The Bada Imambada, Lucknow| History-Myths-Mystery

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In today’s world, it is quite easy to get answers to your questions about anything but there are some questions for which even google doesn’t have an answer. The questions may be about a place, person, any scientific theory or anything.  There is one such place which I came across. Every place has its own mystery, its own stories and people do believe in those myths or stories which are told. These maybe facts too sometimes.

Not going too much far, one such mysterious and full of interesting stories historical monument which I encountered was in Lucknow, ‘THE BADA IMAMBADA’.

It was architectured in the period of Asaf-ud-Daula when he was the nawab of Lucknow. It is said that it was built when famine hit the land. It was built to provide employment to the people.  Asaf-ud-Daula is regarded as one of the generous leaders. It is a famous saying among Lucknowites , ‘Jisko na de maula, use de Asaf-ud-Daula’. In this hardship, when people had no ration, no jobs he didn’t provide the ration instead he gave employed them. The monument was built by he workers during the daytime and it was destroyed by the nobels and architects during the night. It was done to keep them employed during the famine period. 

There is a big gate known as the Rumi darwaza from where u enter in the Imambada. From that gate, the clock tower can also be seen easily. It is one of the finest and tallest gate ever built. One particular part of bada imambada that will catch your fancy is the Bhool Bhulaiya, also known as the dense maze. It is labyrinth of interconnected passages. This was particularly built to prevent any intruders. People do find it interesting exploring the passageways. Besides having a spectacular view, there are stories of people going missing while wandering deep into the passageways therefore it is not allowed to venture deep into the passageways. Over the period of time, these tunnels were blocked after receiving the missing reports of the visitors. Inside the tomb,  the man himself ie. Asaf-ud-Daula nd his wife has been cremated. Another person cremated beside them is the architect of the attractive monument. It is said that as a reward, he asked the nawab for Do gaz zameen inside the tomb.

It is a three storey building but is built without using wood or metal and without any beam or pillar thus defying the concept of gravity. It is one of the unsupported constructions in the world. According to the legends, there exists an underground passage which leads to Gomti river, also to Faizabad, Allahabad and Agra ( districts in Uttar Pradesh) and even to Delhi. It is said that from one of the point in the building, whole entrance and the monument can be seen.

Interior

There is way from where the shadow of the individual can be seen entering or leaving the palace. It is believed that there are about more than thousand ways to reach the terrace but only one way to come back. It is also believed that voices can be heard from one passage to another if you put your ears to the walls. 

There are various fun facts, various stories and myths related to this construction. Some stories we don’t know about, some we are not sure, some which are hard to believe and some which you could not defy even if you want to. There are various places in our country whose history you know but you are not sure about and will leave you amazed when you get to know about it in deep. One such is the Hanuman Setu bridge in Rameshwaram. It as been mentioned in the Ramayana and also many times by various saints, priests and various spiritual speakers. It is said and known by everyone that this bridge is made from stones, those stones which do not sink in water infact they float on water. This bridge connects Rameshwaram( India) to Sri Lanka. As mentioned by Valmiki rishi in Ramayana, this bridge was made by the monkeys connecting India to Sri Lanka thereby allowing them to reach Lanka, the land of Ravan who cheated and kidnapped Sita and took her with him. This is also very hard to believe that can a bridge so long float in water without any support? Does this defy physics and its laws? Is there any power beyond science? These questions can never be answered and some stories can never end into conclusions. Some stories remain untold and the mystery remains unsolved. Maybe that is why is rightly said that “The more you reveal, the more you wonder”.

By  KRITI SHUKLA, Lucknow

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