Lucknow, a place of the Nawabs, is famous not only for being the capital of Uttar Pradesh but also for its culture, Kebabs, and monuments. If you want to get an authentic flavour of the royal lifestyle, you must visit this exciting city. Out of the several places of Lucknow, Bara Imambara is a tourist spot which tops the travellers’ visiting list. In this article, I will tell you all that you should know about Bara Imambara before visiting it.
The Bara Imambara: Historical facts
Bara Imambara is a famous monument on the banks of Gomti River in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, which was built by Nawab Asaf ud daula in 1784. This monument, with its structural fineness, was created by the 4th Nawab of Awadh. The Nawab made it as a part of a relief project during the famine of 1784. Bara Imambara has another famous name as Asfi Imambara, to recognize the name of its builder. It took around 11 years and 20,000 men to build this magnificent structure, and this structure was completed in the year 1791.
An exciting story about the construction of this Imambara is that Nawab wanted to distribute the construction work of this monument among all classes of society (working, weak, and Elite). So he divided the work in such a manner that poor and working-class worked for construction in the morning, and the elite class men would destroy the job done that day in the evening. What an interesting way to distribute work among all classes?
The cost of constructing this colossal structure was around a million rupees at that time. After the completion of construction in 1791, Nawab of Lucknow used to spend a lot of money on its decoration.
The architectural style of Bara Imambara
This structure takes inspiration from the Persian style of architecture, and it has a very different style of construction, which makes it very unique. This monument does not have a dome or minaret, and instead, it has beautiful doors and many windows that support this structure. One of the most amazing and surprising facts about Bara Imambara is that it stands without any substantial support of any pillars.
The corridors, windows and doors bear the entire weight of this fantastic structure.
This project does not include the use of iron or any other European elements. Also, no woodwork is pres in the structure except in the galleries. It is famous for its vast Rumi Darwaza.
Known for its central hall, Bara Imambara has the world’s largest arched hall, which is a visual treat for its visitors. And the Imambara has two different gateways which people can use to access it. At the far stretch of the massive gateway lies the famous Asafi mosque, and at the other end lies the large baoli.
A maze called Bhul Bhulaiya of the Bara Imambara is another major attraction here. You won’t be able to navigate the Bhool Bhulaiya easily unless you are a veteran or a guide because this Bhul Bhulaiya is a maze of intricately woven corridors.
Unlike other Persian buildings with arched ceilings, the ceiling of Bara Imambara is smooth flat kind structure and easily accessible. What surrounds the building is a work of art and a beautiful boundary wall which has Jharokhas within it. These beautiful Jharokhas provides tourists with a robust eagle-eye view of the complex and the entire town.
Quick guide for visiting Bara Imambara:
The Major Attractions
Bara Imambara is considered as a religious place for Shia Muslims. Therefore, tourists are expected to cover their heads before entering the monument, however, it is not mandatory. You can also buy beautiful clothes to cover your head from outside the main gate of the Imambara. You have to take off your shoes while visiting the shrine inside Bara Imambara as it is considered a holy place for the Muslims.
If you want to explore the baoli and the Bhul Bhulaiya, you should also carry a torch with you as the stairs are steep and broken at places. A baoli is a place deep down and was used as a water reservoir in ancient times. To reach this interesting deep yet beautiful place, one has to walk down several steps.
If you think you are too intelligent to get out of the Bhul Bhulaiya without any help, you are mistaken, my friend. If you don’t want to lose your way in the Bhool Bhulaiya, you should hire a guide. The guide will also amaze you with different facts about the structure.
The timings & entry tickets
Bara Imambara opens at around 06:00 AM and closes at 05:00 PM., and it will take approximately 2 hours to visit the monument, so plan your visit accordingly. Also, keep in mind that this monument is open on all days of the week except on Monday. So try to visit the monument on Sunday and keep Monday as an additional day for eating incredible kebabs in Lucknow.
The entry tickets have a very nominal price. For domestic visitors, it is INR 25/- per person. And for foreign tourists, it is INR 500/- per person. Children below the age of 15 years need not carry any tickets.
Best time to visit Bara Imambara
Lucknow is synonymous with North India’s harsh weather conditions, which include extreme summers and extreme winters. So try to visit the Imambara between September and March as these are the pleasant months in Lucknow.
Where to stay when visiting Bara Imambara?
Several beautiful hotels are available at affordable rates in Lucknow. So staying for few days in Lucknow won’t cost you much.
How to Reach Bara Imambara?
Lucknow is a popular place located in the Uttar Pradesh, a northern state of India. One can reach it via various modes of transportation like air, rail and road transportation. Lucknow, a town well connected to all the major cities in India, is also well connected to some foreign destinations like Dubai, Jeddah, and Bangkok, etc. through international flights. So if you are a foreign tourist, you can easily visit Bara Imambara without much difficulty.
To reach Bara Imambara from Charbagh railway station, Lucknow, you can either book a cab or a shared auto. Similarly, you can book a taxi from the Charbagh bus stand or Kaisarbagh Bus stand. The cab will take around half an hour to take you to the destination.
Parking at Bara Imambara of Lucknow
There is enough parking for two-wheelers and four-wheelers outside the Bara Imambara premise. You can easily park your vehicle for long durations for minor parking payment.
Food options at the Imambara
There are several short-eating options available at and around Bara Imambara. Just at the entrance of the Bara Imambara, there are several vendors selling food items which you can enjoy, as well as take inside.
Photography at Bara Imambara – Restrictions and charges
You can do excessive photography inside the Bara Imambara and can find a perfect profile picture for yourself.
Do not forget to climb the stairs and go to the roof to get a breath-taking view of the city of Lucknow. I am sure you will love to spend a couple of hours her. and if you happen to be a poet, this place will give you inspiration for your next many lines.
This monument is absolutely awe-inspiring, and everybody should spare some time from their busy schedule to visit this breath-taking monument. So this festive season, plan a visit to Lucknow for a week. I am sure you will enjoy the beautiful architecture, food, and fantastic hospitality in Lucknow.
These visits to historical sites will help you to explore new things. They will also inform you about the amazing historical facts about places. Travelling to places like Bara Imambara in Lucknow will also help you to spend quality time with your family and friends. And if you love to delve in historical sites, Bara Imambara will be a treat for your tourism appetite.
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