Chota Imambara – ‘The Palace of Lights’ in Lucknow

Lucknow is well known as the city of Nawabs. It’s enchanting culture, historical places enthrill everyone. So, here in this blog, I will tell you about the beautiful monument Chota Imambara that is well known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak. Chota Imambara is a wonderful piece of beauty. Chota Imambara is located in the west of Bada Imambara.

In Lucknow, there are many Imamabaras but Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara are the two beautiful architectural and chromatic style icons. Mainly people come to see these two Imambara. We all know that Bada Imambara is well known for its historic style beauty whereas Bada Imambara is famous due to its lightening effect.

Chota Imambara

The Chota Imambara was built by the third Nawab of Awadh, Mohammad Ali Shah in 1837. He built the Imambara as a token of appreciation in faith. The graves of the Nawab and his wife have buried inside the main hall of Imambara. In the other halls, the graves of relatives had buried.

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Chota Imambara

Just as we cannot wear sandal, shoes inside the temple, similarly we cannot enter the main entrance hall of Imambara by wearing sandal shoes. We have to remove our shoes before entering the inside. As you will enter inside the Imambara, you will see large chandeliers and light decorations which are said to have been brought from Belgium. Not only this, but it is also said that all the ornamental resemblance in the Chota Imambara had been brought from Belgium. The graves of Mohammad Ali Shah and his mother are buried in the middle of the hall that is protected by railing all around.

Why Chota Imambara was built?

Some people say that the construction work of Bada Imambara was started when there was a famine in Awadh. The work of Bada Imambara was started to avoid starvation so that the laborers and local people may get help. The reason behind the construction of Chota Imambara was also something like this.

When there was a famine in the 19th century, there was starvation among the people. The farmers, old people, women, children all were starving. Keeping all this type of condition in the mind, the Nawab started the work of Chota Imambara. But this time the condition was that they would be given grains in exchange for work. Then after the death of the Nawab, his grave was buried in this Chota Imambara. But some people said that it was made for the religious assembly which was held at the time Murrham festival.

The Architecture of Chota Imambara

Made up of white marbles this Imambara is a jaw-dropping structure. It is made by the Indo -Islamic and Persian architectural style of beauty. Here, the minarets, domes, ornate turrets, beautiful lush garden, pond makes this Imambara a more beautiful piece of Mughal architecture. Islamic calligraphy is also done inside it which attracts a lot of tourists.

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Chandelier inside the Chota Imambara
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Beautiful chromatic lights

The structure inside the Chota Imambara is even more beautiful. The large chandeliers and chromatic lights all around attract even more. Due to these chromatic lights, It is known as the ‘Palace of lights ‘ because during festivals Bada Imambara is decorated with these beautiful lights. At night these lights light up and produce a glittering effect as well as a spectacular view of the complex. Often Chota Imambara is considered more beautiful than Bada Imambara.

The complexes inside Chota Imambara

The imambara comprises of a mosque, Hamam, main hall. In the middle of the complex, there is a beautiful pond with a fountain system that is connected to the Gomti river. There is also a bridge between the pond.

Hussainabad Gateway of Chota Imambara

The entry gate of Chota Imambara is well known as Hussainabad gateway. This was the place of reception,functions or we can simply called it as Naubat Khana. During any important receptions, drum were beaten to show the royality essence. Even in the refection, it glitters.

The Hamam of Chota Imambara

Near the Hussainabad gateway you will see the royal bath house or the Hamam. In the Hamam three is a separate area for dressing, changing.There is hot water insulating system inside the Hamam.

The Mini Taj Mahal

There are two structures on either side of the pond which is called the mini Taj Mahal. The one is the resting place of Zennat(daughter of Mohammad Shah Ali) who died at a very young age and her husband. The similar symmetrical was made in from the resting place of Zennat which is served as a treasury of Nawab.

Miscellaneous information

  • Entry fees – The entry fees for Indians is 25Rs with 5 Rs Camera charge if you are carrying. For foreigners, the entry fees are 300Rs.
  • Visiting hours -It opens at 6:00 AM and closes at 5:00 PM.
  • How to reach – It is located in Lucknow. It is located in the west of Bada Imambara on Hussainabad road, Daultaganz. Lucknow is well connected via Railway route, airways but road transportation in Lucknow is not so good. If you opt for Railway mode then it will be well suitable. As trains are connected to every big city like Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, etc.
  • Where to stay? – It depends on you where want to stay. From a cheap budget hotel to a luxurious hotel, you will find every type of hotel. From a single bed to a double bedroom. You can book your rooms earlier via booking.com, Goibbo, or Oyo.

Read out the previous blog of Lucknow – The Legend of Bhool Bhulaiya in Lucknow

3 thoughts on “Chota Imambara – ‘The Palace of Lights’ in Lucknow”

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