The Bada Imambada is Asia’s largest hall without any external support of wood, iron or stone beams. The hall, located in Lucknow
, in Uttar Pradesh
, was built by the ruler of Lucknow, Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784. The Persian architect, Kifait-ullah supervised the construction of this building. The Bada Imambada is the showpiece of Nawabi architecture.
The hall boasts of an interior length of 49.4 m and width of 16.2 m. The ceiling is more than 15 m high. The roof is said to be 16 feet thick and to weigh nearly 20,000 tons. There are no steel girders or beams to uphold the ceiling. There are three halls under the same roof. The Persian Hall is the central hall. The second hall, the China Hall, is square at ground level, becomes octagonal at mid-height and 16 sided at the top. The dome of India Hall, the third hall, has been fashioned like a watermelon. The common roof these halls is flat and in one piece. The hall boasts of an excellent system of acoustics, where even the slightest whisper can be heard at the other corner of the hall. There is a labyrinth of nearly 1000 inter-connected passages, leading to the terrace, forming a maze. There is also a magnificent mosque within the Imambada courtyard and a five storied bathing tank.