Charminar Image 3182
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
17°21′42″N 78°28′29″E / 17.36163°N 78.47467°E /
17.36163; 78.47467Coordinates: 17°21′42″N 78°28′29″E /
17.36163°N 78.47467°E / 17.36163; 78.47467
Quli Qutub Shah
48.7 metres (160 ft)
Charminar during repair works - August 2016
Mosque on Second Floor
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
Chār and Minar or meenar, translating to "Four Pillars"; the
eponymous towers are ornate minarets attached and supported by four
The Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI), the current caretaker of the
structure, mentions in its records, "There are various theories
regarding the purpose for which
Charminar was constructed. However, it
is widely accepted that
Charminar was built at the center of the city,
to commemorate the eradication of Cholera", a deadly disease which was
wide spread at that time.
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah had prayed for
the end of the plague that was ravaging his city and vowed to build a
Mosque at the very place where he prayed. According to Jean de
Thévenot, a French traveller of the 17th century whose narration was
complemented with the available Persian texts, the
constructed in the year 1591 CE, to commemorate the beginning of the
second Islamic millennium year (1000 AH). The event was celebrated far
and wide in the Islamic world, thus Qutb Shah founded the city of
Hyderabad to celebrate the event and commemorate it with the
construction of this building.:17–19Due to its architecture it
is also called as arc de triomphe of the east.
Historian Masud Hussain Khan says that the construction of Charminar
was completed in the year 1592, and that it is the city of Hyderabad
which was actually founded in the year 1591.:4 According to the
book "Days of the Beloved", Qutb shah constructed the
Charminar in the
year 1589, on the very spot where he first glimpsed his future queen
Bhagmati, and after her conversion to Islam, Qutb Shah renamed the
city as "Hyderabad". Though the story was rejected by the historians
and scholars, it became popular folklore among the locals.:3,12
Qutb Shah was also among the early poets of
Dakhani Urdu. While laying
the foundation of Charminar, he performed the prayers in Dakhini
couplets, which are recorded as follows::4
میرا شہر لوگوں سے مامور کر
راكهيو جوتو دريا میں مچھلی جيسے
Translation into Telugu
నదిలో చేపలని ఎలా నింపావో
ఈ నగరాన్ని కూడా అలా నింపు
Translation into English
Fill this city of mine with people as,
You filled the river with fishes O Lord.:4
During the Mughal governorship between Qutb Shahi and
Asaf Jahi rule,
the southwestern minaret "fell to pieces" after being struck by
lightning and was repaired at a cost of Rs. 60,000. In 1824, the
monument was replastered at a cost of Rs. One lakh.
4 Pedestrianization Project
UNESCO World Heritage Site-Tentative List
6 Temple Structure
7 See also
9 External links
The fifth ruler of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb
Shah, built the
Charminar in 1591, after shifting his capital from
Golkonda to Hyderabad.
Charminar has become a local and national
landmark as well as a global icon of Hyderabad.
Clock of the Charminar
Charminar was constructed at the intersection of the historical
trade route that connects the markets of
Golkonda with the port city
of Machilipatnam.:195 The Old City of
Hyderabad was designed with
Charminar as its centerpiece. The city was spread around the
Charminar in four different quadrants and chambers, segregated
according to the established settlements. Towards the north of
Charminar is the Char Kaman, or four gateways, constructed in the
cardinal direction.:170 Additional eminent architects
Persia were also invited to develop the city plan. The structure
itself was intended to serve as a
Mosque and Madraasa. It is of
Islamic architecture style, incorporating Persian architectural
A minaret of the Charminar
Night View Of Charminar
Charminar masjid is a square structure with each side 20 meters
(approximately 66 feet) long, with four grand arches each facing a
fundamental point that open into four streets. At each corner stands
an exquisitely shaped minaret, 56 meters (approximately 184 feet)
high, with a double balcony. Each minaret is crowned by a bulbous dome
with dainty petal-like designs at the base. Unlike the minarets of Taj
Mahal, Charminar's four fluted minarets are built into the main
structure. There are 149 winding steps to reach the upper floor. The
structure is also known for its profusion of stucco decorations and
the arrangement of its balustrades and balconies.
The structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized
marble and it weighs approximately 14000 tones. Initially the
monument with its four arches was so proportionately planned that when
the fort was opened one could catch a glimpse of the bustling
Hyderabad city, as these
Charminar arches were facing the most active
royal ancestral streets.
There is also a legend of an underground tunnel connecting the
Golconda fort to Charminar, possibly intended as an escape route for
the Qutb Shahi rulers in case of a siege, though the location of the
tunnel is unknown.
A mosque is located at the western end of the open roof; remaining
part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. The
actual mosque occupies the top floor of the four-storey structure. A
vault which appears from inside like a dome supports two galleries
within the Charminar, one over another, and above those a terrace that
serves as a roof, bordered with a stone balcony. The main gallery has
45 covered prayer spaces with a large open space in front to
accommodate more people for Friday prayers.
The clock on the four cardinal directions was added in 1889. There is
a vazu (water cistern) in the middle, with a small fountain for
ablution before offering prayer in the
A night view of
Charminar and its surroundings during Ramadan
The area surrounding
Charminar is also known by the same name. The
market in the areas is famous for jewellery and garments. The monument
overlooks another grand mosque called the Makkah Masjid. Muhammad Quli
Qutb Shah, the 5th ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, commissioned
bricks to be made from the soil brought from Mecca, the holiest site
of Islam, and used them in the construction of the central arch of the
mosque, hence its name.
A thriving market exists around Charminar: Laad Baazar is known for
its jewellery, especially exquisite bangles, and the Pather Gatti
which is famous for its pearls. In its heyday, the
had some 14,000 shops.
