The word 'Rumi' translates to 'Roman' and this gate is nowhere related to the poet Rumi.
If you're visiting Lucknow, you'll definitely be advised to visit the Rumi Darwaza and if you don't understand why this place should be on your itinerary, we'll tell you. It is one of the popular heritage structures of the city and is truly counted amidst Lucknow's pride. The Nawabs appointed by the Mughals as governors in the yesteryears, have left an artistic stamp on the architecture of the city and Rumi Darwaza is a towering witness to it.
The Crisis & the Resurrection
The 60 feet high Rumi Gate, was contrived during the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784-86. During the rule of Asaf-ud-Daula's, Awadh witnessed a devastating famine which led to an economic crisis. The Nawab then founded a 'food-for-work' programme which included the construction of the famous Asafi Imambara and its gate, the Rumi Darwaza- a way to generate employment and revenue.
The Rumi Darwaza is named so because the design of the structure bears stark resemblance to an ancient gateway at Constantinople, called the "Turkish Gateway". Previously, this marvel also served as the entrance to the old Lucknow city.
Rumi Darwaza is decked with intricately carved flowers and designs which have traces of Roman architecture as well. The uppermost part of the structure is topped with a chhatri (umbrella) which can be reached through a staircase, although it's not accessible by the public. Legends say that during a certain period, there used to be a lantern at the top of the structure which would be lit at night, with jets of water flowing from its arch. We can only imagine the stellar view of this venue then.
So whenever you find yourself in the older parts of Lucknow, do make sure to stop by. Stand at the entrance, soak up the charms it exudes and get clicking! Perfect spot for an evening stroll or a midnight drive, Rumi Gate will leave you enchanted with its artistic brilliance and royal grandeur everytime you visit.