October 15, 2021

Kanpur & Lucknow – A Short History with Ayush Khanna

This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with traveler and history & culture  nerd - Ayush Khanna, as he takes us back in time to explore an important milestone in India’s independence.

Today's destination: Kanpur & Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Nearest Airport: Kanpur Airport, KNU or Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, LKO

Nearest Railway Station: Kanpur Central Railway Station (CNB) or Lucknow Railway Station (LKO) 

Prerequisites -  NA

Packing - Pack light

Time of the year - Nov-Feb, avoid the cyclone season

Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days

Itinerary Highlights: 

  • Ayush talks about the leadup to the 1857 Sepoy mutiny also known as India’s first war of Independence and discusses the connected histories of Kanpur and Lucknow during this period.
  • Kanpur used to be a garrison town of the British East India company’s troops. Kanpur turns out to be a key location where the 1857 mutiny played out. Ayush explains the role of Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the Peshwa in exile, the events that unfolded at the Massacre Ghat and Bibighar, the reaction of the East India company. 
  • In the meantime, Lucknow had been the home of Nawab aristocracy, starting with Asaf-ud-daula who was the architect of Lucknow, moving from Faizabad and  lasting till 1856 and ending with Wajid Ali Shah.    
  • Ayush also shares some interesting stories about the Cawnpore Memorial, Nana Rao park, the Baron of Cawnpore and All Souls church.  
  • Along with the history of the 1857 mutiny, Ayush also calls out some important structures in the two towns - Kala Imambara, Kaiser Bagh, Kothi Roshan ud Daula, The Residency and La Martiniere in Lucknow. In Kanpur, Ayush touches upon the popular mills like Elgin Mill, Lal Imli along with All Souls church.      
  • Of course, how could we miss covering some creepy ghost stories while here - learn about the Kanpur Cemetery and its Sa rkata Angrez or the headless Englishman as well as the horse riding Sufi! 
  • Covering the cuisine of Lucknow alone should take a season or two, but notable mentions starting with Idris ki Biryani and Lalla ki Biryani in the Chowk area, Aabodana home kitchen by Sheeba Iqbal for Sheer mal, Kheema matar, kali gajar ka halwa. Also try out Neymat Khana in Kaiserbagh for a collection of home food at one place. Bajpai’s chai, Shukla chaat, as well as Thaggoo’s badnaam kulfi and samosas are not to be missed while in Kanpur.


Ayush’s Blog : https://www.whitelotustile.com/ 

Article Blog post: https://livewire.thewire.in/politics/the-baron-of-cawnpore/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LotusTile 


Photo by Aradhya Kansal on Unsplash

Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash

Battle music: Sota War (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/258207/) by YleArkisto (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/) is licensed under CC by 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)


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