All Lucknowites would be familiar with the famous GPO ke Dahi Badey that have been a part of Lucknow since long. The General Post Office or the GPO in Lucknow is better known for the Dahi Badey Wala than for the work that is carried out there.
The building that was known as Ring Theatre during the British rule and now houses the General Post Office is a monument with a rich past. The architectural splendour of the building will leave you so amazed that you would want to explore all the other imposing historical monuments that have drawn the inquisitiveness and attention of the people from across the world towards this Nawabi city.
History of the General Post Office
The general post office is not just a customary post office. In fact, it has witnessed the most momentous events of the country’s freedom struggle against the British. During the reign of the British, a building was constructed between the two chief monuments – Mallika Ahad’s fortress and Kothi Hayat Baksh. This building was actually utilized by the British troops for entertainment. The building was known as the “Ring Theatre” during the British rule in Lucknow. English movies and English plays were screened at this building. The building was generally recognized as the “Entertainment Centre” of the city of Lucknow.
The complex was entirely meant for the entertainment of the British people. Families of the generals, colonels and soldiers used to visit the building for entertainment purposes. It is said that Indians were not allowed to enter the building during the British rule.
The building has been said to have witnessed the famous Kakori trial in 1925. Freedom fighters Ashfaquallah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh were the main accused in the famous Kakori train robbery that was meant to collect funds to carry out revolutionary activities against the British Empire in India with the aim of achieving independence. Gobind Vallabh Pant, K.C. Hajela, and Chandra Bhanu Gupt are said to have fought for the accused inside the building. Four of the accused, Ashfaquallah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh and Rajendra Nath Lahiri were given death sentence by the court.
During 1929-1932, the building was modified to be used as the General Post Office. Some beautiful additions were made to the building giving it an impressive Gothic look. A big hall in the middle of the building lodges the main post office. There is an impressive clock tower built on the building giving it a wonderful Victorian touch. There is the prominent PIN code board put by the postal authorities at the top front side of the building.
General Post Office – Today
The post office is located in the heart of Hazratganj, adjacent to the Vidhan Sabha Marg. A marble plaque placed at the entrance that mentions “Post & Telegraph Offices – 1929-1932”.The building still has the old world charm and continues to impress people with its distinctive historical aura. The postal services provided to the customers are of the highest order. A striking triangle-shaped garden with blossoming flowers located in front of the building enhances the overall beauty of the general post office. The beautiful amalgamation of lime stone and red bricks in the construction work has only augmented the architectural appeal of the building. It is said that the building has been built without the support and strength of iron bars that are otherwise widely used in construction work.
Do visit one of the best testimonials of exceptional Mughal and British style architecture, the GPO of Lucknow to satisfy your travel expectations from the city of Nawabs.