Exhibiting their penchant for nature and art, the erstwhile Nawabs of Awadh adorned the city with a string of ornate and expansive gardens. Standing as a storehouse of forgotten tales, Vilayati Bagh is one of the choicest presents of history to today's Lucknow. Claimed to be established by Ghazi-ud-din Haider (1814-27), the garden is located close to the renowned Dilkusha Garden and encapsulates semblances of a flourishing past amid the green environs of the day!
A garden dedicated to the beloved European wife of the Nawab!
Historical logs recount that Vilayati Bagh was used by the Nawabs and their comrades for a variety of purposes. While the past painted a scintillating picture of crowds and celebrations, the colours have faded through the course of time and beauteous regions stand distanced from the eyes today. While some historians believe that the garden was instituted by the Nawab's son, Nasir-ud din-Haider(1827-37), experts agree that the bagh was built for a loved European consort of the Nawab.
From being a well-maintained hub of exquisite native and foreign plants, the gardens have transformed to their present state of a cemetery. What remains preserved through a journey stretching over two centuries, is the peace and tranquillity embodied by the green boughs encircled at this place. Resting on the edges of River Gomti between Dilkusha Kothi and Kothi Bibiapur, the garden inspires imaginative thoughts about the days of history!
The Vilayati Bagh cemetery contains the tombs of three English soldiers-Henry P Garvy, Captain W. Helley Hutchinson and Sergeant S Newman. A testament to exceptional architecture from the past, the garden has gateways. One of them open towards the river and soothing winds and calm scenes constitute a thought-provoking experience.
In the past years, the Archaeological Survey of India had deployed efforts to revive the lost glory of the garden and the place has been significantly revamped. Despite this, the place has failed to garner consistent attention and there still remains scope for enhanced improvement. If we wish to relive our roots, it is important to address the conservation and preservation needs regularly, of this ASI-protected monument!