The City of Nawabs Lucknow is famous for many things. Ornate monuments, mouth-watering dishes, exquisite handicrafts and much more. But, there’s a new reason why the city is making headlines and we have got all the deets! By Amitha Ameen

These days the crowd puller in Lucknow are not the kebabs or the chikankari’s. Bara Imambara, an 18th century palace built during the Mughal reign is what has caught the visitor’s eye. Built in the year 1784 by Asaf-ud-Daula the fourth Mughal emperor, the palace was used as his family residence.

Now, the reason why this palace is considered to defy gravity is because, it was built without using any kind of external support like beams or pillars. The central arched hall alone is around three-storey high, about 15-metres tall, and is one of the only such arched constructions in the world. But this is where things get interesting. According to legend, the palace was built by around 20,000 workers during the day. In the night, the architects and courtiers continued to work through the night, on the intricacies that make the structure stand out, so that their method and designs could be kept a secret. Interesting, isn’t it?

But, that’s not all! The main hall of the structure, popularly known as bhul bhulaiya (dense maze), has more than 1,000 narrow staircase passages built in a complicated labyrinth form. It is said that this was done in order to prevent intruders from gaining easy access.

There are many underground tunnels that have been discovered in the palace over time that connect to places as far as Delhi and Allahabad. But, these are currently closed and off limit to visitors after previous incidents of explorers going missing in an attempt to navigate through these complex tunnels.

Packed with surprising architectural elements, a good deal of mystery and boasting of magnificent historical relevance, there’s no way you can miss out Bara Imambara during your next visit to Lucknow.

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