9 interesting facts about Bada Imambara, Lucknow's historic wonder

A must visit tourist site's must know facts!

The Bada Imambara is one of the most magnificent structures in Lucknow. Known primarily for its Bhool Bhulaiya, the labyrinth, this building holds a great cultural, religious and historic significance and value. With its chambers laced with secrets, a perplexing yet astonishing echo system and porous walls, the Imambara is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the heart of the old city! Check out these amazing facts about Bada Imambara that will want to make you visit it soon!

Asafi Imambara

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Bara Imambara is one of the major landmarks of Lucknow that symbolises the magnificence of the city's culture and rich heritage. It was built under the rule of Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh region and is also called Asafi Imambara for the grave of the Nawab is under the structure canopy. It is now used by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari or Muhorram.

Master Plan

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In 1784 a major famine struck the Awadh region; rendering the people of the province rather helpless. It was then that the Nawab of Awadh, Asaf-us-Daula decided to involve all the people into the construction of this monument. It is believed that labour class spent the day constructing and in the evening, the aristocracy would come and destroy it! This ensured work to all classes of people for a long, long time!

Magnificence Personified

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The construction and famine both lasted for 11 years and so did the employment scheme! It is believed 20,000 men were involved in the making of this monument!

Defying Gravity

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Its central hall is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world and it certainly defies all laws of Physics and gravity! This central foyer ceiling has no beams and support to hold it to its glory. In simpler words, Bada Imambara is an architectural wonder!

One of a Kind

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This classical site has no pivotal support and unlike most Persian or Mughal structures, it done not have any dome or minaret. It is, however, majorly dominated by a number of archways and windows.

The Peculiar Making

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Save the interior galleries of this monument, there is no woodwork in the entire structure. It is a surprise as to how the structure stands because it is independent of any metal beams and support wires!

Bhool Bhulaiya

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The biggest attraction of the Bada Imambara is the infamous Bhool Bhulaiya! With 1024 ways of going in and only 2 to come out, this maze is situated on the top of the Imambara. With its multiple, serpentine identical stairs, corridors and doorways, that open onto rooftop balconies, this is said to be the support system of the beam-less structure.

Asafi Mosque

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On the premises, to the west of the Bada Imambara stands the Asafi Mosque. This building is dedicated as a tomb to Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula and is the epitome of Mughal architecture with no trace of any western influence!

Shahi Baoli

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On the Eastern side of the magnificent Bada Imambara is the Shahi Baoli or the step-wise well. This is said to be the secret surveillance system of the Nawab and his officials, for if you stand in the inner Eastern chamber of the well, you can see the reflection of those approaching the well from the other side in the water. As most guides will tell, it is the Nawab's live CCTV camera!

To know more such quirky, interesting and historic facts about the city of Lucknow, its monuments and wonders, follow KnockenseLucknow on Instagram!

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