Heritage is inherent to Lucknow. Every nook and corner, every turn is a monument with immense historical significance attached to it. Let’s walk you through some of these gems.
Take, for example, Qaiserbagh, one of Lucknow’s renowned monuments. At the time of its construction, it was one of the largest forts in the world. The fort was captured by the sepoys during 1857 Battle for Independence and thus became a symbol of resistance against the English. The British blew up the entire fort but remnants of the fort like Lakhi gate etc. can be seen in and around modern-day Qaiserbagh.
Inspired by La Martiniere’s Indo-European architecture, the then Nawab of Awadh Saadat Ali Khan built Musabagh. Constructed beside Gomati, the bagh and the manor were a retreat palace for the nawab. There are many stories about how the name came into being, some believe it was localization of Monsieur that became Musa but nobody knows for sure.
Near the monument, is the grave of legendary ghazal singer Begum Akhtar. On the road to Imam-e- Ali Rauza, a replica of the tomb of Ali is the grave of Umrao Jaan. The dilapidated condition of the grave and encroachment is one of the reasons for Musabagh’s obscurity.
Bringing Happiness- Rifa-e-aam
Rifa-e-aam club was started by Raja of Mahmudabad to bring dissenters and supporters under one roof. Lucknow Pact (1916) was signed here. Progressive Writers Movement began here. Munsi Premchand, Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were regulars here. The club banned the entry of any British or other European colonizer.
The palace is believed to be haunted by ghosts but there is no record of anyone ever dying in the palace. The construction began in 1905 but was left incomplete by Raja of Mahmudabad in 1921. The palace is made of white sandstone and is the only building to incorporate Islamic- Rajput style of architecture. Interestingly, the palace was declared enemy property during the Indo-Pak war in 1965!
Built along with Asifi Kothi, Kothi Bibiyapur is situated near Dilkusha in the cantonment area. Shuja-ud-Daula wanted to host his European guests in a European townhouse and so Bibiyapur Kothi was designed by Polier with the help of Claude Martin using neoclassical architectural techniques making it one of the most striking monuments of the city.
Explore Lucknow and get to know the ins and out of the city, its monuments and treat yourself with a dose of untouched, lesser-known heritage.