If you travel to Lucknow, you'll realise that the city is a coalescence of old traditions and modern ideas. World-famous for its culture, almost everyone in Lucknow is warm and courteous to a fault. They have stayed true to their roots and at the same time, have a fine taste in food, clothing and maintain a fairly high standard of living.
So, it is half a battle won for you to travel to a place where you will not feel lost but be engulfed with the warmth of its people. In fact, when you return from the city, you might be demonstrating the same tehzeeb (etiquette). So, embrace the warmth, and while you are there, here are things that you can do, eat and buy:
Do - Bada Imambara, a historical edifice with marvellous architecture. Its main attraction is the “Bhool Bhulaiya” a labyrinth that also houses Asia's largest hall. Also, don't miss the British Residency, a complex of ruins that served as a refuge for British inhabitants during the uprising of 1857. The cemetery at the nearby ruined church is equally intriguing. And of course, the Chattar Manzil famous for its umbrella shaped dome. A unique and intriguing feature of this monument is its underground halls called tahekhanas.
Eat - There is no limit to what you can eat when in Lucknow because everything is lip-smacking. Home to Awadhi cuisine, Lucknow offers you a sumptuous spread. Start with the famous Lucknow Biryani that is cooked on dum. Next, you can try Galouti Kebab. This mouth-melting kebab has a chronicle of its own, worthy to be talked about and savoured. Leave some space for Tokri Chaat, a dish of deep-fried basket-shaped dough filled with a mix of boiled peas and potato mash. And how can we forget Paya Ki Nihari, a dish of lamb trotters and very special spices. You can also try the creamy and mouth-watering dessert, Makhan Malai. And of course, no trip to Lucknow is complete without trying Lucknowi Paan stuffed with several different tongue-teasing ingredients including mango pulp during the summer.
Buy – With a city that stands for tehzeeb, it's not a surprise that the souvenirs of Lucknow are bound to be elegant and delicate. Chikankari should be a top must-buy. The delicate embroidery done on delicate muslin cloth is just perfect to wear during summers. For fun's sake, buy a Dupalli Topi that has Chikankari on it, and is only available in Lucknow. If you dig jewellery, then Jhalar earrings and Chand Bali should make you happy. You also get amazing metalcraft in Lucknow especially done on small storage boxes that you could buy. If perfumes are your thing then get attar (scent) customized and bring it home in an exquisite glass bottle.