Chota Imambara also known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak is an imposing monument located in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Built as an imambara or a congregation hall for Shia Muslims, by Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh in 1838, it was to serve as his own mausoleum and his mother, who is buried beside him.
The significance of Panjetan, the holy five, is once again emphasized here with five main doorways. This Imambara consist of two halls and a Shehnasheen (a platform where the Zarih of Imam Husain is kept.) Zarih is the replica of that protective grill or structure which is kept on the grave of Imam Husain at Karbala, Iraq.
The large green and white bordered hall of Azakhana is richly decorated with chandeliers and a good number of crystal glass lamp-stands. In fact, it was for this profuse decoration that the Imambara was referred by European visitors and writers as The Palace of Lights. The exterior is very beautifully decorated with Quranic verses in Islamic calligraphy .
It is situated near the Bara Imambara and on the connecting road stands an imposing gateway known as Rumi Darwaza. The building is also known as the Palace of Lights because of its decorations and chandeliers during special festivals, like Muharram.
The chandeliers used to decorate the interior of this building were brought from Belgium. Also housed within the building, is the crown of Muhammad Ali Shah and ceremonial tazias. Thousands of labourers worked on the project to gain famine relief.
It has a gilded dome and several turrets and minarets. The tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and other members of his family are inside the imambara. This includes two replicas of the Taj Mahal, built as the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah's daughter and her husband. The walls are decorated with Arabic calligraphy.
Water supply for the fountains and the water bodies inside the imambara came directly from the Gomti River.