Lucknow (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 second largest city in north and central India after Delhi. 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. Lucknow is the centre of Shia Islam in India with highest Shia Muslims population in India. It is accessible from every part of India by air, rail and road.

Historically the capital of Awadh was controlled by the Delhi Sultanate under Mughal rule, it was later transferred to the Nawabs of Awadh. After Lord Clive‘s defeat of the Bengal, Awadh and Mughal Nawabs it fell under the rule of the East India Company with control transferred to the British Raj in 1857. Along with the rest of India, Lucknow became independent from Britain on 15 August 1947. It is the world’s 74th fastest growing city.

Lucknow is India’s first ‘CCTV City’ with 9000 CCTV cameras installed all over the city, as of by April, 2015. The Lucknow Police keeps check of the crime using these cameras. Apart from this, the Modern Police Control Room uses advanced drones to monitor major areas and special occasions such as festivals and rallies.

Origin of Name

“Lucknow” is the anglicized spelling of the local pronunciation “lakhnau”(Also known as city of nawabs). According to one legend, the city is named after Lakshmana, a hero of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. The legend states that Lakshman had a palace or an estate in the area, which was called Lakshmanapuri (“Lakshmana’s city”). The settlement came to be known as Lakhanpur (or Lachhmanpur) by the 11th century, and later, Lucknow. A similar theory states that the city was known as “Lakshmanavati” after Lakshmana. The name changed to Lakhanavati, then Lakhnauti and finally Lakhnau. Yet another theory states that the city’s name is connected with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. It was originally known as Lakshmanavati (“fortunate”). Over time, the name changed as follows: Laksmanauti -> Laksmnaut -> Laksnaut – > Laksnau -> Laknau.

Sister Cities of Lucknow