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Chowk, Lucknow Overview

The Chowk area in the Indian city of Lucknow is one of the oldest markets in the state as well as the whole of North India. Lucknow is an ancient city, and its presence and significance are ubiquitous throughout Indian history. Right from the eras of Badshahs and Nawabs to the rule of the British Lucknow has occupied quite a prominent place. A market area right in the heart of this colourful city will share the same essence. Chowk market is one of those places of the city that are a window into its rich cultural heritage. Beginning from Chikan work to succulent kebabs, one can find it all at the bustling street. 

Chowk market has more than 5000 shops spread around the narrow, labyrinthine cobweb of streets on both sides and sometimes taking much of the road itself. In these quaint shops, both bricked shops as well as temporary ones, you will find authentic chikankari and zardozi dresses, traditional handmade jewelleries, handcrafted home d├ęcor items from wood, bamboo and ivory, nagara shoes, ittar or perfume made from essence of real flowers, and innumerable other small and big items, in varieties beyond your imagination. Though a modern business hub selling products suitable for the urban, metropolitan tourists, somewhere, it still holds on to the Awadhi ambience of the past and remains true to its roots.

Other than these, to soothe your tingling culinary senses, there are a handful of shops selling authentic Awadhi food - kebabs, biriyanis, paratha with chicken or mutton and milk products as well. A one day trip to the Chowk market means a true exploration of how Lucknow looks, feels and sounds like.

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Major Attractions of Lucknow Chowk

Gol Darwaza
Marking the gateway to the cacophonous market inside stands the looming figure of Gol Darwaza. Built during the regime of Asaf-Ud-Daula, the gateway was once a landmark of Nawabi Lucknow. Now the derelict structure mostly remains covered in billboards, but its significance can still be assumed from its prime position - how it gave a protective semblance to the crowded narrow area inside.

Food at Lucknow Chowk
The desserts made of pure milk and ghee available in the gullies or streets of Lucknow is quite famous all over India. In Chowk, you get to taste the best of them. Right at the doorway is the legendary Radhey Lal Sweets serving Mango kheer in summers and Makhhan Malai (a type of buttermilk) in winters and jalebis all year round. Another famous shop is Ram Asray - you can get the never-tasted-before malaai paan here. Kusum Deep is also there, serving mouthwatering kachoris and shahi tukda.
The savoury items of Chowk are equally delicious. Tunday Kebabi is a famous place for all the delicious Mughlai dishes you can think of.

Chikan Apparels
A connoisseur of fine embroidery will appreciate the delicate and absolutely gorgeous works of chikan available in the Chowk market. This is, what you can call the home of Chikan embroidery work and here you will find some of the finest specimens, handmade by artists in whose blood and family run the art way back from the Mughal era. You can get the chikankari pieces of apparel in wholesale only in the Chowk market and nowhere else.

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