Chhota Imambara, Lucknow - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Lucknow Junction Railway Station): 7 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins - 1 Hr

Place Location: In The Hussainabad Locality

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: The entry ticket of Bara Imambara includes the entry to Chota Imambara, Picture Gallery, and Shahi Hamam.

At a distance of 7 km from Lucknow Junction, Chhota Imambara, also known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak is an imposing monument located in the Hussainabad locality of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the well-known heritage places in Lucknow that one must visit as part of Uttar Pradesh packages.

One of the most attractive buildings in the old city of Lucknow, Chota Imambara was built as an imambara or a congregation hall for Shia Muslims, by Muhammad Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh in 1838. Situated near the Bara Imambara, it was to serve as a mausoleum for himself and his mother, who is buried beside him. The building is also known as the Palace of Lights because of its decorations and chandeliers during special festivals, like Muharram.

The Chota Imambara has been inspired by the design of the Charbagh pattern, an amalgamation of the elements of Persian and Indo-Islamic styles of architecture. The exterior of the monument is complete with Quranic verses which are written in Islamic calligraphy on the walls while the interiors are decorated with delicate Arabic glasswork and calligraphy. It has a gilded goden dome and several turrets and minarets. The chandeliers used to decorate the interior of this building were brought from Belgium. The five doorways of the Chhota Imambara emphasize the significance of 'Panjetan' or the holy five.

The Imambara comprises two halls and a Shehnasheen, which is a platform where the Zarih of Imam Hussain is kept. The large green and white-bordered hall of Azakhana is richly decorated with chandeliers and a good number of crystal glass lamp-stands. The tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and other members of his family are inside the imambara. This includes two replicas of the Taj Mahal, built as the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah's daughter and her husband. Also housed within the building, is the crown of Muhammad Ali Shah and ceremonial tazias. The water bodies and fountains inside the Imambara get water supply from the River Gomti. It is one of the must-visit Lucknow tourist places.

Besides, the complex houses with a Tomb of Princess Zinat Algiya, Hussainabad Mosque, and Naubat Khana (ceremonial gateway). The Husainabad Mosque is constructed on a raised platform with two grand minarets. The mosque is decorated beautifully and intricately with floral designs and Quranic Calligraphy. The watchtower, which is also known as Satkhanda, or the tower of seven stories, is located just outside the Chota Imambara. Even though the structure is known as Satkhanda, it has only four storeys, since the construction of the building had to be abandoned when Ali Shah passed away. It was built between 1837 and 1842, in the time of Muhammad Ali Shah, who wanted to make the structure similar to the Qutub Minar of Delhi.

Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM

Entry: Rs. 25 for Indians & Rs. 300 for Foreigners