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Rumi Darwaza of Lucknow
The city of Lucknow, once the capital of Awadh & now the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India has many beautiful architectural landmarks built mostly by the Nawabs of Awadh.
One of those is the awe-inspiring Rumi Darwaza (Rumi = Rome; Darwaza = Gate) or Turkish Gate which is one of the most impressive gateways not only in Lucknow or India but also the whole world.
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula constructed Rumi Darwaza in 1784 as a part of the 'Food for Work' programme to help financially his subjects who were suffering from a prolonged & severe famine.
The name Rumi Darwaza has been derived from Persian name 'Rumi' that means Rome. The name ‘Rome’ was also applied to the city of Constantinople (modern day Istambul) because of the fact that it was the capital of the 'Eastern Roman Empire' that was later vanquished by the Turks.
With an imposing height of 60 feet, this impressive gate was modeled on one of the gateways of Constantinople & is a replica of an ancient portal there.
Rumi Darwaza is actually a decorated half-dome with the uppermost part comprising of an octagonal cenotaph or Chhatri (Umbrella) that can be accessed by a staircase.
On the top of this impressive gate an enormous lantern was placed and this would illuminate the monument at night. The sides of the arch has artistically carved flower buds from where small jets of water gush outwards and this makes entire structure looking like a gateway to paradise.
On the lower part, Rumi Darwaza has three arched gateways for the passage of traffic.
It is really an excellent piece of architecture of the Awadh style, & is a must for the visitors to this city.