Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th March 2015, 10:33   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
predatorwheelz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Delhi/Kolkata
Posts: 1,653
Thanked: 1,103 Times
Smile A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

My father was born and brought up in Gorakhpur, UP. His job necessitated travelling the length and breadth of this great country, and he has seen many a great city in all its colors. Admittedly, my travelling is more on leisure, and self driven, but his experience (and stories) of different cities hold good to this day.

Lucknow was a city he used to wax eloquent about. The city of Tehzeeb, he used to say. The city where a mithai shop's nameboard (reportedly in Gomti Chowk) carries the slogan "Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain". Many years ago (when I was still a school student) he returned from a business trip to Lucknow with what looked like minced mutton pancakes. "Try this, its called Galauti Kebab". As the flavours blended on the tongue and the finely minced meat dissolved in the mouth, I yearned to go to the source of this great food and eat it fresh off the stove. Another delight (more for the mum than me) was the lovely Chikan fabric he used to bring. Lastly, there was the story of the Lucknow nawabs, brought to light not so much by the history books as by Ray's lovely movie "Shatranj ke Khiladi".

Forward to the present day. Actually, make that early January. I had just returned from a delightful trip of Rajasthan (A week's drive through Rajasthan Part II - The desert wind blows over Marwar) and was at SS-Traveller's place for an evening chat. The discussion turned to Lucknow, which he had visited with his family earlier and had a marvellous time. There was plenty left to do though. Like visiting the original Tunday Kebabi (not a franchise) at Aminabad. Like another round of Chikan shopping. Like seeing the historical wonders in a little more detail. He suggested we utilize the extended weekend of 24-26 January. And we agreed. It was to be 5 people, SST with his family, my wife and I. Argento, my new i20 diesel, was chosen to be the steed for the journey. It would show us the little big hatchback's capability to cover long distances under a full load. 5 big Senguptas in 1 little Hyundai.

The Journey

The original decision was to leave on 24th morning, so we could effectively utilize all 3 days. But that was not to happen, as both my wife and SST's daughter had unavoidable commitments. So we decided to leave on 24th night. I myself had a hectic day at office, working well beyond the half day (that Saturday usually is for me). We left Dwarka at 9 and reached SST's house at 9.30, where the 3 of them hopped on. Tired as I was, I gladly gave SST the key and he drove us out of Delhi.

Just before hitting Yamuna Expressway, we saw a lit signboard announcing that the expressway was under severe fog and motorists should exercise caution. But my driver was the man who's written the team bhp article on driving in fog (ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG). Why would I be worried?

As we progressed, the conditions did get more and more severe. The pic below would be an indication of how bad the fog was. There were the omnipresent idiots who drive in fog with their blinkers on.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-yamuna-expressway.jpg

The women in the car slept off halfway into YE, but I (tired as I was) stayed awake like a bat. SST's lovely driving ensured we were in Agra in about 4 hours.

About 50 kms after Agra, I requested to take over the reigns. Only to discover terrible driving conditions. First, the fog cover showed no indication of lifting. Secondly, the Agra Kanpur stretch (which I've done thrice earlier) is now riddled with unfinished flyovers which make you get into narrow diversions. Thankfully there was hardly any traffic except a few trucks. SST gave me real time advice on how to make the best of driving in fog.

Tired as I was, I managed about 130 kms of driving before realizing that I was paralyzed by sleep. It was about 5 in the morning when we pulled over for a smoke, and to hand the steering back to SST. The pic below shows how dense the fog was then.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-img20150125wa000.jpg

I slept immediately after, not to be awakened till we reached Kanpur. A brief stop after Kanpur as the sun rose, and I took over the steering for the last bit of driving to Lucknow. The road from Kanpur to Lucknow is bad initially (till the Lucknow municipality border starts) and improves immediately thereafter. Since it was early morning, we just about managed to avoid mad city traffic and were in our hotel by 9.30. 12 hours of driving.

There was no time to sleep though. Our itinerary had reduced to just 2 days, and we had to make full use of the Sunday we had. So immediately, we proceeded to Aminabad, for lunch at the original Tunday outlet.

