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Lucknow - Overview

The city of Lucknow as we known it today came into existence in the 13th century AD. Lakshman Tila, the central part of the city, was the site of a fort built by a clan from Bijnor. By the end of the 13th century AD, the fort had been taken over by the Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur, who held it till 1476. In the 1540s, the fort was annexed by the Sultan of Delhi, Sher Shah Suri. During the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Oudh as Lucknow was then known as, flourished. In 1724, the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah appointed Nawab Sadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk as the Governor of Oudh. It is from then onwards that the reign of the Nawabs over Oudh began till the18th century. Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula shifted his capital to Lucknow from Faizabad. He was the one who built a number of monuments, the most famous being the Bara Imambara. The Nawab started work on the Imambara when a famine struck the region in 1784. He offered 'food for work' employing more than 22,000 people, including nobles. The Nawab adopted an unique policy: the Imambara was built during the day, 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.

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