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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/62

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gerated, by the moat enthusiastic travellers. On the anniversary of the King's demise, every year, the Imambara, interior and exterior, the mausoleums of the two Queens, to the right and left, the ornamental garden, tanks, miniature bridges, walls, the principal archway, the. buildings outside for the whole distance, to the right and left between the two great archways, the archways themselves with their lofty and gigantic superstructures, the whole of the buildings outside those archways, and the roads leading to them for half a mile each way are all profusely illuminated : millions of lamps are brought into requisition and placed in all possible and in apparently impossible places, towers, kiosks, minarets are all in a blaze, every nook and corner is resplendent ; in the garden, the reflections of myriads of lights are sparkling and scintillating in the water, and the tout-ensemble, as viewed from the terraces opposite the Imambara, is so dazzling and fairy-like, that the visitor lost in admiration, imagines himself in the midst of a scene produced by some genius of a supernatural world. At a given signal, a display of fire-works commences, and lasts for more than an hour, an immense number of fire-balloons are sent up, and then the gates are thrown open for the crowds of visitors to enter the Imambara, which, as already described, presents to view, the ne plus ultra of splendour, it is literally one mass of gold, silver, crystal and fire. These entertainments are continued for several nights at a cost of about twelve thousand rupees a night, and no doubt the reader will ask, Where does all this money come from ? The question is easily answered. This Imambara, when built by King Mohumed Ali, was endowed with twelve lacs of rupees; during his lifetime he added several large sums to the fund and furnished the building with gold and silver plate, jewels, precious stones and sumptuous furniture, to a fabulous amount ; at length, after appointing trustees and an agent, he died and, as he had intended, his remains were interred in this Imambara. The funds afterwards increased until the