Aminabad, Lucknow

Aminabad (Hindi: अमीनाबाद, Urdu: امین آباد‎) Aminabad Bazaar is one of oldest market centers in the city of Lucknow along with Chowk, Nakhas and Hazratganj. Its traders and shops are involved in both wholesale and retain commerce. The main commodities and goods traded are clothes, Chikan embroidery work, spices, dry snacks, hosieries and wedding decorations. In fact, Aminabad is a combination of various markets, cluster of houses, offices and is often compared to the bustling Chandani Chowk of Delhi.

HistoryEdit

The year the market place came into being is not clear. But by all accounts it was during the rule of the Nawabs that the place got its present basic form and name.

According to the most credible version of the history the land on which Aminabad stands belonged to Rani Jai Kunwar Pandey. The Rani, besides being a vassal of the Mughals, was also a very good friend of the wife of Khadija Khanam, the Begum (wife) of the first Nawab of Oudh, Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk, who was also the Grand-Wazir of the Mughal Empire.[1]

The Rani gifted constructed a Mosque on this land and gifted it to her good friend, the wife of the Nawab. This 18th century Mosque, known as Padain Ki Masjid (The Brahmin Woman's Mosque), still stands in Aminabad. The maqbara of Begum Khadija Khanam was also constructed in front of the masjid, but it has been lost to the vagaries of time, though the grave is still to be seen.[1]

By the time the Nawabs moved their court from Faizabad to Lucknow, the site had become a center of activity and irregular commerce like weekly market etc.. It was a part of the city known as Masarratganj. The actual land on which Aminabad later was built had passed under the possession of Sikandar Shikoh, a son of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. After the death of Sikandar Shikoh his wife became custodian of the property in Masarratganj and she sold it for Rs.2800/- to Nawab Imdad Husain Khan Aminuddaulah, who was the Prime Minister of Nawab Amjad Ali Shah, the fourth Nawab of Lucknow. This was around 1840s.

Aminuddaulah was a visionary and he took upon the task of metamorphosing this area into a developed zone. Over the following years concrete houses, shops and parks replaced the thatched huts and ramshackle shelters in the open fields. Traders, craftsmen and entertainers were encouraged to set up their establishments. Four gates had been erected on all the four sides and each gate had an adjoining mosque. The biggest gate known as Kalaan Phatak was at the main crossing and the mosque near it was also called Kalaan Phatak Masjid. Towards the west was the smaller Khurd Gate near Mehra Cinema on Gwynne Road. The gates no longer exist but the mosques are still there and are known by their original names. Aminuddaulah also initiated the construction of a big park in the open space within the rows of the newly opened shops during this time.

After the revolt of 1857 the rule of the Nawabs came to an end and the Aminabad came under British rule. After the mutiny of 1857, the entire area came under the rule of the British. Later in 1905 Lt. Governor Sir J.D. Latouche, visited Aminabad and ordered its renovation. It was then that Loutouche Road leading to this market came into existence and till date is called so. The renovated Aminabad was inaugurated by Sir Loutouche himself in 1911.[2]

Meanwhile, Babu Ganga Prasad Varma came to live in Aminabad in 1910 and designed the market with big corridors so that roads could be used for walking Ganga Prasad memorial hall was built by him for public functions. He was the one who came up with Goonge Nawab Park.[3]

In 1912 the British government made a master plan for this area and, as per the plan, roads on all the four side of this park were laid out and the park came to be known as Aminuddaulah Park. In the following years the importance and stature of Chowk and Nakhas bazaar started receding and Aminabad gained ascendancy, and Aminuddaulah Park became not only the talk of the town but the nation itself. In 1928 it was at this park where during the struggle for independence the freedom fighters first hoisted the tri-colour. That eventful day was followed by the address to the nation by Mahatma Gandhi for the civil disobedience movement. Many more leaders including Jawahar Lal Nehru, Atal Bihari Bajpayee and Subhash Chandra Bose gave fiery speeches for independence at this platform. The huge congregation that had gathered at Aminuddaulah Park to listen to Jawahar Lal Nehru was brutally lathi-charged by the British force and several people, including Nehru, got hurt. Gulab Singh Lodhi had climbed up a tree in the park and hoisted the tri-colour flag. The British police shot him down and later on his statue was installed in the centre of the park and still stands there. The park by now had acquired the name of Jhandewala Park because flags of various Indian political parties fluttered here. Prior to independence the literati of the city had made Aminabad their place of dwelling and they eagerly awaited the leading Indian newspapers like Humdum, Haqeeqat and Pioneer each morning. Newspaper vendors would come to the main crossing early morning and their wares were sold till late evening. The writers, poets and educationists even then frequented Danish Mahal in the ground floor of Central Hotel, and the nearby Siddiq Book Depot and Anwar Book Depot. There was a time when at these erudite centres one could have come across the likes of Syed Masood Hasan Rizvi, Dr. Shujaat Ali Sandilavi, Josh Malihabadi, Prof. Ehtesham Husain, Nawab Mir Jafar Ali Khan ‘Asar’, Majaz and many more. The owner of Danish Mahal, Nasim Ahmad, who passed away recently, was not only well-conversant with all kinds of books, but was also familiar with the persona and wherewithal of the stalwarts of the town.[4]

Since the time of Nawabs, the market boasts of its unmatched fashion, and being one of the oldest markets, it is still surrounded by buildings and architectures of nawabi era.

ShopsEdit

Shops sell fashion products, interior decoration, bed sheets bed Covers, carpets, ornaments, jewelry, fashion garments, fancy dresses, chikan kurta, chikan sarees and other women's wear, chikan menswear, footwear and other such apparel. Most products are locally produced. A special attraction is Thursday's footpath market.

Among the less wide streets of the nawabi times, the market shows off a wide variety of products on sale. In spite of being congested at times, Aminabad is a colorful, vibrant and a lively market to shop, and with products ranging from gold and silver to jewelry and ornaments, chikan kurtas to fancy sarees loaded with embroidery, from Lucknawi paan (betel leaves) to bakeries.

Eateries include non-vegetarian restaurants, sweet shops, bakeries and paan shops, including Tunday Kababi, Wahid Biryani and Alamgir, Kalika Chat House

Some of the oldest shops are Om Prakash Seth, Madan Sarees, Dupatta Mahal, Sargodha Cloth House, Sri Keshav Handloom, Keshav Decor. Aminabad has been a business center for traders, merchants, craftsmen and artists since the 18th century.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Jhandewala Park – The Lucknow Observer". lucknowobserver.com.
  2. ^ "Aminabad Shophistory Walk". Tornos India.
  3. ^ "Lucknow: Clearing encroachments in Aminabad a tough nut to crack". Hindustan Times. 22 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Aminabad – The Lucknow Observer". lucknowobserver.com.

.Coordinates: 26°50′47.44″N 80°56′48.06″E / 26.8465111°N 80.9466833°E / 26.8465111; 80.9466833