Monuments of Lucknow


Hussainabad Imambara


his small but handsome building was built by Mohammad Ali Shah in 1839. The main gate is a rich specimen of the norid saracenic style that characterizes most of the neighbouring buildings and two sphinxes guard the entry. In the center of the quadrangle is a masonry tank crossed in the middle by an iron bridge and surrounded by flower pots. On the west side stands a white pavilion understood to be intended as copy of the Taj containing the tombs of the King's daughter Janabasya, and on the east a building of nearly similar proportions, erected apparently to balance the block. On the right is a small mosque for exclusive use of the surviving heirs and successors of departed royalty.
The Imambara stands on the southern side of the quadrangle and contains the tombs of the King and his mother. The Imambara is an oblong building divided lengthwise into three rooms with smaller compartments at the ends, the partition walls are arcaded and profusely ornamented in arbesque. The central room contains a silver Tazia and a Tabooth of cradle covered with net, in which are exhibited the crown and other insignia of the departed monarch. In the last compartments are other Tazias of wax and tinsel with wood which are renewed every year. The floor is paved with black and white marble arranged with exquisite art and the interior is filled with chandeliers and pier glasses and globes of various colours. The roof is vaulted throughout and over the center is placed a glided dome. The whole structure stands on an elevated basement, part of which forms an arched open verandah in front, which is covered on festive occasions with a waning of tapestry borne on poles encased in silver. The Imambara has been endowed with an annual income of Rs.1,50,000 which goes to support it.the king left thirty six lakhs of rupees in trust of the maintenance of the Imambara for the purpose of education and charity as well as for the Imambara of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula the tomb of Saadat Ali Khan and Jama Masjid. The Husainabad present a fairyland appearance when illuminated and in the time of the native rulers it formed the chief attraction during the Moharram.

 

Kaiser Bagh Palaces


Kaiser Bagh Palaces were built by Wajid Ali Shah, the last King of Oudh. If only quantity and cost are taken into account in awarding the prize to the best builder of Palaces in Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah heads the list. These buildings are said to have cost 83,00,000 half of which sum probably found its way into the pocket of his corrupt officials.

 

La Martiniere-A Funerary Monument


The architectural skyline of Lucknow remains incomplete without the mention of La Martiniere-a funerary monument. Built at the end of the 18th century, it is said be the largest in Asia and houses the coffin of its builder, French Major General Claude Martim. Martim had come to India as a penniless soldier but gradually his luck and labor fetched him a fortune big enough to lend a princely amount of 250,000 pounds to the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah! La Martiniere is today a school of great repute.

 

Residency


This mansion now in ruins, and a melancholy monument of the memorable siege of 1857, was built by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan in about 1800 for the British Resident at his court. As one enters the palace, the first object he meet is the Baily Gaurd Gate "named after a colonel Baily who was the first officer that commended the Resident escort", "and whose house was close to the gate of the Residency enclosure, which has thus obtained its world famous name of the Baily Gaurd Gate."