Interesting place names….. A nostalgic trip through Lucknow II

I was trying to acquaint you with some interesting place names from Lucknow, but I see that I saddled you with 600+ plus words of background, without a single name but a whole array of tantalising hints. Never mind, there will be a surfeit of them in this one or the ones to follow. So without any further ado, and using a most apt metaphor, lets pedal off…..

The reason why I selected police stations was that they were pretty representative of their areas, and if all their scattered outposts were visited, it would mean covering most of the ground.

Lets start in order. As I said in the previous post, I had nixed a few from my consideration. 

Out of these, Alambagh, Krishna Nagar and Sarojini Nagar were too far-off and without any interestingly named places… All these three were contiguous areas on the NH 78 to Kanpur and the last two – as the names may help to indicate – fairly newly established areas. In fact they were colonies built well after 1947 on land vacant towards the (roughly) south of the city to house the refugees. Alambagh was, however, of the Nawabi era – in fact it represented the city’s outskirts in that direction at that time and boasted a hunting lodge or two. It had witnessed some fierce clashes in 1857 but in my time, it was a soporific kind of area, half occupied by railway installations and colonies and the other by the rather uninteresting Chander Nagar market.

The only place in Alambagh whose name I found interesting was called Fateh Ali Talab, and I once came across it on a brief trip sneaked during a visit to someone’s house with my family… but it just turned out to be a row of shops and non-descript houses. Needless to say, there was no water body in the vicinity.

As I remember, there was no police outpost under the Alambagh police station. The station itself was on a high mound on the left hand side as you went ahead of the Charbagh railway station, under the railway line and crossed the Mawaiyya and Clay Square areas.

Ahead of Alambagh- across the canal built by Nawab Naseerudin Haider, was Krishna Nagar, with its police station on the right hand side of the highway to Kanpur and two outposts at Vijaynagar and RDSO, if I am not mistaken. In those days, a housing company was setting up their colony, somewhere on the other side of Krisha Nagar and this boasted the remarkable name of Ashiyana (or Ashiana or Aashiyana or however they spell it).

Then followed Sarojini Nagar – with four outposts at Amausi (the airport), Nadarganj, Scooters India Ltd…. and I think, TP Nagar… where the regional transport office was.

So this is this three…. which I said had no interesting features and I have traversed them a lot on way to the Lucknow airport.

The other four – on the other end of the city and across the Gomti river – were in order (left to right if you see a map) – Mahanagar (outposts – Nishatganj, New Hyderabad and much later, Nirala Nagar (a rough cabin) on one end of a dreary market), ahead of it was Aliganj (ouposts Chandganj, Vikas Nagar and Naveen Galla Mandi…?), Ghazipur (can’t immediately recall the outposts … Sector 20 or something?) and Gomti Nagar (Vishal Khand…. at that time. I guess there would be many more now.

So with this seven out of the 20 were ruled out…. This is not to say that I did’nt frequent these areas. I did go through the four trans-Gomti areas but that was for another reason as I will explain later.

The eighth which was ruled was Hazratganj – the area where we lived then and already seen. The police station was itself an old and imposing edifice – and I am glad I took a photo of it on a trip to Lucknow before an impending visit when I thought I would never see the country again for years – for it no longer exists – being demolished last year as part of those “grandiose” plans of… but lets not digress.

Hazratganj PS had three ouposts – Sultanganj (which was very near to our home that time), the strangely named Bandariya Bagh (which coincidentally was near the Avadh Degree Girls College as well as the Loreto Convent… but I am not implying any connection and I have a straight face too, so there). The third I was…ummm. Let me think

To be continued…..

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