Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh. This metro city is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city and flourished as a cultural and artistic capital of North India in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today it continues as an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry. Lucknow ranked 6th among all the cities in India for fastest job-creation. It is the largest city of Uttar Pradesh and second largest metro of North and Central India after Delhi.
The economy of Lucknow city was earlier based on the tertiary sector with about majority of the workforce being employed as government servants. Large-scale industrial establishments are low compared to other north Indian state capital like New Delhi. Currently the economy is growing with the contributions from more professionals in the fields of IT, Manufacturing and Processing and Medical/Bio-Technology. Business-promoting institutions viz. CII and EDII have a presence in city. On October 2010, Lucknow ranked 6th among cities in India for fastest job-creation. The city has steadily grown into a competitive IT centre.
Lucknow has a great potential in handicraft sector and it accounts for 60% of the total exports from the state. The major export items from are marble products, textiles, handicrafts, art pieces, gems and jewellery, textiles, electronics, software, computer, hardware and software, apparel, brass work, silk, leather and leather goods, glass items, art metal, chemicals. The city has promoted public‐private partnerships in big way in sectors such as power, roads, expressways, and education.
A small part of Lucknow's society still possesses much etiquette. This sublime cultural richness blends the cultures of two communities living side by side for centuries, sharing similar interests and speaking a common language. Many of the cultural traits and customs peculiar to Lucknow have become living legends today. The credit for this goes to the secular and syncretic traditions of the Nawabs of Awadh, who took a keen interest in every walk of life, and encouraged the traditions to attain a rare degree of sophistication. The Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad, popularly known as Suleiman Mian, is a living example of all the great traditions of this region and has been written about by authors like V.S. Naipaul, William Dalrymple and many others.
Language and poetry:
Lucknow is one of the World's great cities for Muslim culture. Two poets, Mir Anis and Mirza Dabeer, became legendary exponents of a unique genre of Muslim elegiacal poetry called Marsia centred on Imam Husain's supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Karbala which is commemorated during the annual observance of Muharram.
In recent years the use of Urdu has reduced significantly. Day-to-day transactions in the city are typically performed in Hindi or English. Nevertheless, Lucknowites are still known for their polite and polished way of speaking which is noticed by visitors to this city. The great revolutionary Ram Prasad Bismil, who was hanged by the British at Gorakhpur jail, was largely influenced by the culture of Lucknow and remembered its name in his poetry.
Dance, drama and music:
Kathak, the classical Indian dance form took shape here. Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, was a great patron and a passionate champion of Kathak. Lachhu Maharaj, Acchchan Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj have kept this tradition alive. Lucknow is also the city of eminent Ghazal singer Begum Akhtar. She was a pioneer in Ghazal singing and took this aspect of music to amazing heights. "Ae Mohabbat Tere anjaam pe rona aaya" is one of her best musical renditions of all times.
The Bhatkande Music Institute University at Lucknow is named after the great musician Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. People from Sri Lanka, Nepal and other countries come to Bhatkhande to study music or dance. Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts (BNA), also known as Bhartendu Natya Academy, a Theatre Training institute situated at Gomti Nagar in vikas khand-1, is deemed university and an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Culture, Government of Uttar Pradesh, set up in 1975 by the Sangeet Natak Akademy (Government of Uttar Pradesh), and became an independent Drama school in 1977. Official Website of The BNA.
Apart from govt. institutes there are many private theatre groups like IPTA, Darpan, Manchkriti and the largest Youth theatre group JOSH. Josh Group is basically a group for youth and kids theatre activity, workshops and training.Lucknow has given music stars like Naushad Ali, Talat Mehmood, Anup Jalota and Baba Sehgal to the entertainment industry. It is also the birthplace of British pop star Sir Cliff Richard.
Lucknow has traditionally been a sports-loving city. In the past pehlwani, kabbadi, chess, kite flying, pigeon flying, and cock fighting were popular pastimes. For decades Lucknow hosted the prestigious Sheesh Mahal Cricket Tournament. Today cricket, football, badminton, golf and hockey are among the most popular sports in the city.
The city has a good record in modern sports and has produced several national and world-class sporting personalities. Lucknow sports hostel has produced international-level cricketers such as Mohammed Kaif, Piyush Chawla, Anurag Singh, Suresh Raina, Gyanendra Pandey, Praveen Kumar and R. P. Singh. Other famous sports personalities include hockey Olympians K. D. Singh, Mohammed Shahid and Ghaus Mohammad Khan, the tennis player who became the first Indian to reach the quarter finals at Wimbledon. There has been a proposal by the Indian Olympic Association to make joint bid from Lucknow – Delhi for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The main sports hub is the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium which also has a world-class swimming pool and indoor games complex. The other stadiums are at Babu Banarsi Das Engineering College, Charbagh, Mahanagar, Chowk and Sports College and at Integral University. The Lucknow Golf Club, on the sprawling greens of La Martinière College, is a famous golf course.
Flora and fauna:
Lucknow district reports a very low proportion of area under forest. The total area under forest (4.66 percent) is much less as compared to state average which is barely around 7 percent. The forest area is negligible in the district. Shisham, Dhak, Mahua, Babul, Neem, Peepal, Ashok, Khajur, Mango and Gular trees are grown here. Different varieties of mangoes specially Dasheri are grown in Malihabad block of the district and exported to other countries too.
The main crops are wheat, paddy, sugarcane, Mustard (plant)|mustard, potatoes, and vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, brinjals are grown here. Similarly sunflowers, roses, and marigold are cultivated on quite a large area of the land. Apart from this many medicinal and herbal plants are also grown here. The City Zoological Garden is making efforts to have chinkaras from the Lucknow Zoo. The Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats have been designated among the world's eighteen 'hotspots' of biodiversity.