Lucknow – City of Nawabs by Anannya Bose

LUCKNOW , an anglicized  word for  laksmanauti , lakshamanawati  , lucknau, has been named so based on several  stories which have their roots in Indian mythology. These range from the place being an estate of Lord Lakshamana , brother of lord Rama referenced in the epic  named Ramayana  to the place being a place of immense wealth inflow rather where Goddess Lakshmi resides though , the etymology of the place has not much of a relation with the rulers and establishers of this place, as by them it was purely called Awadh !

The place is filthy rich when it comes to cultural heritage , specimens of art , literature , architecture and the list extends . Three reigns of power it has witnessed, starting with the great Mughal sultanate shifting onto the Nawabs of Awadh and then the British Raj ultimately ! Changing continuously but still keeping hold onto the classic pieces of man’s creation Lucknow is totally worth a visit fellas!

Awadh is famous  for “seek-Kebabs” and to “seek- attention” through the monumental heritage it possesses .  The article below talks about the most important centres for tourist attraction including the Bara Imambara to begin with in the year  1784 Nawab  Asaf- Ud- Daula came up with a well thought idea to provide some relief to the famine struck town where the people were suffering jobless and penny less. He decided of building this big worship hall for all the people there . A common place for mass worship , basically for the Shia sector of Muslims to do AZADARI. This brought in a huge amount of employment opportunities and human resource to the administration. The grievances became far less post that. The construction of this heritage was more for strategic reasons therefore .  Also the architecture proudly shouts out the magnificient Mughal architecture is a great catch to it . A thing which catches the most of the visitor’s  eyes is the labyrinth built inside the Imambara famously known as the ‘Bhool- Bhullaiyya”  . Now this is a maze like area which , (as the guides states) has so many identical branches that once a person enters , in lost due to failure of being able to reach the exit ! this place however becomes one of its kind as the tombs of the two main minds behind  its construction , that is its architect Kifayatullah and the Nawab  lie beside each other in the main hall of the Imambara .

Facing the majestic building lies a 59 foot tall lavish gateway or entrance to the city of Nawabs , popularly known as the Rumi Darwaza , named so as it was inspired by the roman style of architecture. All hail Nawab Asaf -Ud -Daula for this one too! Moving on , to another elegant creation in this regard known as the Chhota  Imambara , created under the able ruling of the third Nawab of lucknow , Muhammad Ali Shah in the year 1838. The place only has reference to the Asfi  Imambara (Bara Imambara) in terms of lineage and communal aspect as such. Created for the Shias of the place, it gains auspicious value and a sacred identity . The heritage also serves as the mausoleum for its sponsorer and his mother . A perfect example of scenic beauty , created with human hands .

The colours of Lucknow unfold with these beautiful , awe- strucking pieces of art  , definitely pinning it as one of the top places to visit on your travel checklist !



Prateek Khatri

The author Prateek Khatri

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