Charminar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Charminar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

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Topics: Andhra Pradesh

Charminar which means “Mosque of four minarets” is the most famous monument in the city of Hyderabad, capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Charminar was constructed in 1591 by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, the 5th Qutub Shahi ruler shortly after he had shifted his capital from Golkonda to what now is known as Hyderabad. He built the Charminar to mark the end of plague in the Hyderabad city. He is said to have prayed for the end of a plague that was ravaging his city and vowed to build a masjid (Islamic mosque) at the very place where he was praying. In 1591 while laying the foundation of Charminar, Quli prayed: “Oh Allah, bestow unto this city peace and prosperity. Let millions of men of all castes, creeds and religions make it their abode, like fish in the water.” Since the construction of the Charminar, the Hyderabad city has almost become synonymous with the monument. The Charminar is a massive and impressive structure with four minarets at the heart of Hyderabad. The Charminar looks even better in the even when it is lighted with bright colours. A beautiful mosque is located at the western end of the open roof and the remaining part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. Charminar has the signature style of Islamic architecture. This great tribute to aesthetics looks sturdy and solid from a distance but as one moves closer, it emerges as an elegant and romantic edifice proclaiming its architectural eminence in all its detail and dignity. Each side measures 20 m, and each of the corners has a tall, pointed minaret. These four gracefully carved minarets soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground, commanding the landscape for miles around. Each minaret has four stories, marked by a delicately carved ring around the minaret. Unlike the Taj Mahal, Charminar’s four fluted minarets of Charminar are built into the main structure. Inside the minarets 149 winding steps guide the visitor to the top floor, the highest point one can reach, which provides a panoramic view of the city. The monument overlooks another beautiful and grand masjid called Makkah Masjid. The area surrounding Charminar is also known by same name. A thriving market still lies around the Charminar, attracting people and merchandise of every description. In its heyday, the Charminar market had some 14,000 shops; today the famous markets known as Laad Baazar and Pather Gatti, near the Charminar, are a favourite of both tourists and locals alike for jewellery, especially known for exquisite bangles and pearls respectively.

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