You all would agree with me that weekends are the most magical days of the week. Ideally, I would just stay at home and do nothing. The mere thought of catching an extra hour of sleep , not following the clock or meeting any deadline is enough to cheer me up . But there is also a part of me that says weekends are also for scaling mountain heights and measuring the depths of the oceans or in easier terms just stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new and exciting. Right ?
Today, on a fine Sunday, we did exactly that. Now that the kids are growing up and showing a deep interest in history, I often find them asking many questions related to the history of the city where we live ( Lucknow) . I have to confess here that even I don't know much about it which is really sad . I feel, kids must have a sense of belonging to the place where they spend their childhood and must know their roots so we have kept aside one Sunday a month to explore our city and learn something about the places and monuments here.
Today we visited the British Residency that is located in the heart of the city and covers 33 acres of land next to the river Gomti.
It was built in 1800 and became the refuge of 3000 British inhabitants during the revolt of 1857. It served as a residence of the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of the Nawab. In 1857, the place witnessed a prolonged battle which is also known as the siege of Lucknow. This began on the 1st of July and continued till the 17th of November.
It is now in ruins and has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Residency still has within it's walls, the graves of around 2000 British soldiers who died in the revolt of 1857. It is said that the British fled their homes and took shelter in these red buildings. Only a thousand inhabitants survived this ordeal.
The houses and offices in the residency suffered heavy damages due to shelling and some structures were completely razed to the ground. The Residency complex today consists of ruins of several buildings, each ruin has it's own story to tell about the events of 1857.
As we look down from the first floor to the ground floor.
So, that was a Sunday well spent. Hope you liked this little tour. If you ever visit Lucknow, do visit this place. The lovely greenery amidst the ruins, the friendly dogs and the extra friendly squirrels will make the visit more enjoyable. There is a history behind every place and this has a history screaming out of every corner, every wall, every ruin. It's a peaceful place , cannot imagine what is was when the mutiny broke out. What remains today is a peaceful reminder of the uprising of 1857, the first war of India's independence.