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We all like to travel the whole world, what comes to our mind first is to travel abroad and then to our own country. I also thought of the same. Many places in the world eventually converted into tourist destinations. And we dream of visiting there once in our life. I dreamed too.
But there are places in this world that are still unexplored, and if you get to know about such sites, you’ll wonder what wonders can bring to you. And again, it happened to me too.
Many people are die-hard fans of travelling, and many travels around to conquer the world and die like a superhero. Yes, I am talking about the great emperors who ruled, and when they were martyred, they made it a glorifying subject by creating a crematory for themselves before they died.
One such crematorium is Gulab Bari, situated in Faizabad, Ayodhya (then Awadh or Oudh), constructed by then emperor Shuja-ud-Daulah, the third Nawab of Awadh. And I visited there.
I got mesmerised and astonished at the same time by seeing the beauty that the monument holds. And I couldn’t stop myself from sharing my experience. So while talking about it, the first thing you should know about it is What Gulab Bari is?
About Gulab Bari
Gulab Bari, as implied, Gulab means Rose, and Bari means garden. It means a garden of roses. And I bet this is the most beautiful garden I have ever seen and that too only of roses. But, but, but there is a crematory too. Sounds exciting? Right?
Yes, this is the crematory of the then emperor Shuja-ud-Daulah, built on a vast land, in the middle of the garden along with his mother’s and father’s crematory on either side. History says Shuja-ud-Daulah ruled between 1753 and 1775. He built his whole empire beautifully. He made Faizabad the capital of Awadh at that time. Gulab Bari is an exquisitely designed architecture of that time. Chief Advisor Darab Ali built it under his reign.
Each monument built by him is a piece of architectural art. Like Gulab Bari, Moti Mahal and Bahu Begam’s tomb are the best creations of that time. And these are worth visiting. All these monuments were later declared National Importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remain Act 1958.
How is Gulab Bari designed?
Gulab Bari is one of the most popular attractions of Faizabad. There are several exciting things that my eyes didn’t believe. It has a charming lush green garden with beds of roses of different varieties, paving the way to the main building, giving it a heavenly look. This garden is designed so that it can attract nature lovers from all over the place. The mesmerising part of the monument is its building structure carved in an Islamic style along with the rose’s garden. A flower that not only Shuja-ud-Daulah loves the most, but everyone loves it.
The tomb of Shuja-ud-Daulah, known as Gulab Bari, is surrounded by a boundary wall built with Lakhauri bricks. It has two large gates that mark a grand entrance to the tomb. At the garden entrance, there is a large pillar that welcomes you with a well-maintained walkway. It has coconut trees on either side which leads to the ancient arched gateway. It also has a beautiful mosque with a watchtower alongside it. Walking through the gateway you’ll experience the history and talent of art that our ancestors have carved on it and left for us to feel proud of.
The Shuja-ud-Daulah’s tomb is a double-storey building. It is built in a square-shaped structure with a verandah on each side. The upper storey has a three-arched façade while the dome of the central chamber looks like a crown, shaped like a metal finished Inverted Lotus.
Talking with the locals you get to know much more about the place that even Google or any search engine can’t tell you sometimes. Gulab Bari is not only a tourist place but a holy place too. It’s a place of worship and various cultural events are performed there by locals. There is a saying about the monument: a tunnel underneath the memorial connected with the Bauli in Lucknow, used as a hiding place for successors of Shuja-ud-Daulah.
More about Gulab Bari
But why only roses? I know you must be wondering this question. So there is a story, or you instead say it has a history behind it too. The emperor of that time believes that there must be something in their living places that is unique and carries a meaning with it. So why not roses? Because the fragrance of roses gives relief to your busy mind. So, when Nawabs walk around their garden to get relief, these flowers allow them to concentrate on work and make good decisions. Nawabs also take care of their military and servants. So they made small house-like structures around the main building that served as a rest area or cabin for soldiers and house for servants.
But how a person in India is complete without their life partner. So there is also a story associated with Shuja-ud-Daulah’s wife, Bahu Begum, who married him in 1743. She continued to live in Faizabad at her residence in Moti Mahal. It is considered to be one of the most exemplary built architecture of its kind in Awadh. You can view the whole city from the top of Begum’s tomb. She is a woman of dignity and pride. Most of the buildings in Faizabad are devoted or gifted to her. In 1816 after her death, she was buried in Jawahar Bagh, close to her residence.
Fall of the Awadh
But like every other popular saying, there is a famous saying too that “Whatever starts came to an end one day”. When an empire stands, it sees its decline too. Shuja-ud-Daulah made Faizabad its capital. During his reign, he built huge and beautiful Islamic Architectural buildings in the city which attained prosperity. And they still look the same as if they were built some months ago. It doesn’t make me feel that I am in a historic place. It felt like you were a part of it.
Then Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah shifted the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow during his reign. The prosperity of Faizabad fell after the death of Bahu Begum in 1816. The esteem and glory of Faizabad started gradually declining, and Awadh was annexed.
Roadmap to Gulab Bari
So, if you liked my experience and planning to visit such a place that you have never heard of, let me tell you its roadmap so you won’t mess up around the city. While Ayodhya and Faizabad are not puzzled lane cities but a map can help you a lot. So, to fetch the cultural and architectural beauty in Hanuman Garhi, Janki Mahal, Kanak Bhawan, Ram Mandir, Ram ki Paidi, Gulab Bari, Bahu Begam’s Tomb, Moti Mahal, etc., you must come to Ayodhya. These places are open on all days from 4 am to 7 pm. Entry is free of cost. It also has a wheelchair accessible entrance. Sites can reach it by taking any cycle rickshaw or battery rickshaw from any part of the city.
Must-Visit Once and Keep Travelling…!