Bada Imambara ,UP
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
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Bada Imambara - Overview
When you visit the western side of Lucknow city, close to Hardinge Bridge,
beside the Nawab's Fort you come across Bada Imambara, the symbol of
Lucknow's fabulous architectural heritage. Built by the erstwhile Nawab
Asaf-Ud-Daula in 1784, the Bada Imambara attracts large number of tourists
every day. Also known as the Asafai Imambara, this fort like building was
built by the Nawab as a refuge for his subjects affected by the great famine
Bada Imabara was built by Iranian architect Kifayatullah and it took around
six years to complete this massive mausoleum. Actually, the construction of
Bada Imambara began as a charitable project, but the spacious big halls,
beautiful vaulted galleries and an intriguing labyrinth of inter-linked
passages made it a wonderful edifice.
Architecture of Bada Imambara
Architecturally Bada Imambada is an interesting building, it's neither
a mosque not a mausoleum, but you will find a strong Islamic influence in
its architecture. You can well see the Islamic architectural touch in
construction of the halls, the use of vaults and several other building
Interior of Bada Imambara :
As you enter the building,
there is a wide court in the front and further inside is the main hall,
unsupported by any pillar. This main hall is reputed as the world's
largest (50 mts x 17 mts) arched hall. Originally, there are three halls
under the same roof, the Persian Hall is the central hall and the adjoining
two halls are equally impressive. The China Hall is square at ground level,
whereas the India Hall is constructed like a watermelon.
On the top floor of this four-storied building you can see 'Bhulbhulaiya',
which is an ingenious labyrinth. Interestingly, the 'Bhulbhulaiya'
will bear out the truth of the proverb that even wall have ears. It is
believed that a stranger entering this maze can't come out unless assisted
by an expert guide. You can climb above the 'Bhulbhulaiya' to have
a breathtaking view of the Lucknow city.
Other Structures :
On the left of the Imambara is the
Asaf-ud-Doula Mosque, while on its west is the Rumi Darwaza also called
Turkish Gate and also the main entrance to the Imambara. Built as a replica
of the 'Gate of Istanbul', the Turkish Gate will surely mesmerize
you with its novelty in the style of its architecture.
Among the various attractions at the Bada Imambada, the five storied baoli
(step well), belonging to the pre-Nawabi era is the most captivating
structure. Generally called as the Shahi-Hammam (royal bath), this well is
connected with Gomti river. Only the first two-stories of the baoli are
above water and the rest being perennially below water.
How to Reach
By Air :
Lucknow is well-linked by several flights with
cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi and many other important
cities of India.
By Train :
Lucknow railway station is served by large
number of express and super fast trains from rest of the country. Shatabadi
Express runs daily between Delhi and Lucknow.
By Bus :
National Highways and State Highway connect
Lucknow with important places of country. UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road
Transport Corporation) buses and other State transport buses run from
Lucknow to various parts of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring states.
Places Where You Can Stay
Plenty of accommodation options are available in Lucknow, ranging from five
star to budget hotel. Opt any hotel of your choice and enjoy a comfortable