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A gala of Nawabi arts, crafts, culture, cuisines & more, Lucknow Mahotsav ties the past with present

Nothing comes as close to telling what Lucknow has been and is all about, as the Lucknow Mahotsav.

The grandeur and opulence of Lucknow's history have transcended the boundaries of time. This is best visible in the Awadh city's incredible monuments, most of which still echo the whispers of those who dwelled there in the past. Lucknow's rich culture, vibrant arts, crafts and culinary breakthroughs have also been passed down from one generation to another and now, people from across the world come to savour the delights of Awadh. Lucknow's past has been shaped and moulded by its many-faceted forms of art and craft and that's exactly what the Lucknow Mahotsav celebrates- centuries of this Nawabi culture.


Lucknow Mahotsav tells the tale of Lucknow's vibrant past

Nothing comes as close to telling what Lucknow has been and is all about, as the Lucknow Mahotsav. A kaleidoscope of craft, couture, culture and cuisine, the 10-day mega fair is a cornucopia of colours and cheers in all forms. It literally transports the visitor to the old world charm of the City of Nawabs, as much as to its modern-day delights. Let us, as proud Lucknowites, take you on a trip down memory lane to trace the origin, past, present and possibly the future of this pageant.

It is instructive to recall, that the year 1975 was observed as the Tourism Year and since then, every year, Lucknow Mahotsav has been organized. Even back then, the carnival held a charm and a vibe that was unmatched by others.

Since its humble beginnings, it has become one of the grandest events, not only for Lucknowites welcoming the winters but for thousands of people across the country, many, who use this opportunity to showcase their craft. For us Lucknowites, the Mahotsav marks 10 (or so) days of riveting fun, excitement, a time to reflect on the past and everything that Lucknow is today.

Bringing hints of nostalgia amid Lakhnawis

Just the words "Lucknow Mahotsav'' evoke nostalgia and fond remembrance in die-hard Lakhnawis. Mahotsav evenings are remembered by many as gatherings of people from all walks of life, who come to take in the arts of Lucknow, to enjoy the rich Awadhi cuisine, which is symbolic of Lucknow and to catch a fleeting essence of the nawabi culture in the form of Kavi Sammelans, Mushairas and the likes.

In the recent past, Lucknow Mahotsav's festivities have been taken to the next level as national performers and artists have come here to elevate and illuminate Lucknow's forgotten arts and more. These artists come here not only to rekindle the flame of these forgotten arts but to achieve and obtain new heights, to find new meaning within them.

Mahotsav brings forth forgotten Awadhi arts

Artisans who are skilled at the centuries-old Zardari, Chikankari and associated works come here to show their wares. Chikankari is one of Lucknow's most lucrative arts and for good reason. It requires skill, precision and years of training, and the artisans of Lucknow have got it down to a T. Textile art is part of a traditional lifestyle and subtly blends with new-age fashion. When at the Mahotsav, you have to indulge in the simple yet elegant work of chikan artists.

And then there's the delectable Lucknowi cuisine. Since Lucknow Mahotsav is a celebration of the city's past, there's no way anyone can miss out on the food. Exotic foods and rich cuisines have always been a part of Lucknow's culture, and the Mahotsav delivers. Here, you can get everything from Tunday ke Kebab to Wahid ki Biryani and then some more. Lucknow is nothing short of a foodie's paradise and in the many years of the Mahotsav, we've learned that we, Lucknow locals, are suckers for our own food.

Over the years, Lucknow Mahotsav has expanded its wings to make way for artists, craftsmen and artisans from areas in Uttar Pradesh and the country but the essence of Lucknow, and its charm is not forgotten for a moment. This is perhaps best quantified in the hordes of Lucknowites who come for the Mahotsav from all parts of the city.

Mahotsav holds a special place for Lucknowites

It simply goes to show that Lucknowites are curious about their own city and are always looking to find something new around a corner in Lucknow. The Lucknow Mahotsav brings together the galis of Chowk, the swank localities of Gomti Nagar and everything in between.

A city within a city, the Mahotsav has been beckoning us since we were children and has not only shaped what the city is today but also the people. The Mahotsav is a place of discovery and serendipity, a place where time stands still and the past is celebrated, making way for the future to come. At the conclusion of each Mahotsav, Lucknowites walk tall and proud, even as they await with eager anticipation for the next version.

