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History RewindHand Embroidery
Behind the veil of time....
Lucknow's history begans with its elevation to a capital city under the Nawabs of Awadh.The state of Awadh (by which name Oudh was originally known) is said to be one of India's oldest Hindu states. According to popular legend, Ramchandra of Ayodhya, the hero of the epic saga the Ramayana, gifted the territory of Lucknow to his devoted brother Lakshman after he had conquered Sri Lanka and completed his term of exile in the jungle.

Era Of Nawabs....
The first Mughal Emperor of India conquered Lucknow in 1528. It was later the capital of the kingdom of Oudh from 1775 until the Indian Mutiny. By this time, its ruler, the Nawab, had accepted a British Resident at Lucknow, and surrendered all control over foreign policy to the East India company. The Resident soon became the effective ruler of Oudh. After the Mutiny of 1857, Lucknow became the capital of Oudh province until 1877 and then of the United Provinces in 1887. The city was the base of the Muslim League in the 1940s during its campaign for an independent Pakistan. Today, Lucknow is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Significance of Architecture....
Lucknow is known for gifting to the city some of its most splendid architectural marvels, a tradition that was sustained by this successors. The architectural contributions of the Awadh rulers, many paintings of whom are maintained at the Art Gallery today, include numerous mosques and palaces. Of the monuments standing today, the Bada Imambara, the Chhota Imambara, and the Roomi Darwaza are notable examples, although neglect by the authorities has put them in danger of turning into ruins.

Lucknow also established its pre-eminent place in the field of poetry, music, and dance. A colorful local culture, incorporating fairs and festivals also flourished alongside. By what Lucknow really became synonymous with was a certain elegance and grace of lifestyle. A romantic and courtly ambiance became a part of the city. In fact, even today, the city breathes history, and the sound of laughter and music, the tinkling of ankle bells and the mellifluous rendering of Urdu poetry (shairi) still echo and reverberate through the long corridors of time .

Luckhnawi etiquettes.
Walking through the lanes and by-lanes of Chowk and Aminabad one finds Lucknow of yore. The 'tehzib' or mannerism is still prominent and a topic of great appreciation. Lucknow a city that still speaks the language of "aap-janab" and the dictum of pehle aap" is still a part of everyday life for a true Lakhnawi. - and so natural it is - Aadab or salutation which has its own sophistication and style. Dress forms though have changed noticeably in the span of a century, yet the beauty and charisma of Chikan - the intricate and delicate hand embroidery, still rules the wardrobe. Lucknow is in fact among a few cities that duly understands the grace of the 'dupattas' or the covering cloth.

Salutation To womanhood...
Wisdom, women and wine are the three things truly understood and respected by the Nawabs. Not a thing of condemnation but an institution it was the "kothas", where sons of Nawabs were deliberately sent to learn the culture, sophistication and respect for the fairer sex. Muzzafar Ali's unforgettable film "Umrao Jaan" is a depiction of this social institution. Love was found in either Paris or Lucknow-- a proof of this is the lovers lane in the posh modern Hazratganj: these lanes were used as a meeting place for the lonely hearts to escape the monitoring eyes of their parents.

Evolving with Time...
Lucknow itself is a large modern city, one of the fastest growing in India. It promotes the heritage it has inherited from the days of the Raj along with more modern attractions. The districts of Aminabad, with its ancient twisted lanes and Hazratganj, with its theaters, coffeehouses, restaurants, hotels and bars, are now prime tourist destinations.


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