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Garden of Musa Bagh, Lucknow, India

October 25, 2021
Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Shah Alam II 1759–1806

Garden of Musa Bagh, Lucknow, India



Garden of Musa bagh, Lucknow, India Created / Published [between 1803 and 1919] Notes - Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve. - Date from negatives in same range. - Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947. - This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings. History of Musa Bagh The 5th Nawab of the Province of Awadh, Nawab Saadat Ali Khan built a beautiful kothi (palace) at the picturesque Musa Bagh on the banks of the river Gomti. The kothi incorporated subtle French architectural inputs and featured big attractive gardens. Musa Bagh Kothi was developed during the reign of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan for leisure and recreational activities.

The kothi was built under the supervision of the Nawab’s close confidant Aazam-ud-Daulah. The Nawabs and foreign dignitaries, mostly Europeans, used the place for leisure, to enjoy the fights between animals such as rhinos, elephants, tigers and wild buffalos at the Musa Bagh. Nawab Ghazi-ud-Din Haider and his son Naseer-ud-Din Haider offered Musa Bagh to the British as an alternative site to the Residency but the British administration refused the offer. Later, the British expelled the rulers of their property with the help of an illegal annexation. The Musa Bagh Kothi had earthenware conduits that were attached to the vents on the flat rooftop. This unique architectural arrangement was made inside the kothi to facilitate proper ventilation and cooling, particularly during the hot summer days. The moist earth surrounding the kothi being close to Gomti River provided additional cooling during the summer season. The kothi also had a beautiful semi-circular porch opening to the view of the Gomti River. The place was also the strong citadel of Prince Birjis Qadr and Begum Hazrat Mahal during the Uprising of 1857. The kothi was attacked by the British troops under the leadership of General Outram.

Nearly, five hundred mutineers were killed and all their arms and ammunition were captured at Musa Bagh. Strangely enough, the Uprising of 1857 both started and concluded at the Musa Bagh. During the rebellion, the 7th Awadh Irregular Cavalry was based at Musa Bagh. According to some historical narrations, some soldiers of the 7th Awadh Irregular Cavalry refused to bite the cartridges sealed with cows’ fat citing religious reasons. Sir Henry Lawrence is said to have ordered that all their arms be confiscated if the soldiers refused to use these cartridges. Events began to unfold at the Musa Bagh after this incident. During the struggle of Uprising of 1857 at Musa Bagh, Captain Wales of the British Regiment was fatally injured and died on 21st March 1858. He is buried within the premises of Musa Bagh Kothi and an enclosure is made for his mazar (grave). As an act of reverence or religious myth, local people offer wine, meat and even cigarettes on the mazar of Captain Wales when their personal wishes are fulfilled.


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


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