Lucknow City in Uttar Pradesh, is home to the famous Rumi Darwaza, a 60-foot-tall majestic entrance that is an incredible piece of art in architecture. Built in the 18th century, Rumi Darwaza is known for its intricate designs and beautiful details that adorn its structure.
“Rumi” comes from “Rum,” which refers to an area like Anatolia or the old Eastern Roman Empire. “Rum” was linked to Istanbul, which was once the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This majestic entrance is a remarkable example of Awadhi architecture and is also known as the Turkish Gate because of its resemblance to the Sublime Porte in Istanbul.
Rumi Darwaza is Lucknow’s oldest and most well-known structure. It is situated close to historical sites like Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara.
It symbolizes the rich heritage and history of the local people. Rumi Darwaza can be considered a gateway to old Lucknow city. It serves as the city’s logo, showcasing its royal Nawabi culture.
Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow, is a monumental getaway constructed in 1784, about 239 years ago, during the rule of the fourth nawab of Lucknow, Asaf-Ud-Daula.
Structured between Bada Imambara and the Chota Imambara in Lucknow, Rumi Darwaza displays the blend of ancient Mughal and Awadhi architectural styles, known as the Lucknow School of Architecture.
It is also known as the Turkish Gate because of its architectural similarities to the Bab-i-Humayun gateway in ancient Constantinople, today known as Turkey. The Rumi Darwaza functioned as the gateway into Old Lucknow and welcomed visitors.
The Rumi Darwaza is more than just a beautiful piece of architecture; it also has significant historical importance. During the rule of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula, the Kingdom of Awadh experienced an awful famine.
Despite having help available in the royal treasury, many citizens refused to accept assistance from the royal treasury for free.
Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula responded by developing an innovative idea to help his people. He established a food-for-work program that allowed individuals to obtain food in exchange for doing labor for the city’s growth. This gave people struggling during the famine a source of money and employment during such hard times.
Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula decided to build Rumi Darwaza and Bada Imambara as a means of helping people. In particular, the Bara Imambara represents a labor of love because it was constructed for the benefit of the community rather than for personal gain. Lucknow’s people preferred to work for their food and income rather than take charity.
Rumi Darwaza, famous as the symbol of Lucknow city, was designed by the talented Persian architect Kifayatullah and attracts visitors on heritage tours. This magnificent gateway differs from the Mughal architectural heritage by being constructed in a distinctive Nawabi Style.
The most remarkable feature of Rumi Darwaza is the 50-meter-tall central arched opening. Two similar smaller arched openings accompany it on either side.
The front of the Rumi Darwaza is covered with stunning floral designs, calligraphy, and Islamic inscriptions showing the artistic talents of the craftsmen. There is exclusive usage of red sandstone and lime-coated bricks instead of stone or marble for more complex sculpting.
The Rumi Darwaza’s design blends Mughal, Roman, and Turkish elements to create the distinctive Awadhi or Lucknawi style.
The top part of the Rumi Darwaza consists of an octagonal chhatri or umbrella-shaped domed rooftop pavilion. It’s not open to the public.
It is said that a lantern was placed under the chhatri to illuminate the gateway at night, which made the water jets coming from the attractive floral patterns on the arch glow and shine magnificently at night.
These ancient structures are everlasting tributes to Asaf-ud-Daula and Kifayatullah’s creative architectural spirit.
- A historian named Shri Purushottam Nagesh Oak from India wrote a book called ‘Lucknow ke Imambare Hindu Rajmahal Hain’ where he said the Rumi Gate was originally called ‘Ramdwar.’
- In a book called ‘Private life of an Eastern King,’ the author Nighton mentioned that a gate in the court of Turkey’s Sultan looked like Rumi Darwaza, and some European historians still call it the ‘Turkish Gate.’
- It was designed by an architect from Persia named Kifayatullah
- The construction of Rumi Darwaza provided employment to almost 22000 people, during the time of famine.
- Rumi Darwaza has been in many movies and documentaries and is a popular place for tourist to visit.
Entry fee and timings of Rumi Darwaza
Since Rumi Darwaza is just an entrance, there is no charge to go through it. You can pass through it any time of the day without worrying about the opening or closing hours or the fee.
How to reach Rumi Darwaza
- By Airport: The distance between Rumi Darwaza and Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport is 13.8 km and it takes almost 42 min to reach the place.
- By Railway: The distance between Rumi Darwaza and Lucknow Station is 6.3 km and it takes almost 20 min to reach the place.
- By Bus: The distance between Rumi Darwaza and Charbagh Bus Station is 6.2 km and it takes almost 18 min to reach the place
- By Metro: The nearest metro station to Rumi Darwaza is Pandeyganj Metro Station which is situated at a distance of 2 km.
Q1: Why is Rumi Darwaza called Rumi?
Ans. The word “Rumi” comes from “Rum,” which referred to an area like Anatolia or the old Eastern Roman Empire. “Rum” was linked to Istanbul, which was once the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. So, when translated to Hindustani, “Rumi Darwaza” essentially means “Gate of Turkey” in English.
Q2: What is Rumi Darwaza famous for?
Ans. Rumi Darwaza also known as “Turkish Gate” is famous for its architectural beauty and historical significance.
Q3: What is Rumi Darwazz made up of?
Ans. The Rumi Darwaza is made up of red sandstone and lime-coated bricks.
Q4: What is the height of Rumi Gate?
Ans. Rumi Darwaza is a 60-foot-tall majestic gateway.
Q5: How old is Rumi Darwaza Lucknow?
Ans. Rumi Darwaza is 239 years old. It was built in 1784.