Arif Castles Hotel Lucknow : I had to visit Lucknow for a fashion show and decided to book a room at the Arif Castles after much research. The ratings seemed good and when I visited there, I was completely satisfied with the standard of their services and hospitality with their friendly staff. They made my stay comfortable and memorable.
As the name suggests, it is a part of an autonomous body which known for its students of art. The place has some extremely beautiful paintings and photographs which really challenged my talent as a photographer. I examined each and every photo at the place and tried to take out their best qualities. I also learned how I can use lighting and different angles to my advantage.
Apart from the paintings, I also saw some unique plastic installations here. These installations will attract you and force you to decode them. I analysed each one of them for at least 5 minutes before I could figure out its meaning.
There were students of painting, singing, dancing and other forms of art who were dedicated to their art form and really wanted to excel in their field. I happened to have an interesting conversation with them over a cup of coffee, and they told me their stories about how they got into this.
Though I was not lucky enough but if you happen to get a chance to visit Lucknow and, in particular, the Lalit Kala Academy, try to match your dates with an exhibition because you are going to see lots of stuff then. Students organise plays regularly, and their acting skills are just mind blowing. The singers were also very talented, and some of them confessed of their dream to be a singing superstar one day.
Try visiting the place in the months of April, May and June as this is the time when most of the exhibitions are organised. You will see interesting art pieces based on a single theme along with amazing photographs that once again, will be based on a single theme and all of them will be the work of the students of this academy.
Lalit Kala Academy was easy to reach as it is not located at any corner of the city but right beside the state’s High Court. After taking a few hours of rest, I headed towards my next destination- British Residency.
Description : Lucknow is a place which has always had influences of the Nawabs and other rulers. Even the food here reflects their rule which ended years ago. The Chattar Manzil is a fort which is built in the shape of an umbrella and translates to the same in English. I had a wonderful time visiting it.
After I was done with Lucknow Zoological Garden, I decided to visit the museum that was in the premises of the zoo. It houses some really interesting pieces related to the history of India, especially the ones related to Mughal Empire.
There are not many zoos in India which have a museum. This one has very interesting artefacts that are related to Indian history. Surprisingly, it even houses a 1,000 year old Egyptian mummy. The thing that attracted me the most was the wine glass of Aurangzeb, which has his name inscribed on it. The description said that it was at least 300 years old and historical things always excited me!
The museum also houses a 16th century painting of Kalpasutra along with antique items from Piparahawa and Kapilavastu- these two places is where Lord Buddha supposedly grew up. Another interesting piece of history was 16th century copy of Harivamsa. The book is a Persian translation of the book originally written in Sanskrit.
Do not Miss
Apart from the things mentioned above, I saw various sculptures and decorative items which have been restored. The items are centuries old, and some of them have even gathered rust. There are some bronze statues at the place that were very interesting to look at. There were a lot more paintings that dated back to 17th and 16th century and I still wonder what would be the value of all those paintings as they are rare paintings with 300-400 years of history with them. I also saw a few things related to freedom fighters and various wars that India has fought with different countries.
State Museum Lucknow was an interesting place to visit as it had everything from centuries old paintings, bronze statues and various other interesting pieces of history restored in the perfect condition. Whenever you visit the city, do give the museum a shot as it will not take much of your time, and since it is located within zoo premises, it is not that tough to reach as well.
This was the first place that I visited when I arrived in the city of Nawabs. I had heard about the zoo from one of my friends, and she insisted that I should give it a visit. Interestingly, I came to know that in a span of 6 years, the zoo will complete its 100 years. It was earlier known as Prince of Wales Zoological Gardens but as the British left India, so did the name. Here is an account of what I witnessed in this huge zoo.
Now I do not understand how did my friend failed to mention about the toy train here. Maybe she thought I am too old for it but hey, when are you too old for a toy train! The train covers most of the zoo, and you can see all animals while in the train as it takes a halt every 5 minutes or so. A fun ride, it was the highlight of the visit to this huge park.
