RTWA 7: Lucknow Residency and Bara Imambara
Varanasi to Lucknow is not very far. Its about 300KMs. But road isn’t great. It took us more than 7 hours to cover. But its all worth it. Lucknow is a beauty or at least the area we saw. Traffic is so much better than Allahabad or Varanasi. We reached around 2pm, so we had lunch and then went to Residency or British Residency Complex. It’s in the heart of Lucknow built by Nawab of Awadh. In 1857 during the First war of Indian Independence residency witnessed a prolonged battle known as Siege of Lucknow, until British abandoned Lucknow. You will see remains inside the residency. One of the building also houses 1857 memorial museum.
After Residency we quickly left to Bara Imambara. It was already five and it closes by 6. But I think an hour is decent amount of time. Also we hired a guide which was a good move. The complex has Asfi mosque, the bhul-bhulaiya or the labyrinth and bowli, a step well. It has two majestic entrances and a hall.
The main imambara is a huge hall measuring 50×16 meters and 15 meters tall. It has no beams or pillars to support the ceiling. It apparently one of its kind in the world. It also houses a Labyrinth. As defined by wikipedia its possibly one of the most interesting building I have visited
There are eight surrounding chambers built to different roof heights, permitting the space above these to be reconstructed as a three-dimensional labyrinth with passages interconnecting with each other through 489 identical doorways. This part of the building, and often the whole complex, may be referred to as the Bhulbhulaya. Known as a popular attraction, it is possibly the only existing maze in India and came about unintentionally to support the weight of the building which is constructed on marshy land.
Then we walked a bit to see Runi gate and Husainabad clock tower, which is the tallest clock tower in India.
We ended the day with Biryaani and Kabab from the world famous Thunday Kababi.