Lucknavi Nawabi Splendor
AWADH KE MONUMENTS
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula was instrumental in shaping Lucknow as we see it now. Lucknow has always been an irresistible force of attraction for the culturally inclined ones. Lucknow is one of the major tourist destinations in Uttar Pradesh and there are a number of mysterious monuments with a peculier identity in history of Lucknow. Lucknow has long served as the cultural capital of India but its most famous monuments are pretty.
Under the rule of Asaf-ud-Daula, Lucknow evolved as a sophisticated and picturesque city dotted with a number of impressive architectural monuments. The Lucknow monuments are the momento of the Nawab’s love of art and architecture.
The Great Imambara is one of the prominent monuments in Lucknow. The construction of Bara Imambara can be traced back to 1784 and is ample proof of the Nawab’s architectural zeal. Lucknow, due to its predominant Muslim population, boasts of a number of imambaras but the Bara Imambara has an edge over the other in terms of its popularity.
The Kaiser Bagh Palace also tops the priority list of the tourists visiting Lucknow. The palace is the contribution of Wajid Ali Shah who was known more for his pleasure pursuits than for his administrative abilities. You should also not skip a visit to the La Martiniere, a funerary monument. Touted to be the largest of such monument in India, it entombs its builder French Major General Claude Martim.
The British Residency is counted among the important monuments in Lucknow. Constructed during the 1800, the residency is now a poor shadow of what it used to be. It remains a silent witness to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. The Shah Najaf Imambara is one of the popular memorials in Lucknow. This is the place where Shah Najaf has been inhumed along with his three wives. This is an imposing structure capped with a huge dome.
|Bada Imambara||Roomi Darwazaa
All pictures are taken by ummehani
|Shah Nazaf Imambaa|
Lucknow, the city of Nawab is still rich with the reminiscence of its royal heritage and luxurious life of the Nawabs. The ancient mansions, huge Imambars, narrow lanes and unique life style of the people of Lucknow, all remind the bygone grandeur of the city.Lucknow is a picturebook representation of the Nawabs' interest in architecture. They imported teak from Burma for the roofs, bought up most of Avadh's bamboo for the scaffolding, and brought stone from Chunar and marble from present-day Rajasthan. In its time the place had elegant havelis cooled by statusque fountains, with ambrosial palaces and sarais draped along the Gomti. Today, it is difficult to reconstruct what it may have looked like, but a walk around the site will still unveil secrets of tourist interest.
Lucknow is abode of fine arts and 'Ganga-Jamuna' culture. After the downfall of Delhi this cosmopolitan city had given shelter to a captivating panorama of arts and culture. Lucknow there after developed and refined every aspect of this culture through the delicacy, mannerism and literary prominence of art and culture of Avadh, to give it world-recognition. In the Monuments of Lucknow the glorious golden era of Avadh has been expressed by commencing a tour through the famous buildings built in those times. The buildings of Lucknow reflect a class of their own. Even the splendid, huge and wonderful buildings have been constructed with small brick plates popularly known as 'Lakhaurf, pair of fishes, beautiful symmetrical arches, Baradaris and Naubatkhanas. The book covers architecture of these buildings along with the history of Avadh, its social environment and cultural heritage
Asafuddaulah's Rumi Darwaza, the founder's flamboyant symbol on the heart of Lucknow. Stand under the fantastic giant gateway, heavily ornamented with stucco, and you just cannot overlook the grandeur of this exquisite archway. There was a time when stately processions of elephants, horses and camels carrying nawabs, the British Resident and his retinue, and pilgrims passed through this magnificent gatewayTowards the west of the Imambara is the Rumi Darwaza or the Turkish Gate built by Asaf-ud-Duala between the years 1784 to 1786. The 60 feet high gateway stands as an equally grand entrance to the great hall. During the Nawabi era, a huge lantern placed atop the Rumi Darwaza would light up the pathway, while jets of water gushed from the numerous fountains created on the rim of the gateway.