A word of advice. If you've driven to Lucknow, and plan to take your own car to visit the sights, go early. For example, in Aminabad you have just one underground car parking. Half of it is filled by cars which look to have been permanently parked there. If you don't go early, you'll have to wait in endless queues for the slots to clear up and get a slot. See the pic below.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01263.jpg

Aminabad is one of the older parts of Lucknow. Like any old city (whether its Delhi's Chandni Chowk or Varanasi) you initially are up to your gills with chaotic, mad rush of people.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04150.jpg

And signboards overlapping each other till as far as the eye can see.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01261.jpg

But then, as experienced men will tell you, you take a deep breath and relax. And look up and look around. You will find many interesting buildings, or relics, which were built at a time when life was not so chaotic.

Like this beautiful, 80 year old Dharamshala.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04148.jpg

This colonial era sculpture which can be barely made out among rows of hoardings.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04163.jpg

This building that has seen better days.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04164.jpg

This lovely triple domed mosque.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01264.jpg

And lovely Jaali work on the balconies of what is now "Sunder Picture Palace".

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01262.jpg

But by now we were 15 hours without sleep and a decent meal. That too, in sniffing distance of our intended destination. So we upped the pace and headed for the Tunday outlet at Aminabad.

The Food

Just a small signboard you see at the entrance to the lane.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01238.jpg

A slightly bigger signboard at the entrance to the restaurant.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04161.jpg

A disclaimer you should be aware of.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04160.jpg

And what cheap prices!

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01239.jpg

Tunday places its preparation kitchen right at the entrance. I think this is a deliberate move, to get your juices flowing in anticipation of the fantastic meal you're about to have.

Whether its these colorful Sheermals (Sweet Parathas).

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04152.jpg

Chicken Qorma floating in a bed of oil and spices.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01250.jpg

Chicken being spiced for the Tandoor.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04153.jpg

One man kneading the minced meat into round kebabs.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04154.jpg

Another grilling them on the tawa till they are golden brown.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04155.jpg

By this time I can barely contain my drool. I rush for the restaurant door.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01242.jpg

You guys coming?

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01243.jpg

The delightfully done menu. The prices of course, are reasonable.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01247.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01248.jpg

What follows is an absolute fest of indulgence. Plates and plates of beef and mutton galauti kebabs, a few bowls of Qorma, endless Parathas and Sheermals. In a restaurant where Rs 200 can fetch a decent meal for 2, 5 of us run up a bill of nearly a thousand!

We finish the meal with a few bowls of this delightful kheer.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-kheer.jpg

The smiles tell their own story.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01249.jpg

You would think after this sinful meal, we wouldn't look at anything to eat for a long time. But no. We head straight for our next destination, the famous "Prakash Ki Kulfi".

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01252.jpg

The unassuming interiors, with 2 floors of seating. A menu with few choices and very reasonable prices. Also a garlanded photo of a smiling man, who we can only assume is Mr Prakash.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01256.jpg

The boys get to work scooping out frozen Kulfi containers from water buckets.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01253.jpg

Lining them in rows.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01255.jpg

And finally, garnishing with faluda and serving this delightful sweet to us.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01260.jpg.

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 18th March 2015 at 12:17.
predatorwheelz is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2015, 22:31   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
predatorwheelz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Delhi/Kolkata
Posts: 1,653
Thanked: 1,103 Times
Default Re: Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Lucknow is also known for 2 other food kinds. Varieties of Naan Khatai biscuits, as in the pic below.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04149.jpg

And gol-gappe in 5 different flavors. Though I did see a vendor selling them, skipped my mind to take a pic.

The Sights

Our outlet from Aminabad was through this very crowded road. At one point the car got in a maze of 2 and 3 wheelers. A wise man on a bike tried to lecture me, to which I had to politely ask him "Janab, paan thunk dijie, phir baat karie. Kuch samajh mein nahi aa raha".

