A city of dreams, of royal courts, steep in ancient Indian history, culture and heritage, Lucknow  is a legacy to itself – the abundance of all things fine and fragile.

It is not a stroll down memory lane. It’s a long captivating walk in the bylanes and bazaars through the picturesque cityscapes that speak a million words of the long ago elegance and opulence the city had become synonymous with and came to be called The City of Palaces and Gardens. Today, it is going through a transition.

Splendid buildings in bricks that have witnessed centuries of history, the chime of temple bells, the call of the muezzin, the magical strains of thumri, the soulful lyrics of ghazals, the expressive grace of Kathak dance, the exquisite crafts, the delicate flavours of cuisine–all these are part of the fascinating city of Lucknow.

(Getty Images)


It is a walk of a thousand journeys through the once vibrant bygone era. Vipul B Varshney, an architect by profession,  takes you on “A walk through history” in Lucknow – The City of Heritage & Culture, an elegant coffee table book.

Beautifully captured in words by Varshney and over 100 splendid photographs by Ajaish Jaiswal and minute architectural drawings that recreate the city’s majestic historic monuments, the coffee table book  is neatly curated. It explores the passion and aesthetics of the people of Awadh in the Nawabi city and brings home the readers to The City of Palaces and Gardens.

One of the eternal cities of India, Lucknow is a city in transition as mentioned in the forward of the book. The city need not be bracketed between the extravaganza of the nawabs and the expediency of Company raj only. Those perhaps were the best of times when royal pleasure boats and exotic goods from other parts of world sailed down the now-deserted Gomti.

“...the  heart and soul of the city thrives in the bylanes of its chowks and bazaars, in its arts and crafts, in its historic monuments and relics, in its secular and religious institutions, not to forget the famous Awadh cuisine.

Ambedkar Memorial Park, Lucknow
Ambedkar Memorial Park in Lucknow (Getty Images)


A beautiful reminder of the glorious royal legacy, and carefully laid out description of the spelndour with grandeur of Lucknow, which today is a city in transition, the book could make your day on a leisurely afternoon. It could take you for a passionate exploration of the city then and now… to the birthplace of the famous Dussehri mangoes and provides a glimpse of the origin of the famous Kakori kabab and more!

Beginning with Hussainabad, Lucknow – The City of Heritage & Culture, published by Niyogi Books and priced at Rs.2,500, guides you to all places of interest in the heritage city. their history, architecture and culture — an insightful view of the rich city.