Preserving Lucknow's cultural heritage, ASI kicks off restoration of Rumi Darwaza
The iconic Rumi Darwaza of Lucknow, a historic architectural figure which stands at the heart of UP's capital since the late 1700s, and has been the cultural emblem of the city. Representing the Nawabi heritage, the 238 year old monument boasts authentic craftsmanship and is panelled with traditional Nakkashi work, which is a dying breed in the present era.
The 60-feet-tall ancient gateway has now developed multiple cracks and is in a dire need of repair. Acknowledging this, the Architectural Survey of India (ASI) has now initiated the restoration work to strengthen the structure and bring it back to its former glory.
Multiple cracks, water leakages reported in the structure
Earlier this month, the city authorities reported frequent juddering in the structure due to the nearby vehicular movement. As a result, the passage of heavy vehicles from under the structure was immediately halted and alternate routes were assigned. After this, a team from IIT Kanpur also conducted a survey during which multiple cracks in the parapets and the gateway arch were reported.
Reportedly, ASI has now started the necessary survey and has also devised a specialized restoration plan for repairing the damages which have weakened the monument. For this, ASI has also urged the state administration to divert the remaining traffic from the gateway route for the commencement of the restoration work.
Special mortar recipe to be used by ASI for restoration work
Notably, the construction of Rumi Darwaza was commissioned by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula of Awadh in the middle of a critical famine which struck the nation during the British era. This was done in an effort to provide employment and revenue to the local public. Along with this, locally available resources such as lakhauri (burnt-clay) bricks and surkhi (lime-crushed aggregate) mortar were used instead of high-grade imported resources such as stones and marbles to overcome the shortage of materials.
As per ASI's restoration plans, the same recipe will be used for fixing the gaps in the walls and for strengthening the structure. Furthermore, it is expected that the restoration work will be completed within 5-6 months.