Bara Imambara Lucknow Timings, History, Ticket Price, Location

by Surojit Palmal
Bara Imambara Lucknow

The city of Lucknow is a testament to the bygone days. One of the richest cities in India, Lucknow is known for its rich history and culture. However the richness is further reflected in the architecture and formation of various monuments found here. One such example is the Bara Imambara Lucknow. Furthermore the Bara Imambara Lucknow is one of the most prestigious and important monuments in Lucknow. For many reasons including the rich history and architectural style it is one of the popular tourist spots in Lucknow.

Many tourists visit the Bara Imambara Lucknow to witness the opulence of the great structure. For people who are interested in delving deep into the historical past, this monument can be very interesting to witness. You will be in awe with how intricate the detailing is and how majestic the structure looks. If you are planning to visit Lucknow then you simply cannot miss out on visiting the Bara Imambara. Or if you are already in the city this is something that you cannot afford to miss out on. So keep on reading this article as I will mention everything about Bara Imambara here. It will be a helpful read for you if you are planning a visit here.

Bara Imambara Lucknow

Bara Imambara is located in which city in India?

One of the most popular tourist spots Bara Imambara is located in Lucknow.

Address of Bara Imambara Lucknow: Near Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Bara Imambara Timings:

6 am to 5 pm on all days from Tuesday to Sunday. Mondays are closed.

Entry fee of Bara Imambara Lucknow: 

The entry fee of Bara Imambara is Rs. 50 per person for Indian adults. For Indian children it is Rs. 25 per person. Foreigners are charged Rs. 500 per person. There is an additional charge of Rs. 10 for digital cameras and Rs. 25 for video cameras.

How to reach Bara Imambara Lucknow

By air

The Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow is the nearest airport to reach Bara Imambara Lucknow. From major cities you will get frequent flights to reach the airport. Furthermore, from the airport the Bara Imambara is about 14km away. You can hire a car or take a cab to reach there in about 43 minutes.

By train

Lucknow railway station is the nearest railway station to Bara Imambara Lucknow. From the station you can get cabs to reach Imambara in about 22 minutes. The distance of Bara Imambara from Lucknow Railway Station is 6. 8 km.

By road

You can also drive through from nearby major cities. Lucknow is well connected through roadways. You can also take buses from nearby locations to reach here. Even from North Indian cities there are overnight buses that you can opt for.

Best time to visit Bara Imambara

It would be ideal to visit Lucknow during the cooler months of October to March. This is the time when you will be able to explore the place better. The weather will be appropriate and comfortable for all sorts of tourist activities. Furthermore, the summer should be avoided for a visit. During peak summer months of April to June the temperature is usually on the higher side. The scorching sun can be uncomfortable for the tourists as the temperature often goes up to even 45 degrees. So avoid visiting at that time. Plan your trip accordingly to enjoy the most of the location.

Overview of Bara Imambara Lucknow

Overview of Bara Imambara Lucknow
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Who built Bara Imambara?

Bara Imambara built by Asaf-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh is a shrine made for Shia Muslims for their Azadari. Constructed by one of the most respected architects of 1784, the Bara Imambara is one example of artistic architectural brilliance.

Construction of Bara Imambara Lucknow

One of the most well known and popular sites in Lucknow the Bara Imambara is an ode to brilliant engineering. Furthermore the structure is made following the Rajput, Gothic and Mughal style of architecture. What makes it even more brilliant is the fact that it is one of the last prime projects that does not employ use of any European components and iron in its construction.

Also it is one of the largest structures in the world as well. With 9 halls inside, the central hall inside the Bara Imambara is the largest. The whole structure measures 50 X 16 meters. It is also 15 meters tall and that too without any beams that support the ceiling. Bara Imambara Lucknow is the second largest after the Nizamat Imambara.

Another factor that makes the structure distinct is the fact that no woodwork is used in the construction of the monument. Other than the work done in the galleries the whole structure is devoid of woodwork. Furthermore Lakhauri bricks are used in the construction. Along with that stucco work, parapets and chattris are also used. The roof of the Imamabara is also made with rice husk ash that makes it a distinct work of art. Furthermore the roof is supported by blocks of bricks interlocking each other. They are organized in such a way that they stand without any pillar.

Bhool Bhulaiya Bara Imambara

Bara Imambara Lucknow is also known for the amazing maze here known as the Bhool Bhulaiya. On the topmost floor of the Bara Imambara there is this maze that leads to the rooftop. These are basically tunnels and there are 1024 ways to enter the maze. But what makes it intriguing is that there are only 2 ways to exit that maze. These narrow passageways running to the topmost floor of the Bara Imambara Lucknow is undoubtedly the showstopper. From the roof you can enjoy the all encompassing view of the whole city.

