The CHARMINAR ("Four Minarets"), constructed in 1591, is a monument
and mosque located in
India . The landmark has
become a global icon of Hyderabad, listed among the most recognized
structures of India. 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
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
Some of the popular myths that are recorded in accord with the
monument's architectural appearance are as follows:
The Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI), the current caretaker of
the structure, mentions in its records that, "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 plague", a deadly
disease which was wide spread at that time. as Muhammad Quli Qutb
Shah had prayed for the end of a plague that was ravaging his city and
vowed to build a
Mosque at the very place where he prayed. According
Jean de Thévenot , a French traveller of the 17th century whose
narration was complemented with the available Persian texts, the
Charminar was 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. :17–19
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 denied by the historians and
scholars, it became popular folklore among the locals. :3,12
Qutb Shah was also among the early poets of
Urdu , while
laying the foundation of
Charminar 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 దేవుడా :4
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 .
* 1 History
* 2 Structure
* 3 Influences
* 4 Controversies
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
The fifth ruler of the
Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb
Shah built the
Charminar in 1591. After shifting his capital from
Hyderabad he built a big structure of Charminar. Because
Charminar this landmark became a global icon of Hyderabad.
Clock of the
Charminar was constructed in the intersection of the historical
trade route that connects the markets of
Golkonda with the port city
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, seggregated
according to the established settlements. Towards the north of
Charminar is the
Char Kaman , or four gateways, constructed in the
cardinal directions. :170 Additional eminent architects from
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 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
Taj Mahal 's,
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
Charminar mosque. A night
Charminar and its surroundings during Ramadan
The area surrounding
Charminar is also known by the same name. 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
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.
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
* Tourist attractions in
* ^ 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
* ^ "Ticketed monuments-Telangana". Archaeological Survey of India
. 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
* ^ "India:
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 Tombs, Charminar".
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 .
* ^ 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.".
The Hindu . 31 May 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
* ^ A B Ifthekhar, J.S. (31 August 2010). "
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
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
* ^ "
http://asi.nic.in/asi_monu_tktd_ap_charminar.asp. Retrieved 24
November 2012. External link in work= (help )
* ^ M. Rafique Zakaria,
Charminar in Karachi, Dawn , 22 April 2007
* ^ A
Charminar to drool and eat
* ^ 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, India.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to CHARMINAR .
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for HYDERABAD .
* Photos of