Bara Imambara, designed in a peculiar Shia faith. This imambara is both the first and the largest of its kind in Lucknow. Step into the spacious central hall measuring 163 ft then the world's largest vaulted hall to stand without wooden supportset your guide show you the tombs of Asafuddaulah and his relatives, and a mind-blowing collection of old gilt mirrors, chandeliers and ornate 'taziyas'. Lose yourself in the eccentric Bhul-bhulaiya, also a structural device to distribute the enormous weight of the vaulted roof below, which provides a panoramic view of the complex.his is indeed a monumental feat considering the fact that it once boasted the largest vaulted hall in the world, with a 50 feet high roof, spanning an area of 162 feet and a height 53 feet in the absence of a single beam! After all, as per the Nawab’s directive, his architecture was to be original in conception with no influence of any existing structure or design.
The British crowned the third king of Awadh, Muhammad Ali who was the second son of Nawab Wazir Sadat Ali, in 1837 at a ripe old age of 63. Muhammad Ali was just and popular ruler under whom Lucknow once again regained its splendor for a brief spell. Interested in building activities, he built his own Imambara as well as the Juma Masjid. The Imambara, left incomplete by Muhammad Ali, was later completed by Begum Mallika Jehan of the Royal family. Between the Imambara and the gateway is a large courtyard with a rectangular raised tank spanned by a bridge. Within the Imambara is the burial place of the king while his daughter and son-in-law are buried on one side of the courtyard. The Imambara is noted for its golden dome, exquisite chandeliers, huge mirrors, silver mimbar, colourful interiors and delicate calligraphy on its arched entrance
Shah Najaf Imambara
Gazi-ud-Din’s most outstanding building is the Shah Najaf Imambara where he is entombed together with his three wives. The Imambara is a huge masonry structure with a large dome. The wise Nawab gave the British a large sum of money for its embellishment and maintenance. Under the terms of agreement, this mausoleum is well cared for and is in excellent condition even today.
Roam amidst the handsome series of gardens and European design, and you might see history take rebirth in a dramatic way. The ruins of the British Residency are a poignant reminder of the heroism on the part of besiegers and defenders alike. The impressive ballroom today bears the marks of the cannon balls that were fired during the Sepoy Mutiny.
|Teele wali Masjid||Clock tower
Pictures taen by Priyabrata
The Juma Masjid, with its two minarets and three domes is yet another delightful place to visit in Lucknow. An interesting building built by Muhammed Ali Shah is the Baradari, also known as the Picture Gallery, which houses the portraits of the erstwhile, Nawabs and Kings of Awadh.he Sat Khanda (or seven slices) was an edifice planned to resemble the minaret of Babylon with each of its storeys superimposed on the other -the top of which was to provide one of the finest views of Lucknow. Not far from the picture gallery is yet another marvel, the Clock Tower which is said to be the largest in India. This was however completed in seven years at the cost of more than a lakh of rupees- an enormous amount at the time!
ift yourself a memorable time by visiting the Hussainabad Clock Tower, which flaunts of the largest clockface in India and an alluring monument when illuminated brilliantly at night
Qaiser Bagh Palace
Don't miss the attraction of Qaisarbagh, the greatest palace of Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Lucknow. Roam amidst the handsome series of gardens and European design, and you might see history take rebirth in a dramatic way.Muhammed Ali was succeeded by his son, Wajid Ali Shah in 1837 who was also the last of the rulers to ascend the throne. A poet, singer and a great patron of arts, his pursuit of personal pleasure left little time for looking into administrative responsibilities. This led to the British annexation of Awadh. Wajid Ali Shah’s single contribution to Lucknow was the Qaiser Bagh Palace built in 1850, which he wanted to be promoted as the eighth wonder of the world!
La Martiniere-A Funerary Monument
he architectural skyline of Lucknow remains incomplete without the mention of La Martiniere-a funerary monument. Built at the end of the 18th century, it is said be the largest in Asia and houses the coffin of its builder, French Major General Claude Martim. Martim had come to India as a penniless soldier but gradually his luck and labor fetched him a fortune big enough to lend a princely amount of 250,000 pounds to the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah! La Martiniere is today a school of great repute.