Liberally sprinkled with British Raj-era buildings, the ruins of the historic Residency and boasting two superb mausoleums, Lucknow oozes historical interest, although you have to go looking for it in the sprawling congestion that characterises the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

The city rose to prominence as the home of the nawabs of Avadh (Oudh). They controlled a region of northern-central India for about a century after the decline of the Mughal empire and most of the city’s monuments date from this period.

The Shiite nawabs built huge entrance gates embellished with their royal two-fish symbol all over the city to impress their mainly Hindu subjects, as well as grandiose tombs for themselves.

They were great patrons of the culinary and other arts, particularly dance and music. Lucknow’s reputation as a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine has continued to this day.