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc04166.jpg

The Bara Imambara was started in 1785 by the the erstwhile Nawab, Asaf-Ud-Daula. It was a very kind "Food-for-work" programme by the Nawab, where his subjects - badly affected by famine - could work on the building, and earn some money and a square meal.

It was said that common people worked in the day, and the nobles worked in the dark of the night to avoid embarrassment at being sighted doing manual labour. The monument was finished in 6 years. By this time the grateful people had coined the term "Jise na de Maula, use de Asaf-ud-Daula".

The front gate of the Bara Imambara. Overlooks an impossibly crowded road where finding parking can be a nightmare. We were lucky as one car (parked close to the gate) pulled out just as we were coming in.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01237.jpg

The "Toran" opposite to the front gate.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01266.jpg

But the tour of Bara Imambara would have to wait. We are asked to hire Tongas first, which will take us on a "4-point" tour of the area. So we set off in 2 Tongas.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01268.jpg

The Rumi Darwaza, our first point of attraction. Built in 1784, it was modelled on the Bab-i-Humayun gate in Istanbul, and was initially the entrance to Lucknow Old city. As the city expanded, it became the entrance to the Royal Palace, which was razed to the ground later by British Insurgents.

The Rumi Darwaza is unique in architecture. From the front it gives the impression of a four storeyed, layered gate.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01269.jpg

While from the rear it is a single arch toran.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01273.jpg

We are unceremoniously whipped off into a side road to see "Chikan straight from a factory". Goats being sold on the roadside.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01275.jpg

Commerce rears its ugly head wherever you go these days. We were told the Chikan here would be the "best quality" and "cheapest" in Lucknow. The ladies take the staircase, while SST and I catch a smoke.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01278.jpg

The ladies doing what they do best. Thankfully Mrs SST has been to Lucknow earlier, and states this stuff is neither best nor cheapest. We come out without buying anything. Back to the history lesson.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01281.jpg

The entrance to the Chhota Imambara. We don't go in.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01285.jpg

Satkhanda. Originally planned as a 7 story lunar observation tower by Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah, but abandoned after his death. Only 4 stories are complete.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01286.jpg

Lucknow Ghanta Ghar, or Clock Tower.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01287.jpg

We are back inside the Bara Imambara complex now. The well maintained garden.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01289.jpg

One question had been plaguing my mind. This was the first time I saw the presence of fish in Islamic architecture, anywhere in India. Everywhere, including the royal flag of Awadh. Why did they have fish?

Locally, no one could provide a satisfactory answer. A person posing as a guide gave the laughable explanation "Because we Lucknavis deem fish a part of their everyday life, so we incorporated it in the Royal Emblem". Yeah right! Talking about fish being a part of everyday life to a Bengali.

It took me some research later to find out the true cause. And its interesting. Read on.

The Persian emperors designed the concept of "Mahi Maratib" as an honourary award to their loyal nobles and smaller kings. Loosely could be translated as "Fish and dignities" (Mahi-o-Maratib). The "order of the fish" signified youth, bravery, perseverance and strength. It was the highest honor awarded to subordinate kings, and they would carry the flag of Mahi Maratib into battles where they would be aiding the Persian emperor.

In India, the Mughal Sultans adopted the Mahi Maratib concept. Typically given to subordinate kings with an army of 6000 men or more. The ruler of Bikaner was awarded with the Mahi Maratib, as was the Nawab of Awadh. The latter were proud to show off their stature, and the fish of Mahi Maratib found recognition in their royal flag, as well as all their architecture.

