Martiniere, Lucknow

This photograph of La Martiniere, the oldest college in Lucknow, was taken by photographer Felice Beato (1832-1909) in 1858. General Claude Martine (1735–1800), a Frenchman, constructed La Martinere in 1795. It was intended to be a country home and was given the original name Constantia. The place was later converted into a college and served… Read more »

An illustrated historical album of the Rajas and Taaluqdars of Oudh

This illustrated historical album of the Rajas and Taaluqdars of Oudh (Awadh, Lucknow) was produced in the late 19th century by Darogha Abbas Alli, an assistant municipal engineer in Lucknow active between 1860-1880. It is an important album that includes a series of portraits of governing land-holders, who were also the collectors of local revenue… Read more »

Talookdars of Oude (Taluqdars of Awadh)

Oude is the anglicisation of Awadh—itself a derivation of Ayodhya, capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala. Awadh was one of the 12 original provinces or subahs defined by Mughal emperor Akbar. It was governed by a subedar, under whom sprawled a network of taluqdars, members of a land-owning aristocracy responsible for collecting revenues from… Read more »

The Mermaid Gate, Qaisarbagh, Lucknow

Historically, Qaiserbagh or the king’s garden, comprised of a range of palaces to accommodate the Nawab of Awadh and his zenana. The last ruler of awadh, Wajid Ali Shah (r.1847-1856), began the building of this palace a year after his succession and it was finished in 1850. The King’s mission was to make Qaisarbagh the… Read more »

Sir Robert Montgomery

Sir Robert Montgomery was a British administrator in India. He was appointed to the Indian civil service in 1827 and at the start of the Uprising of India, he disarmed the native garrisons in Lahore. He was awarded with a knighthood for this action. After the quelling of the Uprising, Montgomery served as Chief Commissioner… Read more »

The Chattar Manzil Palace and the Royal Boat of Oude

This unusual fish-shaped boat belonged to Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, who was forced out of his kingdom into exile by the British in 1856. After the Uprising of 1857, over which the British prevailed but just barely, the boat was sunk and this photograph staged to symbolically mark the end of… Read more »

Sarmaya in Lucknow

  When we launched our Art of Travel series in February 2018, we just knew we had to begin with Lucknow. For all the obvious reasons, of course. It’s a city soaked in art and history, and lends itself so beautifully to all manner of poetic interpretation. Plus, the kebabs are heavenly. But there was… Read more »

Art of Travel: Lucknow itinerary

  Come away with us to discover mehfil, mehman nawazi and the magic of a teeming metropolis steeped in history: Lucknow, where poems write themselves. On our way, we will meet: THE FILMMAKER An evening with Muzaffar Ali and Meera, with a private screening of his 1981 masterpiece, ‘Umrao Jaan’, followed by dinner at their… Read more »