Nawab Nasseer-ud-Daulah of Awadh originally thought of building a nine storey structure—Naukhanda--that would be the highest tower, an eighth wonder of the world and excel the height and majesty of the Tower of Babylon or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The project, however, could only be taken up by his successor, Nawab Muhamad Ali Shah, who brought it down to a realistic height of seven storeys-Satkhanda, but could not go beyond four storeys only because he died in 1840.
Another idea behind the project was to build a tall watch tower so the Nawab could take a view of the entire city. The tower was, however, reduced to ruins after his death. But as they say, the ruins often tell the story of how grand and majestic the building might have been.
Satkhanda, built in a blend of French and Italian architectural styles, is located close to Hussainnabad Imambara. It is still admired for its magnificent medieval design. Another reason to build it was to pay a tribute to Sir George Couper, the then governor of UP.