Popularly known for its cultural and structural heritages, Lucknow is one of the most fascinating cities in the country where old world meets modern time. Home to a number of gorgeous historical sites and ancient structures, this city will leave you bewildered for sure.
Bara Imambara is a beautiful historical landmark sitting at the heart of Lucknow which was built by Asaf-ud-Daula as a shrine for the Shia Muslims to perform rituals. If you are interested in exploring age-old structures and dig out the history, then Bara Imambara is the right spot for you.
Overview of Bara Imambara
Although Lucknow doesn’t have any dearth of ancient landmarks, but Bara Imamabara is certainly one of the most popular ones from the lot. This place is also known as the Asfi Imambara as this name was derived from the founder, Nawab of Lucknow who erected this intriguing structure.
The primary goal of constructing a massive gathering spot like Bara Imambara was offering a peaceful shrine for Shia Muslims to celebrate the rituals of Muharram every year.
Bara Imambara of Lucknow city is also shrouded with various interesting tales to tell from the past. In 1784, when the Awadh region was struck by a devastating famine. The Nawab decided to provide work for poor people by planning this humongous construction project.
It is said that it took 20,000 men and more or less 11 years to complete this magnificent structure. Bara Imambara became functional only after its completion in 1791.
The Architecture of Bara Imambara
The architecture of Bara Imambara is seriously something to get amazed at. It is believed that this is the largest structure in the globe which is not supported by any beam. Bara Imambara is surely an exclusive piece of excellent engineering and marvellous Mughal architecture.
The sprawling complex of this shrine encompasses a series of beautiful structures like Asafi Mosque, Baoli (stepwell), Bhool Bhoolaiya (corridor of mazes) and large courtyards. There are three halls inside Bara Imambara and they are the Persial Hall, The China Hall and the Kharbooza Hall.
Asafi Mosque of the complex is dedicated to Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula and it features a wonderful blend of both Mughal and European architectural style. Bada Imambara is surely that significant part of the complex which is held together only by the arched doors, windows and corridors.
The whole ceiling is supported here without any beams or pillars. The most interesting part of the complex is the Bhool Bhoolaiya (the corridor mazes) which is an exquisite network of passages featuring identical staircases and doorways. Without professional guides, it is not that easy to go pass through these mazes.
Related Read 12 Best Street Food In Lucknow That You Must Try
Bara Imambara Timings
Bara Imambara stays open on all days of the week for visitors except Monday. The visiting time is from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, if you are planning to visit during the time of festivals or special occasions, then check their official website to known the modified schedule.
Bara Imambara Entry Ticket
To visit Bara Imambara, you have to pay a moderate entry fee. For domestic visitors, the entry fee is 25 INR per person and for foreign visitors, it is 500 INR per person. Also, if you want to hire a guide then it will cost you an additional 100 INR.
Recommended Read 20 Most Popular Places To Visit in Lucknow
How To Reach Bara Imambara
The nearest airport to Bara Imambara is Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Amausi and it is 13.1 kilometres from here. If you are planning to visit by train, then the nearest railway station is Lucknow Junction in Preeti Nagar and it is only 4.8 kilometres from Bara Imambara.
General and luxury bus services are also available from the nearby bus stops and bus depots. You will also find a cab and auto-rickshaw services which are considered as the easiest way to reach Bara Imambara from airport and railway station.
Places To Eat Near Bara Imambara
The city of Lucknow is world-famous not just for its beautiful heritage sites or spectacular architectures but also for its exquisite cuisine. Since Bara Imambara is a popular landmark, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and canteens are available in and around this wondrous landmark.
Mashi Biryani Restaurant, Aryan Restaurant, Non-Veg Point Chowk and Ophtha Canteen are some of the best places to eat while visiting Bara Imambara. Also, there are plenty of roadside eateries and food stalls are there that stay open from morning to night and serve excellent quality Indian street food at a very cheap price.
Tourist Attractions Near Bara Imambara
The most obvious tourist attraction sitting close to Bara Imambara is the Chota Imambara. Sitting at the locality of Tahseen Ganj, this ancient structure is just 1.3 km away from Bara Imambara. This wonderful structure was constructed under the order of Muhammad Ali Shah back in 1838.
This Imambara also served as his own mausoleum along with his mother’s final resting place. Fondly described as the “Palace of Lights”, Chota Imambara is a stunning tourist place in Lucknow to get lost in past.
If you walk about 650 metres from Bara Imambara via Hussainbad Trust Road, another marvellous ancient structure, the Rumi Darwaza.
Standing right at the centre of busy traffic of Lucknow, this fascinating historical façade is a gorgeous example of Mughal and Awadhi architecture style. Rumi Darwaza is highly inspired by the Byzantine architectures from Istanbul.
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden
When you take left to Bara Imambara and proceed via Mahatma Gandhi Marg, then you will be at Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden at a distance of 5.5 km.
Formerly known as Prince of Wales Zoological Gardens, this enormous zoological park is the best place to meet a variety of wild animals in Lucknow.
Gautam Buddha Park
Gautam Buddha Park, another prominent tourist spot near Bara Imambara is about 2 kilometres from the latter. This park is particularly an ideal playground for kids. Grown-ups can also have a good time with family members here. Lust green lawns and fluttering swings of this park allures everyone from the city.
Hope you liked this article on the Bara Imambara in Lucknow. Do share your views with me in the comments section below. If this article was helpful, do share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It would mean a lot to me.