• Journey route

      Central
  • Travel Distance

      1300
    KMS (Apx.)
Cities: Delhi, Alwar, Govardhan, Orchha, Lucknow.

About the Journey

The magnificent Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri has probably craned more necks than the first row of a movie theatre ever did.

The doors that are starting points for numerous secret passages from Agra to Delhi have ignited more curiosity in children than a history book could manage.

A food trail in Old Delhi is incomplete without randomly stopping in front of a door, and staring at it as if asking, "How old are you?" or "Do you like it here?"

The roads of Mathura and Vrindavan may be lined with idols of Gods and Goddesses on both sides, along with flower vendors, sweet shops and Kachori-eating-locals but it wouldn't be wrong to say that the doors make these towns more vibrant.

Every evening, when the sun sets at Orchha, people in large number gather around the banks of Betwa river. It's the same time when markets and streets are also bustling with activity, calling it a day soon after. The doors of palaces, temples, shops and homes are waiting to be closed.

Of ancient architecture, historical relevance, narrow streets and religious significance, we will take you through a grand mix of doors that you may have seen, dreamt of and doors you may know nothing about, the ones that are often ignored, hidden, or even protected. From monumental doors of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort to an ordinary looking entrance in Govardhan or Chandni Chowk that may have been constructed with the same amount of love.

Would you like to know how much time it would have taken to construct these doors, carve, paint, polish and fit it where it stands right now, with lan and pride, welcoming people to its home and simultaneously protecting what's inside!

Come along this visual journey as we knock through the doors of Central India.
#Doors of India: for those who find beauty in the mundane.

The Door's Stories

A door with a survival instinct: Rumi Darwaza

  August 16, 2017
Rumi Darwaza exemplifies love and you’ll know why. Firstly, the name itself sounds so poetic that it demands certain elegance to be pronounced. It may seem to have a philosophical ‘Rumi’ connection but that’s not the case. In fact, the design of the doorway was inspired by a gateway in Rome, which is probably why they decided to call it Rumi.

Secondly, the way I look at this door, I see a survivor that has fought not only for its own existence but also for others’. When Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula took a call to build it in 1784, it happened as a part of relief operations that provided employment to famine affected people in the area. It enabled them with a financial and social support system.

The doorway was used to mark the entrance to Old Lucknow, but as the City of Nawabs grew and expanded, it was later used as an entrance to a palace which in further years, was demolished by the British insurgents. The city has become more crowded, especially in the last few decades. I remember how in 2005, Rumi Darwaza used to tremble when we would drive through it as if it would crumble to pieces. The passers-by had begun to be afraid of crossing it from underneath. Thanks to the repeated requests made to various government bodies, the doorway along with other monuments in the old city have now been restored, and the entire zone is now being promoted as a Heritage zone.

Rumi Darwaza has seen Lucknow transform. There can be no better landmark to represent the city. Even though the metro rail has arrived, enormous parks are made, corporate offices are coming up, it would be hard to imagine Lucknow in any light other than that of Rumi Darwaza.

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