UP: Decaying Chhota Imambara gates to be restored

Lucknow, Mar 5 (IANS): The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has been roped in by the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) for the restoration of the two gates of Chhota Imambara in Lucknow.

INTACH is a non-profit membership organisation dedicated to heritage conservation.

A symbol of the Nawabi era, constructed in 1839 and located on both sides of Chota Imambara, the gates are falling apart as its brick and walls decay slowly.

“The work for restoration will begin by the end of March,” said Habibul Hasan, Assistant Superintendent, Hussainabad and Allied Trust (HAT).

HAT is a custodian of important Nawabi monuments, including Bada Imambara, Chota Imambara, and other Waqf properties, built by King Mohammad Ali Shah in 1839 for charity and the welfare of the Muslim community.

The Chota Imambara has three gates, including the Southeast Gate (facing Rumi Darwaza), the North Gate (in front of Chota Imambara) and the West Gate (towards Hardoi Road).

Jayant Krishna, INTACH’s UP State Convenor, said that barring the Southeast Gate, the entire structure is part of the renovation work.

“The traditional methods such as using lime mortar and replacing the torn brick with the same lakeshore bricks will be used during restoration,” he said.

As there is a large tourist footfall in the entire area every day, the restoration will be done keeping in mind the eatery shops, he said.

“The legal shops, barring the encroachments, are a part of the renovation which includes facades, uniform signages with appropriate uniform lighting,” he said.

He added that a detailed proposal was given to the Divisional Commissioner and Municipal Commissioner after the authorities roped in INTACH for the work. “However, the final acceptance is awaited,” he said.

The gates were built during the same period when the Chota Imambara was made by Mohammad Ali Shah in 1838. These gates were made to mark the territory of the building.

In that era, the gates had three passages of different sizes, with a bigger one in the centre for the movement of royal processions like those with elephants. Two small passages on the right and left side for the movement of the masses. The small structures around Chota Imambara gates which are now shops, were meant for the temporary stay of visitors.

These gates are part of the architectural culture of not just Lucknow but across India as similar gates were present in Kolkata, Murshidabad, Bhopal, and Jaipur among others and some were made during Akbar’s reign which were called Tripolia gates.



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Title: UP: Decaying Chhota Imambara gates to be restored

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