The impressive front gate of the Bara Imambara.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01291.jpg

A very impressive pan shot by SST, showing the Bara Imambara building to the left and the Asfi mosque to the right.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01294.jpg

A solitary shot of the Asfi mosque.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01292.jpg

Darshini and I do our best to overshadow the Bara Imambara.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01297.jpg

The place where you remove shoes outside. Very impressive click by SST.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01298.jpg

The interiors of the Bara Imambara. In the centre is the tomb of Asaf-Ad-Daula.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01300.jpg

Contrasting architecture in ceilings of the 2 smaller domes. The first is more Indian, like a lotus.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01303.jpg

The second Persian. More ornamental. Don't know about the truth of the origin, but the restoration is certainly shabby quality.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01310.jpg

Our over-smart and under-informed guide. Apparently qualified and a trust employee, but stated many facts which were historically incorrect.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01305.jpg

The 3 window arches have been filled with cheap, cardboard imitations of eminent Islamic monuments. Like some mosque at Islamabad, Medina and so on. Terrible quality imitations.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01307.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01308.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01309.jpg

We go to the balconies on the first floor of the mausolem. Here the acoustic benefits of a pillarless arch are demonstrated to us. A man standing on the opposite balcony (right across the hall) lights a match. We can hear the sound at our side!

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01316.jpg

We are next taken to the Bhool Bhulaiya. But I will not talk about it here. Primarily because if you're an intelligent person, and expecting to get lost in the Bhool Bhulaiya, you'll be severely disappointed. Most of the original maze has been closed off by the Government on security grounds, and what remains is a flight of passages around the main building. Easy to get in and get out if you notice the path of light.

In fact if you go on a Sunday, like we did, you'll only be rammed against endless lines of humanity inside a dark passage, yelling their lungs off just because no one explained to them how an echo works. No thrill, strictly avoidable.

Instead, better to spend some time on the large terrace with its impressive pillars.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01320.jpg

An impressive pan shot of the entire complex from the terrace.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01321.jpg

A view within the arch.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01324.jpg

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 18th March 2015 at 12:11.
predatorwheelz is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2015, 22:35   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
predatorwheelz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Delhi/Kolkata
Posts: 1,653
Thanked: 1,103 Times
Default Re: Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Our last visit is to the Baoli (stepwell) within the Bara Imambara complex.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01329.jpg

You can walk within the passages. One shot taken from inside the well.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01330.jpg

Not really impressive architecture, compared to the intricate work found in the Baolis of Gujarat or Rajasthan.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc01334.jpg

It is evening by now. We have dinner at Dastrakhwan. The food is good standalone, but not a patch on Tunday Aminabad.

Some more galouti kebabs and a mutton boti curry.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-boti-kabab-galauti-kabab.jpg

Chicken quorma.

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-chicken-qorma.jpg

The day after

We had a very impressive breakfast of Chhole Kachoris and Jalebi at a sweet shop recommended by someone. The idea was to take the NH24 route on our return, which was a mini disaster. Quoting from SST's post here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3633099

With the impression/feedback from various sources that Bareilly - Delhi and Lucknow - Sitapur stretches are now toll-paying and should be good, and that Sitapur - Bareilly is single carriageway but in good condition, we decided to try our luck on the return journey via NH24. Bad choice, since the total time taken jumped up to 13 hours, including a meal break of 1 hour near Bareilly, a coffee break near Gajraula of 30 minutes, and another short 15-minute stop.

The Sitapur-Bareilly stretch is in quite a mess. The road surface is pockmarked and uneven, such that a low-GC small car (the i20 Elite in our case) scrapes the underbody at times. There are a couple of level crossings where traffic is held up and choked badly when a train passes by, and local traffic including slow-moving tractors and bullock carts is plentiful. It had also rained he previous night and early in the morning. Add to that the fact that this is sugar cane season and carts, tractor trolleys and trucks are overflowing with sugar cane jutting out on the sides, and overtaking is a nightmarish proposition. There has been some work done towards making this stretch a dual carriageway, but for unknown reasons work has stopped since quite a while, and I don't anticipate a toll-paying dual carriageway on this section in the next 5 years. This stretch of ~170 km took us almost 5 hours to cross.

Contrary to our information, Bareilly-Moradabad has 3 sections (Milik, Rampur and another) of about 5-6 km each, which are through town, single carriageway and with heavy traffic. Traffic between Moradabad and Delhi was also heavy on the night of 26 January due to holiday-goers returning from the Kumaon hills, with their usual standards of miserable driving.

