A delight for history and art admirers, Hussainabad Picture Gallery boasts a rich collection of portraits of Nawabs of Awadh. Lies near the Hussainabad Clock Tower and the Chhota Imambara, Hussainabad Picture Gallery is reckoned to be one of the oldest picture galleries in Lucknow. Built in the year 1838 in a historical building by third Nawab - Mohammad Ali Shah, this picture gallery once served as the summer home of the royals of Lucknow. The imposing historical architecture wherein the much famed Hussainabad Picture Gallery is located is renowned by the name ‘Baradari’, which means ‘twelve doorways’. This historical building in Lucknow has around 30 stairs that lead to the picture gallery. Besides, there is a gorgeous pond right in front of the gallery which is surrounded by trees and verdant lawns.
Upon entering the gallery, there is the main hall which is magnificently adorned with life-size portraits of Nawab of Awadh. Taking you back to the 19th century when Lucknow was the realm of Nawabs, the exhibits depict the culture and the lifestyle of this royal clan. Not just this, the gallery also includes pictures of officials and administrators of British era. The exhibits presented at Hussainabad Picture Gallery are painted by artists from India as well as Europe. However, the most enticing feature of their portraits is the high level of detailing; on keen observation, even a tiny detail can be seen such as the royal accessories or shoes. It is believed that the portraits are beautifully painted on elephant skin. Such is magnificence of the craftsmanship that each portrait has an element of optical illusion.
The complex of this popular tourist place in Lucknow once also had a mosque. Besides, the front area of the building was once used as the inn for horses and elephants and was also the venue for the market - Mina Bazar. An important fact related to this historical building is that for the first time in the history of Nawabi architecture, iron pillars were used in this structure, which can still be seen in the upper storey pavilion.
The entry fee to Hussainabad Picture Gallery differs for Indian and foreign tourists. There are packages to choose from in order to visit the place.
- Adults: 20 INR per head
- Children: 10 INR per head
For Foreigners: 200 INR per head (including Shahi Hamam)
For both Indian and international tourists, there is a package which includes a visit to Picture Gallery, Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara, Bhool-Bhulaiya, Shahi Baoli and Shahi Hamam at just 50 INR per head (for Indians) and 500 INR per head (for foreigners).
- Life-size portraits that give people an understanding of the Awadh culture and lifestyle.
- The portraits at Hussainabad Picture Gallery are pictured by artists from Europe and India.
- The exhibits at the gallery are pictured in such a way that every tiny detail is clearly visible.
- The building in which the picture gallery is located, was once the summer home of Nawabs.
- An interesting feature of this historical building is that the construction includes the iron pillars that were used for the first time in Awadh architectural design.
Hussainabad Picture Gallery operates from Saturday to Thursday (Friday Closed). One can visit the place on these days between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.