It was a early morning flight. It just took one hour to Lucknow. After having relaxed till evening we proceeded to see Bara Imambra which is very nearest to our Guest House. When we reached the spot, we felt as if we were transported to a historic period.
The very sight of Rumi Darwaza was enthralled us. In one side it looked like a necklace. The other side it looked like a palm leaf . The Rumi Darwaza, is an imposing gateway which was built under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula in 1784. It is an example of Awadhi architecture.
Being an entrance to the city of Lucknow, Russell, the reporter of The New York Times who accompanied the victorious British army that entered Lucknow in 1858.
This massive gate is situated between Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara. This place is generally very much busy all day, and during weekends most of the tourists visit here.
After seeing the beautiful gate, we moved to see Bara Imambra.
The complex also includes the large mosque, the bhul-bhulaiya (the labyrinth). Two imposing gateways lead to the main hall. It is said that there are 1024 ways to reach the terrace but only one to come back. It is an accidental architecture.
Construction of Bara Imambara was started in 1785, a year of a devastating famine, and one of Asaf-ud-Daula’s objectives in embarking on this grandiose project was to provide employment for people in the region for almost a decade while the famine lasted. It is said that ordinary people used to work in the day building up the edifice, while noblemen and other elite worked at night to break down anything that was raised that day.
We stunned to see the beautiful structure and its elegant appearance that etched in our memory for ever. Then we went ahead to see the Chota Imambra.
The building is also known as the Palace of Lights because of its decorations and chandeliers during special festivals, like Muharram. The chandeliers used to decorate the interior of this building were brought from Belligium. Also housed within the building, is the crown of Muhammad Ali Shah. Thousands of labourers worked on the project to gain famine relief.
It has a gilded dome and several turrets and minarets. The tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and other members of his family are inside the imambara.
This building also architecturally rich and visually pleasing.
After this historic visit, we went to see the other parts of Lucknow. First we went to Ram Manohar Park. Though it was a big park we not at all impressed over it as we have seen more better and bigger parks in Delhi.
Then we moved into Ambedkar Park. It was so huge and very beautiful. Inside the park there are lot of statues of elephants and a separate section for Ambedkar statute.
The entire area of the park was covered with glaring mosaic and it gives appearance that the park is filled with water. During evening hours lot of people visit here to spend some lively time with their kith and kin.
Jai Prakas Narain’s International center was informative and entertaining. There was museum inside which depicts Jai prakash Narain’s life stories in a art form. The audio guide was really superb and it throw lot of lights on the important happenings in Jai Prakash Narain’s life.
After lunch we moved to British Residency. It served as the residence for the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of the Nawab. It is located in the heart of the city. Lastly we visited Indra Gandhi Planetarium and got some knowledge about our planet and stars.