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Bhul Bhulaiya, Lucknow – Ticket Price, Timings, History

Bhul Bhulaiya, Lucknow - Ticket Price, Timings, History

The charming “City of nawabs”- Lucknow is brimming with historic grandeur, architecture, tonga rides, and food.

The city is the heart of North Indian culture.

Starting from the beautiful monuments, embroidery bazaars, dance, art forms, and interesting histories to the Awadhi cuisines and aromatic spices, Lucknow has it all.

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The flourishing rich city is famous for various historic monuments that you already know about in the pages of your history textbook.

One of the main attractions in Lucknow is Bhul Bhulaiya near Bara Imambara.

This ancient monument is known for its confusing interconnected passages, hence the name.

In this article, you will get to know the following points about the Bhul Bhulaiya in Lucknow,

  1. Ticket price
  2. Timings
  3. History
  4. Architecture
  5. Tour
  6. Places to stay
  7. Nearby attractions

Let’s see each of these points in detail…

Ticket Price of Bhul Bhulaiya Lucknow

The ticket price (entry fee) for Bhul Bhulaiya in Lucknow are,

Indian touristsINR 40 per person
Foreign touristsINR 500 for

Timings of Bhul Bhulaiya Lucknow

The Bhool Bhlaiya and the Bara Imambara remain open from 6:00 AM5:30 PM.

History of Bhul Bhulaiya

Bhool Bhulaiya (Mohammad Azahar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bhul Bhulaiya is the Bada Imambaras labyrinth and the most magnificent part of it. 

Every year many people travel to Lucknow to see the Bhulbhulaiya. 

Lucknow was previously known as Avadh. 

In 1784, Avadh was hit by devastating famine and due to this, the people were forced to live in utter poverty.

Food was scarce for both royal families and common people.

During the period, Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh, commissioned the building of Bara Imambara in order to produce income for the impoverished and unemployed. 

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The famine lasted about a decade, and so did the construction.

The Nawab employed around 20,000 individuals to build the spectacular Imambara.

The vast and majestic structure was completed after nearly a decade of development.

It is also known as the Asafi Imambara and is a center of prayer for Shia Muslims.

They congregate in the Imambara for various events, particularly Muharram.

Many of them believe that Bhool Bhaliya was constructed by architects from Persia (modern-day Iran), a renowned Shia state at the time, but the truth is slightly different.

When the Nawab decided to construct the massive structure, he invited bids, and it was won by Hafiz Kifayat Ullah, a well-known architect from Shahjahanabad (modern-day old Delhi) at the time.

Bhul Bhulaiya (Ishtman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

He started working on the structure in 1784 and was completed fourteen years later.

The architects worked for days, weeks, and months on the Bada Imambara and the other buildings in the complex including the mosque and the step-well.

The Central Hall (170ft x 55ft) was built without columns for prayer reasons!

It’s a massive structure, and conventional construction would have required columns to support the load of the ceiling, including the massive dome.

Unlike modern buildings, tremendous care was taken to design even this part of the Imambara as magnificently as the rest of it.

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As a result, there is a maze of interconnected tunnels and doorways.

There are approximately a thousand such passageways, and each channel leads from one way to the other.

Many of these tunnels lead to windows with magnificent views of the outside world, and some lead to the terrace.

Bhool Bhaliya cannot be imagined without the Bara Imambara.

It was for the Imamabara, the idea of Bhool Bhaliya clicked in the mind of the architect, Kifayatullah!

Architecture of Bhul Bhulaiya

(Abhijeet Kumar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bhul Bhulaiya is the iconic attraction in Lucknow with its stunning architecture. 

It is also a significant part of Lucknow’s Bara Imambara.

The entire Imambara, with its massive courtyard, is a spectacular sight to behold.

The maze-like network of numerous passageways and identical doors is fascinating.

Nawab Asaf-ud Daula planned to build the central hall without any supporting columns as he desired it to be huge (170 ft by 55 ft by 15 ft) in which people may pray together.

Traditional construction methods were not deployed for building the hall since such a massive structure would necessitate supporting columns to support the load of the ceiling and the massive dome.

The architect of Bara Imambara, Kifayatullah, had a brilliant idea to construct the ceiling hollow to lower its weight. 

And thus, was born Bhul Bhulaiya!

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It was designed to accommodate the central hall’s design. 

The Bhul Bhulaiya in Bara Imambara in Lucknow is a maze of intricately interwoven passageways. 

The entire structure was built in a unique style. 

There are strategically positioned windows to ensure adequate ventilation and sunlight during the day. 

All of this was done while keeping the structure of the Imambara’s palatial Central Hall in mind.

There are multiple narrow tunnels, yet they are all adequately ventilated allowing sufficient light and air to enter the hall.

There are about 1000 passages and 489 similar doorways here.

All the stunning architecture depicts intriguing tales and exemplifies an architectural masterpiece. 

Tour of Bhul Bhulaiya

As you enter the labyrinth, you will be routed towards 45 stairs. The tour to Bhul Bhulaiya begins from these staircases. 

You can then pass through several passageways and corridors. 

It is very easy to get lost in the labyrinth and it may take some time to find your way out.

There are some tricks and trips to find the way out. If you hire a guide, they can reveal those secrets to you.

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There are a few passageways that are blocked. The ceilings and dimly illuminated passages create an ominous atmosphere.

You can also go to the building’s roof.

The terrace, with its beautifully crafted windows called jharokha, is a lovely spot. 

The entire facility can be seen from the rooftop.

You can also see the Rumi Darwaza, Asifi Masjid, Hussainabad Clock Tower, and a beautiful view of Lucknow by the Gomti River, from the top. 

As per the guides, there is also a secret tunnel that leads to Delhi.

There are numerous stories and trivia about the location. 

Every day many travelers visit Bhool Bhulaiya to view and click pictures of this spectacular spot.

These impressive features are the main attractions of Bhool Bhulaiya along with the perplexing mazes of the passages.

Places to stay and eat near Bhool Bhulaiya

There are many accommodations where you can choose to stay near the Bhool Bhulaiya.

Clarks Avadh, Raghubar Kripa, JC Guest House, Hotel Levana, and Hotel Gemini Continental are some of the best-staying options in Lucknow near Bhool Bhulaiya.

You will be provided with all the key amenities and services in these hotels.

You can live comfortably in these hotels and will also be provided with good food there. 

Rumi gate Lucknow, Sunday Kababi, and Royal Cafe are some of the good restaurants near Bhool Bhulaiya where you can enjoy delicious meals and kababs. 

Other attractions near Bhul Bhulaiya Lucknow

The Asifi Mosque, the Baoli, and Chhota Imambara are some of the prime attractions other than Bhool Bhulaiya.

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People also admire the beauty of the sunset just behind the Asifi mosque. 

Lucknow is a wonderful place and this city of the Nawab beckons thousands of travelers every day to rediscover its charm and beauty.

One visit is not enough to appreciate the beauty of the magnificently carved monuments with impressive architecture.


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