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A hotspot during the Siege of Lucknow, know about THIS palace in the heart of the city!

The castle received a knocking during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Just like most of the uniquely built structures by the Nawabs of Awadh, Khursheed Manzil is assembled with chunam (lime mortar), lakhauri (thin flat bricks) and stucco work. Since, it was very expensive to transport stones or marbles to this part of the country, most castles and buildings were made with this material to give a similar texture and reduce the cost of construction. Read on to know how this royal edifice turned into one of the top schools in Lucknow!


Peculiar mix of Mughal & European fashion


An idiosyncratic feature of the nawabi buildings, particularly those built in Lucknow, is their liberal ways to innovate new designs. While some of the buildings are intended in the Indo-Saracenic style pertaining to the Mughal fashion, many of them are built in the European style and quite often in a peculiar mix of both kinds, prevalent at the time.

Khursheed Manzil is a two-storeyed building having a large central dome and eight very distinctive octagonal towers, rising to the whole height of the building, topped with battlements. Certain features like the hexagonal towers, battlements, moat and drawbridge were borrowed from the buildings of the French entrepreneur, Major General Claude Martin.

Designed & constructed by Captain Duncan Mc Leod

Moti Mahal, one of the palaces built by Saadat Ali Khan, is starring adjacent Khursheed Manzil. The design and construction of Khursheed Manzil were done by Captain Duncan Mc Leod, working for the British East India Company in 1911. His services were employed by the Nawab for supervising the repairs and construction of his buildings.

Khurshid Zadi, the wife of the Nawab of Awadh, has two buildings attributed to her name. One is a palace and the other is a mausoleum, but interestingly, both have been built in different styles.

While her mausoleum, built after her death by her son, is fashioned in the Mughal style, the palace which was built in her lifetime by her husband, followed the European style. The palace is named after her as Khursheed Manzil. It could not be completed in Saadat Ali Khan's lifetime and was completed by his son Ghazi-ud-Din Haider in 1818.

Headquarters of the freedom fighters in 1857


During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the castle received a knocking as the building was in control of the freedom fighters, and was used by them as their headquarters. The gardens, fields and orchards were turned into a battlefield and were home to numerous cannons, swords and guns. The building was recaptured by the British on November 17 1857, through a three-pronged attack, led by British Generals, Outram and Havelock and their Commander-in-Chief, Colin Campbell.

Origin of La Martiniere Girls' College


Major General Claude Martin, who had a dream to open an exclusive institution for the education of women, was thrilled when Khursheed Manzil was presented to the La Martiniere management by the British government in 1871. Thus, the palace initially meant for the begum, got converted to an exclusive European public school. It is now recognized as the La Martiniere Girls' College and is one of the most prestigious institutions in Lucknow for girls.

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