SingleTON: Goa

What is SingleTON?
Single TravellingOverNight 🙂

For now, that is what I could think for the ‘TON’ in the word Singleton. In future, if my grey cells get creative, I may change the full form of the acronym.

Well, this section is on my short trips in India. It may-may not be an overnight stay, but for sure it is on a short vacation.

Destination: Goa, India
Days: 4 days 3 nights
Travel via: JetAirways (then it was operative. Now I would opt for Indigo Airlines)

Venue: Lotus Beach Resort, Benaulim, South Goa
Cost: Stay is Affordable in October-November as it is off-season. Very Affordable if you happen to be an Orchid Hotel member (I was, so got discounts on almost everything plus had utilized the member discount coupons for stay.)
Breakfast: Inclusive with the stay. Basic but good. (South Indian Menu, Eggs, Milk Shakes, Fruit Juice, Corn Flakes, Bread, Butter, Jelly, Tea, Coffee, Milk, etc.)
Food (Lunch/Dinner): Delicious

Cost of a car tour for North Goa: 10 am to 6 pm around Rs. 3000 (Please negotiate! I think I could have done better here.) Car/Cab cost from Goa Airport to Lotus Beach Resort would be some where around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200. Pre-Booked Cab/Taxi is expensive than private car. But safety is priority. So choose wisely.

Places Visited:
1. Big Foot Museum (It has got a gift shop inside which is worth visiting for souvenir shopping. Entry Tickets between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 for Indian Citizens. I don’t remember the exact amount.)
2. Casa Araujo Alvares
3. Basilica of Bom Jesus
4. Fort Aguada
5. Benaulim Beach (A candle light dinner at Roger’s on the beach is a great experience and they serve very good sea food. I do not drink alcohol, so can’t comment on that. But Mocktail was good. That I remember. Food for two may cost Rs. 1000-2000 depending on what you order.)

What did I buy?
Good question. Important question when it is me, who likes, correction here, loves to shop. Zantye’s Cashew Nut packets, Bebinca,  Jute Bag, Maxi Dress, Floral Chappals, Anklets (from sellers at Benaulim Beach; Remember to Bargain) and Mario’s Picture Frame (There is an outlet inside the Goa Airport in case you miss the Mario shops in the city). Goa Airport has some interesting outlets of Brands — books, jewellery, souvenirs, and more.

And now, it’s time for some Goa Glimpses…

Big Foot Museum

Casa Araujo Alvares

Basilica of Bom Jesus 

Fort Aguada

Lotus Beach Resort

Random Clicks

Until my next SingleTON, take care and keep reading!

….Ashu Bolar


Sing Singapore

Oh yes, it has been six months and I am still singing Singapore, well not literally, but virtually. My social media pages still have images from the trip and I guess it will be so until my next trip. 🙂

I can go on writing about this trip, but will try to keep it as crisp an account as possible. I am hoping this will be a point-to-point guide for anyone visiting to Singapore, especially to those from the upcoming batches of IIMI PGPMX.

Why Singapore?

In my executive management program, there was a compulsory International Immersion session and IIM Indore has collaborated with NTU – Singapore for this five day program. This was last year, in the last week of November.

Well, I decided to be a student and a tourist, so I spent last two weeks of November 2017 in Singapore. Thanks to my friend Hema, who was my tourist companion and photographer (Ok, she is terrible in clicking pictures, but as if I had an option 🙂 Sorry Hema! Can’t Lie! )

Jet Airways is what we choose, a late night flight. Good experience.

At Singapore Airport, breakfast at Hello Kitty Orchid Garden was excellent! My type of place, colorful interiors, little girly, but great menu and awesome service, worth it!

What we bought at Changi Airport?

The package offers to the Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari), Jurong Bird Park, Wild Night Safari and Gardens By The Bay. (We did it all. Pictures will speak volumes!) And metro-bus card (validity three days). For two, if I remember correctly, all of these together had cost us slightly over SD 400.

From airport to hotel, we opted for Uber car. Prompt service, very helpful drivers. (This is year 2017 I am talking. I think it is only Grab now.)

