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 »

Trails & Tales

According to the prevailing view of cartography experts, maps can be categorised into two types: topographic or general maps, which might help you find your way around an area, and thematic maps, which serve to highlight specific features or a particular event, for eg, a battle plan. Regardless of their type, all maps tell a… Read more »

Narrative of the Indian Revolt

The Revolt of 1857 was a large-scale display of active resistance against the British East India Company. It was the first time British dominance on the Indian subcontinent was so evidently called into question. The book illustrates and describes the uprising, narrated by Colin Cambell, Commander-in-Chief in India (1846-1853), mostly based on official letters, dispatches… Read more »

Hosainabad, Lucknow

The Hussainabad Imambara (Hosainabad, Lucknow), more commonly known as the Chhota Imambara at Lucknow was built between 1837 and 1842 by Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah. The structure was built both to function as a congregation hall for Shia Muslims but also as a mausoleum for the Nawab and his mother. A prominent gilded dome sits… Read more »

The Residency Palace and C. of Lucknow

Edward Weller’s engraving is part of a series of maps from around the world published in the British Weekly Dispatch newspaper. The city of Lucknow is remembered as the site of prolonged siege during the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion. Weller’s engraving emphasises the dividing lines within the recently acquired settlement, highlighting the separation of the British… Read more »

Who pulls the strings in Gulabo Sitabo?

I am desperately late to the Gulabo Sitabo Netflix watch party (or Amazon in this case), but in my defence it was catching virtual dust while sitting at the very top of my watchlist and this is just how movie screenings and time work now. How ironic it is that this film was released in… Read more »

Satkhanda, Lucknow

The word Satkhanda means seven-storeyed but this beautifully proportioned tower would never live up to its name as construction was halted at level 4. Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah commissioned the structure during his reign, which started in 1837 and went on till 1842. He built it as a watch-tower to provide a bird’s eye view… 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 »

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 »

Plan of Lucknow Showing Operations in 1857-58

This map was published by William Mackenzi, London, showing the plan of the city of Lucknow and highlighting the routes taken by British troupes to carry out relief operations. The red lines mark the routes of the operations led by General Havelock, Colin Campbell and James Outram, accompanied with dates. Prominent locations and areas of… Read more »

The Lucknow Affair: Bara Imambara

Journalist and author of Love and Life in Lucknow: An Imaginary Biography of a City’, Mehru Jaffer kept us amused and enthralled during this morning walk around the Bara Imambara complex. She gave us a personalised, opinionated and intelligent tour of the landmark and left us with a real sense of the man who built… Read more »

The Lucknow Affair: The Residency

During our trip to Lucknow, we were thrilled to have author, journalist and dyed-in-the-wool Lucknawi, Mehru Jaffer lead us on two heritage walks. One of them was to The Residency, which was the centre of the action during the Siege of Lucknow in 1857. This video captures a few snippets from our rambling walk around… 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 »