Lucknow is a historically important city and for many centuries was at the heart of North Indian culture. Tourists from all over the world come to ‘Imambara’ (BHOOL – BHULAIYA) and it is the most visited place in Lucknow.
The word ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’ mean? It’s not an easy word to translate, and it sort of means ‘a place where you can forget directions and paths and get lost’!
In particular, the city was famous for its Adab and Tehzeeb (manners and hospitality), intricate embroidery, beautiful gardens, monuments, and dance forms such as Kathak. Lucknow is a land of mouth-watering dishes, where every street and lane smells of good food.
ABOUT BHOOL – BHULAIYA OF LUCKNOW – BADA IMAMBARA
It is called as the ‘bhool-bhulaiya’ meaning labyrinth. This beautiful heritage architecture encompasses in itself mysteries and histories worth delving into. Every stone within this monument holds a secret.
It has large underground passages which have been blocked up. A staircase from outside leads to a series of labyrinths known as Bhool-Bhulaiyan, which is a complicated entanglement of zig-zag passages. Visitors are advised to visit only with authorized guides. Within the compound of the Imambara is the grand Asafi Mosque. Shahi Baoli is another attraction here.
Its central hall is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world. Except for the galleries in the interior, there is no woodwork in the entire structure. It is now used by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari.
The ‘Bhool-bhulaiya’ has more than 1,000 passages and around 489 identical doorways. If you take a guide, he lets you guess which of the four doorways is the right door.
The building also includes the large Asfi mosque, the Bhul-bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and Bowli, a step well with running water. Two imposing gateways lead to the main hall. It is said that there are 1024 ways to reach the terrace but only two to come back first gate or the last gate. It is an accidental architecture.
WHO BUILT AND DESIGNED BY THIS MARVELS MONUMENT?
“This large structure was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1786-91 and is one of the architectural wonders of that era. “
It was designed by the Architect Hafiz Kifayat Ullah. There are three halls in the Imambara. The central hall has the tomb of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula.
WHY THIS MONUMENT HAD BUILT?
It is believed that the construction of this grand building was started in 1785 when a devastating famine had hit Awadh, and the nawab’s objective was to provide employment for people in the region for almost a decade while the famine lasted.
It is advisable to ask for a guide when you start your journey into the ‘bhool-bhulaiya’, but if you want to test your skills and instincts, then you would want to take a risk and go in without a guide. Since there are many people exploring at the same time and you get lost, you could follow them if they have a guide and pay the guide later.
TIMING AND ENTRANCE FEES
Timing : Sunrise to Sunset.
Entry fee : Rs. 25.00 (Indian).
Rs. 500.00 (Foreigner) (inclusive of Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara, Picture Gallery, Shahi Hamam).
Best time to visit Bada Imambara
Winters are the best time to explore the Imambara because it gets suffocating in the summers. When you reach the top level, it is a bliss, but if you visit in the summer, the heat will bother you. So, it’s better to make a visit in the winter.
What does Bhool Bhulaiya mean?
It is called as the ‘bhool–bhulaiya‘ meaning labyrinth. It was built by the fourth Nawab of the Awadh Province, Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula. It took fourteen years to complete this structure.
Where is Bhool Bhulaiya located?
The bhool bhulaiya address is Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226003, India. Located in lucknow, this is a popular place for tourists and local alike.
Who made Imambara in Lucknow?
One of the biggest attractions in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is the imambara built by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula (1748-1797). Popularly known as the Bara Imambara, it is also called the Asafi Imambara in his remembrance.Mar 30, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
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1) Check International Travel Guidelines for the country you are traveling to for a safe travel experience.
2) Check the latest Domestic Travel Guidelines issued by the Indian State Governments.
3) Recommended: Get a COVID-19 test before you travel.