Distance via YEW-NH2 was 570 km, while via NH24 it was 520 km.

I would much prefer to drive an extra 50 km to save a few hours' time.


Conclusion

My first trip with SST and family. Like-minded friends, and a (much more) experienced driver who I could hand over the steering at will. Many more joint journeys beckon. Another trip to Lucknow beckons, preferably of longer duration, because once you've eaten like a Nawab, that's all you want to do!

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 18th March 2015 at 12:33.
predatorwheelz is offline   (24) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2015, 19:00   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
aah78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC / BOM
Posts: 3,625
Thanked: 1,627 Times
Exclamation Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Note from Support: Thread moved to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing.

Edit: I've edited the title as it was all Hindi. Please use Report Post if you would prefer to have it changed to something else.
aah78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2015, 19:58   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Zappo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 5,650
Thanked: 2,010 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Tongas are still there! Hmmmm... all those nice rememberances of my childhood days, sigh!
Zappo is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2015, 21:08   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: kolkata
Posts: 273
Thanked: 82 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Beautifully narrated travelogue, as usual. Everytime I read something penned by you, I remind myself I've got to make time for those roadtrips.

On a different note, belated congratulations on your new ride
octane1002 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 08:40   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,617
Thanked: 10,778 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

This can perhaps be defined as a DESPO trip (Drive, Eat, Shop, Photography, Overdo-it-all) , which temporarily satisfied a wanderlust that could not be indulged in over a longer period of time!
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
So we decided to leave on 24th night.
...reached SST's house at 9.30...
...driving to Lucknow.
...were in our hotel by 9.30. 12 hours of driving.
You got the times wrong. We actually left my place around 11:15 PM, and reached our Lucknow hotel around 9:30 AM - the total travel time was a tad over 10 hours. You are underestimating the ground covering ability of your own car!
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
There was no time to sleep though. Our itinerary had reduced to just 2 days...
Yeah, and if central Lucknow and the Aminabad area was not off limits to vehicular traffic on the last day of our trip (Republic Day), we would have been pigging out on kababs and biryani for breakfast, rather than the also-famous kachoris of the city! Here are the breakfast pics...

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0789.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0790.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0792.jpg

The shop was decked up for Republic Day, and the various kachoris we had there were some of the tastiest we have ever had.

More pics & details coming up.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 19th March 2015 at 08:41.
SS-Traveller is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 10:26   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,601
Thanked: 3,451 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Fantastic triplog - you guys skipped a lot of sights in Lucknow and its good to see a pure-non-vegetarian trip We're veggies and I've seen the other side of lucknow since my inlaws stay there. I've done ~20 odd drives that side.

Having said that, its interesting. Given the no sleep you had - I'm surprised you still drove as much as you did at the average speeds you managed. Nothing against you - In your case, you had an alert and exceptional navigator but I'm not sure its a good idea for most drivers especially in the heavy fog that plagues north India. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen large trucks come the wrong way in the fast lane especially in the last 40-50km of Kanpur rural district. Similarly on NH1, I've seen one too many T-bone incidents by trucks which just suddenly decide to cross the highway without bothering to look at the traffic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
The original decision was to leave on 24th morning, so we could effectively utilize all 3 days. But that was not to happen, as both my wife and SST's daughter had unavoidable commitments. So we decided to leave on 24th night. I myself had a hectic day at office, working well beyond the half day (that Saturday usually is for me). We left Dwarka at 9 and reached SST's house at 9.30, where the 3 of them hopped on. Tired as I was, I gladly gave SST the key and he drove us out of Delhi.

Just before hitting Yamuna Expressway, we saw a lit signboard announcing that the expressway was under severe fog and motorists should exercise caution. But my driver was the man who's written the team bhp article on driving in fog (ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG). Why would I be worried?

As we progressed, the conditions did get more and more severe. The pic below would be an indication of how bad the fog was. There were the omnipresent idiots who drive in fog with their blinkers on.

The women in the car slept off halfway into YE, but I (tired as I was) stayed awake like a bat. SST's lovely driving ensured we were in Agra in about 4 hours.

