Bara Imambara, also known as Asafi Imambara. Imambara is a shrine built by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari. The fourth Nawab, Asaf-Ud-Dowhala, commissioned the building during the drought year of 1784 AD to help the poor make a living. However, from the time it was finished, it became a symbol of pride and grandeur of Lucknow.
The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow. A labyrinth of about a thousand passageways leading to its roof has intrigued traveler as well as architects for the last two hundred years. The monument also includes the large Asfi Mosque, the Bhul Bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and Bowli, a step well with running water. According to legends It has secret tunnels which lead to a location near Gomti river,Faizabad, Allahabad and Delhi.
The main Imambara consists of a large central chamber which is said to be the largest arched hall in the world.The hall which measures 50 meters long and goes upto a height of 15 meters,stands without any beams support. Shahi Baoli, constructed as the source of water, also has a interesting fact about it. One can see the reflection of the visitors standing at the gate,in the water of the well.
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