AWADH ARCHITECTUREKUSHENDRA SHUKLA B.ARCH 2ND YEAR,GOVERNMENT COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE.LUCKNOW
AWADH Awadh---- a region in the centre Uttar Pradesh. Before Independence ---- United Provinces of Agra and Oudh . Capital---- Lucknow. Dialect---- Awadhi, spoken by Awadhis. Saadat Khan Burhanul Mulk (NAWAB)---- laid the foundation of the Awadh dynasty.
Fourth Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah ---- shifted capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. During his rule:--- Asafi Imambara and Roomi Darwaza, built by Raja Tikait Rai Nawab Wazir (Diwan) of Awadh, which till date are the biggest architectural marvels in the city.
ASFI IMAMBARA COMPLEX Bara Imambara ---- Lucknow, India. Important Nawabi religious building.
Built by Asaf-ud-daulah, Nawab of Lucknow, in 1784, to providesuccour to the famine stricken people.Also called the “Asafi Imambara”.Bara means big, and an imambara is a shrine built by ShiaMuslims.Imambara :---- building in which festival of Moharram is celebrated, service in commemoration of deaths of Ali and Hussain performed at the season, sometimes used as a mausoleum for the family of the founder, 21 examples. 10 in Lucknow. Asia’s largest hall without any external support of wood, iron orstone beams.
BUILDING COMPOSITION The complex also includes the large Asfi mosque, the bhulbhulayah (the labyrinth), and bowli, a step well. Two imposing gateways lead to the main hall.ASFI MOSQUE BAOLI BHUL-BHULAIYA
ARCHITECTURE Reflects the maturation of ornamented Mughal design. No European elements or the use of iron. Neither a mosque, nor a mausoleum, but a huge building having interesting elements. Construction of halls and use of vaults show a strong Islamic influence. The main imambara consists of a large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud- Daula.
Plan---- 50 m x 16 m Height--- 15 m Has no beams supporting the ceiling (one of the largest arched constructions in the world). Blocked (tunnel) passageway, according to legends, leads to a location near the Gomti river. Other passages lead to Faizabad (the former seat of power of the Nawabs), Allahabad and even to Delhi.
Bada Imambada---- a great hall built at the end of a spectacular courtyard. Approached through two magnificent triple-arched gateways. The hall is Asias largest without any external support of wood, iron, or stone beams. 16 feet thick roof.
Weighs nearly 20,000 tons. An ingenious method was employed for building the roof. Building covered with vaults of very simple forms. Construction material---- rubble or coarse concrete of bricks and mud. Allowed to stand a year or two to set and dry. The centering is then removed.
The vault is a more durable form of roof than the most scientific Gothic vaulting. 3 halls under the same roof. Central hall---- the Persian Hall. 2 adjoining halls. The China Hall is square at ground level, becomes octagonal at mid- height, and 16 sided at the top. The India Hall has been fashioned like a watermelon.
Persian architect---- Kifayatullah (also lies buried in the main hall of the Imambara). Marvelous Acoustics. Even the slightest whisper can be heard at the other corner of the hall. On the top terrace, approached through a narrow flight of steps---- “bhulbhulaiya”. The terrace gives a grand view of old Lucknow with numerous mosques and minarets on the horizon.
BHULBHULAIYAH Present in the main imambara building. 8 surrounding chambers built to different roof heights, permit the space above these to be reconstructed as a labyrinth---- “bhulbhulayah”, with passages interconnecting through 489 identical doorways. Came about unintentionally to support the weight of the building.
ASFI MOSQUE MOSQUE within the Imambada courtyard elegant structure flanked by a grand flight of steps leading to its paved floor.
Located in the west of the main courtyard. Due to quibla orientation (towards Mecca) its axiality strikes a discord with that of the Bara Imambara. Just as enormous as the Bara Imambara itself.
BAOLIS A baoli consists of two parts:---- vertical shaft from which water is drawn, surrounding inclined subterranean passageways, chambers and steps which provide access to the well. Cool, quiet retreats during summers. Chambers in some baolis are seven or eight levels below the ground level.
SHAHI BAOLI(STEP WELL) BAOLI five- storied baoli (step well) Called the Shahi- Hammam (royal bath), baoli is connected with the river Gomti. Only first two stories above water, the rest being perennially under water. Used as a hiding place. Used as summer palaces due to natural coolness
“Shahi Baoli”----eastern side of the Asafi Imambara complex. Deep circular well at the eastern end. Approached through a flight of steps and a door facing west. Rectangular plan. Material---- Lakhauri brick and lime mortar.
Entrance---- high portal haying an unornamented arch (Mehrab). Series of stairs descending down to the water reservoir. On either flanks are rows of three storeyed Mehrabs. Water flows in to the baoli through a large ‘Shah-Jahani’ Mahrab. Multi--chambered summer place in the interior.
ROOMI DARWAZAConstructed in the year 1784by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula.Construction completed by1786.Example of the finearchitectural style of Awadh.Also known by the name of“Turkish Gateway”.Construction material----lakhori bricks, brown lime.
CHATTRIHeight--- 60 feet.Uppermost part---- octagonal Chatri(Umbrella) carved beautifully,approachable by a staircase.The word "Roomi" is derived from themodern day Rome that used to be Istanbul(capital city of Eastern Roman Empire). Finest gateway built in Lucknow. Highly inspired by a similar gateway inIstanbul.
Surmounted by an elaborate cupola. Flanked by low curtain walls pierced by cusped windows. Octagonal bastions at the sides. Floral motifs crowning the apex of the inner arch. Bold and broad lotus petals altered by solid turrets with floral patterns on the outer arch. Mughal element is noticeable in minarets, crowned by octagonal chhatris. Apex of the outer arch crowned by an octagonal domed kiosk, adding symmetry and grandeur. Western side of gateway--- 3 arched openings.