Lucknow: Culture, History 1
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The Lakshman connection
Two of the chapters in Ankaha Lucknow, launched by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in May 2018, are titled ‘Laxman Tila’ and ‘Virasat ke saath chher-chhar’ (Messing with heritage). Tandon wrote, “Purana Lucknow Laxman Tile ke aas paas basaa tha. Chaahe Mughal kaal ho, Aurangzeb ke samay ek masjid ka nirmaan ho, Mohammed Ali Shah ka mazaar ho, Naubat Khana ho, Itra Bagh ho, Alvida Ground ho, chaahe angrezon ka kaal ho, Nawabi kaal ho, aazaadi ke kuchh dashak baad ho… Laxman Tila hamesha Laxman Tila raha. Ab Laxman Tila ka naam poori tarah mitaa diya gaya hai aur yeh sthan aaj Tile wali masjid ke naam se jaana ja raha hai. (Old Lucknow was settled around Laxman Tila. During the time of the Mughals, the Nawabs, the British, and until a few decades after Independence; the construction of the mosque in Aurangzeb’s reign, mazaar of Ali Shah, Naubat Khana, Alvida Ground, Itra Bagh, Laxman Tila remained Laxman Tila. But now its name has been removed, and that place is known by the name of Tile wali masjid.)”
The name of the city had changed from “Laxmawati to Laxmanpur to Lakhnawati to finally Lucknow”, he wrote. He said the city had been given to Laxman by Ram, and Aurangzeb had built the Tile wali masjid on the mound of the ancient settlement. The mound should be explored for archaeological remains, Tandon said.
In his book Purana Lucknow, historian Abdul Halim Sharar wrote that while no one knows for sure who established the city and how it got its name, based on certain findings and ancient folklore, it can be surmised that after Lord Ram returned from exile, this land was given to his brother Laxman.
A hamlet was established around a tila, which came to be known as Laxmanpur, and the tila became popular as Laxman Tila, Sharar wrote. It was believed that a cave lay concealed within the depths of the tila, he wrote.