Location: Bara Imambara
Address: Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226003, India
You must have studied or heard about the term gravity, which signifies a force that pulls any physical body towards the centre of the earth. For many, it is something that contains hardcore science. But, how about a complete palace, which is built entirely on the concept of gravity? Sounds astounding, is not it?
Let’s a have look into this amazing monument before you plan your next trip to Lucknow.
Gravity Defying Palace: An Overview
The Gravity Defying Palace is a popular tourist puller site at Lucknow, which is known for its mystifying complex. Constructed ages back in 1784 by the fourth Nawab, Barak Imambara Asaf-ud-Daula, the construction of Gravity Defying Palace brings together an Arabic and European architectural brilliance. This wondrous man made arched construction is also famed as Bara Imambara wherein, the word ‘Bara’ means big and the word ‘Imambara’ indicates shrine.
With an expanse of 50 metres long and 15 metres wide, the huge hall of this labyrinth palace has eight hollow spaces of various roof-heights adjacent to the wall. The most amazing part of this hall is the whispering sounds adjoin the balcony across the hall. It is said that the Gravity Defying Palace was an outcome of the hard labour of more than 20,000 workers. The myth is that during the construction, the ordinary workers have worked only at day time. On the other hand, the intellect architects and courtiers have worked during the nights so that their appearances and work method couldn’t be identified by anyone. According to the mysterious construction tale of this defying palace, the design of Imambara was an outcome of competitive process, which was adapted from a Delhi-based winner architect Kifayatullah and Shahjahanabadi. They were well-known architects that time. One more unique facet of this maze construction is that these architects were lie buried near each other in the central hall.
Situated at the eastern province of Uttar Pradesh, this mystifying construction is positioned without a single external support of beams and pillars. The entire hall was constructed merely on interlocking brickwork. There are over thousand narrow stairways in the Gravity Defying Palace, which were meant to avert any kind of interlopers. You will also see a mosque, beautiful garden and a step well –baoli in the environs of the big hall. In order to explore each and every corner of the covert labyrinth, it is advisable to accompany an official guide with you. The reason being, the propensity of getting lost in the maze is quite obvious there. It is also reported that there are many blocked tunnels inside the giant palace, which lea to different major cities like Delhi, Allahabad and Faizabad. Over the periods of time, such tunnels were permanently sealed as many visitors went missing while exploring those tunnels.
Visiting Bara Imambara
Bara Imambara is a place that you can visit throughout the year. However, the best time to visit this wonderful monument is from the months of October to March as the climate during this time period is quite pleasant for visitors.
Bara Imambara is open for visitors from sunrise till sunset. The visiting time to this astounding construction is 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM (except Monday). For Indians, the entry fee is Rs.25. On the other hand, for foreigners the fee is Rs.300.
Tips: It is advisable to enter the Bhulbhulaiya complex with an official guide. Additionally, tourists are also expected to enter Bara Imambara covering their heads with cloths. You will get the clothes at the main gate. The reason behind covering the head with cloth is due to the religious spirit associated with this place.
Reasons to Visit Bara Imambara
Being the world’s largest arched constructions, Bara Imambara is considered to be amongst the key pilgrimages for Muslims. Especially during holy Muharram, you can view a large number of Muslim pilgrims at Bara Imambara complex. One more important reason to visit this monument is that it represents the replicas of a tomb dedicated to the holy Prophet and his family members.
Additionally, one should visit this momentous construction of the city for the following reasons:
- It is the largest unsupported construction in the world, which was built without using any metal and wood.
- The halls of this world’s largest arched constructions has ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’ labyrinth of passage. Without a guide, getting lost is nothing surprising here.
- The arresting decor of Arabic and European architecture is something that one can’t miss in Bara Imambara.
- In Bara Imambara, you can also explore some stunning sacred centres like Rumi Darwaja, Shahi Bawali, Teele Wali Masjid, Clock Tower, Chota Imambara and Asifi Mosque.
