The city of Lucknow is known for its affluent history, vibrant heritage and its multifold culture, which has stood the test of times and how. Truly, the nawabs had attached quite a few legacies to the city's abundance but there are monuments built for British officers which haven't received much limelight although they too, deserve all of it. Along similar lines, the Butler Palace is one such monument in Lucknow which has a thick yarn of historical significance tethered along its repute. It was once a bustling locale but now it lies in ruins of the aftermath of time.
The reclining residential colony situated inside, gets its name from the palace itself. The foundation stone of Butler Palace was laid in 1915 by Raja Mehmoodabad and it was constructed for the Deputy Commissioner of Avadh, Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler. This palace served as the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner and it was once a lively establishment. The primary plan for building this monument consisted of erecting three palaces but only one of them could be completed due to Gomti floods in 1921.
The Butler Palace is a four-faceted palace with a stellar architecture and it is the only monument in Lucknow to be built in this way. Post independence, Butler Palace served as a guest house for many politicians and after a certain extent of time, it remained vacant until it was declared 'enemy property' by the Government of India in 1965 after the Indo-Pak war. Then it was brought under the control of Ministry of Commerce. The UP government utilised this property as a Sales Tax Office until it was handed over to Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) in 1981. After a short while, the ICPR was also asked to vacate the premises following Supreme Court's orders.
Butler Palace has also served as a library with over 32,000 literature pieces, a guest house, a well-equipped seminar room, a exhibition hall and an office.
So when in and around Lucknow, drop by here for a leisurely stroll along the colony or come over for some time to explore this weathered palace, which also hosts a couple of ghost stories in its silence. Keep your camera handy if you're looking to capture some of its fading grandeur and be aware of the wilderness here which has gotten the better of this palace now.