Mosque of the Great Imambara [Lucknow]
Photographer: Lawrie and Company, G.W.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the mosque in the Great Imambara complex at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India, from the Macnabb Collection, taken by G.W. Lawrie and Company, most likely in the 1890s. Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, was ruled by the Muslim Nawabs of Avadh (Oudh) until the middle of the 19th century. Architect Kifayat-ullah designed The Great Imambara complex in 1784 for ruler Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula of Awadh (r.1778-97) and consists of the colossal Imambara, a large free-standing mosque, a step-well and elaborate entrance gates. Imambara (houses of the Imam) are buildings used either for the Muslim fesitval of Muharram or as a mausoleum. The hall at Lucknow functions as both as it contains the tombs of Asaf-ud-Daula and his architect. At the time of construction the Imambara was the largest vaulted hall in the world and it remains one of the most impressive buildings in India. This view shows the lofty mosque with two minarets on the west side of the compound.