Top 5 Little Known Facts about Wajid-Ali-Shah That Would Surprise You!
Beauty of the landscape around and the grandeur of minarets and domes will inspire your awe. There would be no exaggeration to term this heritage of Lucknow as city’s proud. This unparalleled beauty of the Kaiserbagh Palace was one of the well-planned works of grandeur by the last ruler of Awadh, Wajid-Ali-Shah. Little is known about the tenth and the last Nawab of Awadh who ruled for 9 years beginning from 1847 to 1856. He is credited for the revival of Kathak (classical Indian dance) in Awadh.
Widely-known to the world as voluptuary, he never touched wine.
The world knows Wajid-Ali-Shah as a detached and debauched ruler but as a matter of fact that despite being sunk in pleasure, he never touched wine in life and he never missed the daily ritual of 5 prayers (As quoted by Dr. G.D. Bhatnagar in ‘Awadh under Wajid Ali Shah.’). This artistic attainment distinguished the last ruler of Awadh with his contemporaries.
His second wife Begum Hazart Mahal was the icon of India’s first freedom struggle.
Yes! His second wife Begum Hazart Mahal was a great valour who played a key role in India’s first War of Independence. Known as Begum of Awadh (Oudh), she was given the title of ‘Lakshmi Bai of Oudh’ for her immense support to the mutineers like Nana Saheb. She was well-known for her courage shown against the British forces of in the First Revolt of Independence. She was thoroughly devoted to her people and went on fortifying Lucknow against the British troops.
The Nawab was succeeded to the Throne at an immensely turbulent time.
The British had annexed much of the Kingdom under 1801 treaty and Wajid Ali Shah was ascended the Oudh throne when the British East India Company was resolute to grab the popular throne of prosperous Awadh. He succeeded as a ruler of Awadh because he was a capable administrator. He took a keen interest in introducing reforms and reorganized military.
He himself wrote and performed Ghazals.
As known he was a great poet and a patron of music. A large number of composers thrived under his patronage. He was the one who enriched the light classical form of Thumri (romantic devotional literature). Not only did he patronize music, drama and poetry but he was himself a great composer and performer ‘ghazals.’ Actually, he was a great connoisseur of art in various forms as well which reflected in the beauty of Kaiserbagh palace.
When he was dethroned he decided to plead his case and expose the conduct of British East India Company to the British public.
Hardly any other Nawab had experienced such vicissitudes of life as Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. It is said that when British took over Awadh and unceremoniously divested Wajid Ali Shah of his throne and crown, he decided to plead his case and expose the conduct of company to the British public. For this purpose he left Lucknow on 13th March 1856 at 8.pm with 300 people from his court and his first wife Masshuq Mahal.
On our curated walking tour “Wajid Ali Shah Walk” you explore the beautiful Kaiserbagh Palace Complex and reconstruct the area with the help of old pictures and maps and get treated with a cup of coffee at the Kotwara house.