Close to the centre of Hazratganj, its grounds dotted with derelict Avadhi monuments, Lucknow’s small zoo also serves as an amusement park with a miniature train to view the animals. Inside the zoo, the State Museum exhibits delicate, speckled-red-sandstone sculpture from the Mathura School of the Kushana and Gupta periods (first to sixth centuries AD). Besides sculpture from Gandhara, Mahoba, Nalanda and Sravasti, it has a gallery of terracotta artefacts and even an Egyptian mummy. Musical instruments, paintings and costumes provide atmosphere in the Avadh gallery, while the natural history section is a taxidermist’s dream.

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