Lord Hastings' party in an elephant procession approaching the Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of a procession reaching the Rumi Darwaza from 'Views by Seeta Ram from Cawnpore to Mohumdy Vol. IV' produced for Lord Moira, afterwards the Marquess of Hastings, by Sita Ram between 1814-15. Marquess of Hastings, the Governor-General of Bengal and the Commander-in-Chief (r. 1813-23), was accompanied by artist Sita Ram (flourished c.1810-22) to illustrate his journey from Calcutta to Delhi between 1814-15.
The Rumi Darwaza, also known as the Turkish Gate, was designed as the north-western entrance to the Great Imambara complex. Rumi Darwaza's facade on the west side, as seen here, is quite elaborate and is dominated by a colossal cuspated arch and is topped with a cupola. Nawab Asaf ud-Daula of Awadh (r.1775-97), requested architect Kifayat-ullah in 1784 to construct the Great Imambara, for the purpose of celebrating the Muslim festival of Muharram in commemoration of the imams Ali, Hasan, and Hussein. Subsequently, the imambara was used as a mausoleum for Asaf ud-Daula upon his death in 1797. An illustration of the party in an elephant procession approaching the Rumi Darwaza in Lucknow, passing a tower with gilded cupola, and with the Imambara's mosque beyond. Inscribed below: 'Roma Durwauzeh and distant view of the Imaumbareh and in front the Somuhla Burooj or Golden Tower.'