Shah Najaf Imambara
History of Shah Najaf Imambara
Shah Najaf Imambara was built during the reign of the last Nawab of Awadh, Ghazi-ud-din Haider, during 1816-17. It was constructed as tribute to one of the dynamic leaders of Islamic State - Caliph Hazrat Ali, which somewhere resembles to the building where the Caliph once ruled 1400 years ago. The Nawab’s love and affection for the Caliph inspired him to construct a building similar to the one based in Iraq where Caliph Ali was buried. After his death, this same place became the grand mausoleum of Nawab wherein at the later stage his wives – Mubarak Mahal, Sarfaraz Mahal and Mumtaz Mahal were buried. The Shah Najaf Imambara is also called as Karbala owing to the burial of Nawab’s three wives.
Architecture of Shah Najaf Imambara
The Shah Najaf Imambara was constructed over the banks of Gomti River at a place known as Paltan Ghat, and as said above is a replica of mausoleum called Najaf-e-Ashraf based in Iraq. It is a white-colored domed structure, which is unique in terms of design and style carrying a slender neck unlike the ones you see in a drum, while taking a look at the front it somewhere appears like an onion-shaped dome. As you enter the path takes you to a beautiful garden, which sprawls all over the entire area. Also, there is one silver tomb wherein the Nawab is buried at the center of this building, which is then flanked by gold and silver imposing tomb of his wife Mubarak Mahal at one time of his burial place.
The Shah Najaf Imambara in Lucknow carries a portal at the front side, while the other is constructed at the rear end of this place that eventually faces the Gomti River. Also, you will find a mosque and the house of his second wife of Nawab Mumtaz Mahal inside the Imambara. The main building of Shah Najaf Imambara carries a big size dome, which is surrounded by stylish kind of passage, while the entire building is plastered with some modern material and lime. The central hall inside the Imambara is decorated beautifully with a number of historical articles and pictures. Besides the interiors of this Imambara was employed to store a number of chandeliers, and simply elaborate the creations of bamboo, silver paper and wood, which are often seen during the festival of Muharram. The entire Imambara along with the other buildings has a boundary wall, which surrounds them.
Since the Shah Najaj Imambara is based in Hazratganj there are many places, which are closer to it and can be visited without much hassle or money. These include the Kaisarbagh Palace, Bara Imambara, Dilkusha Kothi Palace, St. John’s Cathedral, Lakshman Mela Grounds, 1857 Memorial Museums, the Lucknow Sports Complex, etc. All these places are barely 0.5 Km to 1 Km. You can reach the Imambara by hiring a cab or an auto rickshaw from anywhere inside the city.
There is no entry ticket for this place to visit, and it is open from 6 am till 5 pm while you can visit this place anytime during the years. You can find lots of hotels and restaurants around the Imambara, wherein you can board and lodge as well along with enjoying a number of cultural cuisines and dishes. The Shah Najaf Imambara gets an incredible view when it is decorated and illuminated during the Caliph Hazrat Ali’s Birthday, which comes in the Muharram month as per the lunar calendar.
Address: Shah Najaf Road, near to Sahara Shopping mall, Hazrataganj Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – 226001