All you need to know about Bada Imambara's Naubat Khana, now an ASI-protected monument
Naubat Khana, situated inside the complex of Bada Imambara in Lucknow, has been added to the list of ASI-protected monuments.
The Imambara was already jointly preserved by the Hussainabad Trust and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). But now, the Naqqar Khana or Naubat Khana (literally meaning 'drum house') has also been given the status as that of a heritage monument of the city.
So, what is special about the structure that lies engulfed by the complex of Bada Imambara?
About the history of Naqqar Khana
The Naqqar Khana lies on the opposite side of the Bada Imambara, an 18th century creation by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah. Emanating an Awadhi architectural aura, it was constructed to serve the purpose of accommodating drummers who would make announcements by beating their nagadas (drums).
The dream beats by the nagada players would often indicate the arrival of an important guest at the court of the Nawabs, announcement of the daily hour, or indicate mourning, special prayers, etc.
While the Bada Imambara was listed as a protected monument by ASI in 1920, the Naubat Khana was not rendered the same status, resulting in heavy encroachment here as time passed.
'Monument reeling under extreme encroachments'
Lawyer Mohammad Haider stated, "The monument is reeling under extreme encroachments, as a result of neglect... There are squatters and encroachers who are living inside the said protected monument, and are causing irreparable damage, threatening the very existence of this magnificent edifice..."
Some part of the Naubat Khana has also been converted into a public toilet, another violation of law. The structure is, thus, in need of preservation and the protected monument status is expected to aid in its much-needed restoration.