Bara Imambara - Lucknow

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About 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 the term Imambara refers to a shrine dedicated for Azadari purpose by the Shiite Muslims, who gather there to observe Muharram. Among all the buildings of Lucknow it is the grandest.

The galleries and corridors within the great Imambara form a complicated and intricate labyrinth (bhool-bhuliya) through which at times it is difficult to find your way. Its terrace provides a fine view of the Lucknow city. During one of his visits to the site, the pleasing aroma of food being cooked in giant ovens attracted the Nawab. It is here when he discovered the Dum process of cooking, wherein the food is cooked slowly in its own steam, which lends a unique aroma and flavor to the food. Impressed with the process, he ordered the royal kitchen to practice the same method of cooking.