Bara Imambara in Lucknow

Bada Imambara in Lucknow, India is a historical monument that was built in the 18th century by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. It is one of the largest and most impressive structures in Lucknow, and it has a lot of interesting features to explore.

My uncle stays in Lucknow. This winter, my grandparents were staying with him there. They were asking to see us so my mom and I went to Lucknow from Ranchi during my winter vacation. One afternoon, we went for some local sightseeing in Lucknow. We went to Bada Imambara.

The Bada Imam Bargah in Lucknow is a historical monument and amazement of India. It’s a great historic and cultural resource of all times. It has been divided into three floors.

Ground floor has three hall whose styles have been copied by three different cultures – Chinese hall, Persian hall and Indian hall. The roof of the Indian hall is in the shape of a half pumpkin.

The most wondrous part of the construction is that every pillar is of same width and height and at a same distance. The Imam bargah is kept in the Persian hall.

The main attraction of Bada Imambara is the Bhool Bhulaiya, which is a labyrinth of narrow passages and staircases that lead to different levels of the building. It is said that there are more than 1000 ways to reach the terrace, but only one way to come back. The Bhool Bhulaiya was designed to confuse intruders and enemies who might try to attack the Nawab. It is also a marvel of architecture, as it supports the weight of the massive structure without any pillars or beams.

The construction of the building makes it the maze. That is because of the gates. At every 10 to 15 feet there are four gates one leads to the right path rest three wrong. Thus, this makes things difficult. On the third floor there are big walls which are hollow in side. thus, when someone whispers near the walls it can be heard about a distance of 10-20 feet even, proving the old Hindi saying “Dheere bolo deewaraon ke bhi kaan hote hai”.

On the fourth floor is the roof come terrace from where a beautiful view of Lucknow is visible, and also the roman gate, clock tower, Chota Imam Bargah, Lucknow Jama Masjid and may others. There is also a monument just beside it called Baula kuan, where Nawab’s wazir Mewalal jumped into with treasure and it’s key to protect it from the British army.

Another fascinating feature of Bada Imambara is the Asfi mosque, which is located on the western side of the complex. It is one of the largest mosques in India, and it has a beautiful dome and minarets. The mosque also has a unique acoustic system, where a whisper from one corner can be heard clearly at the opposite corner. This was used by the Nawab to communicate with his advisors and generals during times of war.

IThe third highlight of Bada Imambara is the Baoli, which is a stepwell that lies below the ground level. The Baoli was used as a water reservoir and a secret escape route for the Nawab and his family. The Baoli has a mysterious aura, as it is said to be connected to the river Gomti by a tunnel. The water level of the Baoli never changes, even during droughts or floods.

Bada Imambara is a must-visit place for anyone who loves history, culture and architecture. It is a symbol of Lucknow’s rich heritage and legacy.

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