A replica of the
Charminar built in the
Bahadurabad locality of
Pakistan in 2007
Hyderabadi Muslims living in
Pakistan constructed a
small-scaled quasi replica of the
Charminar at the main crossing of
Bahadurabad neighborhood in Karachi.
Lindt chocolatier Adelbert Boucher created a scaled model of the
Charminar out of 50 kilograms of chocolate. The model, which required
three days' labour, was on display at The Westin, Hyderabad,
25 and 26 September 2010.
Charminar Pedestrianization Project" was instituted by the then
Government of Andhra Pradesh
Government of Andhra Pradesh in partnership with the Greater
Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The project was initiated in 2006
with an investment of Rs 35 crore. Out of Rs.35 crore, the share of
Central government funds stood at Rs 12.28 crore while the State
government gave Rs 5.26 crore. However, the project did not
see the light of day due various factors such as
illegal encroachments by hawkers, vehicular traffic, and illegal
street vendors. Later during January 2017, the new Government of
Telangana introduced a 14-member French Delegation to takeover the
project to assess the feasibility in developing the monument as an
eco-friendly tourism and heritage destination. The team has
inspected surrounding areas such as the Gulzar house, Macca Masjid,
Lad Bazar, and Sardar Mahal. Subsequently, the project took over on a
brisk pace and is expected to be completed by May
UNESCO World Heritage Site-Tentative List
Charminar, along with the Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad: the
Golconda Fort, and the Qutb Shahi Tombs, were included in the
"tentative list" of
UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Monument was
submitted by the Permanent Delegation of
UNESCO on September
There is a temple named Bhagyalakshmi Temple located at the base of
Charminar. It is the center of controversy concerning its age. In
The Hindu newspaper published an old photograph showing that the
temple structure never existed.
The Hindu also released a note
asserting the authenticity of the photographs, and clearly stated that
there was no temple structure in photos taken in 1957 and 1962.
Additionally, it showed photos that provide evidence that the temple
is a recent structure - a temple structure can be seen in photos taken
in 1990 and 1994. Also, a temple is seen in a photograph taken in 1986
which is kept in the Aga Khan Visual Archive, MIT Libraries’
collections, United States, but not in the earlier ones.
Qutb Shahi dynasty
History of Hyderabad
Tourist attractions in Hyderabad
^ "Richard Goslan travels to
India - Herald Scotland".
Charminar (building, Hyderabad, India), Britannica Online
^ a b Charminar: Hyderabad, Britannica Compton's Encyclopedia
^ "Alphabetical List of Monuments - Andhra Pradesh". Archaeological
Survey of India. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014.
^ "Ticketed monuments-Telangana". Archaeological Survey of India.
2011. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
Charminar is in fact a madrasa and masjid". IRIB World
Service. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
^ a b "The Qutb Shahi monuments of Hyderabad-Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi
UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 10 September 2010.
Retrieved 21 December 2012.
^ Bilgrami, Syed Ali Asgar (1992) . Landmarks of the Deccan.
Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120605438.
^ "Charminar, The Most Famous Landmark Of Hyderabad!".
^ a b c d Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, volume 216. Sahitya Akademi. 1996.
ISBN 8126002336. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
^ Lynton, Harriet Ronken (1974). Days of the beloved. Orient Longman.
ISBN 0863112692. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
^ a b c "Final abode of Mohd. Quli Qutb Shah and six others". Chennai,
India: The Hindu. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
^ a b Ifthekhar, J.S. (31 August 2010). "
Charminar minaret suffers
damage due to rain". The Hindu. N. Ram. Retrieved 5 December
^ a b Gayer, Lauren; Lynton, Christophe Jaffrelot (2011). Muslims in
Indian cities: trajectories of marginalisation. Columbia University
Press. ISBN 9780231800853. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
Mecca Mosque". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 November
^ "Qutb Shahi style (mainly in and around
Hyderabad city)". Government
of Telangana. 2002. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
^ Sardar, Marika (2007).
Golkonda through time: A mirror of the
evolving Deccan (Thesis). New York University. UMI Number:3269810.
Retrieved 21 December 2012.
^ Dawn Archived 10 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Papri, Paull (9 October 2016). "Is it Charminar's 425th birthday
today?". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
^ "Take a walk through history". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 February
Charminar Mosque". asi.nic.in/asi_monu_tktd_ap_charminar.asp.
Retrieved 24 November 2012.
^ M. Rafique Zakaria,
Charminar in Karachi, Dawn, 22 April 2007
^ http://www.hindu.com/mp/2010/09/25/stories/2010092553140000.htm A
Charminar to drool and eat
^ a b Nanisetti, Serish (2 April 2016). "
Project yet to see light of the day" – via www.thehindu.com.
^ a b "
Charminar Pedestrianisation Project gathers pace". 13 November
^ Nanisetti, Serish (2 November 2017). "
Project getting closer to reality now" – via www.thehindu.com.
^ a b Lieres, Bettina von; Piper, L. (8 October 2014). "Mediated
Citizenship: The Informal Politics of Speaking for Citizens in the
Global South". Springer – via Google Books.
^ a b "French Delegation Visits
Charminar Pedestrian Project - The
Siasat Daily". archive.siasat.com.
UNESCO World Heritage. "The Qutb Shahi Monuments of
Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs,
Heritage Centre". whc.unesco.org.
^ a b "A note on the
Charminar photograph". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
21 November 2012.
^ Srivathsan, A. (20 November 2012). "As protests roil Charminar,
Hyderabad's heritage slowly vanishes". The Hindu. Chennai,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charminar.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Hyderabad.
Charminar on HyderabadPlanet.com
Mushroom Minarette: An article published by Out Look India.
A panoramic image of
Charminar along with Old City of Hyderabad, The
image is published in Earth Platinum Atlacharmin
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