Stay was at ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson. For a day or two stay, this hotel is good. But for two people sharing the room for five days, it is not a great option. The breakfast menu is same every day—two days I managed, third day on Orange Juice, and fourth and fifth day, I skipped the Breakfast, which was a part of the package.

All right, now coming to places visited in these five days…

Jurong Bird Park + Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari) + Wild Night Safari—all can be visited in one day provided you make a move early in the morning around 9 AM.

  • Singapore Zoo – River Safari was a great experience!
  • Jurong Bird Park – clicking picture with birds was cool.
  • Wild Night Safari – I loved it! Tramp ride I went for it twice; thrice was also okay with but it was closing hours so yeah I couldn’t.


Sultan Mosque + perfect for souvenir shopping in the area around + Lunch at Rumah Makan Minang (a resto for seafood lovers) – excellent day spent!

Yueh Hai Ching Temple, at Raffles Place, surrounded by all tall buildings that probably are addresses to various successful commercial settings. So yes, every landmark tourist destination is at a walking distance from here. All three wharfs – Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay on the Singapore River are around.

We chose River Cruise from Boat Quay jetty. This cruise acquaints you with all the iconic landmarks during. And, of course, Chilli Crab at one of the Quay Side restaurants (food for two with drinks SD 110) is way too tempting! Followed by evening at Clarke Quay!

Now, Iconic Landmarks…

Marina Bay Sands— not-to-miss…Ce La Vi Restaurant and Skybar (entry fee SD 20 per person, food for two will cost about SD 100) and The Shoppes

Marina Square has many dining options. We had visited for currency exchange (Money Changer). But we enjoyed the great ambiance and were guided by very helpful staff. And yes, it was close to Christmas time, so yes, there were ongoing fun activities.

Merlion Park (free entry); Enjoy J-cone ice cream Korean dessert – unique experience as you got to balance ice cream at both the ends of the J-cone which melts at a great pace. But yummilicious!

Gardens by the Bay – nice, but chilling cold. Wear appropriate clothing. Waterfall is something unique. Night view of Super Trees is beautiful. Don’t miss the Garden Rhapsody Show. There is a McDonald’s if you are hungry. And many other restaurants. Rooftop Drinks at SuperTree by IndoChine gives a beautiful view of the city (entry SD 20 per person).

Singapore Flyer (entry fee SD 33 per person, I think, plus additional SD 25 or 35 for the picture if you choose to click inside). I loved this place. Just loved it. Sunset is an apt time as you can see the city bustling in light and then glowing in the dark. There is a lot to explore around besides the Flyer.

Little India: We visited Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Mustafa Centre here.

Museums (entry fee SD 8 per person in each museum): ArtScience Museum (Near Marina Bay Sands) and Asian Civilizations Museum (Empress Place) we missed other museums due to time constraint.



Streets: Bugis Street and Orchard Street. Intercontinental Bugis is a great place to visit. We had been there to have dinner at Nandos, and got all excited at Charles & Keith store – good collection. I love the bag I bought.

A day trip to Sentosa: Since we had not pre-booked online, it was kind of expensive SD 90 for Aquarium + Trick Eye Museum + Laser Show. We missed Universal Studios, again due to time constraint.

  • Fort Siloso – cool to click aerial views
  • Co+Nut+Ink ice cream – not to be missed Coconut Icecream
  • Beach walks can be cool, but we did not have time for that.
  • Lunch at Hard Rock Café was yummilicious. Fish & Chips and onion rings – not miss it!
  • To move within Sentosa, there is free bus service or you can opt for car but that is not free. 🙂
  • From Sentosa to city you can opt to go via Bus, Cable Car, Monorail or Car (all paid services).
  • S.E.A Aquarium, a section is shut down, but whatever is functional is worth it.
  • Trick Eye Museum – you can click weird pics, with weird poses.
  • Wings of Time, the laser show – oh my my…Mesmerising! I love Shahbaz!

And the next six days I was at Nanyang Technological University, NTU-Singapore campus. Smart campus, excellent facilities, amazing staff, great 3D research unit, and as a participant you experience lively knowledge exchange sessions with the faculty. Single room accommodation at Nanyang Executive Centre was totally worth it. Breakfast Buffet menu offers a wide range of options. I should have opted NTU instead of IBIS. Well, a lesson learnt.

