A lot is known about the City of Nawabs but significantly less information is gathered about their Shahi residence. One such monumental landmark that throws light on this aspect is Lucknow's Chattar Manzil, the former resident palace of the Nawabs. The Chattar Manzil, also known as the Umbrella Palace, is a magnificent example of beauty, grandeur, and the engineering construct of the yore Mughal reign in the city.
Though, it is a significant tourist attraction, several facts about the Chattar Manzil remain unearthed, much like the Monument itself. Check out these amazing facts about the Palace and fall in love with the beauty of Lucknow all over again:
The Chatter Manzil
The Chattar Manzil or Umbrella Palace was built by Nawab Ghazi-dd-din Haider but was completed only after his death by his son, Nawab Nasir-dd-din Haider. The Palace was used as the Nawabi residcence until Nawab Wajid Ali Shah shifted bases to Qaiserbagh
Nawab Saadat Ali Khan named the Palace after his mother, Chatter Kunwar, however, the design and architecture add another dimension to it. The Palace is characterised by finely built gilt umbrella domes or 'chattras' which can also be pinned for the genesis of the name. On receiving direct Sun rays, these domes or 'chattras' shine in a glittering light!
Overlooking the banks of River Gomti, the architecture of the palace is the definition of acculturation and the Palace design is an amalgamation of Indo- European and Nawabi constructions.
Like Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara, the Chattar Palace also had two segments called the Bari Chattar Manzil (Big Chattar Palace) and Choti Chattar Manzil ( Small Chattar Palace). Only the Bari Chattar Manzil exisits now.
The 5 storied Palace is an architectural marvel with its twin underground floors and three that soar high. The underground rooms are massive and open directly on the banks of the Gomti River
The underground Palace chambers are very well ventilated due to their connection with two octagonal towers located outside. They also remain pleasant in the boiling summers due to their nearness to the Gomti River.
The beautiful gardens were added to further enhance the beauty of the Chattar Manzil by Nawab Nasir Uddin Haider. These gardens were named as Gulshan-e-Iram which literally translates to Garden of Paradise.
The Chattar Manzil was an important place for the Lucknawi rebels during the Revolt of 1857. The site is under restoration and an archaeological excavation is being carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India, under the supervision of Abdul Kalam Technical University and IIT BHU. The Palace was used by Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) till early 2000s.
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