famous than Agra or Varanasi, Lucknow benefits from being off the mainstream tourist trail. This is ...

Forever associated with the mutiny that marked the official beginning of British rule in India, Lucknow is a fascinating window onto the history of the Raj. Colonial buildings abound, from the crumbling ruins of the Residency — where the mutineers held the British population of Lucknow hostage for 148 days — to the extraordinary Gothic fantasy that is the Martiniere College. Juxtaposed against the colonial city is the ancient capital of the nawabs, the Muslim rulers of Lucknow, who lie buried in grand mausoleums scattered around the city. Less famous than Agra or Varanasi, Lucknow benefits from being off the mainstream tourist trail. This is a place to drift around at your own pace, feasting on delicious Awadhi cuisine and soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of North India. If you sample just one dish, make it a dum puhkt curry, slow cooked in a sealed pot to preserve the flavors. The British even left behind a surprisingly lively bar scene, a rarity in the Indian plains. Although Lucknow has a busy airport, serving cities across India and the Persian Gulf, many people prefer to arrive by train, breaking the journey east from Agra to Varanasi or Kolkata.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, for clear skies and moderate temperatures; morning fog can delay flights from December to February.