Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow was an experience where one saw time and people literally reflect themselves in the Architecture and unlike most places, these were not restricted to a single monument but large areas characteristic to a certain era. The nawabs displayed their regal splendor in ‘masjids’ / mosques and ‘imambaras’ situated in the old city. Followed by the British rule, the city witnessed colonial styled buildings as part of the Residency and the famous Hazratganj market. Even today the old city and the market place is home to many and probably the most commercial districts buzzing during the day.

Post independence the city took to the trans-Yamuna side with large housing colonies coming up. Gomti Nagar, the most populated amidst these saw the ‘free’ people going crazy with their freedom. This area plays host to some of the most eclectic and some times grotesque houses also, with the people taking influences from all the styles that can be seen in context. Lastly and lately Lucknow is witnessing a style personal to a political head, Kumari Mayawati. This chief minister of the state is making her presence felt by of a megalomania taking over the city. In the name of architecture for the minorities, these projects worth millions are stone covered parks, superstructures and statues of her.

A short trip to Ayodhya intervened the explorations through Lucknow’s legacy. This temple town, considered to be the birth town of Lord Ram, has seen its holiness being overpowered by hostility. Communal issues over religious structures has somewhere snatched away the aura which I imagined a town like this would possess. However, the ghats by the Saryu river, colorful houses and the simple images which the people portrayed showed their ignorance to these issues triggered by political powers.

Back to Lucknow !! A horse cart ride and culinary journey through the old city was a great experience and quite like a friend said” Lucknow the  land of the erstwhile Nawabs and delectable Kebabs.” A seamless blend of persian, islamic and indian architecture adorned the mosques. These royal structures had mazes and secret passages all accompanied by historical reasons and mythical stories.

Moving onto the British part of town, the Residency remained only in shambles with gun fire holes all over the remains. But some structures of French influence stood tall and glorious. The La Martiniere School a fine example of French architecture is still the growing grounds for many students . This palatial complex with sprawling laws is so enticing that even i was tempted to go back to school if it looked like this.

The trip ended with still a few places left to be seen, a few delicacies yet to be tried and a culture still to be explored. Lucknow and its surroundings are a true melting pot of mainly hindu ideologies, islamic structures,  socio-religious political powers and other minorities characteristic to a mini-India

Copyright Abhimanyu Prakash

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~ by abhimanyuprakash on January 22, 2012.

One Response to “Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh”

  1. Awesome pics…..Prashant

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