Posted on: 23 October 2013

Husainabad Imambara, Lucknow - 1870

This photograph by John Edward Saché (1870s) is from the Lee-Warner Collection. The Chhota Imanbara at Lucknow is also known as the Husainabad Imambara or Palace of Lights. It was built between 1837 and 1842 by Muhammed Ali Shah to serve as a mausoleum for himself and his mother and was also intended to provide relief from FAMINE through employment. A gilded dome dominates the building and is covered with minarets, small domes, arches and a miniature replica of the Taj Mahal. Inside there is a silver-faced throne as well as the tombs of important individuals from Avadhi.

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It is also said that Muhammed Ali Shah had this built as a token of allegiance to his faith. To be crowned as the third king of Awadh ( not being a claimant) by the British when he was infirm in his sixties, was a windfall.

"Relief from FAMINE through employment" is attributed to the Bara Imambara.

Correct! That also marked the beginning of the "dum" cuisine meant to feed the workers! What a humble start to an exquisite cooking technique!

Agha khan Palace in Pune was also build by Agha khan with a sole purpose of giving employment to the famine infected Pune Locals.

I've been to the Agha Khan Palace, but I didn't know this aspect. I was concentrating more on the Bapu & Pyare Lal Nayyar, not the least on Ba!!!!!!