Jama Masjid Lucknow : The minarets of Jama Masjid in Lucknow can be seen from miles away. Touching the horizon, these umbrella towers are the identity of a city that was decorated by the Nawabs of Awadh. If you squint, you will see only two minarets of the mosque, the rest two minarets are incomplete. His height is equal to the lofty roof of the mosque.
One Of The Grand Cities Of North India In The 19th Century
Jama Masjid is one of the many magnificent monuments of Lucknow which are known to be examples of the finest architecture of Awadh. After the decline of the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century, the Nawabs, who had previously been princes of the Mughals, became the rulers of Awadh. Earlier their capital was the city of Faizabad which was not far away, but Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah (reigned 1775-97) made Lucknow his capital in 1775. Patrons of art, architecture and culture, many generations of Nawabs built beautiful gardens, magnificent Imambaras or religious halls and palaces in Lucknow. Because of this, Lucknow was counted as one of the grand cities of North India in the 19th century.
One of the magnificent monuments of Lucknow is Jama Masjid which is located in Tehsinganj area of Hussainabad. It was built by Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah (reigned 1837–42). He wanted to make it bigger and grander than the historic Jama Masjid of Shahjahanabad in Old Delhi. Mohammad Ali Shah became the Nawab of Awadh at the age of sixty. People loved the humble and gentle Nawab very much. He did not spend extravagantly like the Nawabs before him and he increased the treasury. He used this money to build grand public buildings so that he would be remembered in history.
The most prominent of these buildings is the Hussainabad Imambara, also known as the Chhota Imambara. He also built a quaint Burj Satkhanda (seven storeys) in the city. Some people say that he built it in comparison to the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” (Leaning Tower of Pisa), while some people say It was built to compete with Qutub Minar. Perhaps this tower was built for observation or observatory, of which only four of the seven floors could be completed. After the death of the Nawab in 1842, its construction work stopped and till date this monument is incomplete. Similarly, Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah also built Jama Masjid in Hussainabad. He started the work of building the mosque in 1839, but he died after three years. The interesting thing is that he left ten lakh rupees for the construction of the mosque. The rest of the unfinished work was completed by his wife Mallika Jahan. Although the two minarets of the mosque are still incomplete, yet architecturally this mosque is one of the most decorated and ornate mosques of that era.
Most Of The Awadhi Monuments Are Made Of Lahori Bricks
Most of the Awadhi monuments are made of Lahori bricks and lime plaster. This mosque was also built in the same way. Jama Masjid has a huge hall where people offer prayers and from where you can enter two prayer halls. The high arched entrance to the mosque is topped by two arches that are very similar to the honeycomb pattern of the famous Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow. The high ceilings and pillars inside the prayer hall are lined with balustrades. Jama Masjid Like the mosque of Bara Imambara, the niche (mimbar) for the imam on the floor of the second prayer hall is sunken down. According to Shia tradition, it is sunken so that the Imam is not seen above the rest of the worshipers. The arches are on the west side with beautiful lining on them. Quranic verses are also written on it.
First, the stairs lead to the southeast corner of the prayer hall, from where the three lotus-shaped domes of the mosque and the lining on the arched entrance are clearly visible. The canopies built on top of both the minarets also serve to cover the stairs built inside the minarets. From here one can have a spectacular view of Hussainabad and other areas of the old Lucknow city. In 1856, the British deposed the last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and exiled him to Kolkata. The next year i.e. in 1857, there was a rebellion against the British in Awadh and there was a lot of bloodshed in Lucknow. After capturing Lucknow in 1858, the British razed many buildings in the city to prevent any more sudden attacks or rebellions. The purpose of demolishing these buildings was so that the freedom fighters could not conspire against the British by hiding here. Fortunately the Jama Masjid survived but the high lofty entrance complex of the mosque along with some of the buildings at Hussainabad were demolished by the British.
In 1902, Anthony Patrick McDonnell, the lieutenant governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, sanctioned Rs 12,000 for the repair of the mosque. Since then, thousands of Muslims of the city offer prayers every Jumma (Friday) in the Jama Masjid of Lucknow.So, because of this Jama Masjid, the name of Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah got recorded in history? In terms of size, this mosque may not compete with the Jama Masjid of Delhi, but its beauty is no less than that.