Chota Imambara

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Coordinates: 26°52′26″N 80°54′16″E / 26.873784°N 80.904409°E / 26.873784; 80.904409

Chhota Imambara in Lucknow

Chota Imambara (Urdu: چھوٹا امامباڑا‎, Hindi: छोटा इमामबाड़ा), also known as Hussainabad Imambara (Urdu: حسین آباد امامباڑا, Hindi: हुसैनाबाद इमामबाड़ा) is an imposing monument located in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Built as an imambara or a congregation hall for Shia Muslims, by Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh in 1838,[1] it was to serve as his own mausoleum and his mother, who is buried beside him. [2]

Overview[edit]

Close up of Chhota Imambara main facade.
Naubat Khana or ceremonial gateway at Chhota Imambara.

It is situated near the Bara Imambara and on the connecting road stands an imposing gateway known as Rumi Darwaza.[2] The building is also known as the Palace of Lights because of its decorations and chandeliers during special festivals, like Muharram.[3]

The chandeliers used to decorate the interior of this building were brought from Belgium.[4] Also housed within the building, is the crown of Muhammed Ali Shah and ceremonial tazias.[2] Thousands of labourers worked on the project to gain famine relief.

It has a gilded dome and several turrets and minarets. The tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and other members of his family are inside the imambara. This includes two replicas of the Taj Mahal, built as the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah's daughter and her husband. The walls are decorated with Arabic calligraphy.[2]

Water supply for the fountains and the water bodies inside the imambara came directly from the Gomti River. [5]

Satkhanda[edit]

Satkhanda, the incomplete watch tower and lunar observatory

Outside the imambara is the watch tower called Satkhanda or tower of seven stories. Though it is called Satkhanda, it has only four stories, as the construction of the tower was abandoned when Ali Shah died. Satkhanda was built between 1837–1842 in the time of Muhammad Ali Shah.[2] He wanted to make it the same as Qutub Minar of Delhi and the leaning tower of Pisa.[citation needed] Its main purpose is lunar observation.

Features[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tornos India – About Us – Nawabs of Avadh
  2. ^ a b c d e Sarina Singh (2010). Lonely Planet India. Lonely Planet. p. 430. ISBN 978-1-74220-347-8. 
  3. ^ Arthur Murrell's Frontier Camera - 1. Lulu.com. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-85829-073-7. 
  4. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2007). World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-7614-7631-3. 
  5. ^ Jagir Singh Bajwa; Ravinder Kaur (2007). Tourism Management. APH Publishing. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-81-313-0047-3.