year the historic city of Lucknow observes the rituals of Muharram, the Islamic
month commemorative of the martyrdom of the family of prophet Muhammad. The
city is overcome with grief as thousands of Shia Muslims ritually mourn the
carnage at Karbala. Along with people of other faiths, they gather in processions
that wind through the city during the months of Muharram and Safar, and attend
the concomitant religious assemblies (Majlis) held in the Imambadas and private
households which resound with the cries of Ya Husain!. The processions gather,
begin and conclude at the various Imambadas, which were built by the Nawabs and
their associates for the observances of Muharram.
Imambadas are the glorious examples of the local craftsmanship, ambitious
engineering, monumental imagination and experimentation in Indo Islamic style
or the “house of the Imam” was built by the rulers of Awadh who were primarily
Shia by faith for the purpose of Azadari.