Old Lucknow is cloaked in the glories of the Nawabi era and the rich heritage coupled with a thriving cultural ecosystem surely steals the cake. We chanced upon the famous Phool Wali Gali which is one of the oldest markets in the state serving as a window to Lucknow’s affluent envelope!
Initially, the Phool Wali Gali was popular exclusively for their fresh and fragrant gajras– a garland of jasmine flowers but after the decline of the nawabi 'nightlife', the florists here engaged in selling other varieties of flowers as well.Apart from flowers, the market comprised of innumerable shops which were famous for authentic zari work, chikankari, jewellery, decor items, ittar and so on.
As we wandered further into the lanes of the congested and over-crowded Phool Mandi at 6 in the morning, we witnessed dunes of genda phool, roses and lilies being haggled over.
Further we spoke to the locals and enlightened ourselves about the significance of this market and the intense amount of secularism at play. Turns out, that most of these sellers are Muslims but they supply the flowers to the local temples and pandits with utmost dedication! We witnessed that they were preventing the customers or visitors from ‘smelling’ flowers here because of the religious usage and it is a strict no-no as per Hindu ideologies too. One of the flower vendors actually disposed a flower, that was picked and smelled by a passer by! This proves how careful they are about their trade, irrespective of their religious inclinations.
If you have any events coming up or just a day when you need to buy pretty flowers in bulk or so, head over here to actually catch steal-deals! We purchased a kilo of rose petals for (waaait-forrr-itttt) just ₹15 and we were pleasantly surprised.
That’s not all.
When you’ll come out of these meandering flower lanes, you will be greeted by sellers from the other side of the road. That stretch is known as the Angrezi Phool Market where you can shop for flowers which are contemporary and chic- perfect for upscale events and they are oh-so-cheap! Think carnations, lavenders, orchids, periwinkles, forget-me-nots and so on- a plethora of radiant spread, curated for all.
The location of this market isn’t really made up of an address- it is more traceable with a landmark and asking around, the classic desi way! Don’t try to Google because you’ll end up lost in the maze of bylanes. So just reach up to Nimbu Park and then ask the localites about the market and the good folks here will guide you in the blink of an eye.