My association with Lucknow begins with my great-great-grandfather, Khan Bahadur Chaudhry Rasheed uddin Ashraf, the Taluqdar of Karkha, who built my family’s ancestral house in Barabanki, situated 25 kilometres away from the main city.
More than half of my maternal and paternal family lives in India and I travel to Lucknow almost every year to visit my grandmother, cousins and other relatives.
What is significant about this delightfully picturesque city is its marvelous juxtaposition of the buildings and structures of the day’s bygone alongside its modern charm. A walk through Lucknow’s streets will give you a glimpse into history. - Text and photos by Zuha Siddiqui for Dawn.com
The imposing Rumi Darwaza. It was constructed by Nawab Asaf ud Daula in the year 1784 and marked the entrance to the city of Lucknow.
Constructed in 1914, the Charbagh railway station marks Lucknow's entrance. It is said that four gardens existed at the present location during the time of the Nawabs of Lucknow.
The twin tombs of Qaisar Bagh: the mausoleums of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and his wife Khursheed Zaidi.
The twin tombs of Qaisar Bagh: the mausoleums of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan (previous photo) and his wife Khursheed Zaidi.
Novelty Cinema, Lalbagh
One of Lucknow's infamous Tempo's
A cycle rickshaw driver relishes the beautiful weather.
Gateway of the Bara Imambara ? built by Nawab Asaf ud Daula in 1784. The architect behind this masterpiece was Kifayatullah from Iran. Legend says that construction was initiated in order to provide employment to the citizens of Lucknow during a famine. Ordinary workmen constructed the structure during the day whilst noblemen and officials of high ranks constructed the structure in the darkness of the night so that their faces could not be seen.
Entrance to the Bara Imambara. Within this building are the graves of Nawab Asaf ud Daula and his wife, Shamsunnisa Begum.
The mosque within the premises of the Bara Imambara.
Another view of the mosque at the Bara Imambara.
The Bauli ? this structure served a dual purpose. Its first use was as a stepwell ? the literal meaning of 'Bauli.' Its second mode of use was as a means of conducting surveillance. The archers positioned within the dark corners of the Bauli's many dim nooks could monitor the entrance of the Bauli and the gardens outside by looking at the reflection of the entrance in the moat below them.
This is the moat at the Bauli, at the moment it has been drained. What was significant about this ancient mode of surveillance was the fact that outsiders could not decipher the position of the archers positioned in their hideouts. The structure of this Bauli is much like a maze, making it impossible for an outsider to navigate through its dark corridors without a trained guide.
The ruins of the Lucknow Residency. Built for the British by the Nawabs in the year 1800, the Residency was the centre for British activity in Lucknow. During the Mutiny of 1857, this building fell siege and the walls of the structure bear scars until today.
A memorial built for Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence at the point where he died, succumbing to the wounds caused by a shell that hit him whilst he was defending the Residency from attack. He was one of the first casualties of the Mutiny of 1857.
A busy morning at Lucknow's ?chowk?.
The Clock Tower or Ghanta Ghar built by Nawab Nasir uddin Haider. Its construction was completed in the year 1887 and was built to commemorate the arrival of Sir George Couper, 1st Lieutenant Governor of the United Province of Oudh.