About 50 kms after Agra, I requested to take over the reigns. Only to discover terrible driving conditions. First, the fog cover showed no indication of lifting. Secondly, the Agra Kanpur stretch (which I've done thrice earlier) is now riddled with unfinished flyovers which make you get into narrow diversions. Thankfully there was hardly any traffic except a few trucks. SST gave me real time advice on how to make the best of driving in fog.

Tired as I was, I managed about 130 kms of driving before realizing that I was paralyzed by sleep. It was about 5 in the morning when we pulled over for a smoke, and to hand the steering back to SST

Last edited by phamilyman : 19th March 2015 at 10:33.
phamilyman is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 11:41   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
predatorwheelz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Delhi/Kolkata
Posts: 1,653
Thanked: 1,103 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Quote:
Originally Posted by octane1002 View Post
Beautifully narrated travelogue, as usual. Everytime I read something penned by you, I remind myself I've got to make time for those roadtrips.

On a different note, belated congratulations on your new ride
Thank you brother. Long time we spoke. Call me sometime, lots to catch up on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Fantastic triplog - you guys skipped a lot of sights in Lucknow and its good to see a pure-non-vegetarian trip

Nothing against you - In your case, you had an alert and exceptional navigator but I'm not sure its a good idea for most drivers especially in the heavy fog that plagues north India.
NH2 driving was shared between me and SST. He did provide exceptional navigation while I was driving. When he took over the steering, I returned the favor by being fast asleep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
This can perhaps be defined as a DESPO trip (Drive, Eat, Shop, Photography, Overdo-it-all) , which temporarily satisfied a wanderlust that could not be indulged in over a longer period of time!
Truly. I had read somewhere that Lucknow needs a lifetime to explore. Dunno about that, but certainly 2-3 good days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You got the times wrong. We actually left my place around 11:15 PM, and reached our Lucknow hotel around 9:30 AM - the total travel time was a tad over 10 hours. You are underestimating the ground covering ability of your own car!
Oh is it? I must have got the time mixed up. I looked up your post on the route advice thread as well. 11.15 it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yeah, and if central Lucknow and the Aminabad area was not off limits to vehicular traffic on the last day of our trip (Republic Day), we would have been pigging out on kababs and biryani for breakfast, rather than the also-famous kachoris of the city! Here are the breakfast pics...

The shop was decked up for Republic Day, and the various kachoris we had there were some of the tastiest we have ever had.

More pics & details coming up.
They are not breakfast pics, they're shop pics. Put up the other pics and details fast!!
predatorwheelz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 17:07   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Toronto,Canada
Posts: 179
Thanked: 158 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Holy Moly!! those kebabs and qorma make my mouth water like anything. If it was not for lent period, I would have plunged my teeth into some soft succulent kebabs by now
gabrielthomas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 20:51   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,617
Thanked: 10,778 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
We're veggies...
So you deserve to get an entirely empty shop! Just because you weren't visiting LKO, the poor fellow was ruing the day he decided to concentrate on serving only veg fare!

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-veg.jpg

Incidentally, there was this creamy fluffy sweet stuff being sold on the street, and we loved it. Except, we have totally forgotten what it's called. Would you (or anyone else) be able to say what it is?

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0781.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Given the no sleep you had - I'm surprised you still drove as much as you did at the average speeds you managed. Nothing against you - In your case, you had an alert and exceptional navigator but I'm not sure its a good idea for most drivers especially in the heavy fog that plagues north India.
Oh no! Not again! We will not debate on the pros and cons of night driving and fog driving on this thread. Suffice it to say that PW and I had taken zero risks on the road, PW had been very closely monitored while he drove, and I have done this kind of driving more times than I care to remember, with abundant precaution and safety as the first priority always, while driving this way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
When he took over the steering, I returned the favor by being fast asleep!
My usual navigator, Mrs. SST, was relegated to the back seat on this trip, but she did remain wide awake while you slept! And I am happy if, in the process of cautioning you constantly while you drove, even 1-2 tips on driving safer remain with you for the rest of your life!
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Truly. I had read somewhere that Lucknow needs a lifetime to explore.
True for many of our cities! Be it Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad...
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
They are not breakfast pics, they're shop pics. Put up the other pics and details fast!!
Aye, aye Sir!

