Story of Lucknow

Amal Chatterjee
4 min readJul 18, 2020

1.The story of Lucknow is unique in the annals of history because it occupies a very special place where the first battle for the independence from the British rule was fought in 1857 . The British historians call it the mutiny or insurrection of 1857 they crushed so ruthlessly but also paid a very high price with their loss of thousands of British lives . It started at the Residency ( the first video ) that narrates the historical perspective.

Source : U tube video

2. The second video shows the state of the Residency now that stands as a monument to a bloody battle fought here when the Indian soldiers under the leadership of the queen of Lucknow laid siege to the Residency and bombarded it with canon fire and relentless gunfire that reduced it to its present shape. The battle was lost when the British brought their reinforcement from Kolkata and other forts to recapture the Residency and hung scores of people from trees everywhere to get their revenge.

Source : U tube video with English subtitles

3. The third video shows the Shahi Hamam Baoli or step well in the complex of Bada Imambara. The Bada Imambara or the residence of the Imam is an incredible building with very sensitive acoustic properties that will impress anyone. It is connected to many cities in India with deep underground tunnels that are closed now. It is believed to be the burial place of the immense treasure of the Nawab of Lucknow that no one has ever found. The treasurer who knew the secret location committed suicide when the British tortured him to reveal the location.

Source : U tube video with English sub titles

4. The fourth video is of the Bada Imambara itself that will show you what an amazing building it is with its mind boggling and very dangerous labyrinth where no one is allowed to wander without an expert guide. The labyrinth was designed in a way so that the enemies of the King could enter it but never get out alive.

Source : U tube video with English sub titles

5. The 5th video shows modern Lucknow today that shows the city undergoing magical transformation with English subtitles.

Source : U tube video with English titles

6. The video of the city of Lucknow called Incredible Lucknow

Source : U tube video

The fifth and the sixth videos will show you the modern Lucknow in all its glory. It is fast developing to make it a world class city with metro, well designed parks, river front, expressways , high rise buildings, malls, I max cinemas and numerous historical buildings. It is being upgraded as a smart city that connects to the world through internet, wifi everywhere and is fast becoming an IT hub attracting IT specialists from all over the country. Its majestic Bidhan Sabha or the seat of the government building is unique in its architecture . The railway station in Charbagh is one of the most beautiful in India. Two more modern stations are under construction there.

Source : Google photo of the Charbagh Railway station in Lucknow

Sometimes I get nostalgic about the country I left behind so long ago but I follow very keenly all the development that is taking place there at a fast speed. The whole country is rapidly moving toward modernisation in every possible way so it is no longer the country I left 50 years ago. The old timer British if they are still alive will not recognize the India they left in 1947 but will remember the Residency in Lucknow that stands in total ruins bearing the scars of the battle that took place in 1857.

Many British cemeteries have been renovated with steel fences and are well maintained by the government but gone are all the symbols of the British Raaj . All British statuary have been removed and the streets have been renamed after the great freedom fighters and the heroes of India.

Lucknow is also famous for its food that finds it roots in the royal kitchen of yesteryears but has numerous other cuisine that are unique to North India where the Persian, Mughal and local food are truly unique to India.

So if you ever visit India, I suggest you spend some time in Lucknow. You will be very pleasantly surprised.

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