Today’s #Ramzanseries is from a place I grew up near
Now a protected ASI monument, the Residency was built for the British Resident by Nawab Asafuddaula (started 1775) and the complex finished in 1800 by Nawab Sadat Ali Khan.
As a child I would often go there as we stayed very close to it. We would enter from the cemetery side and be shocked and awed by the story of The women and children who were besieged there. I don’t remember much of those stories or even how authentic they were but I can still feel the goose bumps I felt then on being told of the plight of the women and children who had fled to the tahkhana for safety. The sight of bullet and shot marks of course brought the sense of horror, close.
I remember the Begum Kothi which was built by Nawab Asafuddaula and subsequently sold to Sacville Marcus Taylor the Asst Resident who in turn sold it to Pandergast. This was later sold to John Culloden.
Nawab Nasiruddin Haider was married to a granddaughter of CullOden known as Wilayti Begum and entitled Maqdarah e Aliya. After the Nawab’s death the Wilayti Begum came to live with her mother Mrs Whearty in the Residency. Her mother and step sister Ashraf un Nisa came to stay with her. Both Wilayti Begum and her mother are buried in the compound of Begum Kothi.
Since Wilayti Begum had no issue her property was divided between her step brother, Joseph Walter’s known as Ameer Mirza and sister. The step sister got the Begum Kothi.
As a thanksgiving Ashraf un Nisa built a beautiful mosque and Imambara. I don’t know why as a child I never noticed them. Probably because they were far off from where we entered.
The Imambara is now roof less but it’s arches and arcades are still decorated with stucco. There’s a heavy smell of incense and I could see a Chad or and flowers beyond the iron railings and locked door.
I know that on shab e Ashur some of my friends go and do chiraghan there.
Some photos shared by Mehmood Abidi
The mosque is very pretty and has an unusual dome finial.
It was also locked so I couldn’t go in and I don’t know if it’s functioning or not.
Mehmood Abidi adds: Illumination @ Imambara inside Lucknow residency every year on 9th Mohorrum# our family tradition🙏
Arsh Ali adds: Yes… it’s working….and every Friday, at 4 p.m., i.e., after the munajaat of Ghaar ki Karbala, a Hadith-e-Kisa and munajaat program take place in this mosque which is followed by an alam procession which starts from the mosque and culminating at the Imambada. Many people witness this.
Nilesh ramesh Bahadure has sent me the following photos which he took: