Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : Indians: INR 25,
Foreigners: INR 500
(inclusive of Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, Picture Gallery and Shahi Hamam)

Constructed in : 1791

Highlight : Bhool-Bhulaiya

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Bara Imambara, Lucknow Overview

The Bara Imambara of Lucknow is one of the most famous monuments in the city. The Imambara is primarily known for its incredible maze, known as Bhul Bhulaiya locally, which is located on the upper floor of the monument. It is said that there are 1024 ways to get inside the maze but only 2 to come out.

Also known as Asfi Imambara, after the name of the Nawab of Lucknow who got it constructed, it is an important place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram. Said to be the world's largest structure that is unsupported by beams, Bara Imambara is considered a marvel of engineering and a fine specimen of Mughal architecture. 

The Imambara has a unique style of construction. Moreover, no wood or metal has been used in the construction of this mosque. One can also have a view of the grave of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah and his crown, which is kept in the central hall, which is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world.

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Architecture of Bara Imambara

The architecture of Bara Imambara is inspired from the ornamented Mughal design, named the Badshahi Mosque. This is one of the last projects not incorporating the use of irons or any European elements. The central hall of the Imambara is said to be the largest arched hall in the world. What makes its construction unique is that no woodwork has been used in the entire structure (except the galleries). The blocks have been put together with the interlocking system of bricks, and the roof stands upright without any pillars to support it.

The Bara Imambara can be accessed through two large gateways, at one end of which lies the grand Asafi Mosque, on the other side is the large baori. Beyond the small entrance, to the left of the central hall, lies the intriguing labyrinth leading to the Bhul Bhulaiya which is the major attraction here. It is an enticing network of narrow passageways winding its way inside the upper floor of the monument's structure, eventually leading to the rooftop. The panoramic view of the City of Nawab from the roof is spectacular enough to take your breath away. 

How to Reach Bara Imambara

You can opt for buses, taxis, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws to reach Bara Imambara from any part of Lucknow. The local bus can be taken from the Alambagh bus stand which will directly take you to the Imambara.

History of Imambara of Lucknow

This beautiful, splendid building was built by 4th Nawab of Awadh - Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula and the construction work began in the year 1784. It took over 14 years to complete and was designed by the architect Hafiz Kifayat Ullah and Shahjahanabadi, prominent architects of that time. The estimated cost of constructing this grand monument is speculated to be between half a million rupees to a million rupees. Even after the construction was completed, the Nawab used to spend four to five thousand rupees annually on its decoration. 

The story behind this massive centre is based on a very noble cause. During the 18th century, a devastating famine struck the Awadh Estate, making the Nawab think of a plan to provide food for his starving subjects. He decided to make them construct magnificent buildings which would, in turn, provide them with employment, and hence food. This is how the idea of Food-for-Work was implemented. This basic and yet efficient concept is still prevalent in India.

Need to Know

  • Being a religious place, tourists are expected to cover their heads with proper clothes before entering the Imambara. These cloths are available at the main gate. You also need to take off your shoes before entering the shrine. 
  • Carry a torch with you for exploring the baori and the Bhul Bhulaiya.
  • It is advised to hire a guide to prevent from getting lost in the Bhul Bhulaiya. The guide will explain each structure in great detail.

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Bara Imambara Reviews

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Raj tilak kotwal

on Bara Imambara 7 months ago
Mind blowing architectural marvel. Bara imambara is a bara act by high thinking people who provided food for their starving subjects by giving employment. This culminated into a big historical monume (Read More)nt which we see today makes us proud as Indians that such talent existed way back. This marvel is engrained by sweat toil and brain.

Aftab Alam

on Bara Imambara 3 years ago
I visited recently BARA IMAM BARA..... amazing place... So Beautiful garden...... And Bhool Bhulaiya was fantastic...... Beautiful and wonderful place.... You should must visit to see it's beauty

Great Entrepreneur

on Bara Imambara 3 years ago
Hi there, I like your content about Bara Imambara and that was so amazing to visit it and I love to be there. "Link Hidden"
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