Charminar – Hyderabad’s four towers

Charminar – Hyderabad’s four towers

Charminar is the most famous historical place of Andhra Pradesh, located in the heart of the old city of Hyderabad. Charminar in Hyderabad is as famous as the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Charminar (Urdu ‘Char’ meaning four and Minar is ‘Earth Tower’) is one of the most recognized monuments in India and is one of the 10 historical places in India. Charminar is located on the banks of the Musi River.

The Charminar was built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah. Charminar was built around 450 years ago, which is today in the heart of Hyderabad city. After the construction of the Charminar, the city was built around it. To the north of Charminar, which is the main gate, there are four entrances, which are called Char Kaman.

Charminar architecture

Renowned Persian architecture was called for the construction of the city of Hyderabad and the Charminar. It was constructed as a mosque and madrasa. Its architectural style was a mixture of Indo-Islamic, in which elements of Persian architecture are also seen in some places.

The city of Hyderabad was built in 1591 by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. After Golconda established its capital in Hyderabad, he built four towers as a memorial. The name of Hyderabad is famous all over the world because of the Char Minar. The four towers were built to connect the historic trade route of Golconda and the port city of Machilipatnam.

Apart from this, there is another reason behind the construction of Char Minar, it is said that at that time plague disease was very much spread around Hyderabad. Then the Sultan Quli Qutub Shah had taken many drastic steps to deal with this disease, he had won to a great extent from this disease. Then the four towers were built as a sign of the end of plague disease. The four minarets and the city of Hyderabad had become synonymous with each other since the formation of the four minarets.

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Four tower structure ( Charminar Structure ) –


Charminar is a large and impressive structure with four minarets. The structure of the four towers is square, each side is 20 meters long. The Char Minar has a door in every direction, which opens in different markets. It has a 56 m (about 184 ft) high tower in each corner, which has 2 balconies. The upper part of each minaret, like a pointed leaf, has a bulbous dome design, as if someone has crowned the minaret. Like the Taj Mahal, these towers are its main structure in the Char Minar. There are 149 curved steps to the top. It is also known for the structure and decoration of different balconies and towers.

Arches of Charminar

The four towers were composed of granite, limestone, mortar, and pulverized marble. Initially, it was planned to build four arch buses in a fixed ratio for the four minarets. But when the city of Hyderabad was built and the fort opened there, there was glorious prosperity around the city, after which the work of four towers started as a big monument. Charminar was a royal area, yet it used to be the most moving place. The four towers are a two-story building. The beauty of its surrounding area can be seen from their balcony.

Charminar close view

In order to connect Charminar to Golconda Fort, a lot of underground tunnels was also built inside it. Probably it must have been built so that in case of siege by enemies in the fort, Qutub Shahi rulers can hide away from there. The location of these tunnels is still unknown.

To the west of the Charminar is an open mosque in the upper part of the building, in the other part there used to be Qutub Shahi’s court. This mosque is in the west, which is facing towards the holy shrine of Islam, Mecca. The main mosque here is located on the top floor of the four-story building. There is a balcony to connect the two balconies, there is a big terrace on top of which there is a stone boundary around it. There are 45 places in the main balcony where prayer can be done, apart from this a large part of the front is open, where there were prayers on Friday when there were more people. The clock was set in 1889 in the four cardinal directions of the Char Minar. In the center of the four towers is like a small pond of water, which also has a fountain. People used to wash their hands and feet here before praying in the mosque.

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Mecca Masjid –

Mecca Masjid

There is another big mosque in Charminar, which is called Mecca Masjid. The fifth ruler of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, ordered brick made of clay from Mecca, the pilgrimage center of Islam. From these bricks, in the main mosque of Charminar, its central arch was built, after which the name of that mosque became Mecca Masjid. It is said that it is one of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad.

Charminar Market –

Charminar market

The area around Char Minar is also called the Char Minar, but there are different markets around it. Lad Bazaar located near Charminar is known for its jewelry, especially exquisite bangles. While Pather Gatti Bazaar is famous for pearls. There will be around 14 thousand shops around the four towers. From Qutub Shahi to the rule of the Nizam and from the British Empire, there are always ongoing activities around Charminar. According to history, this was the only such royal area, where there is so much movement by the common man.

Charminar in night

In the markets around Char Minar, you can buy all types of cheap and expensive items. Along with this, there are also many stalls for eating and drinking here, where Hyderabadi Kulche, Nahari, Biryani are very famous. Hyderabad is one of the cities where a mix of modernism and tradition is seen.

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Charminar Interesting Facts –


1). Charminar was built in 1591 by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi Empire.

2). The city of Hyderabad is a unique blend of ancient and modern times, giving visitors a glimpse of the splendor of 400-year-old buildings and also the interconnected modern buildings.

3). The Qutub exhibits some excellent examples of royal architecture – 1) Jami Masjid, 2) Mecca Masjid 3) Tauli Masjid, 4) Hyderabad Tower, of course, an impressive symbol.

4). It is said that the four minarets of Charminar are a symbol of the first four caliphs of Islam.

5). The main gates to the north of the Char Minar are the four entrances, which are called the Char Kaman.

6). There is a watch on each curve of the four towers which was built in 1889.

7). To reach the upper floor of the four towers, 149 steps need to be climbed. All minarets are separated by 149 aerial steps.

Charminar inside

8). Charminar attracts a large number of tourists not only because of its grand appearance but also due to the glory of the old times.

9). It is said that after its construction, Muhammad Quli prayed to Allah there, because of plague disease.

10). The Charminar has a stone balcony as well as a terrace and two galleries that look like a terrace.

11). The four-tower structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar, and pulverized marble.

12). The main gallery of the tower has space for 45 people to offer Namaz.

13). It is said that there is also a secret route between Charminar and Golconda Fort, which was formerly the capital of Quli Qutb Shah, and in an emergency, the people of the royal family were safely sent from one place to another by this secret route. But even today no one has found the actual place of that secret door.

14). These four towers as old as the city are in the middle of the old city with this building and are the hallmark of the Qutub Shahi era.

15). It is said that power fell on the tower in 1824, which was repaired at a cost of 100000.

16). The Charminar named “Arc de Triumph of the East” is the hallmark of Hyderabad.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.