Adorned with artistic gateways and magnificent buildings, Lakhnawi architecture encapsulates royal heritage and historic splendour. Right amidst an array of allures, lies the symbolical representation of fish, which would undoubtedly hold your attention if you have an eye for fine details and exquisite expertise. Inspired by the esteemed military honour called 'Mahi Maratib', this piece of art enthrals all visitors in contemporary times, making them wonder about the underlying history and the mystery!
Arching a journey from historical tales to fort walls & gateways!
As per pieces of research, it has been pointed out that 'Mahi Maratib' was the highest honour in the Mughal Empire and was bestowed upon military stalwarts with a high degree of excellence and exceptional services, which included a fish seated on a staff. History books resound with abundant stories of the ways in which this single fish evolved into a paired artwork! One amongst these is the tale of a pair of fish that leapt on a nawab while he was on his way to Awadh. What's remarkable though, is that the days that followed, ushered in golden times for the region, making paired fish ceremonially auspicious!
It was during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah that the usage of this symbol got amplified in the territory. Not just on the architectural complexes but the symbol found patronage on a range of artefacts too. Further, the era that followed, also witnessed blossoming creativity and innovation with the use of fish! You can spot mermaids embellished on the enclosures and interiors of grand archaic complexes in old Lucknow, which are examples of the same.
If your fascination still lingers on the periphery, you would definitely be avowed to know that the enchanting representation of fish is also celebrated in different countries across the world including Persia, China and Japan. Thus, if you look closely, there is nothing so fishy about the fish in Lucknow's historic architecture!
Isn't it fascinating that despite being a landlocked state, Uttar Pradesh has a pair of fish as its state symbol?! Surprised or not, as you may be, an exploration of the background tales can be surely tempting for all with a knack for offbeat things. A promoter of fortune and prosperity, this emblem is definitely intriguing in many ways. If you have any story about what makes them so special, tell us in the comments below.