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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/59

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The small mosque, on the opposite side of the ruin, is of some importance, since it marks the mound originally called Luchman Tela : a name conferred upon it, long before Lucknow became the capital of Oudh.



In the immediate vicinity of the Muchee Bhawan is the —




Views Nos. 39 to 41.

Nawab Ausuf-ood-dowlah was the first monarch of Oudh and he it was, who made Lucknow the capital. The great Imambara was built by him ; and it is justly pronounced to be the architectural gem of the city, its minarets are the tallest and handsomest, and it is the most magnificent and massive structure in Lucknow. The central hall is supposed to be the largest in the world, but the most remarkable feature of the building is, that it contains no wood-work of any kind, being built throughout, exclusively of solid masonry. It is said to have cost a crore of rupees, or one million sterling, a doubtful tradition, unless it was originally embellished with precious stones, of which however there is now no trace. According to Elliott, the story is, that Nawab Ausuf-ood-dowlah invited architects, throughout India, to submit plans, to be subjected to competition, for an Imambara, stipulating that the building should not be a copy of any other building, and that, in beauty and magnificence, it should surpass anything of the kind that ever was in existence. The name given to the successful competition is Kifait-ool-lah and, on viewing the structure, it must be admitted that his conception has produced a thing of beauty and a stupendous solidity, or massive grandeur, in happy keeping with the purpose for