This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Siddharth Keswani, an up and coming Youtuber who makes lifestyle, travel and food vlogs. Sit back and enjoy as Siddharth takes us on a speed date with Lucknow - the land of Nawabs and Kababs!
Today's destination: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh!
Nearest Airport: Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, LKO
Nearest Railway Station: Lucknow Charbagh railway station
Prerequisites - An empty stomach!
Packing - N/A, just warm clothes if you visit in winter
Length of the itinerary: One day!
- Kick start the day early with a visit to Sharmaji's tea stall to savour some bun makkhan with Sharmaji's Kullad vali Chai! If you are up for it, grab a bite of the samosas as well!
- If that didn't kick start your day, you can freshen things up by a visit to the Janeshwar Mishra park in Gomti Nagar - a vast expanse of 376 acres of green spread in the heart of Lucknow! One of Asia's biggest parks that boasts of water bodies, cycle tracks, jogging tracks, children's play areas and a wide variety of plant species!
- After spending time in the vast expanse of green, it's time to head over to the heart of Lucknow - the old city!
- Rumi Darwaza, a grand old gate built in 1784 during the time of Asaf-ud-daula, is inspired by Roman architecture offers a great photo op!
- Within walking distance from the Rumi Darwaza is the Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara - two beautiful congregation halls built in the 18th century. The Bada Imambara boasts of the Bhul Bhulaiya, a huge maze or three-dimensional labyrinth where one can get lost in! The imambara also has other structures like a popular step-well and some beautiful mosques nearby like the Asfi mosque.
- A quick ride away from the Imambaras is the Kudiya ghat situated on the banks of the Gomti River. The ghat, albeit not as popular as the ghats of Varanasi or Banaras, offers a great view of the early morning pilgrims, diyas and artis offering pooja and sadhus taking a holy dip in the river. The ghat is open from dawn to dusk.
- You don't have to break a sweat to get about Lucknow either - there are plenty of options with public transport, buses, rickshaws or tuk tuks and ofcourse for the uber cool, the Ubers and Olas! And oh, did I mention about the ever expanding Metro/subway trains and e-ricks? Yep, it's a thing!
- It's finally time for a brunch! And where better to be than Old Lucknow! Try out Rahim ki Nihari in the old city where you can sample Buffalo foot stew and SHirmal - piping hot broth also called as Paaya in parts of the country! Finish off the meal by drinking some Sulaimani chai and some makkhan malai on the side - a milk/cream based savory dish!
- After this sumptous brunch, it's time to walk around a bit in another of the city's green patches called eco-garden on VIP road. It's best to spend an evening in the cool confines of th eco-garden that boasts of a kid's friendly artificial zoo, a lot of water shows and green houses.
- After cooling down in the eco-garden, it's finally time to hit Hazrath Ganj, where the cool crowds hang out! Get introduced to Ganjing - Walking, shopping and eating around Hazrath Ganj. Siddharth also educates us and our listeners with some uber cool words like Bhowkal, Rangbazi and Rowla! Try saying that one more time!
- Now it's time to binge again - Try out the basket chaat or katori chaat at a chain called Royal Cafe! A sovoury food served with friend potatoes, vada, curd, and a lot of masalas!
- If you are up for some shopping, try out the chikan kari embroidered suits and kurtas that are synonymous with Lucknow!
- once you are done shopping, it's time to finish the day on a high by eating Galauti kebab at Tunday Kababi - one of the most popular kabab joints of Lucknow. If you still have more room in your tummy, also sample the chicken Biryani. And if there is still room, then go for a lucknowi paan!