|Lal Baradari, Lucknow, UP n.geoview.info|
Lal Baradari, a notable and once a sanctified structure in Lucknow built during reign of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan (1798 -1814) became a part of Chhatar Manzil Palace complex and served as the throne room, coronation hall and assembly for Avadh rulers. In the 1990s it was occupied by the State Lalit Kala Academy of fine arts and was also used as gallery for holding art exhibitions. It is on Lucknow University campus opposite Tagore library park Park.
Paradoxically, this place once served as a place of celebration where the people from higher class used to conduct marriages and receptions, not realizing that this place the Baradari of Qaiser Bagh, also known as the Safed Baradari because of its color (safed that is white) was meant as 'palace of mourning' and was named Qasr-ul-Aza as such. The last King of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah built it as an Imambara for observing azadaari (mourning) for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his followers at Karbala. People who had attended the joyous functions were in a state of rude shock upon knowing the purpose for which the building was constructed by the last ruler.
|Lal Baradari, Lucknow, UP Times of India - Indiatimes.com|
|Lal Baradari, Lucknow, UP Wikimedia Commons|
The English company upon taking control of Awadh in 1856, they used Baradari to hold court for petitions and claims by the officers and nobles of the deposed King's reign and his relatives. Around 1923 or later, the Taluqadars of Awadh got it back from the British, as a gesture of appreciation for their submission and loyalty to the Queen of the British Empire. The Baradari continued to be in their possession and control.
This building steeped in history, a few years, ago had a bank and cafeteria for the students and a teachers club, all vacated because of the fragile condition of the building. A few years ago, part of the roof of vaulted hall collapsed and the pillars seemed to be in bad shape and might come down at any time, according to the media reports. The lakhauri bricks of the building had begun to fall and recently, it is reported in the news paper, that a major crack had developed in this historic structure. The crack widens as the days go buy and the building is slowly crumbling now. Indeed, a sad tale of wanton neglect and apathy,
Experts say it requires a huge sum to restore this building back to old splendor and it can not be done without any help from the central and state governments. Despite several letters to the governments, there has been no positive response. To prevent any mishap and trespassing, as the structure is in a dilapidated condition, fencing is done around the building. It is the only red stone building in the Awadhi era.
Hindustan Times, City Scan, A Time in History
Wednesday 29.4.1998 — Palace of mourning