There is a high possibility that someone who has not even visited Lucknow once may have heard a lot about the adab and tehzeeb of the city. The same applies to Bhool Bhulaiya!
The Bada Imambara happens to be a major tourist attraction of Lucknow, especially the Bhool Bhulaiya, which draws huge crowds almost every day of the year. The colossal monument portrays an aura of rich Mughal architecture coupled with delicate inputs of Victorian and Persian architectural finesse.
The Bhool Bhulaiya is a very interesting and unique structure in the Bada Imambara, the layout of which will leave you awestruck. The Bhool Bhulaiya or the labyrinth is an architectural masterpiece that renders visitors spellbound at its uniqueness. Read on to know more about the masterpiece.
Unique Construction of Bhool Bhulaiya
The most amazing and interesting structure inside the Bada Imambara complex is Bhool Bhulaiya (labyrinth), constructed above the main building. The Bhool Bhulaiya is located on the eastern side of the prodigious monument.
Before you enter the main premises of the Imambara, you will need to take off your shoes outside the main building. It will be comforting for you to wear thick cotton socks to prevent you feet from scorching heat and dust. It might be useful to carry a torch and a water bottle along during summer days while you explore the intriguing Bhool Bhulaiya.
The sequence of stairs that marks the entrance to the labyrinth has a puzzling network of 1,000 passages and 491 similar looking doorways. Bhool Bhulaiya has several staircases that tend to go up and down the various narrow alleys. Interestingly, some entrances open into the galleries of the central dome, while others open into the openings in the wall. You will be able to see the main road that runs outside the Imambara complex and adjoining structures from these openings in the wall.
In effect, the Bhool Bhulaiya looks like a puzzle game. The structure involves a number of tracks, stairs and openings that tend to confuse the people. Some of the openings and tracks have been closed due to maintenance or other mysterious reasons. You should know that the maximum number of staircases have openings to the roof of the monument. You might want to get to the terrace if you get confused trying to find your way out of the riddle that the Bhool Bhulaiya is. There is a secret to find your way out of the Bhool Bhulaiya, but we would want that you crack the mysterious puzzle of Bhool Bhulaiya on your own.
An Interesting Detail
When you visit the Imambara, will notice some tourist guides burning matchsticks or tearing a paper at one end of the gallery. They do this to demonstrate before visitors that a person standing at the other end of the gallery will be able to hear the sound of the tearing paper or the burnt matchstick from such a great distance.
This certainly appears unbelievable but this is possible because these galleries have secret openings to the main hall. Visitors exploring the monument should look and observe this architectural wonder for themselves.
What if you successfully find your way to the top of the Bhul Bhulaiya
You will be able to have a beautiful view of the city of Lucknow from the top of Bhool Bhulaiya. You can enjoy a bird’s view from the top of the surrounding monuments such as Asafi Masjid, Rumi Darwaza, Ghanta Ghar, Sheesh Mahal, Tile Wali Masjid, Satkhanda, Shahi Bowli, and some parts of the King George medical college as well.
Bada Imambara is the most visited historical monument in Lucknow. Visitors from across the world find the architecture of the stupendous monument really captivating. It a was constructed in 1784 to help the poor and needy during the tough days after a massive drought. The monument continues to provide employment to various people including the guides, shop owners, and employees of the Hussainabad Trust, who earn their livelihood from Bada Imambara. Experience the charm of the epitome of humanity and brotherhood on your next visit to the old city area of Lucknow.