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Spend a few hours at Lucknow's Shahi Baoli with your camera to go beyond your history books!

The Shahi Baoli lies towards the east of the main courtyard of the Bada Imambara complex.

Said to be built out of Lakhori bricks and local plastering material, the Shahi Baoli of Lucknow is located within the Bada Imambara complex. Built during the reign of Nawab Asif-ud-Daula, historians are of the opinion that this structure was built over an existing but dilapidated stepwell. So if the amalgamation of Indian and Islamic architectural styles fascinates you, then this almost two-hundred-year-old stepwell should definitely find a place in your must-visit destinations in Lucknow.

Designed by the adroit architect Kifayat-Ullah

The Shahi Baoli lies towards the east of the main courtyard of the Bada Imambara complex and its entrance is marked by a double-arched gateway. Its multi-storeyed structure comprises several windows and inter-connected galleries, which are a true work of art. Constructed along with the other units of this complex, it was used as a water reservoir to keep the natives of Awadh well-fed, especially during the famine.

The most striking feature of this Baoli in present times is the unique architecture of this edifice, which was drafted by Kifayat-Ullah, a skilled architect of his times. Further, Shahi Baoli has come to be surrounded by many myths and the one that has piqued our interests is a map and a key, crucial to finding a secret treasure that has been thrown into this stepwell.

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It is believed that the Shahi Baoli has served as a rest house for the guests of the highest honour during the colonial era. While the services of bread and breakfast may not be something you can avail now, you can always get creative with your poses at the jharokas. Also, don't forget to tag along your bunch of chatter-boxes because exploring historical places shouldn't be a silent affair!

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