- If you step into the central hall of Gravity Defying Palace, Nawab Asaf-ud-Dowlah’s grave and his crown will give you a true spiritual feelings inside the giant hall. One of the mystifying facts of this hall is the whispering sounds that visitors come to hear near the balcony of this hall.
- People also step towards the blocked tunnels here inquisitively to fetch clues that lead these tunnels towards Delhi, Allahabad and Faizabad.
How to Reach Bara Imambara
Lucknow is identified as the city of “Nawabs”. In order to explore the heritage monuments, visitors flock this city from various parts of the country over the year. Hence, it is important to keep a tab on the ways through which one can reach Lucknow conveniently.
Lucknow is well-connected to various major cities of India by air. The nearest airport is Lucknow airport, which is situated merely 14Kms away from the city. You will find regular flights to Lucknow from the places like Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Jaipur etc.
From airport, you can hire a cab or taxi to reach Bara Imambara. Depending on the traffic, it may take nearly an hour to reach Bara Imambara from Lucknow airport. Air services from the major cities like Mumbai and Delhi is quite regular to reach Lucknow. For international air travellers, flights are available from the places like Riyadh, Doha, Dubai, Oman etc.
Lucknow has good railway connectivity as well with all possible farthest places in India. Two key railway stations here are Charbagh and Lucknow City. From Lucknow City railway station the distance to reach Bara Imambara is around 5 Kms, which can be crossed by taxi or cab. On the other hand, from Charbagh railway station the destination is about 2.4Kms. Additionally, some other railway stations like, Aishbagh junction, Gomti Nagar and Alamnagar are also there through which you can reach Lucknow.
If you are planning to visit Lucknow via roadways, the city can be reached by bus through NH56 and NH2. You will get many buses that run from the places like Delhi (550Kms), Agra (366Kms), Kanpur (90Kms), Varanasi (320Kms) etc. to reach Lucknow.
Places to Stay
The city of “Nawabs” and “kebabs” has plenty of quality accommodations to welcome the visitors throughout the year. You will get various quality hotels with a range between Rs.700 to Rs. 8,000 per night or more.
Some of the hotels/resorts that you can try near Bara Imambara are listed as follows:
#Tej Kishan Plaza Hotel
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226 003
Charges: ₹700 plus onwards
Distance: 0.7 km from Bara Imambara
#Hotel Megha by SSJ
Charbagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226 001
Charges: ₹2, 115 onwards
Distance: 1.5 km from Bara Imambara
#Hotel Clarks Avadh
M G Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226 001
Charges: ₹5,000 onwards
Distance: 2.6 km from Bara Imambara
#Mangalam Guest House
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226 020
Charges: ₹1,300 onwards
Distance: 2.4 km from Bara Imambara
#The Piccadily Lucknow
Bara Birwa, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226 005
Charges: ₹6,200 onwards
Distance: 7.6 km from Bara Imambara
In addition to the cited hotels, you may also try the following hotels as well:
#S P International
92/192 Gautam Budha Marg Latouche Road
Lucknow India 226001
Charges: ₹ 1500 per room per night
11,Habibullah Estate, Hazratganj
Lucknow India 226001
Charges: ₹ 2500 per room per night
#The President Hotel
92/180, New Gautam Budh Marg,
Opp Old Rto Lucknow, India 226018
Charges: ₹ 4500 per room per night
#Hotel Golden Orchid
B-83, Opposite Ram Krishna Math
Nirala Nagar, Lucknow 226020 UP, India 226020
Charges: ₹ 3000 per room per night
After exploring the Gravity Defying Palace, some other nearby locations that you should try in Lucknow are British Residency (1.6kms from Bara Imambara), Hussainabad Picture Gallery (0.8km from Bara Imambara), Chowk (1.2kms from Bara Imambara), Husainabad Clock Tower (1.4kms from Bara Imambara), Chandrika Devi Temple (1.6kms from Bara Imambara), Lucknow Zoo (4.8kms from Bara Imambara), Hazratganj (3.7kms from Bara Imambara) etc.
So, give your next voyage an engrossed experience of Lucknow’s mysterious gravity defying palace.