A little of Lucknow

May 11, 2015


You didn’t think we’d let a little delay on the train stop us from seeing Lucknow did you?!

A little bit of broken sleep, no. I thought it might, there was a moment where I couldn’t be bothered. A tiny moment.

We decided to book a tour guide because the price he quoted wasn’t that bad for half a day sightseeing tour. Of course, as always in India, the price wouldn’t stay that low!

We started out by going to Bara Imambara. Bara means big, and imambara is a type of shrine that belongs to the Sufi tradition of Islam. It was built by Asaf-ud-Daula, who was the Nawab (King) of Lucknow, in 1784.

The Nawab built this building to create employment for the poor people of his region during a famine. Whatever the  poor people built during the day, the local lords and elite dismantled during the night so that the region could have sustained employment and the population could acquire the food from the money that the Nawab paid them. I think that is incredible.

It was eventually finished. This is just the gate house. The fish on the left have a toothy sneer.


This is us by the main building (I’ll explain later).


Asfi Mosque sits near the Bara Imambara, people flood in to worship there.


The inside of the main building is really ornate. The Chinese room has a ceiling that looks like a decorated China plate.


The main vaulted chamber that holds the tomb of Asaf-au-Daula. Is also said to hide the treasury in it’s many mazes of passageways beneath the building. The British never found their treasury in the passages because it is a maze, but also apparently because they weren’t willing to fully search a religious building.


Incidentally, the ceiling of this room isn’t supported and is one of the largest chambers of this kind in the world.

Nice green walls. I don’t know how that works but it does.


I should probably explain all these photos of us. This is the man responsible.


We first realised that he’d charge us more money when he started taking LOTS of photos of the two of us. In India, if a guide starts taking photos of you, in the places of interest, it is considered that he is doing a very good job and it is likely that he’ll ask for more money because of it. And there were many….


Many of us looking hot and bewildered.


You’ve seen that one before but I was proving a point!

After the Bara Imambara we went on a short sightseeing tour of the local area. He showed us the clock tower, in addition to the usual Indian filth by the side of the road. We’re telling the whole truth now.


After this, he led us down into the Bazaar to try some Tundey Kabab. It was one thing that we stipulated we must have on the tour. In fact if we’d only have had that I think I would have been happy. It is the softest most tasty kebab both of us have ever tried!! The story goes that the Nawab of Kakori was old and had lost his teeth, but he still wanted the meaty kebab that he had eaten all of his life. So his chef, i’m not sure if it was this fellow below or not but he seems to be credited for it, created a kebab that was tenderised with papaya and literally melts in your mouth. Outstanding!!! No REALLY, outstanding!!P1270732

Here they are being cooked.


The Bazaar was a fascinating place of little alleys and small shops selling everything the locals would need. These are our favourite places in a foreign city, where every day life bustles around you and you get to talk to locals over a local dish.


The old gate to the city is nestled in amongst the mayhem.


That is over 200 years old.


We love a good Asian wire photo don’t we?!

Stuffed full of kebab, we headed out to the residency, which i’ll put on separate post because it is fascinating and I think it desires it’s own space.