Note: If you want to buy NTU merchandise, budget that amount as it is not available online. From SD 7 to SD 100 and beyond – there are several products you can purchase; from badge to t-shirt to jacket to stationary to coffee flask, etc.)


At Changi Airport – Chocolates was a must buy for me. And back to India via Jet Airways.

Some Clicks…Singapore…Night & Day…


All in all a superb trip, and I cannot stop singing!

– Ashu Bolar

Sthan Parivartan: Lucknow to Agra

Well, my Lucknow trip was soon to get more interesting as we had planned to visit Kanpur, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra.

Friday early morning about 6.30 am we left from Lucknow to Kanpur via road in car. It took us about 2 hours to reach Kanpur – the biggest city and commercial capital of Uttar Pradesh. The roads are good. From Lucknow to Kanpur, there is only one toll plaza on the way (I think INR 60 for one way and INR 120 return is what it costs for a sedan.)

The best part on the route was Trans Ganga City project. It is huge and once completed will be one well planned accomplishment. And you get a view from the bridge of the largest river of India –  Ganga – the holy river is a beauty in itself.

We stayed in Kanpur for two days. In the city you will see several manufacturing units right from Guns to Leather, and many academic institutions spread over acres of land. Kanpur market is very famous as a wholesale market for male-female garments as well as for leather products, shoes, bags and bangles. It is one the best markets I have visited so far in India. Naveen Market, Chowk, and Shivala are massive bazaars, while Gumti Market (prices are slightly higher here but again much lesser than that in Mumbai) is a condensed version of the entire Kanpur Market.

If you plan to go for shopping, then it is advisable park your car at a distance and then walk down or use the Battery Rickshaw. Yes, you read it right. They are solar paneled rickshaws and fun to travel in, although the speed isn’t great. But as the market is extremely crowded, you can’t drive in those narrow lanes.

A Must Visit: ISKCON temple where you get delicious pure ghee sweets and do not forget to try the masala chai (flavoured tea). And Pandit Restaurant – amazing food and excellent ambience set by Rajasthani Folk music in the voice of traditional singers.


From Kanpur, our journey was towards Agra and I was all excited to admire the Taj Mahal for the second time in my life!

We left at 7 am and reached Agra by 12.30 pm – around 5 to 6 hours depending on the traffic. The roads are overall OK, but at some places they give you a very bumpy ride. It is advisable to drive safe and with care as you will find too many heavy vehicles on this route.

Post lunch and a little rest session, we were all geared up to visit Fatehpur Sikri. In summers, marble flooring at Taj gets very heated making it impossible to walk without getting foot burns and blisters. So we decided to visit Fatehpur Sikri the first day and the Taj Mahal early morning next day in our two day stay tour.

It takes about one-and-a-half-hour maximum to reach Fatehpur Sikri from Agra city. Fatehpur Sikri is known for Salim Chisti Dargah (Tomb of a Sufi Saint) – a major tourist attraction as well as a shrine were believers,from across the globe with varied faith, visit and keep visiting for the fulfillment of their prayers. For years now, numerous threads are tied by believers every day on the designed windows of the Dargah with a strong faith that what asked for will be granted by God.

Buland Darwaza (Victory Gate) – the red sandstone gate leads to the Jama Masjid (mosque)on the west, Badashahi Darwaza (Emperor’s Gate) to the east and Dargah sculpted in marble in the centre—overall it is a beautiful glimpse of Mughal Architecture.



Some pointers:

  • Opening hours – from sunrise to sunset.
  • There is entry fee INR 20 as you move towards the city.
  • There is no entry fee on the site.
  • INR 2 per pair of shoes as you cannot wear shoes inside.
  • If you decide to offer, then the chaddar (cloth piece), sweet (sugar balls) and rose petals packet will cost you anywhere between INR 150 to 500. The thread is for INR 10.
  • You can donate in the shrine and in the donation boxes, and to the Sufi singers, if you wish to.
  • There are many sellers with variety of souvenir, you can choose if you want memories.
  • You cannot click pictures inside the Dargah, but outside and in the premises you can. It is advisable to wear covered clothing in any religious site.
  • The steps to the BulandDaraza are very high and steep.
  • For anyone with any joint problem, it is advisable to wear appropriate joint support or have a friend or someone next to you. Take steps slowly, do not rush towards the entrance.
  • Flat shoes/sneakers, scarf/cap, glares and camera – you will miss them if you don’t get them along.