You must have heard stories and read poems about how people cross a thousand oceans and climb mountains to find love. But you don't have to go to any great lengths if the love of your life is food. All you've to do is go to your phone's App Store/Play Store and download the KnockOFF app. Easy right?

Eat to your heart's content and save big each time, with unbelievable deals on KnockOFF. So, if you are on the lookout for some steal deals today, at the most happening places in Lucknow, scroll away and take your pick:

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Tom Junod once said, "You don't have to love cooking to cook, but you have to do more than love baking to bake. You have to bake out of love." And these home bakers of Kanpur are doing exactly the same! If you believe life is too short to say no to calories and cake, read on about these dynamic bakers who are baking deliciousness out of love.

A dessert lover would understand the importance of quality baked goods and if you are one of them, we have compiled a list of some of the best home entrepreneurs in Kanpur:

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Fighting against hunger, THESE 5 NGOs are a silver lining for the needy in Lucknow!

This World Food Day, get to know about these 5 NGOs fighting against hunger in Lucknow

There is an abundance of food-delivery apps in the market today that have managed to reduce the gap between your homes and restaurants. However, there is no such modern solution to bridge the long-prevailing gap between a one-time meal and the underprivileged. No matter how developed any city in India is today, the issue of hunger is a prominent one everywhere, and Lucknow is no exception.

But keeping intact our faith in humanity, are certain groups and individuals who're working round the clock to ensure that each day, the number of people going to sleep hungry, reduces significantly. This World Food Day, get to know about 5 NGOs working towards this cause and provide them with your support however you can. A little help goes a long way!

Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organisation spread across India that operates a school lunch programme (Mid-Day meal). Established in the year 2000, the aim of this organisation is to counter classroom hunger and aid in the education of children. Reportedly, it feeds more than 18 lakh children every day, across the country. With its presence in several cities including Lucknow, the Akshaya Patra Foundation also worked to distribute food among the migrant workers during the COVID crisis last year. Donate to this noble cause by clicking on the website link attached below.

Contact: 097924 48359

Website: The Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Robin Hood Army

The Robin Hood Army is a volunteer-based organisation that was established in 2014 by Neel Ghose and Arushi Batra. This establishment works to get surplus food from restaurants and the community, to serve less fortunate people. The idea behind the conception of this NGO is to create self-sustained chapters across the world, that will look after its local community. Like all the other chapters, Lucknow Chapter of this volunteer-based organisation conducts various drives across the city. If you wish to become a part of this group log on to their official website now!

Contact: Send a mail on info@robinhoodarmy.com

Website: The Robin Hood Army

Roti Bank

Roti Bank is a citizen led organisation who's primary aim is to provide food to the needy. To attain this goal, Roti Bank has a team spread across the country including a bunch in Lucknow that is purely dedicated to the cause. Roti bank collects left-over and excess food from homes and events and distributes it among the needy. One can donate in cash or kind or even volunteer to become a part of this thoughtful initiative. Click on the website link to know more about this organisation.

Contact: 7905881802

Website: Roti bank Lucknow

Vijay Sri Foundation

Vijay Sri Foundation is a non-government organization, that was launched in the year 2009 in Lucknow. The main objective of this organisation was the distribution of food to the needy poor in hospitals. Initially, home-cooked food packets were distributed among attendants of poor patients admitted in various wards of Lucknow's King George Medical College. Gradually, the operations grew to other hospitals in the city as well. Currently, around 900 patients are served food everyday, under its "Prasadam Sewa" campaign. To join their team or contribute monetarily, log on to their official website.

Contact: 099358 88887

Website: Prasadam Sewa

Feeding India

Found in the year 2014, Feeding India was formed to solve the complex challenges of food wastage, malnutrition and hunger in India. As a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Zomato acquired this organisation in 2019 to deal with these issues. With its presence in Lucknow, Feeding India by Zomato designs interventions to decrease hunger among the communities that are underserved. If you wish to donate or know more about this organisation check out their official website.

Contact: Write to them here

Website: Feeding India

Knock Knock

Even though these organisations are working hard to improve the situation, it is upon all of us to make sure that we don't waste food and do whatever we can to help and feed the poor. To fight and beat the global problem of hunger, a collective effort is a must!

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Now, the beaches of Ganapatipule are just 85 minutes from Mumbai.

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