The capital city of India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, remains synonymous with the reign of Nawabs and its magnificent Bara Imambara. With its stunning architectural beauty, spiritual charm, and fascinating past, Bara Imambara is one of the most prominent tourist places in Lucknow city. Constructed in the late 18th century by the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula of Awadh, this ancient heritage site features outstanding Mughal-style architecture that you can witness by touring this place via a Lucknow taxi service.
A glance at the glorious history of Bara Imambara
In the 17th century, the entire Awadh (now Uttar Pradesh) province was severely hit by famine, descending common people and even rulers into deprivation and starvation. During this time, Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula decided to construct Bara Imambara as a piece of famine mitigation. Furthermore, according to ancient tales, more than 20,000 workers got hired to build the monument. Also, an interesting story goes behind the construction of Bada Imambara.
While the common workers constructed the structure all day, the noblemen and elite category would visit the construction site at night and destroy whatever was constructed during the day. They would do this demolition to increase the construction tenure, which would help them keep the people employed for an extended time. And you might be surprised to know that famine prevailed for almost a decade, and so did the construction work of the stunning Bara Imambara.
Bara Imambara: A true architectural marvel
Developed by a well-known architect of the 17th century, Hafiz Kifayatullah, Bara Imambara is nothing less than an architectural splendour. It boasts a flawless combination of Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture with Gothic influences and is one of the most stunning monuments in the City of Nawabs.
In addition, a fascinating thing about Bara Imambara is that no wood or metal was used in its construction. This monument features two big gates with Asafi Mosque on one end and a large baoli on the other end. The central gateway of Bara Imambara has three hooks and a double fish motif, the symbol of the Nawabs.
It has nine galleries, out of which the main chamber is the biggest, which accommodates the tomb of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. Furthermore, the roofs of Bara Imambara are thoughtfully constructed with an interlocking design of bricks, which has helped it stand firm for centuries without any supportive shafts or pillars.
Top attractions in Bara Imambara
- Bhul Bhulaiya: As its name implies, Bhul Bhulaiya is a complicated grid of over 1000 galleries and 489 matching doors. Although it is one of the most remarkable parts of the Imambara, you must never visit this place without a professional guide. Furthermore, this complicated maze of interwoven passages can be unthinkable to navigate on your own.
- Central Hall: This enormous arena with its excellent architecture is one of the primary attractions of Bara Imambara. As specified before, the roof of this hall is built uniquely with no shafts or posts to support it.
- Shahi Baoli: This five-storeyed well construction on Bara Imambara’s eastern side features a striking architectural structure. It was the hidden place where the Nawab officials would watch the guests. The well is developed so the reflection of the travellers standing at the door would fall on the well water.
In a nutshell, Bara Imambara is undoubtedly a heaven for architecture enthusiasts and history enthusiasts. The allure of the monument and its intriguing past will leave you enthralled. Therefore, whenever you plan a Lucknow trip, book a cab through a car rental app and visit Bara Imambara.