A titbit from our return journey on NH24.



Somewhere in western UP we discovered this brave young cop with an attitude, at a level crossing on NH24. He had been entrusted with the job of keeping the traffic on both sides of the undivided two-lane highway segregated when the barrier was closed. And he did a valiant job of it.

People who were jumping the queue were made to reverse up and fall back in line. We asked whether we could overtake the trucks ahead and go to the head of the queue (the gate had just closed then, with very few cars queued up), and he firmly said no. He even put up a barrier to block the white SX4 of a judge, and the Innovas (including the blue beacon-carrying Innova) accompanying it (though he finally let them go ahead and jump the queue once the traffic started moving).

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0799.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0797.jpg

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0798.jpg
Impressive!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 19th March 2015 at 21:04.
SS-Traveller is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 22:01   #12
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: mum,lko,kolkata
Posts: 704
Thanked: 673 Times
Infractions: 0/2 (14)
Default Re: Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Our last visit is to the Baoli (stepwell) within the Bara Imambara complex.

Attachment 1350353

You can walk within the passages. One shot............... Another trip to Lucknow beckons, preferably of longer duration, because once you've eaten like a Nawab, that's all you want to do!



Hello predatorwheelz,
Firstly, congratulations and thanks for this lovely ode to Lucknow. I am embarrassed to admit that I have been living in Lucknow/Mumbai for these past two decades and yet never thought of writing about either city. Thanks once again.

I consider myself a born-again Up-ite, having spent all my childhood, boyhood and school years in Allahabad and having done my inter science from Lucknow, before stepping out into the larger world yonder.

But your thread brought to life another picture of Lucknow - of Tunday's kababs, of Prakash's kulfi among others - that I now realize had become a misty memory. And being a dedicated foodie, I will now re-establish communications with these worthies!

Best regards,
Shashanka
shashanka is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2015, 23:24   #13
BHPian
 
Samba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 893
Thanked: 4,883 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

A much needed travelogue for guys like me who just thought Lucknow to be a congested city! This travelogue has changed my perspective on the city and now its on my 'to be visited list'! Thanks a lot for sharing this experience. The way you have done the research and got into the details of the facts are worth a mention. The pictures are good too which adds up the over all essence of this travelogue. One request to every one opening this thread, please do not scroll down by just seeing the pictures. The write up is very informative and deserves a bit of your precious time.

Statutory warning- Don't even open this thread if you are feeling hungry! The nababi khana's pics and description over here are simply mouth watering!

Last edited by Samba : 19th March 2015 at 23:27.
Samba is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th March 2015, 09:27   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,617
Thanked: 10,778 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Don't even open this thread if you are feeling hungry! The nababi khana's pics and description over here are simply mouth watering!
You want to see the happy and content faces of fully fed up and full-filled foodies after their nawabi meals in Lucknow? Here they are!

A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain-dsc_0785ed.jpg
SS-Traveller is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th March 2015, 11:18   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
mpksuhas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: KA03/KL11
Posts: 2,710
Thanked: 3,288 Times
Default Re: A trip to Lucknow - Janab muskuraie, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hain

A very candid travelogue.

Just as Samba mentioned above, should have a warning mentioning not to open when hungry

Thanks.
mpksuhas is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Engine mein spark hota hai..." DONT GET FOOLED autozealot Street Experiences 79 28th October 2017 21:43
Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev tonrag Post-War 60 23rd August 2017 16:09
A road trip that changed my driving horizons! 3860 kms Lucknow-Mumbai-Lucknow LongDrive lover Travelogues 119 16th July 2013 23:29
Need help to plan Hyderabad - Lucknow - Nainital - Kausani - Hyderabad trip Sailor Route / Travel Queries 12 7th October 2010 19:47


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:57.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks