Information on Lucknow History
Lucknows foundations were laid in
the 13th century a.d., a fairly recent date as compared to
other cities in India. Lakshman Tila, the central part of the city, is
believed to have been the site where a fort was built by a clan from
Bijnor. By the end of the 13th century a.d., the fort had fallen into
the hands of the Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur, who held it till a.d. 1476.
In the 1540s, the fort was annexed by the Sultan of Delhi, Sher Shah
Sur (reigned a.d. 1540-45).
During the Mughal Emperor Akbars reign (a.d. 1556-1605), Oudh,
as Lucknow was then called, flourished under imperial patronage. In
1724, the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah, appointed Nawab Sadat Khan
Burhan-ul-Mulk as the Governor of Oudh. Thus began the reign of the
Nawabs over Oudh, which continued till the close of the 18th century
¤ The Process of Modernizing The Town
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, who had his capital at Faizabad, was the last
Nawab of Oudh. In 1775, he shifted his capital to Lucknow, and
proceeded to modernise the town by building numerous
monuments. When the region was struck by a famine in 1784, Nawab
Asaf-ud-Daula offered food for work.
Under his directions and funding, work began on the Bara Imambara.
The generous Nawab, who employed more than 22,000 people, including
nobles, adopted a dual policy of construction. During the day, the
Imambara was built, and at night, the workers destroyed parts of what
had been built. This was to ensure that no one remained unemployed,
and the edifice was not completed too soon.
¤ Lucknow Came Under The Rule of British
By 1854, the British, under Lord Dalhousie, had taken Lucknow. An
unconcerned Nawab Wajid Ali Shah played chess while British troops
entered and occupied Lucknow. By the time he realised his folly, it
was too late. The British had come to stay.
In 1857, India revolted against British dominion. British troops in
and around Lucknow retreated to the Residency, with Indian sepoys and
civilians laying siege to the complex. When Sir Colin Campbell took on
the Indian forces in a bid to rescue his countrymen, the siege lasted
87 days during which cannon and small arms fire ruined the Residency.
After India gained independence from the British in 1947, Lucknow was
made the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Today, the city is a
busy political centre, and the hometown of Indias current Prime
Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.