Lucknow City Guide
Bara Imambara is a old monument, built by Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784. The huge complex houses a mosque, palace, garden, Bawli and Bhul Bhulaiya. The monument is an absolute delight to eyes.
The Bara Imambara is located in the heart of Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh
About the Imambara
The Bara Imambara is a large complex, which houses a mosque, courtyards, gateways and a 'bawali' or step-well used as a summer palace. The entrance hall of Imambara is quite huge, streching in an area of 900 sq mt, and said to be largest hall in world without without any external support of wood, iron, or stone beams. The great hall is approached through two magnificent triple-arched gateways. The ceiling of this columnless hall is more than 15-meter high. The hall is one of the largest of its kind in the world . The roof has been put together with interlocking bricks without using a beam or a girder. Hence, it is viewed as a unique achievement of architecture. The building, which consists of three huge halls, has an amazing maze of corridors hidden in between its walls that are about 20 feet thick. A unique thing about the building is that the main gate, also called as Rumi Darwaja, is visible from all the windows and galleries of the main hall. This was done to ensure a good protection against any enemy intrusion.
A major attraction, Bhul Bhulaiya, is also a part of this huge structure. Bhul Bhulaiya is a labyrinth of hundreds of narrow stairway passages, some of which have dead-ends, some end at precipitous drops while others lead to entrance or exit points. One should always take a Guide to explore Bhul Bhulaiya. The Bhul Bhulaiya was constructed to confuse any enemy intruder. The narrow lanes of the labyrinth can make anyone feel lost. The king and other few only knew the way out.
History of Imambara
The Imambara was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784, as a relief measure following a famine during last few years. According to legends, the king ordered construction of a wall here, which was demolished every evening. The construction continued for months, as a part of providing employment to the famine struck citizens of his state. In return, the labors recieved money and food for their family. Designer of this compound was Kifayat-ullah, a relative of designer of Taj Mahal. The structure has a clear impact of Mughal, Rajput style with some Gothic influence. The Bara Imambara is an interesting building. It is neither a mosque, nor a mausoleum, but a huge building having interesting elements within it. The construction of the halls and the use of vaults show a strong Islamic influence. The main entrance gate, Rumi Darwaja, a huge 60-feet-high door was also built by Asaf-ud-Daula. It is also called the 'Turkish Darwaza,' it is the entrance to the Bara Imambara.
One can take Auto-Rickshaws, Taxis, Buses or Hand-Ricjshaws to move from any part of Lucknow to Bara Imambara.