Inside Imambara, Lucknow [Rumi Darwaza].
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph with a view looking towards the inside of the Rumi Darwaza at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Lucknow on the Gomti river first attained prominence in the 15th century under the Sharqi sultans of Jaunpur. Later it was ruled by Mughal governors. By the 17th century it was a prosperous commercial centre, and continued to flourish from 1775-1856 as the capital of the independent Nawabs of Avadh (originally governors under the Mughals). The nawabs were great builders and patrons of the arts and attracted a variety of talent to their service which helped develop the city's culture. The Nawabs commissioned numerous imposing Darwazas or gateways, of which the Rumi Darwaza is the largest. It was commissioned in the reign of Nawab Asafuddaulah (ruled 1775-1797). He had caused the immense Bara Imambara to be constructed, and the gateway was erected just beside it, along the western boundary.