The record says that the zoo has 102 species of animals, and I do not think I was able to see all of them. I captured some really amazing photographs of Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Lions as they were at their best when I saw them. There were a variety of deer that also caught my attention. It is one of the two zoos in India which house an Orangutan. It is a rare species of monkey which are not found anywhere in the country anymore.
The zoo had a large variety of animals, and I took photographs of almost all of them. If you are a photography lover like me, my advice would be to carry an extra pair of batteries because you are going to get a chance to click so many interesting photographs here that the battery may run out . I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Lucknow zoo and then I was off to my next destination- State Museum Lucknow, which happens to be located inside the zoo only.
Description : Lucknow is a city which will always remain special to me. The St Joseph’s Cathedral here is one of the places I regularly visit as it is calm and serene. It provides me with a sense of holy support and lighting a candle has become a habit whenever I am in Lucknow.
A fashion lover by all means, I, Saachi Agarwal, love to travel and explore the charm of traditional India. The culture mesmerizes me and the beauty is breath-taking. I had been long planning a trip to Lucknow but was just stuck with work.
Finally, I got a confirmed ticket in one of the Jaisalmer Lucknow trains. It was the JSM HWH Superfast Express, and I was ready to enjoy the journey to the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. I packed my bags, checked all the credentials and cash I would need during the trip and headed out of my home towards the station. This was the first time I was visiting Lucknow all by myself, and it was purely a pleasure trip! This was going to be my solo trip in which I intended to focus on the historical buildings and the heart-touching folk lore of this magical city.
The JSM HWH Superfast Express takes around 23 hours to reach Lucknow which meant that I was in the train for the whole day, and the ultimate foodie that I am, I had packed a separate bag that contained a lot of goodies. I plugged in my earphones, leaned on the window side and started munching my favourite snacks while staring in the darkness, not able to sleep because of the excitement.
This was the only train that had some berths available in all Jaisalmer Lucknow trains. Thankfully it was neat and clean and was being taken care by a very polite catering staff. Another thing good about this train was that its starting point was Jaisalmer, which meant that the toilets were neat and tidy and totally unused.
After a long wait of 23 hours, I arrived at Lucknow station at 11:40 pm. Since I had booked a cab beforehand, I did not have to go through the hassle of hiring an auto or cab. The hotel I was to check in, Hotel Midas, was near the station. The station seemed to be a clean one, and I could definitely smell all the food that this city was ready to offer me. In the next few days, I was going to visit Bada Imambara, Satkhanda, British Residency and a few other places and there was no limit to my joy which knew no bounds!
Meditation is known to have many health benefits. Meditation and Yoga have been passed down over the generations. They are the best known ways to attain peace of mind and mental stability. Here are some simple guidelines and suggestions that will help you meditate properly.
During meditation, your spine should be erect and chin should be held up. A lazy posture leads to a lazy mind. You need to maintain a perfect posture to meditate properly.
Keep Your Eyes Open
It is best if you keep your eyes open while meditating. You may drift into thoughts or dreams if you close your eyes. Do not keep your eyes wide open as you may see things and this may distract you. It is best to keep your eyes low and vision soft while you meditate.
You do not have to breathe in any peculiar fashion to meditate. You can use your breath as a focal point. You can concentrate on the breath that is streaming in and out of the body. This will help you concentrate better.
Count Your Breath
You may even count your breath to concentrate. You must count from one and when your mind gets diverted, begin from one all over again. This is a common method used by people for meditation.
Control of Thoughts and Emotions
You must be able to restrict your thoughts and control your emotions while meditating. When your mind starts straying, take effort to bring back your concentration. Do not let emotions disturb the peace of mind you are experiencing.
Select a Silent Location
You must meditate sitting in a silent location that is far from distractions. The location you select should also be hygienic and there should be no one to disturb you here. Silence can help you be at peace.
These are just a couple of basic tips that will help you meditate peacefully. Meditation is known to have several positive effects on the mind and body. It helps you regain your peace of mind and confidence. It helps to attain physical and mental balance.
As a fashion designer I had to work very hard to make a name for myself. It was initially very difficult to sell my designs and I have always had to make sacrifices and compromises unwillingly. I have learned that this quote is true and we must let go of some things to achieve success in life.