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Sikander Bagh

skSikandar Bagh (Hindi: सिकन्दर बाग़, Urdu: سِکندر باغ‎), formerly known by the British as Sikunder/Sikandra/Secundra Bagh, is a villa and garden enclosed by a fortified wall, with loopholes, gateway and corner bastions, approx. 150 yards square, c. 4.5 acres (1.8 ha), located in the city of Lucknow, Oudh, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by the last Nawab of Oudh, Wajid Ali Shah (1822–1887), as a summer residence. The name of the villa signifies ‘”Garden of Sikandar”, perhaps after Alexander the Great,[2] whose name lives on in this form in these parts (compare Alexandria, Egypt, in Arabic الإسكندرية Al-Iskandariya), or perhaps after Sikandar Mahal Begum, the Nawab’s favourite wife. It was stormed in 1857 by the British during the Indian Mutiny and witnessed within its walls the slaughter of all 2,200[3]sepoy mutineers who had made it a stronghold during their Siege of Lucknow. The site now houses the National Botanical Research Institute of India.

 

Origin

The garden was laid out in about 1800 as a royal garden by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. It was later improved upon by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last native ruler of Oudh, during the first half of the 19th century, who used it as his summer villa. The garden has a small pavilion in the middle, which was likely the scene of innumerable performances of the Ras-lilas, and Kathak dances, music and poetic ‘mehfils’ and other cultural activities which the last Nawab had a great appreciation for, indeed possibly too great a one as history has judged him to have been over-fond of his leisure interests.

Places of Tourist Interest

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