The Charminar (“Four Minarets”), constructed in 1591, is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. The landmark has become a global icon of Hyderabad, listed among the most recognized structures of India. Charminar has been a historical place with mosque on the top floor for over 400 years and also famous for its surrounding markets. It is one of the tourist attractions in Hyderabad. It is where Many local festivals are celebrated in Charminar area like Ramzaan. The Charminar is situated on the east bank of Musi river.To the west lies the Laad Bazaar, and to the southwest lies the richly ornamented granite Makkah Masjid.It is listed as an archaeological and architectural treasure on the official “List of Monuments” prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India.The English name is a translation and combination of the Urdu words Chār and Minar or meenar, translating to “Four Pillars”; the eponymous towers are ornate minarets attached and supported by four grand arches.
Charminar, the statley monument got its name from its four massive minarets that add elegance and pre-eminence to the structure. These minarets are four storeys high which rise to a level of 184ft from ground. The upper-most storey of each minaret is reached by 149 steps. It is said that during Mughal governship under the Subadarship of Bahadur Dil Khan, the south westren minaret ‘fell into pieces’ after being struck by lightning, but it has forthwith repaired at the cost of Rs. 60,000
MOSQUE OF CHARMINAR
On the upper storey of Charminar is a Mosque. Its western part is oriented towards the Qibla of Mecca. The entrance of the Mosque consists of five arches framed each by cusped arch representing the ‘Panjtan’ of five great personalities of Islam who are ‘Prophet Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, Hussain.’ There are 45 prayer spaces (musallas) with a large open space. The three other sides are articulaed with beautiful arcaded galleries. The Mosque is artistically adorned with stucco work.
It is believed that the construction of Charminar was built to commensurate the elimination of plague from the city. Some scholars also opined that, the charminar is the photo type of Tazia. The folklore has it that the building is the Idiom of Sultan’s love for his beloved Bhagmati who later became his Queen. Interestingly, Hyderabad is also called “Bhagyanagar” which is attributed to her.
The four majestic gateways, Jilukhana that can be seen here were also known as Charkaman completed in 1594 CE. It encloses an impressive town square with an octagonal cistern known as “Char-su-ka-Hauz” popularly known as at its centre. The arch which is visible from here is Mewawala Kaman that was originally the entrance gate of Charminar. In its front “Machli Kaman” which is the main road across, which is believed the good fortune of Sultan. On the left hand side of the Charminar entrance, is “Shere-e-Batil Kaman” which was initially called as “Daulat-khana-Ali” or Gateway of the royal palace where as on the other hand is ‘kali Kaman’ known as “Naqar khana-e-Shahi” or the houses of royal drums
OTHER PLACES AT CHARMINAR TO SEE.......
The famous ‘Mecca Masjid’ that can be viewed from Charminar was also said t obe named as ‘Baitul Atiq’ by Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah who laid its foundation in 1617 CE. Finally, the mosque was completed by the mughal Emperor Aurangazeb in the year 1694 CE. The Mosque got its name from ‘Mecca Masjid’ as some of the stone of the central arch brought Mecca by the Sultan.
The mosque on north eastern side is the first Royal Mosque built in hyderabad by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutd Shah in 1598 CE after the construction of Charminar. It consists of a hall which articulated with cusped arches and supported by a flat roof . The moaque is a good example of Qutb Shahi style of Architecture