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Old 9th November 2010, 15:33   #16
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On 50% of the days, I am up at 4am, in order to cycle out by 4:40am and complete 40+km in order to return for office by 7am max.

you could've called even in advance while planning!
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Old 25th November 2010, 22:54   #17
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Been neglecting this thread for long, and hoping to complete posting the pics and minor details of the short trip over this weekend.

Perhaps the grandest place to visit in Lucknow is the Bara Imambara.

Bara Imambara is an imambara complex built by Asaf-ud-daulah, Nawab of Lucknow, in 1784. It is also called the Asafi Imambara. Bara means big, and an imambara is a shrine built by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari. The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow.

The Bara Imambara was built in 1783, a year of a devastating famine, and one of Asaf-ud-Daula's objectives in embarking on this grandiose project was to provide employment for people in the region. According to reports, the famine continued for over a decade and the construction of the building continued for this time. It is said that ordinary people used to work in the day building up the edifice, while noblemen and other elite were called at night to break down all the structure raised, as they were incapable of doing anything else, according to a chronicle of the period. This see-saw effort continued till the famine period was over.

It is one of the last major projects not incorporating any European elements or the use of iron.

There is also a blocked (tunnel) passageway which, according to legends, leads through a mile-long underground passage to a location near the Gomti river. Other passages are rumoured to lead to Faizabad (the former seat of power of the Nawabs), Allahabad and even to Delhi. They exist but have been sealed after a period of long disuse as well as fears over the disappearance of people who had purportedly gone missing, while exploring.

From Bara Imambara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The guide charges are usually not adhered to, and guides (like the one we had) charge about Rs.150 - and then take on more than one group. At the end of the tour they expect a tip in addition too (which we studiously ignored). Lucknow felt like the tip-city of India!
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Shoes off, please! Re.1 per pair for safekeeping. But why can't there be a proper rack to keep them, rather than piling them up in a messy fashion?
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The main imambara consists of a large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud-Daula. At 50 by 16 meters and over 15 meters tall, it has no beams supporting the ceiling, and is one of the largest such arched constructions in the world. There are eight surrounding chambers built to different roof heights, permitting the space above these to be reconstructed as a three-dimensional labyrinth with passages interconnecting with each other through 489 identical doorways. This part of the building, known as is a popular attraction, and often the whole complex may be referred to as the bhulbhulayah. It is possibly the only existing maze in India and came about unintentionally, to support the weight of the building constructed on marshy land.
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The Asfi Mosque
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Old 25th November 2010, 23:42   #18
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Exploring theBhulbhulaiya and the roof of the Bara Imambara.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip - LUCKNOW-bhulbhulaiya-0.jpg

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A broken piece of the decorations - the guide tempts us to attempt to lift it, saying our wishes would come true. We had no intention of meeting any orthopaedic in Lucknow...
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Old 26th November 2010, 00:00   #19
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The aliens have landed.

Nope, just kidding. That's the Planetarium at Lucknow.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip - LUCKNOW-dsc01887k100.jpg
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