Lucknow was one of the most flourishing cities that have a great extent and picturesque appearance before mutiny. Did you know that apart from the most popular Residency, Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, there are other heritage sites which are little known but a must include in your heritage walk list? Here we present the legends behind such little known mansions that would help you know Lucknow better.
Hyat Buksh Kothi:
Known as Governor House of today’s Lucknow, Hyat Buksh Kothi was built during the reign of Nawab Sadat Ali Khan (1798-1814) and was originally used by the General Martin as his Powder Magazine. After the annexation of province it was occupied by the Major Banks who was the then commissioner of Lucknow who was assassinated in the Residency and after the name of whom the road was built.
It was within the confines of this building where the Hodson’s Horse was expired. This position was captured on the 18th March 1850 by General Sir Edward Lugard. On the advance of Sir Colin Campbell to the Relief of Residency, this house was captured by Brigade Russel and held during the remainder of the operations by 50 men of the 2nd P.I. under Lt. F Keen.
Dar-ul-Shafa Kothie (house of curing or Hospital), now forms the residence of Secretary to His Honor, the Lieutenant Governor during his stay at Lucknow. It was originally constructed and owned by Mr. Joseph Queros, but after his death in the year 1822 the building was sold by his heirs, to King Nasir-ud-din Hyder, who, having recovered here from a fit of illness and gave building this name.
Located in a crowded area of Lucknow called Laalbag, this mansion is used by the Ministers of Legislature as their residence whenever vacant.
Now General Post Office of Lucknow, it was the residence of Malka Ahud, queen of the King Amjad Ali Shah. The mansion was erected in the year 1844. It was this place where Major Hodson, a gallant officer, received his death wound. The building was stormed on the 11th March 1858 and in two hours from this time the assault started. Over 800 rebels were killed along with the Major. Some experts believe that the area around Janpath is the place where the Kothie was once existed.
Noor Buksh Kothie:
Noor Buksh (light giving) Kothie is occupied by the Deputy Commissioner. From the top of this house Sir Henry Havelock, in his advance to the relief, had overlooked the enemy’s third line of defenses and planed his way into the Kaiser Bagh. The walls of this building bore the impression of cannons that was fired at him.
The mansion that is in the dilapidated state just opposite to Makbara Amjad Ali Shah is now occupied by the City Magistrate. The building is named so because its walls are decorated from outside with Kunker (a quarry rubble used for metalling road.)
People visiting to Lucknow from far and wide know the city for Imambaras and Residency. Staying far away from the limelight these mansions have kept the rich legacy of Lucknow in them silently.