Charminar

Charminar is the most prominent landmark located right in the heart of Hyderabad.

Updated: September 26, 2019

Charminar is the most prominent landmark located right in the heart of Hyderabad. It got its name from its structure as it consists of four minarets. It is believed that the four minarets stand for the first four khalifas of Islam. It is situated on the east bank of Musi River and stands tall amidst the labyrinthine Laad Bazaar in the old city. The imposing structure looks inspiring during the night when it is illuminated.
Charminar was built by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty when he shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad. The existence of a secret tunnel under the Charminar that connects it to the Golkonda Fort. It was created as a means of escape for the royal family in the time of emergencies.
The area around Charminar is popular for colorful bangles, jewellery, pearls and scrumptious dishes. The laid back crowds, the packed markets, the lip smacking biryani and the Irani chai are the most important things nearby this monument. It is also considered to be one of the marvellous structures in India. There are four gateways known as Char Kaman towards the north of Charminar which is constructed in the cardinal directions. The structure was intended to serve as a Madrasa or a Mosque. It is mainly built of Indo-Islamic architecture along with the incorporation of Persian Architectural elements. The arches and domes of the monument define the influence of Islamic architecture, while the Persian influence is prominent from its minarets. The structure of Charminar is a perfect square, inspired by the shape of the Shiya Tazias, each side 20 meters in length. It has four grand arches that face a fundamental point that open into four streets. There stands a 56 meters tall minaret at each corner with a double balcony. Each minaret has a dome on top with petal like designs at the base. You need to climb 149 steps to reach the upper floor. The structure is made of granite, mortar, marble and limestone. There is a mosque located at the western end of the open roof. You can get entire view of the city from the balconies of Charminar. People could offer prayers in a very peaceful manner inside the mosque.
Laad Bazaar is the oldest and the main market in the Charminar area. It is popular for bangles, pearls, jewellery, semi-precious stones, silverware, Kalamkari paintings, sarees, silk materials, gold embroidered fabric, lacquer bangles, ittar and the traditional Khara dupatta. The Charminar area is also famous for the delectable food items which are the pride of the Hyderabadi cuisine. While shopping in the crowded streets, you can try the traditional food items available here like Biryani, Mirchi ka Salan, Haleem and Double Ka Meetha. Also, don't forget to have the famous Irani Chai.
Charminar has been added to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Bhagyalakshmi Temple is a small temple at the base of the Charminar. It has been the centre of controversy for quite some time because of its presence in one of the major Islamic sites. People sightseeing this place, often pay offering at the temple.

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