Lucknow /ˈlʌknaʊ/ (Hindi: लखनऊ, Urdu: لکھنؤ, Lakhna'ū) is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. A major metropolitan city of India, Lucknow is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous District and Division. It is the eleventh most populous city of India and the most populous in Uttar Pradesh, helping to make the latter the most populous state in India.
Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub and seat of Nawab power in the 18th and 19th centuries. It continues to be an important centre of government, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 123 metres (404 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 2,528 square kilometres (976 sq mi). Bounded on the east by the Barabanki District, on the west by Unnao District, on the south by Raebareli and in the north by Sitapur and Hardoi, Lucknow sits on the northwestern shore of the Gomti River. Hindi is the main language of the city and Urdu is also widely spoken. It is accessible from every part of India by air, rail and road.
From 1350 CE onwards, Lucknow and parts of the Awadh region were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, the British East India Company (EIC) and the British Raj. Lucknow was one of the major centres of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and participated actively in India's independence movement, emerging as a strategically important North Indian city. Until 1719, the subah of Awadh was a province of the Mughal Empire administered by a Governor appointed by the Emperor. Persian adventurer Saadat Khan, also called Burhan-ul-Mulk, was appointed nizam of Awadh in 1722 and established his court in Faizabad, near Lucknow.
For about eighty-four years (from 1394 to 1478), Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur. Emperor Humayun made it a part of the Mughal Empire around 1555. During Emperor Jahangir's rule, he granted an estate in Awadh to nobleman, Sheikh Abdul Rahim, who had won his favour. Sheikh Abdul Rahim later built Machchi Bhawan on this estate, which later became the seat of power from where his descendants, the Sheikhzadas, controlled the region.
The major industries in the Lucknow Urban Agglomeration include aeronautics, machine tools, distillery chemicals, furniture and Chikan embroidery. Lucknow is also a major centre for research and development as home to the prominent R&D centres of the National Milk Grid of the National Dairy Development Board, the Central Institute of Medical and Aromatic Plants, the National Handloom Development Corporation and U.P. Export Corporation.
In common with other metropolitan cities across India, Lucknow is multicultural and home to people who use different dialects and languages. 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 these traditions to attain a rare degree of sophistication. Modern day Lucknowites are known for their polite and polished way of speaking which is noticed by visitors. The residents of Lucknow call themselves Lucknowites or Lakhnavi.
Parks and recreation
The city has various parks and recreation areas managed by the Lucknow Development Authority. These include Kukrail Reserve Forest and the surrounding picnic area, Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Gautam Buddha Park, Qaisar Bagh, Rumi Park, Nimbu Park, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel Park, Dream Valley Resort, Swarn Jayanti Smriti Vihar Park, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park, the Ambedkar Memorial and Janeshwar Mishra park.