Lucknow, that capital of Uttar Pradesh, exudes charm and aristocratic sophistication. The splendid city is made famous by a number of magnificent monuments of historical import. The city of Nawabs, as it is popularly referred to, is known for its beautiful parks, gardens and other magnificent structures among which the Bara Imambara deserves special mention. The Bara Imambara in Lucknow also called the Asafai Imambara is an elegant edifice. Counted among the few most popular monuments in Lucknow, the Bara Imambara in Lucknow enjoys the distinction of being the world’s largest arched room devoid of any pillars.
History of Bara Imambara, Lucknow
Lucknow’s Bara Imambara is said to the venue where the Nawabs held their public hearings. The construction of Bara Imambara can be traced back to 1784 and is credited to Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulla. The monument has been designed by one Kifayat-ullah who is said to be a kin of the illustrious architect of Taj Mahal. The Nawab commissioned the building of the Bara Imambara in Lucknow as a part of the famine relief programme.
Description of Bara Imambara, Lucknow
Lucknow’s Bara Imambara has a grand central hall that has already won many appreciations as one of the largest vaulted galleries in the world. A close look at the structure of the monument will reveal many unique features and elements in terms of the architecture. The construction of the halls and the use of vaults are reminiscent of the Islamic influence. The great hall of the Imambara can be approached through dual triple-arched gateways that are brilliant exemplifications of superior architecture. The way the hall has been constructed without any extraneous support of wood, iron or stone beams, is a source of wonder for many.
Bara Imambara, Lucknow has an amazing maze of corridors and labyrinthine passages hidden in between the walls that are almost 20 feet in width. The upper floor, popularly known as the Bhulbhulaiya, is one of the major draws for the tourists. Once you get mired in this labyrinth, it is next to impossible to come out of it without the assistance of an expert guide. Some passages lead to dead ends while the others proceed towards precipitous drops. Some passageways will lead you to either entry or exit points. The imposing structure of Bara Imambara is an impressive amalgam of simplicity of style, symmetry and proportion.