|orchard, Charbagh station,Lucknow. Azhar Khan Photo-WordPress.com|
Among the more than 7000 railway stations in India, Lucknow's Charbagh station is considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world and its beauty and grandeur can be matched only by a few Indian station buildings. Architecturally, it is an outstanding building that has a unique aura about it.
The Lucknow city, UP has two railway stations - one is just railway station (official name Lucknow NR, station code LKO) for broad gauge trains and the , other being "Lucknow Jn" (station code "LJN"). Lucknow NR Railway Station (Charbagh) is of particular interest to us because, it is a major hub for the Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway system (MEMU). Lucknow has 13 railway stations connecting various parts of the suburban areas.
During the British Raj, a decade later after the major rebellion against the East India company's misrule, on 23 April 1867, the 47 mile Lucknow-Kanpur section was opened for traffic and it was part of the Oudh Rohilkhand Railway. From 1925 to 1952, the present Lucknow division was operating under East Indian Railway, serving 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with a total route of 1,458.94 km (906.54 mi), through 194 stations. It is a major hub between Kanpur and Lucknow.
|Lucknow Charbagh railway station. TrekEarth|
|Lucknow Charbagh railway station. RailYatri.in|
The architect of Charbagh railway station building is J. H.Hornimen and Chaubey Mukta Prasad, a consulting engineer for Ms Lanebrown and Hulett played a crucial role in major planning and design work. The building' foundation stone was laid on 21 March 1914 by Bishop George Herbert and it took 9 long years to complete the building in 1923. A huge sum of ₹ 70 lakhs was spent on the building, The unusual feature of this railway building is: 01. It has a large garden in front of the building, 02. The aerial view of Charbagh railway station, brings out a stunning view as if the entire railway station that looks like a chess board and the domes and pillars of the building appear to be pieces on the board. 03. Tunnels (subway) below the Station are now used for moving goods safely from one platform to another: It is most helpful to those who find it difficult to climb the stairs. 04. If standing on the porch of the station, you cannot listen the noise coming off the moving trains.
From design and planning point of view,, it is considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. The Government Railway Police station at Lucknow's Charbagh railway station holds an ISO 9001 certificate.
The ground plan is rectangular in shape with projecting porticoes. There are several towers and clusters of circular Awadhi domes. The wide, raised platforms have several halls and rooms for official purposes.