Bara Imambara Home > Uttar Pradesh > Attractions > Mosques > Bara Imambara

Bara Imambara

The Bara Imambara is also known as the Asafi Imambara, as it was constructed by the fourth Nawab of Lucknow, Asaf-Ud- Daula.  This is a huge structure and has many buildings inside its premises. It is also the most visited tourist spots in Lucknow and is a perfect representation of Mughal architecture. The Bara Imambara is also the most respected monuments in Lucknow, because it was built for a noble cause, that is, for generating employment opportunities for the people during the devastating famine that shook the city in 1785. The famine lasted for an entire decade and it is believed that the construction of Bara Imambara also lasted for the full ten years, so that people could live in some comfort from the income generated through this.


The fourth Nawab of Lucknow, Asaf-Ud-Daula was known to be a very flambouyant person. At the same time, he was also known for his generosity and large heartedness. When the great famine struck Lucknow during 1785, the Nawab took the initiative of constructing this great monument, so that it would generate employment opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of the social and noble class people. The famine had hit all sections of the people equally and hence the Nawab instructed the lower class people to work on the monument during the day and the noble class of people to work during the night. At night, the structure that was built during the day was destroyed during the night and built again by the noble class at night so that employment opportunities could be sustained all through the 10 years of famine. In spite of destroying and building so many times, the structure stands tall and strong today. Cement, iron, wood and other metals were not used for construction of the monument, but this structure stands tall and straight for over two centuries now.


The height of the Bara Imambara is 15m and this is the only structure in the world that is not supported by any girder or binder. It is made of simple Lakhanui brick stones and lime plaster. The central hall of the monument is very hollow and this is probably the main reason as to why the structure is so well supported even without the use of binders and other metals. The length and breadth of the monument is 50m and 16m respectively.  There is chamber inside the monument that has deep vaults and inside this, the grave of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula can be seen. There is no air of extravagance here as the grave is quite simple to see.  The very fact that Kifayatullah’s (the architect of Bara Imambara) grave is placed right next to the Nawab’s speaks volume about the Nawab’s simplicity and kindness.

The most interesting part of Bara Imambara is the Bhulbhulaya. You are sure to get stuck in this area if you are not accompanied by a tourist guide. This is a maze-like structure that is replete with 8 huge chambers, 489 gateways that are exactly similar to each other and at least 1000 passages. This is located on top of the Imambara. Towards the left side of this maze, you will find stairs that open up to the roof of the structure. If you don’t have a guide along with you and if you are stuck mid-way, these are the stairs that you need to use. This is the only maze structure in the world and there are lots of secret tunnels that are located here. Many passages are blocked due to maintenance or security issues. The view from the roof top of the Imambara is simply spectacular and this experience must be felt to understand how beautiful the city looks from here. This huge Bhulbhulaya structure contributes immensely to the light weight of the structure.

A step well, known as the Baoli, is located towards one side of the Imambara. This well contained water that had excellent reflecting properties relating to colours. A unique ingredient known as rice husk is used for constructing the Bara Imambara’s roof alone. Some of the other structures here are the Rumi Darwaza or the Turkish Gate, Asfi Mosque, Shahi Bavali and others.

Current Status

The Bara Imambara is still the top most tourist attraction of Lucknow, though it is around 226 years since the building was constructed. The entry fee for this monument is 35INR. Tourists should cover their heads while inside this religious monument. The place is open from 6 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

How to Reach

By Air

The Amausi Airport in Lucknow connects the city with all important cities in the country. Tourists can book a pre-paid taxi from the airport to reach the Bara Imambara.

By Rail

There are lots of big railway junctions in Lucknow like Lucknow Charbagh, Badshah Nagar, Lucknow junction, Gomati Nagar, etc. From here, lots of auto rickshaws are available to reach the monument.

By Road

Lucknow is well-connected with all the nearby cities in the state and other states in the vicinity by government and private sector buses.

Related Image

Also Browse Following Under This Section

Related Topics


In the Indian state of uttar-pradesh, Christianity is regarded as a minority religion. There is majority of Hindus found in this state. There is a uttar-pradesh Diocese of Church ....

Buddhist Centers

Early archaeological evidence shows that Buddhism in uttar-pradesh dates back to the times of Emperor Ashoka (269-232 BC). The town of Saurashtra, finds a place ....

Jama Masjid Ahmedabad

The city of Ahmedabad is adorned ...

Bohra Hajira Mosque

The city of Jamnagar is commonly ...