Lucknow – A Walk In The Chowk

Chowk, the heart of the city of Lucknow, is a smaller and considerably less intense version of Chandni Chowk in Delhi. A quintessential Indian ‘old town’ with its maze of narrow alleys. Where once-glorious haveli’s rub shoulders with hastily nailed together hovels. Where the smells and sounds evoke romantic fantasies engendered by long forgotten travelogues of oriental markets, of medieval trades still being plied quite like they have been for centuries.

We are assaulted by the spice laden air. The fragrant smoke from the kabab stalls. The rhythmic clanging of the Varq beater. The thud, thud, thud of the printer’s block. But the impoverished visuals brush aside all illusions of romance. Progress has made these ancient trades unviable. Their days are numbered. Much as I detest the disneyfication of old towns in China, I find myself wishing someone would come forward to rescue ours from oblivion. From turning into characterless gallis lined with concrete blocks vending cheap electronic spare parts.

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Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

86 thoughts on “Lucknow – A Walk In The Chowk

  1. These wonderful places need somehow to be preserved. So brilliant and beautiful, timeless. I cannot imagine a world that loses all of this to the march of time. We are idiots sometimes. Another wonderful sharing, thank you.

  2. Amazing pictures, to go with a sad story. However, progress can be helpful too and maybe what replaces these crafts will one day become “antique” crafts in their own right!

    Might have to consider stopping off here when I’m travelling India next year 🙂

  3. … and they should be rescued. These two mansions look impressive. I am particularly impressed with your shot of biriyani 🙂

  4. That was a beautiful walk Madhu. I do wish someone would rescue these old towns as well. But given how heavily populated these areas are, and also the practicality of economics over emotion, I am afraid that it’s not going to happen 😦

  5. Fabulous atmospheric photos Madhu – I love those Haveli and hope that someone will step in to protect such lovely buildings

  6. Great post as usual Madhu. I´m beginning to think about changing my traveling plans for next year… 🙂 Maybe go (back?) to India…
    Take care
    brian

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