Wajid Ali Shah, the last ruler of Lucknow
, was a talented composer as well as a distinguished exponent of
. He also had sound knowledge in art and architecture. He created numerous compositions under the pseudonym 'Aktharpiya' and his other pen name was Qaisar. He wrote over 40 books including a collection of poems, a collection of thumri
s, two collections of ghazal
s - 'Diwan-i-Akhtar' and 'Husn-i-Akhtar' - and a book on costume and stagecraft used in Kathak performances, 'Bani'. Wajid Ali Shah is also considered the first playwright of the Hindustani theater. He was also the first to conceptualize a zoo and was one of those who conceptualized Kolkata
's Alipore Zoo
. Deposed and exiled by the British, He died in 1887.