We spent good two hours or more here, and as the sun sets for the day, we decided to go back to the guest house.

After a King’s Breakfast the next morning, we were all set to visit the Taj. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the destination. From the car parking at the Western Gate, we took Battery Rickshaw towards the ticket counter. (There are different entry points – western, eastern, southern and octagonal hall). You can walk, it is a long elevated walk. Post ticket there is men and women queues which guides you towards the entrance where bags are checked alongside identity proof. This entire process took about 40 minutes at about 9 am when the place was not very crowded. As the tourist crowd increases, so will the queue and the time.

From the red sandstone gates as you enter the white marble floors – you feel a transition of emotions, and of time. In 21st century you are back staring at the 17th century. Taj Mahal – built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal (houses their graves and a mosque) has all reasons to be one of the wonders of the world. No words can express what you feel when you witness this marvellous structure of art. Despite the scaffolding installed for the restoration work, Taj Mahal still stands beautiful. The minarets, the dome, the flower motif, the marble jalli (lattice), the calligraphy – I can stand admiring each for hours as it makes you wonder how it must have been done about 500 years back with limited technology available. Glimpse of Yamuna river against the red sandstone bordered walls is another mesmerizing view.

Recently there has been erosion of the Taj marbles due to some insects flying from the stagnant river direction. The green corrosion on the side of Taj facing the river is pretty much visible. Government is working to resolve this issue.

It took us over two hours; by 11 am the temperature was rising, and it was getting difficult to tolerate the heat and direct hitting sun rays. Agra Fort was on our-to-visit-list, but in such extreme temperatures it was not possible to cover Agra Fort. I had the energy just to click the picture of Agra Fort from the main road.

After some chowmein with awesomely delicious and filling lassi(sweet curd), we took some flavoured pethas– the very famous sweet delicacy from Agra – on our way back to the guest house. Lunch, followed by some much needed rest re-energized us for our next visit to the Akbar Makbara – Tomb of Akbar the Great, situated in Sikandara.





Some pointers:

  • Timing is from sunrise to sunset.
  • From car parking to the entrance you can either walk or opt for a horse cart ride or battery rickshaw. A six-seat battery rickshaw will cost you about INR 100 one route.
  • Entry fee is INR 40 per person.
  • Shoe/Foot covers will cost INR 10 per pair.
  • Please carry an ID proof.
  • Ensure your bags/purses do not have metallic decorations because it takes time at the security counter when they are rechecked if there is any blink in the counter.
  • In summer, for a foot relaxing walk, visit as early as possible because heated marbles are not foot friendly. And the heat is killing, you will not be able to enjoy or even click good pictures.
  • It is a long walk inside, so be prepared to walk. If any joint complaints, please carry the necessary orthotics.
  • Flat shoes, glares, scarf/cap and camera – should be on your checklist.
  • Pictures are not allowed near the sacrophagi. Otherwise you can click pictures as desired.
  • Photographers offer clicking pictures INR 40 each. It is a good decision to opt for these pictures as they know the right places to click from, and guide you with right poses in front of the Taj Mahal – these pictures are a great souvenir. Of the ten clicks, I selected eight clicks and those eight pictures I love looking at again and again.
  • Miniatures of Taj Mahal in forms of key chains to show pieces are available at a prince between INR 10 to 700.
  • There are shops near the gate were water bottles, light snacks, souvenirs and handicrafts are available.

Around 3 pm, we reached Sikandra – at a distance of 30 minutes from Agra City. One again we were admiring yet another red building with multi coloured decorated roof and pillars adorned with calligraphy of verses from the holy Qu’ran.

As you enter there is Kanch Mahal on the right side – the structure once beautiful is now looks haunted. It needs restoration if it has to survive to see the future.

As you walk towards the gate leading to the tomb, you will spend time clicking pictures from various angles or staring at the beauty of the red massive structure – similar with minarets yet different. There is a long walk from the gate towards the tomb, which is flanked by gardens on both sides. Deers, peacocks, parrots, squirrels, many species of birds – all look peaceful in their natural environment. It is surprising to see wildlife living quietly uncaged, free, enjoying their own surrounding in midst of a city—a man jungle.

