Volume: 8, No: 12 ; December-2014
It’s an airplane on a building. Passing through Subhash Marg in Lucknow, you would definitely notice a residential building with a life-size replica of an aeroplane built on it. Wondering if it is just cemented décor on the roof-top or are there any rooms in it ?
The magnificent ‘Jahaz Wali Kothi’ catches the eye of all passing this stretch of road for the first time. The Kothi (palatial home) is currently housing the fourth generation of residents. Now divided among three brothers, it screams for maintenance of its exteriors and of course the roof-top airplane structure that has made this entire area so famous and rather it is a landmark for the residents in the entire area.
Being so passionate about airplanes, its original owner Late Madhuri Sharan Rastogi had put all his thoughts together and very creatively built his home, wanting to live within it. He did not live long enough though to enjoy the pleasures of residing in it. The construction of this building started in 1955 and was completed within the next three years.
The building boasts of a three-storeyed ‘gol angan’ (circular courtyard) which was a rarity in contemporary architectural patterns. The silver-painted airplane was well ahead of its time with the lights and propellers, all in action. The propellers were attached to a pulley that could be operated through a rotary motor. Later, the damaged metallic propellers were replaced with the wooden ones. The airplane is well ventilated with the help of three equally placed circular openings. Not just for show, the airplane itself can accommodate 20-25 people within it.
If only the founder-designer would have lived long enough, he would have witnessed resized rooms, the absence of the ‘gol angan’, modernized interiors and the absence of a ‘bagiya’ (garden) in front. However, the back of the building still remains the same.
One of the inheritors, Manoj Rastogi enthusiastically shares all the information and also busts the myth that was around in the area that in the 1971 during the Indo-Pak war, the building was covered for security reasons. He hopes to get the building renovated some day with the consent of the other two brothers. “The desire to maintain the building and restore its lost glory has stopped us from making any changes to the exterior of the structure,” says Rastogi.
It appears that the owner of the building, Late Madhuri Sharan Rastogi wanted to give a message to his family to achieve the heights of the sky. Till date, this is the first and the only building in India having a replica of an airplane as a residential quarter.
LUCKNOWLEDGE is an initiative by Tornos. We do not intend to intrude your privacy and thus have an automated UNSUBSCRIBE system. At any point you may unsubscribe to our e-column or subscribe to it again through a link on our website. The above article is shared and in no way intends to violate any copy right or intellectual rights that always remains with the writer/publisher. This e-column is a platform to share an article/event/update with the netizens and educate them about Destination Lucknow.