In a nutshell:
Few people stand out in our many years of travel & food experiences – for sure Deep dive India founded by Samir is in our top 5 list
It’s an art that Samir has mastered, to paint a live picture of a bygone past , while standing in it’s physical remnants. Walk with Samir is an Unmissable experience if you are in Lucknow & want to explore the city.
Contact details: +91 94542 72174
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Charges for 2: depends on hours, location. Please connect with Samir directly
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
YUMMRAJ rates all the food items & then gives a final overall rating, which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
There are guides at every monuments. They know the nooks & corners of each monument & tell the nuances that someone who had physically been there can find. Usually ASI guide books or lonely planet or any such books / audio guides / YouTube videos can also give information but to find that exact spot in a monument is something a guide enables effortlessly. Let’s call such guides level 4.
Roles of most guides end there.
Level 3 guides also tell stories of not just the monuments but also the dynasties who ruled, about the city in general, a bit about local customs & cultures etc.
Level 2 guides are area experts. They know everything about the city, the area, the people, culture, art, history, best places to shop genuine hand crafted products (not the ones who give more commission).
Level 1 guides are rare. They are moving encyclopaedias, with not just knowledge about the local area but also in general about the overall cultural & historical perspective.
Samir belongs to level 1. Clarification – level 1 is best & level 5 is lowest.
We connected with Samir to show us around lucknow. We met him at Chowk Lucknow, had some street food & he took us to the top of the building – gol darwaza of lucknow Chowk.
He began the conversation by pulling out some laminated printouts from him bag. Those were maps, genealogies, photographs etc – visual aids for his conversation.
He asked us to sit on the terrace walls around him & stared his storytelling. We thought it would be about Chowk or lucknow but he started from the original inhabitants, the aryan migration in several batches, the mixing of the cultures, a short history & perspective of northern india in the last 2 millennia, the Mughal empire & then he came to lucknow.
Wishing lucknow he explained how the Nawabi started, flourished & endEd with the last nawab wazir ali shah being deported to kolkata by the British.
All the while he showed us pictures of people, buildings, family trees etc. the talk finished at Chowk where we were sitting.
Then he showed us around the Chowk, the lanes, by lanes, the older buildings, the stories of distinguished people who lived in those lanes.
We focussed on eating at different shops towards the later part of the evening.
The next day we met Samir at lucknow residency. Once again, we sat on the bricks & he narrated the full story in great detail. In a very easy to understand & remember way. Then we walked around the different parts of residency & he spoke about the nuances of each monument. He almost recreated the scenes of the 1857 revolt through his words & we could imagine what it would have been at that time.
He also took us to kothi farhat Baksh & walked us through chhattar manzil. Each abandoned room had a story. We did not even realize when we were done with almost 4 hours of walk on a hot April day in Lucknow.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by YUMMRAJ