As you walk further ahead, you will look at the Tomb building. There are many tombs, of the emperor and his daughters. However, the actual tomb of Akbar is at the basement—huge, plain grey, high roofed hall with a grave in centre. There is no ornamentation here but peace. Despite the burning heat outside, I felt cool breeze here. And the echo of the Azan (call to prayer) verses by the caretaker/guide present there, takes you to a different world.



Some Pointers:

  • Opening hours – from sunrise to sunset.
  • Entry fee is INR 20 per person.
  • INR 2 per pair of shoes as you cannot wear shoes near the tomb.
  • Do not forget – flat shoes, glares, scarf/cap and camera.
  • Anklets, postcard books, etc. are available as souvenirs.

Well, our Agra journey ended here with a yummilicious dinner at a dhaba on the highway, on our way back to Lucknow to board a flight to Mumbai. This nine-day trip was one of my best trips, refreshing trip, that has filled my memory bank which I revisit almost everyday in form of Display Images or Cover Images on Social Media pages.

Hope the article helps. All the tariff mentioned in the articles are for Indian citizens. For Foreign Tourists, the tariff differs.

Till I pack my bags once again for another Sthan Parivartan session, to discover yet another beautiful city of India…happy reading…


Sthan Parivartan: Lucknow

Sthan in Hindi means ‘Place’ and Parivatan means ‘Change’. Sthan Parivartan– a phrase used generally in astrology but I have decided to use it for my vacations because I keep planning vacations in various destinations, make excellent plans, but they never see the light of the day – locked in my head.

However, post my leaving my last job, I had decided that the next two months I will not join any new organization but focus on the upcoming management exams, give interviews, meet people, watch TV and travel. Now, again travel was last on the list but it still made to the fifth ranking. 🙂

14th March 2016, once I had completed my notice period, the next day – my official birthday, I called my best friend (BFF) in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India). She has been inviting me for the last three years now, but I as mentioned by travel plans are major flops. But this time, I applied bottom-up approach to my to-do list as I have not been to a proper vacation in the last eight years. Yes, eight years when I just kept admiring FB posts and pictures of my friends travelling across the globe, while working at least 10 hours a day, 6 days a week in the corporate circus.

After three conversations, I finalized, booked the tickets for Mom and myself a month in advance, and prayed hard that all should go well as I was to reach Lucknow a day before my BFF’s birthday and celebrate it together after a very long time, about five years back when her family had shifted to Lucknow from Mumbai.

Things went as planned (for a change! I guess prayers helped 🙂 ) and gathered some great memories during this trip. Accept for Air India Domestic flight now to be boarded from International Airport, rest all was ok. We were not aware of this change and landed at domestic airport where it was informed that Air India and Jet Wings are now to be boarded from International Airport. So that was a news.

Situated in Uttar Pradesh, UP (you-pee) as all address in India, there is cynicism in many minds that UP is not safe, especially for girls, religious indifference issues, etc. etc. The list is a long one. I too had my own reservations but I did not know that my perceptions were about to take a 360 degree turn.

From the flight and throughout the entire trip, I met people – so helpful, so kind, so full of humility – that I realized staying in the financial capital of India, being a part of the constant cat-mouse race in the corporate world, I have barely met people who are so courteous with 10 on 10 to the hospitality. There was a lot to learn from Lucknow—I am glad I chose this great city for vacation.



I won’t bore you with all the details but some which I feel will help you planning your trip to the City of Nawabs (and City of Kebabs), Lucknow is stated below in an extremely condensed version. You must visit the city for the elaborate version.

