Lucknow ‘ s Rumi Darwaza


The Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow ow was built by Nawab Asafuddaula (r. 1775-1797) in 1784.
The Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow towers to a  height of 60 feet. There is an octagonal Chatri (Umbrella) on the top ,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.
It is said to be a replica in design of a gate in ancient  Constantinople.  : the Sublime Porte (Bab-iHümayun)


Though no longer extant, a huge lantern on top of the Rumi Darwaza would light up the structure at night making it look absolutely fabulous. The exquisite carved flowers on the sides of the arch were little water jets. You can imagine the effect of these tiny fountains.
The architectural style and eye for detail in Awadh under the Nawabs can be seen here.
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.
British Library – Shelfmark: Add.Or.266 1860
Unknown artist

Comment List

  • Roshna Kapadia 27 / 02 / 2015 Reply

    Thank you for this photo and extraordinary image from the British Library. Are we to deduce that the minarets (at right, in BL image) no longer stand? Or, would a wider lens on the camera show the two minarets illustrated in the watercolor?

    Thanks again; I enjoy your blog posts tremendously.
    (Note to self: Must Visit Lucknow)

    • Rana Safvi 27 / 02 / 2015 Reply

      Will find out more about this because I didn’t see it. But it could be minarets of another building which is now hidden from view. Then the Asfi Bara Imambara complex would be clearly visible from here

  • HAK 04 / 06 / 2015 Reply

    Sorry, when I visited Lucknow I was in the area did not pay much attention to RomiDarwaza. Will visit again.

Leave a Reply