Charminar

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Charminar

History

Hyderabad's most charming landmark, Charminar, is one of the finest examples of the Qutab Shahi architecture located at the heart of the old city. Built by Quli Qutab Shah, in 1591, this impressive monument gives off a charm that is over 400 years old, and is often acknowledged as the ‘Arc de triomphe of the East’.

The Charminar gets its name from the four minarets (towers) standing in the four corners of the structure. These graceful and intricate minarets, rise to 48.7 metres from the ground, overlooking the landscape of the area. The Charminar is square structured and its minarets have four levels. All these storeys look like rings, which have been ornately shaped around the minaret. The gallery on its first floor offer a great view of the surrounding areas. There is a mosque at the topmost storey of the Charminar, which faces Mecca, the holy pilgrimage of the Muslims. Each side of the Charminar opens into a court through imposing arches which face all four directions, respectively. The arches are 11 metres broad and go up to 20 metres high from the base.

The Charminar was built using granite and lime mortar and although it is said to entirely represent Islamic style of architecture, a blend of Hindu influences cannot be denied either. The Islamic architecture is depicted in the matted arches and domes of the monument and a great deal of the ornamentation is in Hindu style. Apart from this, the Charminar has some captivating floral designs, and water screens which add to its beauty and elegance.

Charminar is located amidst some lively bazaars and colourful shops, Laad Bazaar being the most prominent, which add to its grace. It is surrounded by other significant structures like the Chow Mohalla Palace, Shahali Banda, Kali Kaman and Patthar Gatti and the Mecca Masjid. One can have a good view of the city from the minarets. In the evenings, Charminar gets lit up and looks remarkably magnificent.

Best time to visit

The best time to go to Charminar and Hyderabad is during the winter months from October to March, as the weather is pleasant here. One can visit the Charminar any time in the day, though ideally the best time to get a view of the monument is in the evening when the Charminar is illuminated both inside and outside.

Trivia

The four minarets of Charminar are supposed to represent the first four (Caliphs) Khalifas of Islam.

Each arch of the Charminar has a clock, which was set up in 1889.

The Charminar has 45 praying areas in its gallery, and a large open space to hold more people for the Friday prayers.

Timing

The Charminar is open on all days from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


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