The two major reasons to visit the City of Nizams, Hyderabad, are the Charminar and Hyderabadi biriyani. A visit to the city is condidered incomplete without a visit to Charminar.
This square shaped monument is one of the major landmarks of Hyderabad. Another important monument Mecca Masjid is visible from Charminar. This structure was erected during the reign of Quli Qutb Shah when the capital was shifted from Golconda to Hyderabad.
The tall structure of Charminar
Photo Courtesy: Soham Banerjee
Charminar is a word coined by 'char' and 'minar' which literally translates to 'Four Towers'. Let's know about some of the interesting facts about this marvellous piece of architecture.
1. The four minarets
The four minarets of Charminar depict the first four Khalifas (leaders) of Islam. Each of the minaret has 4 storeys.
Silhouette of the towers
Photo Courtesy: Tabrez Syed
2. Planning of the city
It is interesting to know that the city of Hyderabad was planned around Charminar with two main roads intersecting and that run North-South and East-West.
3. Steps to Reach the Top
You have to take a flight of 149 steps to reach the top floor of each minaret.
4. Sides of the Minar
The minar has a giant arch at each minar, each arch that is 11m wide and 20m in height. Each of these arches has a clock that was installed way back in 1889.
Clock at each tower
Photo Courtesy: Jamie Wilkinson
5. Markets Around Charminar
Some of the markets around Charminar are Laad Bazaar, Perfume Market, Nagina Market, Bird Market and Shahran Market.
6. Style in Architecture
The monument is built in granite and lime mortar using Cazia style of architecture.
7. Mosque within the monument
The first floor of Charminar consists of a mosque.
7. Main Gallery of Charminar
The main gallery of the monument has 45 covered prayer spaces. Right in front of the stucture, there is a vast open article that can accommodate many people for prayers on Fridays.
Detailing of Charminar
Photo Courtesy: Peter Gibbons
8. Underground Tunnel
It is believed that an underground tunnel connects Charminar and Golconda Fort, which was built as a getaway route for the royal family, in case of an emergency. However, the location of the tunnel is still not found.
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