Thursday, 12 October 2017

Lucknow 's Charbagh Railway Station building, an outstanding one in the world

orchard, Charbagh station,Lucknow. Azhar Khan

Among the more than 7000 railway stations in India, Lucknow's Charbagh station is considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world and its beauty and grandeur can be matched  only by  a few Indian station buildings. Architecturally, it is an outstanding building that has a unique aura about it.

The Lucknow city, UP has two railway stations   - one is just railway station (official name Lucknow NR, station code LKO) for broad gauge trains and the , other being "Lucknow Jn" (station code "LJN"). Lucknow NR Railway Station (Charbagh) is  of particular interest to us because, it is a  major hub for the Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway system (MEMU). Lucknow has 13 railway stations connecting various parts of the suburban areas. 

During the British Raj,  a decade later after the major rebellion against the East India company's misrule, on  23 April 1867, the 47 mile Lucknow-Kanpur section  was opened for traffic
and it was part of the Oudh Rohilkhand Railway. From  1925 to 1952, the present Lucknow division was operating under East Indian Railway, serving 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with a total route of 1,458.94 km (906.54 mi), through 194 stations. It is a major hub between Kanpur and Lucknow.

Lucknow Charbagh railway station. TrekEarth
Uttar Pradesh happened to be the most populous state in the countrythen and the introduction of railways was quite helpful to the various communities that lived near the river Ganges.  Lucknow's impressive Charbagh Railway Station was built in 1926. In order to blend with the local architecture, the building design is typically Mogul along with  visible elements of Rajput and Awadhi designs dominated  by domes and minars. They  match those beautiful historical buildings in this place that go back in time during the days of Oudh Nawabs. The red-brick building in Charbagh  (south part of the city), has a frontage of long verandahs adorned with Mogul

Lucknow Charbagh railway station.
arches. The word' Char Bagh' means  four gardens  that existed here earlier until 1867. Both stations are well connected with major cities across the country, including    Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai,  Guwahati and others.

The  architect of Charbagh railway station building   is 
J. H.Hornimen and Chaubey Mukta Prasad, a consulting engineer for Ms Lanebrown and Hulett played a crucial role in major planning and design work. The building' foundation stone was laid  on 21 March 1914 by Bishop George  Herbert and it took 9 long years to complete the building in 1923. A huge sum of ₹ 70 lakhs was spent on the building,  The unusual feature of this railway building is: 01. It has a large garden in front of the building, 02. The aerial view of Charbagh railway station, brings out a stunning view as if the entire railway station that  looks like  a chess board and the domes and pillars of the building appear to be pieces on the board. 03. Tunnels (subway) below the Station are now  used for moving goods  safely from one platform to another: It is most helpful to those who find it difficult to climb the stairs. 04. If standing on the porch of the station, you cannot listen the noise coming off the moving  trains.
From design and planning point of view,, it is considered  as one of the most beautiful railway stations in India.  The Government Railway Police station at Lucknow's Charbagh railway station holds an ISO 9001 certificate.

The ground plan is rectangular in shape with projecting porticoes. There are several towers and clusters of circular Awadhi domes. The wide, raised platforms have several halls and rooms for official purposes.