Chowk

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Time Required : 3-4 hrs

Chowk, Lucknow Overview

The Chowk area in Lucknow is one of the oldest markets in the state as well as the whole of North India. It is one of those places in the city that are a window into its rich cultural heritage. Beginning from Chikan work to succulent kebabs and makhan malai, Lucknow Chow is one of the prime shopping and food hub.

The 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 jewellery, handcrafted home décor 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.

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. Though a modern business hub selling products suitable for the urban, metropolitan tourists, somewhere, Lucknow Chowk market still holds on to the Awadhi ambience of the past and remains true to its roots.

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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.

How to Reach Chowk

You can visit the Chowk market taking any public transport or hired vehicle or personal car, as it is located right in the heart of the city. However, do not miss out on experiencing yet another attraction of Lucknow - the tanga. Horse-drawn carts still tread the roads of Lucknow in these older parts of the city.

The tourist spot of Imambara and Bhool Bhulaiya are nearby. You can include a visit to the Chowk with these places and take a day off your usual motor-run vehicles and taste the flavour of past.

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