History of Bara Imambara Lucknow

The construction of Bara Imambara Lucknow started in the year 1780. It was the same time when a massive famine hit the region. One of the main purposes of Asaf-ud-Daulah was to provide employment to the people. Almost for a decade the construction work continued. It is said that people from all sections including, rich, poor and even elite were a part of it. For 10 years they worked and this generated employment. Around 20,000 people were inclined towards this.

Furthermore it is said that every day the ordinary people and workers would start working in the morning. Later at night the noblemen and elite section would destroy everything. The construction of Imambara was completed in 1784. Almost around half a million to a million rupees were spent in the construction. Alongside, every year the Nawab spent around four to five hundred thousand rupees annually only for the decoration.

Major attractions in Bara Imambara Lucknow

Bhool Bhulaiya of Bara Imambara

One of the major points of interest that makes the Bara Imambara popular is the Bhool Bhulaiya here. There are a total 1024 entrances to enter the Bhool Bhulaiya. However the exit gates are only two in number. It is confusing, thrilling and exciting all together. This construction without beams and labyrinthine passages looks exciting.

However the same structure with massive hallways, identical stars, rooftop balconies are enough to make you feel dizzy. It is possible to get lost in the Bhool Bhulaiya. However that is the only purpose of a maze anyway. But it is advisable that you take a guided tour of the Bhool Bhulaiya here. Guides are available on site and you must hire them before getting into this astonishing maze.

Asafi Mosque

This is basically a tomb for Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah. Also the construction of this mosque is considered as the pinnacle of Mughal construction. Situated on the west of the Bara Imambara Lucknow, this is a popular site for the tourists. Inside the mosque the grave of the Nawab along with his crown is found. The whole area engulfs into a weird mystery. Furthermore you can even hear some whispering noises in the balcony that further evokes a sense of mystery.

Shahi Baoli

Located on the eastern side of the Bara Imambara this is a 5 story stepwell. It is said that this Shahi Baoli was the surveillance system of the Nawab and his officers. Also known as Shahi Hammam, the last three levels of the Baoli remain submerged in water. Furthermore it is said that the Baoli is connected to the Gomti River. From the inner chamber on the eastern side of the well the officials used to stand and track visitors. The Baoli was crafted with such expertise that whoever moved around his reflection would fall on the water.

Places to visit near Bara Imambara Lucknow

Rumi Darwaza

The Rumi Darwaza is yet another architectural marvel. Known as the Turkish Gate it is designed in the same pattern of a door in Constantinople in Turkey. Furthermore the massive doorway has intricate carvings on it. It looks splendid with its massiveness and eight sided Chhatri or umbrella on top of it.

Aurangzeb Mosque

This is a mosque made in the honor of Aurangzeb in 1707 when he passed away at the age of 88. Located in Hussainabad it is one of the popular places for the tourists nearby.

Chota Imambara

This is an Imambara that Mohammad Ali Shah built in 1832. Located just next to Rumi Darwaza, this Imambara houses the tombs of Mohammad Ali Shah and his mother. The structure looks beautiful with various Arabic verses embellished on it.

British Residency

One of the significant events during the first War of Independence, the siege of Lucknow took place here in 1857. Originally this complex was built for the British residents during the period from 1780 to 1800. The premise includes different structures, one armory, dispensaries, stables, living quarters, house of worship and more.


Some other places that you can check out nearby are:

·         Ambedkar Memorial Park

·         Lucknow Zoo

·         Lucknow Marine Drive

·         Dilkusha Kothi

·         Indira Gandhi Planetarium Lucknow

·         Moti Mahal Palace

·         Shah Najaf Imambara

·         Gautam Buddha Park

·         Husainabad Clock Tower

·         Jama Masjid Lucknow

·         Janeshwar Mishra Park

·         Chhatar Manzil

Wrapping Up!

Structures like Bara Imambara Lucknow should be witnessed with your own eyes. Certainly the Bara Imambara Photos cannot do justice to how the structure looks in reality. The intricate work, thrilling maze, small pathways, identical stairways everything makes it intriguing. You may not get lost in the Bhool Bhulaiya but you will be lost in the beauty and brilliance of this structure for sure. Furthermore for an enthralling experience the visit to the Bara Imambara Lucknow is a must.

If you are in Lucknow then you simply cannot miss out on this monument. And if you are planning a visit to Lucknow then add this location to your itinerary. Do let me know if this article is helpful to you in planning a trip to Bara Imambara Lucknow.

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