The fragrance of a glorious past, Lucknow's attar continues to spin magic with every swatch

Attar is believed to ward off evil spirits and summon angels, making its significance next to holy in Lucknow.

The Awadh of yore, the City of Nawabs, Lucknow has gracefully managed to keep alive the token of its rich culture and heritage, through the trials of time, westernisation and contemporary growth. It is, to date, a buzzing centre of cuisine, craft and courtesy, with just the right balance of homely warmth and imperial sophistication.

And this concoction is not the only fragrance that fumes the city- it has a well-designated perfumery legacy for that department, folks! Yes, we are talking about the age-old practice of crafting scents that are popularly known as attar or ittar.


The golden past of Attar

India has been recognised as the prime producer of natural fragrances and holding the leading flag here were the Mughal emperors, who last found home in Lucknow. The city, by this virtue, has been the most avid propagator of attar scents, which are basically oil-based perfumes. A symbol of aristocracy, earlier the flourish of attar was limited to the harams of Mughal Kings like Jahangir and the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. However, today the perfume is available for all, as a token of legacy that blends in the hallmark of great craftsmanship.

The earliest mentions of attar have been traced to Akbar the Great, in the chronicles of the court historian Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. Mubarak has penned how Akbar had a whole unit dedicated to perfumery, so that he and his successive generations could exalt in the scented whiffs while in the hot terrain of the country. Another story suggests the Empress Noor Jahan, the wife of Mughal ruler Jahangir, was a connoisseur of itra and used to bathe in water perfumed with rose petals. This theory has divided believers as some historians strongly credit the Queen's mother, Asmat Begum, as the one who perfected this perfumery skill in Persia.

As far as Lucknow's connection to this perfumery is concerned, it is believed that Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh was a kathak dancer, who sweated a lot during his dance practice. As such, he would wear the henna attar and thus, the popularity of this perfume variant and related skills grew by leaps and bounds.

Another story says that Ghazi-ud-Din Haidar Shah had fountains of attar around his bedroom. Historians say that he arranged for this extravagance to ensure a pleasant and romantically fragrant atmosphere around him at all times.

Attar in the contemporary world

Even today, there are several shops that create a whole range of new and old blends of attar in Lucknow. From flowery to musky and even spicy tones of the perfume can be found in small glass bottles, that lock in a tradition of imperialism and a pleasant fragrance. By faith, it is believed to summon angels and ward off evil, making its significance next to holy in Lucknow.

It's time to relive the good old days amid plush new interiors at Molecule in Lucknow!

Molecule is all set to surprise you guys with some new elements once again, just like the good old times.

Donning a brand new and revolutionised avatar, Lucknow's pepped-up party place- Molecule is all set to sort your hang-out plans once again. Unlocking its doors on Wednesday, the upgraded version of the resto-bar will help you win a hearty escape from your mundane WFH schedules! So get ready to experience something new amid the same old kick-ass vibes echoing through reformed settings at Molecule.

Keep reading... Show less

Maharashtra govt grants ₹11,500 crore flood relief aid for repairs & long-term rehabilitation

The state of Maharashtra has promised to provide ₹10,000 to all families affected in the recent flood disaster

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved and announced a ₹11,500 crore flood relief package to those affected by the calamity brought in by the recent floods here. The much-anticipated aid will be utilised for emergency relief, repairs and long-term rehabilitation measures for the victims of the disaster. As many as 9 districts were knee-deep in trouble last month, due to extreme rainwater activity in the state.

Keep reading... Show less

Maharashtra Unlock: BMC issues new relaxations for Mumbai amid lockdown

Mumbai suburban 'local' trains will not resume operations for the general public.

The Maharashtra government on Monday decided to continue with Level-3 COVID curbs in 14 out of the 36 districts here, including state capital Mumbai. While partial relaxations are awarded to the other 22 cities, the high caseload and emergence of fresh infections in the listed regions have discouraged the administration from withdrawing the restrictions in these regions.

Parallelly, the state has authorised the local civic body to decide the level of curbs in 3 of these 14 districts, namely Mumbai, Mumbai suburban and Thane. As such, the BMC has permitted all shops (except malls) to open here till 10 PM. The local trains will, however, remain shut for all passengers.

Keep reading... Show less

Remodelled Gangapur City Yard to facilitate high-speed run of trains on the Delhi-Mumbai route

Earlier, trains running on the Mumbai-Delhi route were subjected to Permanent Speed Restrictions of 70 kmph at the 40 year old yard.

The services of Indian Railways along the Delhi-Mumbai route will now race through a speed of 130 kmph, facilitating rapid travel between the two cities. This development has been made possible with the completion of the Ganagapur City Yard remodeling project, last month. The project reached its last leg in July.

Keep reading... Show less

With an aim to revive Nehru Park as a major recreational centre in the city, Indore Smart City Development Limited is trying to revamp the old garden. As per reports, the body will work for the addition and up-gradation of facilities in the park, in a bid to bring back its lost glory. While the renovation plans for one of the city's oldest parks have been underway for over 3 years now, it is expected that the project will be finished by December 2021.

Keep reading... Show less

Schools & colleges in Rajasthan offer fee rebates in a bid to attract pupils & parents!

Among a few notable name, DPS, Seeding School, Vidhyashram and JK Lakshmipat University have taken similar measures.

Amid the financial uncertainties propelled by the pandemic, a few educational institutes in Rajasthan have come up with discounts and other offers, in a bid to attract students and fuel revenues. With the deployment of the famed corporate methodology, the schools and colleges are trying to woo pupils and parents and thus raise funds for themselves. Among a few notable names, DPS, Seeding School, Vidhyashram and JK Lakshmipat University have taken similar measures.

Keep reading... Show less

Most Read

Headlines

Lucknow

Kanpur

Trending

Jaipur

Indore

Goa

Mumbai