House & History
Built in 1876 the property was called "Abbotsford Lodge" owned by an Englishman, John Hope Simpson, Esquire of the Indian Civil Service in the erstwhile United Province of Agra and Oudh. Bought in 1903 by the Prasada's it was rechristened “Prasada Bhawan". The fourth generation of the Prasada’s carry on the rich legacy of the past. Interiors are a taste full mix of high wooden ceilings; tinned roof and pinewood flooring that give the perfect feel of the classic mountain house. Decorating the halls and catching the eye of the visitor are the many fascinating art deco pieces reflecting the exotic, sophisticated taste of it’s owners from different times. Antiquarian items from different ages and different parts of the world adorn the house - Italian marble busts, garden statues, Afghani and Jail carpets, Wedgewood plate hangings, swords, muskets and elephant tusks.
Abbotsford's family emblem "WORK WILL WIN " Saraswati- our family Goddess of #knowledge #art #culture #music flanked by two elephants on either side holding her musical instrument - the " veena" and her carrier the "White Swan" symbol of #purity , the "lotus" symbolizing prosperity and so is Abbotsford the hub for all those who wish to come and read, write, recite and share ones cultural heritage.
Sir Jawala Prasada, served in the Imperial Civil Services before Independence and his wife Purnima Devi nee Sudakshina Tagore niece of Nobel Laureate was the first woman who raised her voice against "purdha" system in Oudh. She was a patron or schools, universities, art and music.
Kunwar Jyoti Prasada, alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University. A freedom fighter, a Gandhian, took to Swadeshi and burned all his foreign belongings in a big bonfire behind his house in Shahjahanpur. He was a nominated member of the Lucknow Vidhan Sabha as MLC. He married Princess Pamela Jyoti Prasada of Kapurthala. She was known to keep one of the best culinary tables in the whole of Oudh. A lady of great elegance, knowledge, grace and humility.
Kunwar Jitendra Prasada, veteran Congress leader served as the Political Advisor to Rajiv Gandhi & PV Narasimha Rao. A Sherwood College alumnus. His wife Kunwarani Kanta Prasada, is from Himachal Pradesh . With a keen eye for interiors she took up the restoration of Abbotsford in 2004.Today the house is back to its glory thanks to her zest for preserving family heritage.
Kunwar Jitin Prasada, A banker turned, politician in the Congress Party, served in the Government of India as one of the youngest minister from 2004-2010. Kunwarani Neha Prasada, hails from Lucknow, a culinary author and a contributor with Architectural Digest and Condenast Traveler.
Kumari Janhavi Prasada. An author, film maker and hospitality entrepreneur nurturing Abbotsford with a passion for art, culture, literature and culinary affairs.