May 15, 2018

Revisiting lanes of Lucknow

Picture Credit- Lucknow Observer

Lanes, immortalized by the Bollywood as the abode of the beloved, which is frequented by the lover, have been inseparable part of the culture in many a cities in India. Any talk on the lanes, invariably takes us to the holy towns of Varanasi and Vrindavan. Lanes have a special place in the Nawabi city of Lucknow also though they have not found mention in the history books in the same manner.

Lucknow abounds in lanes, which owed their names to commodities or people that defined their existence. Not many people know that Lucknow, whose culture is somewhat opposite to Varanasi. Though many of the lanes in Lucknow today have changed their character they once represented the rich culture of the town. Now they are not available and only symbolic.

Lucknow abounds in different lanes namely ‘Chawal Waali Gali, Phool Waali Gali, Bataashe WaaliGali, Tambaaku Waali Gali, Joote Waali Gali’ and many more. These lanes have been in existence for many decades and their origin can be traced to the Nawaabi era.

In many of the lanes, the commodities, which they had been named  after, were never available adding an interesting twist to them. You may be disappointed if you look for rice in 'Chawal Wali Gali'. Similarly, the tobacco lovers may be in for great disappointment if they want to buy the stuff in ‘Tambaaku Wali Gali’. However in some lanes you may get the commodities they are named after. One can get shoes of his or her choice in 'Joote Wali Gali'.

The stories behind the lanes in Lucknow are quite interesting. Their presence makes one feel and experience the rich heritage of the town.

(The next part of the story can be read in next blog.)

Swapnil Rastogi


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