Bara Imambara, Lucknow
Bara Imambara, also known as Asafi Imambara or Bada Imambara, is an Imambara complex in Lucknow, India, built by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh, in 1784.Imambara is a shrine built by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari.The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow.
The monument also includes the large Asfi Mosque, the Bhul Bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and Bowli, a step well with running water.
The construction of Bara Imambara was started in 1784, a year of a devastating famine.The Nawab built the monument to provide employment to people 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 would break down all of it during the night.It was Nawab’s way to make sure that everyone was employed.
The main Imambara consists of a large central chamber which is said to be the largest arched hall in the world.The hall which measures 50 meters long and goes upto a height of 15 meters,stands without any beams support.
There are eight chambers surrounding the main Imambara which are interlinked by a wide labyrinth – known as Bhool-Bhulaiyan.The most popular attraction of Imambara, Bhool-Bhulaiyan ,is possibly the only existing maze in India.Bhool-Bhuliyan is also known for carrying sound through its walls.The guides there also demonstrate how the softest of sounds can be heard almost 50 metres away.
Rumi Darwaza, also known as Turkish Gate, is constructed just outside.This beautiful architectural structure was the Imambara’s west facing entrance.
The design of the Imambara was obtained through a competitive procedure.The winner was a Delhi architect Kifayatullah.The architect’s tomb can be seen by the side of tomb of Nawab inside main chamber.
There are also secret tunnels which, according to legends, leads to a location near Gomti river,Faizabad, Allahabad and Delhi.The tunnels were closed after some people went missing .
Shahi Baoli, constructed as the source of water, also has a interesting fact about it.One can see the reflection of the visitors standing at the gate,in the water of the well.
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Morning 6:00am to evening 5:00pm.