Did you know about Kothi Roshan-Ud-Daula in Lucknow, once the symbol of justice?
In today's episode of travelling to the past, unravelling the brilliant history of the city of Nawabs, and learning a tad bit more about our roots, we talk about Kothi Roshan-Ud-Daula in Lucknow. The city, as we know, is formed by centuries of amalgamation of architectural marvels and varied cultural modalities.
Built during the reign of Awadh's Nawab Nasirudeen Haider (1827-1837) by his prime minister Roshan-ud-Daula (thus, the name), it soon later taken over by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Now a state-protected building, the palace has seen multitude of changes through the ages.
The intricacies and uniqueness of Awadhi architecture can be found in the monument, with the (now) rare Lakhauri bricks, lime, surkhi mortar building the basal structure.
The architecture encompasses hints of both British and Mughal art and exhibits four (originally five) storeys above the ground, with a basement, like most kothis engulf. There are also verandahs, staircases, balconies, taikhanas, on every storey. A mosque was also known to have been built inside. Domes made of copper also embellished the building.
It is said that some part of the building has been influenced by Asif-ud-Daulah’s Daulat Khaana.
A symbol of justice
As you head from Qaiserbagh to Aminabad, you'd find this ancient kothi that some also refer to as Qaiser Pasand, as named by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. As Qaiser Pasand, it stood as a kacheri or the palace of justice to the Nawab. It was also used as a district court at some point in time. Post that, an office of the deputy commissioner was also constructed here during the colonial rule.
At the moment, it is under the protection of the archaeology department, however, the kothi has not been well maintained and the ruins can be seen through it.