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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/14

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The city of Lucknow was, for a long time, renowned for its riches and flourishing trade. The city proper is said to occupy the site of the debris of some threescore villages, the names of many of which are perpetuated in the several Mohullas which are called after them, but of themselves not the slightest trace remains. It is built on irregular, undulating ground, intersected by watercourses, nullahs and ravines. Its antiquity is questionable, but only about ninety years have elapsed since, from its ancient rival, Fyzabad, it usurped the title and dignity of " Capital of Oudh," and it is not a little remarkable that, in so comparatively short a period, it should have assumed such proportions as to extend, with its suburbs, over an area of twenty square miles.

There is a tradition that Fyzabad or Ajoodia, and Lucknow, the distance between the two being some seventy odd miles, were once united by a series of small towns, formming one continuous and gigantic city ; another tradition asserts that the two cities were formerly connected by a secret subterranean passage, known only to the Kings of Oudh. These traditions are only worth mentioning, as showing the singular credulity for which the natives of Oudh are remarkable. The stories are of course thoroughly fabulous.