Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture

Tripoto
19th Jan 2015
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 1/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Kudia Ghat
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 2/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Kudia Ghat
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 3/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Hazratganj Market
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 4/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Hazratganj market, one of the most upmarket and beautiful markets of the city
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 5/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Buddha Statue at Ambedkar Smarak
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 6/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Marine Drive
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 7/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Chhota Imambara
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 8/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Chhota Imambara
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 9/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Bhool Bhulaiya
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 10/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Asfi Mosque view from Bada Imambara
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 11/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
The ruins of Residency
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 12/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Lucknow Zoo
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 13/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Shahi Baoli at Bada Imambada
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 14/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Shahi Baoli at Bada Imambada
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 15/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Bada Imambada Entrance Gate
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 16/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
The ruins of Residency
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 17/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
The ruins of Residency
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 18/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Clock tower
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 19/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
Roomi Gate
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 20/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
La Martiniere College
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 21/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
La Martiniere College
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 22/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi
La Martiniere College
Photo of Lucknow: City of Nawabs, Kebabs, Architecture and Culture 23/23 by Shiva Rajvanshi

The Capital city of Uttar Pradesh and often described as the ‘City of Nawabs’, Lucknow is one of the most pristine and multicultural tourist destinations of India. The city primarily flourished during the 18th and the 19th centuries as an artistic and cultural center of India under the reign of the Nawabs of Awadh. The city contains various architectural wonders, historical monuments, cuisines and is a cultural hub in itself.

Lal Pul, also known as Pakka Pul and Navabi pull, is a bridge across the Gomti river. It is considered to be the best starting point of Lucknow heritage walk. This bridge is among the oldest in the area and it has survived many floods. It is the tourists’ favorite passageway to the monumental building named Bara Imambara.

Photo of Pakka Pul, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Pakka Pul, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh by Shiva Rajvanshi

The name refers to a shrine built by the Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784, and is one of the largest buildings in Lucknow. The name ‘Bara Imambara’ is an Urdu word, wherein the word ‘Bara’ means big and ‘Imambara’ means the shrine complex. The complex includes the Asfi mosque and the Bhulbhulaiya or the Labyrinth. The Asfi mosque contains the tomb of Asaf-ud-daula, and the labyrinth is the only maze in India and supports the massive structure of the whole complex from the underground.

Photo of Bada Imambada by Shiva Rajvanshi

Bhool Bhulaiya is the main part of the Imambara complex. The central part of it is a big arched hall where the tomb of Asaf-Ud-Dowlah lies. The Iranian architect Kifait-ullah, the author of this project, also lies buried there. There are eight more chambers built to different roof heights. The building is surrounded with 489 identical doorless galleries. Bhool Bhulaiya has no pillars to support the ceiling and it is among the largest vaulted constructions in the world.

Photo of Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

The Shahi Baoli was constructed in order to be used as a water reservoir. Myths like water of this well being connected to the river flowing nearby or a secret treasure map and the key to the treasure being thrown into this well have been quite popularly widespread. Baoli is extensively popular for it’s exceptional architectural design. Nawab Asif-ud-daula built it during the years 1784-1794 and got the design of this baoli drafted by Kifayat-ullah, who was one of the most skilful architects of those times. The exquisite Indo-Islamic architectural design of this structure makes it an impeccably unique edifice. The Shahi Baoli was built along with the other units of the Bada Imambara in order to provide food and work to the famine-stricken natives of Awadh. To the east of the main courtyard of the Bada Imambara lies the Shahi Baoli. Entrance to the Shahi Baoli is through a double arched gateway. On moving further, an open flight of stairs lead down to the step-well. Encompassing this well stands a multi-storeyed structure which comprises many open arched windows and inter-connected galleries. The most fascinating feature of this baoli is the secret view of the visitors that it offers. Because of the alignment of one of the windows of the building and it’s entrance pathway, one can see the colorful shadow of the visitors standing at the entrance of this structure, on the water of the well. Many of the royal guests have described this building in their travelogue as a five-storeyed palace or the Panch Mahal, consisting of halls and several resting rooms for the guests. Moreover, a water supply of hot as well as cold water was available to them for bathing. The entry to this palace was from the east whereas exit to it was from the west. Three storeys of this palace are now submerged into water’, says the famous historian of Awadh.

