Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh
, is situated on the banks of the River Gomati, about 516 km east of
. It is popularly called the city of Nawabs and Kababs, both of which are famous here.
Lucknow is believed to have been named after Lucknau or Lakshmana, a character in the renowned epic
Ramayana. Formerly called Avadh, Lucknow had witnessed the last heady days of Muslim rule in India. It was also an important repository of Shi’a (a sect of Islam) culture and Islamic jurisprudence. The monuments in the city still bear the marks of India's First War of Independence in 1857. During the reign of the Nawabs of Avadh, arts flourished. The city attracted poets and artists, and Hindus and Muslims worked in harmony. It is now famous as the gharana of music and chikan (shadow work embroidery) work. Exquisite European architecture can also be seen here.
Places of historical interest: Jama Masjid, Bara Imambara, Moti Mahal, Chhattar Manzil (Umbrella palace), Chhota Imambara, Clock Tower, Residency, La Martiniere, Rumi Darwaza, Sadar Ali Khan's Tomb, Shaheed Smarak, Shahnajaf Imambara, Sikander Bagh, and State Museum.
Neighboring tourist and pilgrim spots include Naimisharanya,
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Dewa Sharief,
Dudhwa National Park, and
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama.
The city is 2544 sq km in area, with a population over 3 million. The climate rises upto 45oC in summer and falls to a minimum of 5 in winter. The Lucknow
Charbagh Railway Station and
Lucknow Junction Railway Station are nodal points of transport in the city.