The Rumi Darwaza (sometimes known as the Turkish Gate), in Lucknow,
Uttar Pradesh, India, is an imposing gateway which was built under the
patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-dowlah in 1784. It is an example of Awadhi
architecture. Being an entrance to the city of Lucknow, Russell, the
reporter of The New York Times who accompanied the victorious British
army that entered Lucknow in 1858, after India's First War of
Independence, had called the stretch of road from Rumi Darwaza to
Chattar Manzil the most beautiful and spectacular cityscape that he had
ever seen, better than Rome, Paris, London and Constantinople. The Rumi
Darwaza, which stands sixty feet tall, was modeled (1784) after the
Sublime Porte (Bab-iHümayun) in Istanbul.
It is adjacent to the Asafi Imambara in Lucknow and has become a logo
for the city of Lucknow. It used to mark the entrance to Old Lucknow
City, but as the City of Nawabs grew and expanded, it was later used as
an entrance to a palace which was later demolished by the British
It is one of the most impressive architectural structures in India. The
uppermost part of Rumi Darwaza comprises of an octagonal Chatri
(Umbrella) carved beautifully that can be accessed by a staircase.
The word "Rumi"
is derived from the modern day Rome that used to be Istanbul, the
capital city of Eastern Roman Empire. On top of the Rumi Darwaza was
kept a huge lantern that would light up the structure at night making it
look absolutely fabulous.
jets of water would rush out of the sides of the arch from beautifully
carved flower buds thus making it look like a gateway to Paradise. The
beautifully carved flowers and designs speak volumes about the unique
architectural style and eye for detail.