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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/35

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ling. The principal part of the palace comprised the great rectangle, the buildings surrounding which would provide quarters for upwards of a thousand Mehals, or Queens ; there were many other detached buildings also forming part of the palace ; each building was provided with a private garden of its own, the whole was enclosed by a high masonry wall, and the gardens, in the centre of the square, were most tastfully laid out and adorned with innumerable fountains ; the walks were lined with classic statuary, the surrounding: buildings were sumptuously furnished and richly decoratad with large chandeliers, girandoles, wall brackets, furniture elaborately mounted in silver and gold, embroidered curtains, Cashmere tapestry: everything calculated to add to the splendour of an Oriental Court was brought into requisition, no matter what the cost, or from what distance the articles had to be brought. This, like the flickering of a lamp, was the last attempt of the monarchs of Oudh, to make themselves great amongst nations ; it was a brilliant attempt, but not sufficiently dazzling to deceive the British Government.

Although long since deserted by royalty, the remains of the palace are still magnificent ruins in a good state of preservation, but from a present view, no adequate idea of what the original tout ensemble resembled, can be conveyed. The buildings composing the main rectangle have been made over to the Talookdars, or Barons, of Oudh, who make use of some portions as dwelling-houses, leaving the remainder as roofless and dismantled walls, presenting to the view a striking reminiscence of oriental grandeur and extravagance converted into a desolate waste. The great arched entrances still remain with their massive gates in bronze, bearing on their panels, in basso relievo, representations of the mermaid and the royal insignia of the King of Oudh.

In fighting their way towards the Bailie Guard, the Kaiser Bagh was one of the strongest positions our troops had to take : the buildings were crowded with mutineers who