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Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub, and the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries.Bounded on the east by Barabanki, on the west by Unnao, on the south by Raebareli and in the north by Sitapur and Hardoi, Lucknow sits on the northwestern shore of the Gomti River.Many independent kingdoms, such as Awadh, were established as the Mughal Empire disintegrated. 1753–1775), fell out with the British after aiding the fugitive Nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim.Roundly defeated at the Battle of Buxar by the East India Company, he was forced to pay heavy penalties and surrender parts of his territory.
Emperor Jahangir (1569–1627) granted an estate in Awadh to a favoured nobleman, Sheikh Abdul Rahim, who later built Machchi Bhawan on this estate.Hindi is the main language of the city and Urdu is also widely spoken.Lucknow is the centre of Shia Islam in India with the highest Shia Muslim population in India.Historically, the capital of Awadh was controlled by the Delhi Sultanate which then came under the Mughal rule. In 1856, the British East India Company abolished local rule and took complete control of the city along with the rest of Awadh and, in 1857, transferred it to the British Raj."Lucknow" is the anglicised spelling of the local pronunciation "Lakhnau".