After completing our touring and shopping in Jaipur, we took a flight and went to Lucknow via Delhi. Lucknow is a predominantly muslim area, and has been the historical location where a lot of Indian “muslim” music (Qawwali etc) originated from. So decide to complete this part of Indian muslim heritage
Arrived, and took a taxi to the very nice business hotel we had booked. Then took the 3 wheelers to get us where we needed to. 1st stop was to go to Hazrat Ganj area for walking and hustle/bustle people watching in the old historic area. We had to stop at Tunday Kababi for their famous Kabab’s. The original restaurant is a grungy area (dirty etc), but inside was reasonably clean. The place was full of locals and some tourists like us, but mostly locals. Service was fast and we ordered the Kabab’s and biryani. We ate even though we were scared of getting sick. I personally prefered the biryani over the kebab’s.
Walked around some more and then went over to visit various muslim historical sites like the Imam Barag; which is a shrine built by Shia’s to honor the martyrdom of Imam Hussein at Kerbala. The Imam Barag or Imambara was built in the year 1784 by the fourth Nawab of Awadh known as Asaf-ud-Daula. It was built as a part of a relief project for a major famine that took place in the year 1784.
It is believed that the Nawab employed more than 20,000 men for the construction of the complex. The ordinary citizens worked all day to bring up the magnificent edifice; the elite, meanwhile, were made to bring down all of it during the night. This provided both anonymity and employment to the unskilled aristocrats; it was also the Nawab’s way of making sure that no one was ever out of work. A kind of Keynesian economic way to provide employment during time of economic distress; paid for by the wealth of the Rulers, collected during good times. The Imam Barag includes a Bhul Bhulaiya (maze) and a Boweri (well) for water. Great view from the rooftop of the old city of Lucknow.
Right outside the Imam Barag, is the Roomi Darwaza, a massive gateway into the city.
Lucknow — Roomi Gate (Darwaza)
Also visited the Chota Imabara which housed various artifacts collected from different muslim areas over the world.
We tried to find a Qawwali session or Mushaira music event to attend (since Lucknow where all this originated from); but were disappointed that there was nothing going on.
Varanasi nextThis entry was posted in Asia, India, Jaipur-Lucknow-Varanasi Feb 2012