Lucknow, anything and everything here is massive, vast – from houses to gardens to roads – everything is considerably large. I was staying at Gomti Nagar, said to be the largest planned residential colony of India, about 35 minutes from the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Amausi, Lucknow. For the first time in India I saw roads with Cycle track. I mean this is impossible to dream in Mumbai. Places visited in Lucknow were…

Ambedkar Memorial Park, Gomti Nagar–the best time to visit this park is around 4 pm in summer. The park is built near Gomti River, using red sandstone that gives it a majestic yet modern look, and its vastness covers quite a portion of Gomti Nagar. To cover the entire garden will take about 5 to 6 hours. The architecture is strikingly beautiful. You will not get enough of clicks as every angle is a beauty in itself. In evening the lights are very dim – therefore, you may not be able to appreciate, and get good pics and selfies. The sculptures, gates, statues, pillars, fountains, bonsai – all are work of art, truly admirable.Some clicks that we could take in about 2 hours…

Entry Fee: INR 10 per person



Dewa Sharif, Barabanki – It takes about an hour from Gomti Nagar to visit Dewa Sharif – shrine of Haji Waris Ali Shah, a Sufi saint from Dewa (1819-1905), and in respect of the saint and shrine, the town is known as Dewa Sharif. A serene place, full of peace. The sufi songs and light music creates a mystical atmosphere. Religion and gender is no bar, here. All are welcomed to pray to the Almighty here.

Entry Fee: NONE

To Purchase (if desired): Offering Basket – a chaddar (piece of fabric), flowers (flower petals usually), sweets (white sugar balls) and thread (red-yellow thread) for about INR 100 to 150. If the chaddar is an ornate piece of fabric then the price will be higher – maximum INR 500.

Chaddar and Flowers will be offered in the shrine, thread one can tie inside on the metal grill, and few flower petals and sugar balls you carry with you (for consuming, distributing among friends, etc.).

You can donate in the donation boxes and to the musicians. There is no compulsion, it is solely your wish.

Shoes are to be removed and kept before entering the shrine. It is something like INR 2 per pair, but you can pay more I you desire.

Advisable to wear clothing that cover your body (no shorts, sleeveless, etc.), taking head scarf is appropriate.

Pictures are not allowed near the shrine. But you can click outside in the premises.



Lucknow City – Once you cross the Gomti river, you enter the way to the old Lucknow city – one of the most beautiful cities of India. Places to visit here include Bada Imamabada courtyard which contains Shahi Bawli, and Asifi Masjid, Chota Imamabada, Hussainabad Clock Tower, Satkhanda, Hussainabad Picture Gallery, Rumi Darwaza, Lucknow Residency, Hazartganj Lane…some of the many places one must not miss.

Bada Imamabada: I have not witnessed an architectural monument with innate detailing considering convenience for the soldiers’ way back in 1784. There is an idiom – Walls have ears. You must visit this architectural maze – the famous Bhool Bhulaiya (Labyrinth) – to know what this idiom actually means because here Walls Really Have Ears! Whatever you speak near the walls can be heard by a person standing miles away. That is the way soldiers positioned across use to communicate or warn on the upcoming danger. Wow!

As the history goes, it is said that the Imam Bada was built with a moral cause – to generate employment in the famine hit Awadh in the 18th century by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh. Two set of workers were hired – one built the monument in the morning, one broke it at night – sounds crazy but was done by the Nawab so that his people do not turn into the lazy-kinds and are paid for their days’ hard work till the wrath of famine disappears.

For the generous Nawab, People said, “Jisko na de Moula, usko de Asaf-ud-Doula.”

(To those whom God doesn’t Bless, Are Blessed By Asaf-ud-Doula.)

To which the humble, strong faith, religious Nawab replied, “Jisko de Moula, usko kya de Asaf-ud-Doula.”

(To whom God blesses, who is Asaf-ud-Daula to bless.)

As you enter the hall you will see the Tazia and the grave of Asaf-ud-Daula. The ceiling so high, is buit with no pillars, no iron, with excellent acoustic properties. Thought the guide described, I still could not understand how. The bricks then were tiled using a paste made of food ingredients – Black Gram (Urad Dal), Rice (Chawl), Jaggery (Gur), Acacia Gum (Goond), Wheat (Ghehun), Limestone (Choona), and Brick Dust (Surkhi). Absolutely stunning!

The narrow stairs and path takes you to the roof from where you can see the Teeliwali Masjid. Ventilation, light, visibility of the main gate from every window – everything is mesmerizing – which made me wonder how much of thinking had gone in designing and building this marvellous structure.

