Landscape architecture is the design of open-air public areas, benchmarks, and constructions to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or appealing outcomes. Bulks of the buildings in Lucknow were built during the British or Mughal period, and the architectural styles of the buildings portray different shades. Most of them are found in the older parts of Lucknow. Religious buildings likeImambaras, mosques, some Islamic shrines and other secular constructions like enclosed gardens, baradaris, and palace complexes are among the few surviving architectural wonders.
Landscape architecture under the Mughals:
Landscape architecture under the Mughals as demonstrated by the large ornamental gardens which the rules laid out in numerous places is an important aspect of Mughal architecture. Maximum of the prime architectural projects of the Mughal rulers were bordered by park-like enclosures. Large gardens not linked with buildings were also created. It is formed by means of a sequence of rectangular terraces organized in descending levels to make sure a continuous flow of water throughout the entire system. The plan of the Mughal gardens is functioned out in a regular planning of squares, often sectioned into smaller squares to form the figure of the Char Bagh. Paved pathways and water channels follow the shapes of these squares, with oblique or curved lines used rarely or not at all. The water supply required to preserve such gardens was often brought in from far sources by means of canals, which were in themselves great feats of engineering.
Lucknow is a city with a rich historical background and cultural heritage. There are many ruins of old palaces in Lucknow that hint at the luxurious lifestyles of the old Nawabs of Lucknow. The city though small attracts several tourists and has its fair share of parks and other touristy spots. Several of its palaces have complementary gardens that have now been transformed into parks.
There is the Dilkusha garden, which is not only a gorgeous place but also counts amongst the ancient places of the city. The garden, as well as the DilkhushaKothi, is among the supreme significant structures in the city. It was in 1800 that Nawab Saadat Ali Khan along with his British friend Major Ouseley planned to construct DilkushaKothi with the intention to use the same as a hunting lodge. Later the place also functioned as a summer relaxation spot for the Nawabs. Situated on the banks of River Gomti, this is a giant structure and poles apart from traditional Indian architecture. There were some alterations in the design of the building which was implemented by NawabNasir-ud-din Haider during 1827-1837. However, the Palace was completely ruined at the time of LucknowSeige and on every wall, there were gunshot marks which screamed the sacrifice of brave freedom fighters. In November 1857, Sir Colin Campbell, who was the Commander-in- Chief then, took over the palace with the help of British forces.The chief building of DilkushaKothi is positioned in the western part of the north-south axis. This is solely made for the Nawab. It was a palace close to the hearts of Nawab and that is why it was titled Dilkusha(happy heart). It is designed in raised area facing west which can only be understood by seeing the bastions which flanked it. The ruins also provide proof of tiny rooms on one side in a series indicates that it was the guard room. The roof of the building was entirely destroyed at the time of war in 1857 damaging the eastern side more and thus ruining the architectural brilliance. However, with the initiative of the Government and Archaeological Survey of India, the Palace has been restored.
On the northeast of this building is another mansion which also has an Indo-European style and brilliant architecture. The double storied palace is made of Lakhauri bricks and lime mortar. With white plaster all over it looked totally stunning. The purpose of this places was to function as pleasure resorts and hunting lodges since the surrounding area were covered with dense jungles and fierce wild animals. In the present day, the gardens are visited by few people. It has been deduced that the reason may be the lack of profile-raising. There are a better number of visitors during the winter when foreign tourists constitute the normal visitors of families picnicking, school children and young couples. The Archaeological Society of India has done work to prevent further deterioration, carrying out gardening and small repairs.
Not all architectural features are old. In some recent structures, we can see some good examples of landscaping. Located in Gomti Nagar, ParkisPark is one of the utmost well-known picnic spots in Lucknow complete with an artificial lake. The park has been developed and maintained by the Lucknow Development Authority. Due to the lush greenery all around, and ample of types of flowers, trees, and the lake have led to the park being one amongst the natural and most striking places in the city.
Another example of landscape architecture is the Ambedkar Park in Lucknow. Spread over a large area in Gomti Nagar, it is one of the breathtaking places to see in Lucknow, especially at night when it is lit up beautifully. Designed entirely with red sandstone, it houses the memorial to different leaders such as Dr. BhimraoAmbedkar. Designed with a variety of steps and domes, the design of the park is such that it gives a feeling of endlessness to it.
A city famous for its gardens, where even places are named as Baghs, landscaping is not just an art; it’s a way of expressing the emotions of the people. Be it the historical monuments or the park around the city, the landscaping of Lucknow has provided its citizens with lush greenery to enjoy. Monuments like the Asif Mosque, The Tomb of Saadat Ali Khan, all have gardens to boast of. So the next time you visit a place, do not just glorify the beauty of the building, because of even the TajMahal, is incomplete without its gardens.