Very few cities in India still speak the language of royalty. Lucknow is one of them. Home to the Nawabs of Oudh, the city is made up of all things fine. And this is not just reserved for the tezheeb and the scrumptious kebabs it has gained fame for. From carefully concocted attars to intricate chikankari work on butter-like muslin, it is easy for visitors to run out of money but never of things to buy.
View this post on Instagram
If you are headed to this stately city, here's a list of everything you must buy
This intricate traditional embroidery craft is the city's heritage and has become synonymous with it. In its most original avatar, it is the white-on-white embroidery usually on looms like organza and muslin. The Mughal empress, Noor Jehan, has been credited with bringing this unique and exquisite practice to India. For the best and classic finds, head to the markets stuffed in the old part of the city, such as Hazratganj, Aminabad and Chowk.
The all-white headgear, sporting intricate chikankari work on the borders, can only be found in Lucknow. Dupalli in English means "with two sides," and that is exactly how the cap is designed–two halves are stitched in between. These can be found in shops tucked away in Chowk's narrow, busy lanes. The simple ones are priced for as little as INR 50/-.
The tiny bottles of distilled perfumes store heady fragrances that will transport you to the royal era. The old part of Lucknow has still held on to these magical creations introduced by the Persians. Some shops dotting decades-old markets, such as Hazratganj, have been around for ages and have perfected the mastery of creating alluring fragrances. The starting price for these is approx INR 200 for 10 ml.
Made up of two words–"zar" meaning gold and "dozi" meaning sewing, this Persian stitch defines opulence. Luckily, if the simplicity of Chikankari doesn't mesmerise you, then apparel with zardozi work (embroidery with silver or gold polished copper wires) will surely bedazzle you. For the best finds, make your way to Hazratganj and Janpath markets.
Nagra shoes add the perfect touch of panache to just about any outfit. These finely crafted, leather shoes with their characteristic pointed tip can be found in the bustling lanes of Chowk. Many stores that sell these shoes also trade different genuine leather goods, such as bags.