The courtyard has Asifi Masjid and way to the hidden Bawli, besides beautiful garden. It also has stalls that sell water, souvenir, etc. Water is a must especially in summer. The heat is killing. Your feet will burn if you do not walk on the carpets. It took us over 2 hours – will take more time for the photo frenzies. Daylight visit is advisable as you can capture the beauty of the place.

Entry Fee: INR 20 for Bada Imamabada which contains Shahi Bawli, and Asifi Masjid, Chota Imamabada, Hussainabad Clock Tower, Satkhanda and Hussainabad Picture Gallery

INR 5 for camera

INR 2 per shoe pair

INR 120 on wards for guides each at Bada Imambada, Chota Imam Bada and Hussainabad Picture Gallery

Please carry a scarf and sunglasses without fail.

Beware: Please hire a government recognized guide. You will find them near the fee counter. Avoid interacting with the so called Tanga Wala Guide (horse ride + guides) who share some common talks and take you to expensive Lucknowi Cloth Shops with whom they have commission settlements per purchase you make.


Chota Imambada – Another Imambada smaller but with beautiful monument and tazias.




Hussainabad Clock Tower, Satkhanda, Hussainabad Picture Gallery – all of these monuments are situated adjacent to each other. Hussainabad Clock Tower and Satkhanda are currently under restoration work. Hussainabad Picture Gallery is one must visit place. Please hire the guide. No pictures inside are allowed. And the paintings inside made from flower colours, fruit extracts, jewels and precious stone dust have this 3D effect – you can actually see the portraits looking at you from any angle in the Picture Hall. Once again I am wowed.



Rumi Darwaza – it is like the entrance gate to the city. I like all the Darwazas and Gates all over India!

Lucknow Residency – Also known as British Residence Museum is again located on massive grounds with many smaller and larger monuments inside. In the museum inside, you will have to keep your cameras and cell phones etc. in the locker. No pictures allowed inside the museum. The museum has a replica of the old city preserved in a glass covered table, many old portraits, pictures, the cannon explosion mark, etc. entire history is captured in these artifacts.



Hazartganj Lane – It is the old look city lane displaying the modern fashion brands. It has its own charm. You must taste Chaat at Royal Café here. In Lucknow and not having chat means you have missed something. We visited Sahara Ganj Mall Food Court which has Royal Café counter (basket chaat is worthit), Lucknowi Kebab Corner (I think that is the name. Check the mini meal here.), the lassi (I cannot recollect the name of the outlet), and all fast food outlets.



Aminabad Market – Ok now I thought Mumbai Market was the biggest. Again I was wrong. Aminabad I guess is one of the oldest and biggest (trust me it is HUGE) textile bazaar in India. Lucknowi Chikan fabrics (stitched – unstitched) are a must purchase here. Bedsheets, pillow covers, cushion covers, stitched sari blouses, zardosi Indian wear, embroidered sari…all in varieties and colours. You will get tired, but the shops and the market continues. You cannot cover the market in one day – one week is what you need. Prakash Kufi, Mohan Market and there is a bakery I do not remember the name – are two must visit places. You will love the kulfi!

Pratrakar Puram, Gomti Nagar – If you do not have time to vist Aminabad, then Patrakar Market is a like an assorted version of Aminabad. It is expensive than Aminabad but extremely economical in comparison to Mumbai.

For touring the city, it is advisable to book a car. For Aminabad you will have to rely on rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. While packing for the trip you must have three things – Sunglasses, Flat/Sports Shoes and Scarf/Cap/Hat. Ensure you are wearing minimal gold jewellery. Chain and bangle snatching is not uncommon. Advisable to wear artificial jewellery. Credit cards are accepted in big stores at Aminabad and Patrakar Market. So carry cash only as much as you require.

Sans Aminabad, it will take at least four days if you really want to connect with the city. Impeccable Hindi and Urdu is music to ears as in Mumbai you speak either Mumbaiyya Hindi or Hindlish.

There are many more parks in Lucknow, which we could not visit due to time constraint. But our trip was fun as Lucknow was followed by Kanpur, Agra, Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri…to be continued 🙂

Hope the article helps. All the tariff mentioned in the article are for Indian citizens. For Foreign Tourists, the tariff differs.


…Ashu Bolar