The famous Rumi Darwaza is a striking gateway standing tall at sixty feet tall in the old city of Lucknow. It lies between the Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara exhibiting ancient Awadhi architecture. Built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, it is also known as the Turkish Gate because it is modelled after Bab-i-Humayun gateway in Turkey.
The creation of Rumi Darwaza has a very charitable reason behind it. When famine struck North India during 1748, the then Nawab of Lucknow came up with a plan that would feed his countrymen as well as give him something to cherish and be proud of. As per the plan, the Awadhi workers built the great Rumi Darwaza for him, in exchange for everyday meal.
Rumi Darwaza in the heart of Lucknow looms over the busy everyday traffic of Lajpatnagar like an old guardian angel that has seen the city rise and fall. Through the arch of the Rumi Darwaza runs roadways to both sides and they remain busy, crowded and cacophonous all day long. The rush of vehicles and the brunt of time have weakened it, but it still stands ever strong and majestic, looking even more resplendent when lit up at night.