The Rumi Darwaza (Gate) is an incredible structure which stands imposingly between Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Constructed in 1784 under the rule of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, it is a fine example of Awadhi architecture, or the Lucknow School of Architecture. It was a style adopted by the Nawabs of Awadh to preserve the Mughal architectural style while experimenting with newer styles and materials.
The Rumi Darwaza, one of the heritage attractions in Uttar Pradesh, is also referred to as Turkish Gate because it bears a strong similarity in design to a gateway built in ancient Constantinople (today’s Turkey) called Bab-i-Humayun. Standing at an impressive height of 60ft, it once served as the entrance to Old Lucknow City. Today however, you find the gate looking on as auto rickshaws, bicycles and vehicles speed along underneath it. If you think this gateway looks beautiful during the daytime, wait till you see it illuminated during the evening when its beauty puts on a new face.
The Rumi Gate is an amazing piece of architecture, and is always included in any heritage tours. Standing at 60 ft, it has become the symbol of the city. While the Nawab School of Architecture seeks to preserve the Mughal architectural style, the materials used and the design itself vary in great degrees. For example, the majority of Mughal monuments were built using red sandstone, while bricks are the primary material used its construction along with a coating of lime. This is also one of the reasons behind the intricate detailing on this structure.
One of the most popular tourist attractions of India, Rumi Darwaza is adorned with wonderfully carved flowers and designs. The uppermost part of the structure is topped with a chhatri (umbrella) which can be reached through a staircase (although it’s not open to visitors at present). It is interesting to know that at one point of time, there was a lantern at the top of the structure. In addition, the exquisitely carved flower buds situated on the sides of the arch would release little jets of water. Now that would have been a sight to come across.
Rumi Darwaza is a gateway located on the road, hence, there are no entry fees to visit it. Anybody can visit it free of charge.