Every Lucknowite has either read Shatranj Ke Khiladi penned down by Premchand or watched its cinematic adaptation by Satyajit Ray. Either way, you know that the City of Nawabs played an important role during the Revolt of 1857 and Sikandar Bagh can be called its epicentre, for it bears a connection to the Siege of Lucknow. Built during the nineteenth century by Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Lucknow, this Bagh is spread across almost 4.5 acres of land. If you want a peek into the rich heritage of this city, then tag along with us on this know-all virtual tour of Sikandar Bagh.
A palatial enclosure of Lakhauri bricks
Sikandar Bagh was constructed on the orders of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, hardly a decade before the Revolt of 1857, for his favourite queen. Built primarily as a summer house which also acted as a place for cultural retreat, this palatial enclosure of Lakhauri bricks housed a mosque, a garden and a small wooden pavilion for performers.
During the First War of independence, this Bagh was converted into a stronghold that was meant to protect Awadh from falling into the hands of Britishers. However, during the brutal Seige of Lucknow, two of the lofty gateways that were once the entry and exit points of Sikandar Bagh, were brutally destroyed.
The plastered mouldings of the lone-standing gateway, which has been efficiently preserved, is a fine example of Luckhnawi design and fish architecture. Further, this gate boasts of an intricate network of designs resembling chikankari that were etched by the then court painter, Kashi Ram.
Sikandar Bagh stands as a testimony of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Lucknow. The arches, pillars, pagodas and all the intricacies of this monument reflect an architectural amalgamation of designs from several traditions, such as Indian and Persian. If you have an art lovers' soul, then we definitely recommend you to visit Sikandar Bagh and while youre there, don't forget to wear your mask, carry a hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing!
Timings: 5 AM to 8 PM
Location: Ashok Marg, Civil Lines, Lucknow