With a quaint old charm and glorious culture to its name, the city of Lucknow has earned itself a special place in the tourism sector of the country. The specialties of the region such as Lucknow Chikan works, handicrafts and other items proudly display the awe-inspiring cultural opulence of the place. Urdu, being a commonly spoken language in the city, the Nawabi culture can be well felt strongly in every aspect of life here. The good-looking gardens, brilliant poetry and fine cuisine of the region narrate to you the story of its majestic rulers who made the land a very prominent one. As you look into the celebrated past of the city, the thrilling legends associated with it makes you feel proud about the land, its illustrious rulers and rich culture. If you are keen to know more about the colorful history of Lucknow, then go through the sections below.
The origin of Lucknow is not only mysterious but also interesting to both historians and laymen alike. According to a legend, Lakshamana the brother of Lord Rama laid the foundation to this city on the banks of the Gomti River. Hence, this place became popular as Lakshmanpur. However, with time, under the hands of many noted rulers, the city became popular as Lucknow. Although the place finds its existence in mythological records, the historical records of Lucknow state that it became prominent only during the 18th century.
As per the records, the foundation to the city was laid in the 13th century, which is very recent compared to many other cities in the country. Lakshman Tila, the central region of the city, is believed to be the site of wonderful fort built by the tribes from Bijnor. As the city became famous, many rulers started invading it and finally the fort came into under the reign of Sharqi rulers of Jaunpaur who exercised their power in this region until 1476. In the 1540s, the fort came under the hands of the Delhi Sultan, Sher Shah Suri.
From The Mughals To The Nawabs
During the glorious rules of Mughals, Oudh region including Lucknow flourished beautifully. Particular the period from 1556-1605 under the reign of Akbar, the eminence of this region reached to great heights. Later in the year 1724, the Mughal emperor Muhmmad Shah appointed Nawab Sadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk as Governor of Oudh region and thus the spectacular rule of Nawabs began in Lucknow, which continued until the 18th century.
Modernization Of Lucknow
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, belonging to Awadh dynasty, was the last Nawab of Oudh. Pleased by the beauty of the land, he shifted his capital from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775. The modernization process of the city under his assistance led to the emergence of a string of monuments. He hired gifted artists and architects from Persia and transformed Lucknow into the land of art and culture. The generous Nawab is remembered even today for monumental feat, the 'Bara Imambara'. According to the legends, the Nawab started constructing the Imambara in order to provide thousands of men with a livelihood who suffered due to floods. According to legends, the building was constructed during the day and the same was destroyed during the night. This was done to ensure that no one remained unemployed, thus the monument took a long time to be completed.
By the 18th century, the power of Nawabs slowly started declining and the British under the governance of Lord Dalhousie took over the control of Lucknow and established the rule of the 'East India Company' in 1856. Until the independence of India, the city saw several upheavals under the British government, which had their own pros and cons.
Struggle For Independence
Lucknow has exhibited its special power both during First War of Independence and during the freedom struggle of the country. Whether it is the Lucknow Pact of 1916 or Khilafat Movement, the city provided the citizens with a platform to raise their voice against the British. The magic of Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar worked very well as they attracted people of the city to revolt against the forced rule of the English.
After India's Independence in 1947, Lucknow was named as the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Today, the city is one of the major political centers in the country..