Erakina

An Incredible Tour To Bara Imambara : Lucknow-Erakina

Published Date : February 15, 2022

Let’s Explore What Lucknow Have For Histrophiles-Erakina 

  • Apart from being famous for its culture, music, poetry, embroidery, technology, Lucknow has the best historic places you never want to miss. 

bara imambara-LucknowAmazing View of Bara Imambara from the top of the entrance.

About Bara Imambara, Lucknow

  • Lucknow holds some of the most magnificent historic places and monuments of India and Bara Imambara is one of them. The Imambara is popularly famous for its maze that is locally known as Bhul Bhulaiya, it is located on the top floor of the monument. People find it adventurous as there are around 1024 ways to get inside the maze but only 2 ways to come out. 
  • The Bara Imambara is also known as Asfi Imambara after the name of the Nawab who made it. Muslims visit it every year to celebrate the festival of Muharram as it is their significant worship place. Surprisingly, one of the largest monuments is unsupported by beams, said to be the symbol of great engineering and fine Mughal architecture. 
  • Its construction is unique with no use of single wood and metal. Its central hall is occupied with the grave of Asaf-Ud-Dowlah and his crown which is also said to be the largest chamber of the world. 

History of Bara Imambara, Lucknow

  • This magnificent monument was built by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah, was started in 1784, and took a total of  14 years to get fully constructed and was designed by the architect Hafiz Kifayat Ullah and Shahjahanabadi, the great architects of that time.
  • Over half a million rupees to million rupees cost was speculated to build this grand monument and the Nawab used to spend thousands of rupees annually on its decoration.
  • It was constructed for a very noble reason, the subjects of the Nawab were suffering from unemployment and hunger, he decided to make a monument that gave employment to the subjects and they were no longer suffering from hunger. In this way, the idea of food-for-work was implemented and is still considered one of the best ideas.

 Persian Hall. Lucknow

The largest hall with no pillar support. 

The beautiful architecture of Bara Imambara, Lucknow

  • When you visit this glorious monument you will be welcomed by these huge gates and sprawling gardens. This beautifully designed monument with detailed architecture is located in the heart of Lucknow. 
  • The huge main gateway has three arches. After entering the gate you will see the forecourt after which is another gateway that also has three arches. This gate finally takes you to the Bara Imambara courtyard. There you will encounter this huge monument ahead of you, Bara Imambara, with Asifi Masjid to the right and Shahi Baoli to the left. 
  • The Bara Imambara is one of the largest of all the country’s Imamabaras. 
  • Inside the building, you will get to see three halls: Chinese hall, central hall(Persian hall), and kharbooja hall (watermelon hall) in which the Persian hall is the largest measuring 170 ft X 55 ft X 15 ft surprisingly built without any columns. 
  • You will not find a single beam or girder in the huge central hall which is the reason it is considered as one of the largest buildings without any support of pillar. 
  • The enormous heavy roof is supported by the arched passageways of the first, second, and third floors. 
  • The final one is Kharbooja hall which is also known as Watermelon hall because of the domed ceiling. 

Asifi Masjid Lucknow

Aifi Masjid at the Western side of the Complex. 

The torturous labyrinth of Bara Imambara (Bhul Bhulaiya)

The Labyrinth LucknowThe Bhul Bhulaiya constructed above the Imambara. 

  • The Bhul Bhulaiya or Labyrinth is constructed above the monument. There you will come across around 1000 passageways and 489 identical doorways where you will find it challenging to make your way out and that’s what it is all about.[Lucknow] There you will find multiple paths, one path opens up to multiple paths, and they again open to other multiple paths.
  • The place serves multiple purposes, visit it and enjoy the history, how life used to be in ancient times and also have some fun finding your way out through these puzzling passageways that look similar in all aspects and can frustrate you at some point. 

It is said that The French Major-Gen, Claude Martin was doubtful about the longevity of the roof, that the extremely heavy roof would collapse once removing the wooden support, to prove him wrong Kifayatullah lay down on the bed under the same roof when the support was being removed.[Lucknow] The roof didn’t fall and surprisingly still stood perfectly fine and entertained the tourists.

Internal links:

 Best place for touristers to visit Humayun’s Tomb : Delhi’s grace – Erakina

A charming place for visitors to visit Bedni “Bugyal hill station”- Erakina

Most visited place ‘City of  Taj’ Agra. you should visit also – Erakina

By Vaidehee Bhawsar

By Vaidehee Bhawsar

Date: 24/01/2022

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