The forgotten story of Lucknow's 'Kothi Alamara' or the Alambagh Palace

Built by the last nawab of Awadh for his beloved wife, Kothi Alamara played an important role in the freedom struggle of 1857

Lucknow is packed full of historical gems and relics, each with a distinct story to tell. Architecture is one of the biggest fronts on which this inherent charm and old-timey vibe of Lucknow relies, hence architecture and old buildings in the city have long been telling the tales of a time that once was. Lucknow's Kothi Alamara or Alambagh Palace is one such monument which has a long story to tell, of love partition and war.

Sitting on the busy Lucknow Kanpur highway for over 150 years, this palatial building saw the cruelest of revolts in 1857 and was even a haven for refugees who migrated to India after the partition of 1947. Here's taking a look at the monument and its significant role in our history.

The story of struggle & resilience

Kothi Alamara or the Alambagh palace was built between 1847 and 1856, right when the biggest revolt of its kind was taking place in the country. Alambagh was established after the palace was constructed on the grounds along with the Alambagh gate which is now called the Chanderi gate, the entrance to the now Chander Nagar Colony.

The palatial building was commissioned by then nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah for his wife Alam Ara who was also called Khas Mahal. The residence had a stunning garden which is famed to be extremely pretty. The building was constructed with the mix of Mughlai and European architecture which was quite popular in those times.

The high-ceilinged halls and walls painted with murals, which made for a residence fit for a queen. However, soon after the construction of the palace the nawab was sent into exile and Lucknow became the epicentre of the biggest revolutions that rocked the British empire. The gardens of the residence were inhabited by freedom fighters of the country who found refuge in the beautiful residence and converted the palace into a military post which was the hotbed of activities during 1857.

Once the British were able to recapture the city, they also took hold of the palace and used it as hospital where injured and sick British soldiers were brought to be treated from across Awadh. A tomb in the memory of General Havelock was also constructed here by his family members.

From being a quiet royal residence to a military outpost and a hospital, the Kothi Alamara served several purposes, it even proved to be a haven for refugee families who came to India from Pakistan during the partition of 1947.

Knock Knock

The Alambagh palace has served numerous purposes throughout history and has played a major role in the freedom struggle if the country. However, the state of the palace today isn't especially good, though renovated one in 2017-2018, the palatial residence lies neglected, its story dusty in the minds of locals and its contribution forgotten.

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