Must Buys: Chikan Salwaar Suits, Perfumes Or Ittar
Main Shopping Centers: Hazratganj And Bazaars Of Aminabad & Chowk.
Shopping areas: - Hazratganj, Aminabad and Chowk
The bazaars of Aminabad and Chowk are interesting even if you are window-shopping. In fact, there are few showrooms here; most of the shops flow into the streets with vendors sitting with their wares on the roads. Wholesale markets sell a wide range of goods: antique furniture, furnishings, utensils, dress materials, coolers, even vegetables. A good bargain is not difficult, if you have mastered the art of haggling.
In the narrow lanes of Aminabad you can buy attar - pure essentials oils extracted from flowers in the traditional manner and jhaalar (colourful tasselled borders for dupattas). In Chowk, there is a bird-sellers district known as Nakkas; pigeon-keeping and cock-fighting have been popular in Lucknow since the time of the Nawabs.
Heritage Hazratganj: "At last we suddenly entered a very handsome street indeed, wider than the High Street at Oxford, but having some distant resemblance to it in the colour of its buildings and the general form and Gothic style of the greater part of them". In 1824, such was Lucknow´s main street. As with everything else, what was once termed a street of noble width had in 1856 become a narrow road. Today, Hazratganj, full of glittering shops and magnificent arcades, plush hotels, fancy eateries, is Lucknow's fashionable district, so to speak. 'Ganj-ing,' a term synonymous with the easy amble of Lucknowites has become one of the city's favorite past-times. Free time, especially for the young, means a quick jaunt to Hazratganj.
Charm of Chikan : In Lucknow, everyone shops for chikan. Done originally on pristine white material and creating delicately textured surfaces on fine mulls and muslin, chikankari craft was Empress Noor Jehan's gift to India. It had its finest flowering in the 17 th and 18th centuries under the Nawabs of Avadh. The traditional chikankari motifs of creepers and vine are done in a variety of stitches, the most basic being the back stitch. The stitch is done on the wrong side of the cloth and the design is done on the right side by tiny, running stitches creating a fantastically ethereal effect.
There are six types of stitches which are traditionally popular.
Taipchi : This is the women's domain and is simple and the cheapest type of work. It is a type of stem stitch with which the outlines are worked.
Bakhia : is the most beautiful stitch in Chikankari . In this, the thread appears only below the surface and small stitches are seen on the right side for outlining the motif. Below the right side of the cloth, the threadwork makes the covered surface opaque thus creating a delicate effect of light and shade.
Khatao : is an embroidery of greater delicacy and rare these days. Earlier it was considered a poor cousin of the traditional Chikankari. This stitch was a form of applique work prepared on Calico material by placing Calico over the surface and working out floral patterns on the cloth. The details were filled by simple stem stitch.
Phanda and Murri : These are the most characteristic forms of Chikan work and are used mostly to work out the center of the flowers to evolve patterns such as angoori bale. Murri means rice and phanda, millet shape.
Jali : In the true Jali work, the thread is never drawn. The jali is normally worked by teasing the warp and woft threads of the cloth apart and by preparing minute button hole stitches to make a hole of 3/16th of an inch. There are different shapes of Jalis: Sidhuri, Madrasi and Calcutta jali.
Mango Industry: Dussehri mangoes are exported to different parts of the world. Rich in taste, aroma and attractive in color, the pulp is used to make pickles, chutneys, squash, fruit juice, jam, jell, syrup and nectar.
Perfumes - Ittar - Perfumes have long been used in the city and are available in various fragrances and in exquisite bottles of cut-glass work. In the days of the nawabs, perfumes were used not only on the person but also added to the food to give it more fragrance and taste. Different herbs and flowers are used in the preparation of perfumes, like the khus, and rose. A choice of traditional perfumes can be found in many shops in Aminabad and Chowk.