Photo of Shahi baoli, Bada Imambada by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Shahi baoli, Bada Imambada by Shiva Rajvanshi

Built by Nawab Asif-ud-daula during the years 1784-1786, Rumi Darwaza is no less than an ornament on the streets of Lucknow. Adjacent to the Bada Imambada stands a 62 feet grand gateway built in Indo-Roman architectural style. This entranceway is so immense that it seems to be multi-storeyed from a distance. Rumi Darwaza is said to be a replica of an archway in Constantinople and is therefore, referred to as Turkish gateway. This gate further has three arched-ways on one side and a huge single arched-way on the other. A huge cupola or chhatri crowns the structure. Two slender towers are present on either sides of the gateway. According to the great historian of Awadh, Mr. Roshan Taqui, “The spikes atop the multiple arches of the gateway signify the rising sun and the design of large petals of Lotus which according to Hindu mythology brings good fortune is used to adorn the imposing gateway.” The architectural feature that amazes its visitors is that no wood or iron was used in its construction. Moreover, this structure gives different looks when viewed from different directions. The design of this magnificent gateway was so biasing that many of the structures of those times like Jama Masjid (Lucknow), Hussainabad Imambada, Nadwat-ul-ulama and Salar Masood Ghazi’s tomb have the same design reproduced in the form of their entranceways. It was Nawab Asif-ud-daula who had got the complex of Bada Imambada (which also comprises Rumi Darwaza) built during the years 1784-1794, in order to provide food and work to the famine-stricken people of Awadh. The design of this structure was drafted by Kifayat-ullah. And with this initiative, Nawab succeeded in providing work to about 22,000 people at a time. It is said that during the daytime ordinary people used to build up this edifice while noblemen, who did not wanted to be recognised as labourers during daylight were called after the sunset to demolish the structures raised. It took them 10 years to build Bada Imambara complex and the estimated cost of the construction of this immense edifice came to Rs. 1 crore, which was a huge amount back then.

Photo of Rumi Darwaza, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Rumi Darwaza, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

Another congregation complex of the Shia Muslim sect, The Chota Imambara was built in 1838 by Nawab Muhammad Shah Ali. The complex also serves as the tomb for the Nawab who is buried there alongside his mother.

Photo of Chota Imambara, Daulatganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Chota Imambara, Daulatganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

Ghanta Ghar, Hussainabad is the tallest clock tower in India. It is 221 feet (67 metres) high free-standing clock tower situated in the core of the old city of Lucknow. The wheel of the clock is said to be larger than that of London’s Big Ben. Between Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara, this impressive clock tower stands amidst a green field with all its elegance. It was designed by Roskell Payne. The architectural style of this edifice has influence of Victorian-Gothic design. This square tower is made up of red bricks and has four clock faces. Each clock face has a 12 petalled flower shaped dial, where these petals signify the hours. “The spare parts of these clocks are made up of gun metal and were imported from Ludgate Hill, London”, states Mr. Roshan Taqui, a prominent historian of Awadh. The gigantic clock’s design, concept and creation was done by James William Benson, the famous clock maker of England. At the zenith of the tower, can be seen a wind-vane, in the form of birdlike structure which is mounted over a small shiny dome. This edifice is a fine example of British architectural skills. The majestic Ghanta Ghar was erected in the late 19th century (1882-1887), by the Hussainabad Endowment in honor of the first Lieutenant Governor of the United Province of Awadh and the North Western Province, Sir George Couper, during whose administration and under whose endorsement did the management reform and improve. The total cost of construction came to Rs. 1.75 lakhs approximately, which was quite a luxurious amount in those days. The gongs of the clock give a different musical chime for every time it rings. The top view of the entire Hussainabad area still encircles the area’s old charm and it looks flawlessly beautiful when seen from the tower !

Photo of Husainabad Clock Tower, Telibagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Kudia Ghat, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Kudia Ghat, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Kudia Ghat, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

British Residency is regarded as a National Monument and is one of the major sites of the Revolt of 1857 and the historic battle known as the Seige of Lucknow. The site was the residence of the British Resident General which was stormed during the battle. The structure though in ruins after the battle has still been preserved till date with the bullet grazed walls and is surrounded by gardens which attract a great number of tourist crowd.

Photo of The Residency, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Deep Manak Nagar, Qaiserbagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of The Residency, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Deep Manak Nagar, Qaiserbagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of The Residency, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Deep Manak Nagar, Qaiserbagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

The traditional Indian bazaars of Hazratganj contains several shops that sell items ranging from jewelry, handicrafts, handloom, electronics, automobiles and contains various shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters and a library.

Photo of Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

The site formerly known as the Constantia House is now housed by the La Martinière College. The building is located on a terraced location which was a lake at some point. The architecture is mixed style that combines various techniques of Italian architecture. The college is one of the only educational institutions to receive a battle honor due to its role during the Seige of Lucknow.

Photo of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Marine Drive, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi

Spread across an area of 107 acres of land, the modern architectural monument is dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The entire monument is built in red sandstone which was brought from the areas of Rajasthan. The park is located in Gomti Nagar which is one of the most posh localities of Lucknow. The well maintained lawns, various columns and a canal that surrounds the vicinity make it a well frequented tourist attraction.

Photo of Ambedkar Memorial, Vipul Khand 2, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Ambedkar Memorial, Vipul Khand 2, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
Photo of Lucknow Zoological Garden, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shiva Rajvanshi
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