So we have heard all the ‘tehzeeb & tameez’ with the famous ‘Pehle aap’. But this is also the land of quality lovers. The city of Nawabs has the best fusion of fine cuisine, poetry, music, dance, courtly manners, and beautiful gardens that make it the Shiraz-I-Hind and The Constantinople of India. Welcome to Lucknow.
The cultural heritage has played a vital role in carving out a set pattern in the lifestyle of the natives. The land is rich in historical sites and site-seeing will comprise of the major activities on your itinerary,apart from eating good food!, it took us two days to visit the Nawabi galore in and around old Lucknow which is popularly called; Hussainabad.
This time when you plan a visit, schedule three extra days to comfortably hover the city on an easy pace.me my priority was to visit the Clock Tower, because of the fact, my great grand father was in the administrative team in the colonial government when the Clock tower was constructed by nawab Nasir Ud Din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Cooper. Built around 1881, it was designed in Victorian Gothic style, which carried the largest clock and was then, the tallest clock tower in India. It was drawn on lines of London’s Big Ben. On looking closely the dial of the clock is designed in the shape of a twelve petaled flower with roman numbers in each one them.
Clock towers, like this one and many more around the globe are admired for their beauty today but apparently they added to the functional value too. One of the oldest towers dates back to 50 BC with The Tower Of The Winds, in Athens. This was constructed with eight sundials. These structures were designed primarily as Striking Clocks, constructed at the center of cities these bells were used to call people for work etc. Placed inside the tower, these bells resonated loud sounds and covered reasonable distance serving the purpose.
As per documents and my research, prior to 18th century, people did not have watches and fewer had home clocks. Later, designers installed a dial on the higher end of the tower, on the outer walls, this would enable people to read the time as per their choice and need.
There are some wonderful events that I read from history, including the thirteenth stroke of the clock, and have enjoyed writing my experience in the pages too. That day, I spent my evening sitting around the garden and recalling those old pictures of an album from my grandparent’s collection. It also reminds me that these pictures that were black and white, created in those olden days had a silver tint and a different texture, were crisp and flaky and all had a tale to tell, specially a few that I, as a child were really scared of. With so many flash backs and memories attached to this city, was my travel plan curated.
All the monuments have been beautifully maintained by the Uttar Pradesh tourism and are attractive enough for a visit.
The Clock Tower is coupled with the picture gallery and a lake which can be visited on the Bada Imaambara ticket, that costs ₹50 for Indians and ₹500 for foreigners. You can plan a complete day to walk around the Bada & the Chota Imaambada in the same ticket.
My tales from this city are endless, with some delicious food picks too but I want to write separately for some of the old and famous food joints, on which the city has been feasting for years. So dear readers please wait until I post about my visit to the few food hubs I grubbed on this time.