Charminar

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Charminar is a mosque located in the heart of the city Hyderabad, India. Constructed in 1591 AD by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the Charminar was built to serve as a mosque. The word Charminar is derived from two distinct words Char and Minar, which means four towers. Today, it is one of the most recognized monuments of India.

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The monument is made of granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble. The city was planned by architects from Persia and so, Charminar has an Indo-Islamic and Persian architectural style.

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It has a square structure with each side 20 meters long. There are four grand arches.

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There is a large open space in front to accommodate many people for Friday prayers. The main gallery has 45 covered spaces that are used for prayer. There is also a legend that tells about the existence of a secret tunnel underneath the monument as a means of escape for royal families in an emergency.

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A bell I saw on the upper floor of Charminar…
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Four arches inside

The central pointed high arch at the center has a lotus shaped structure.

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The lotus shaped structure at the center

The building has a double balcony. There are 149 winding steps to reach the upper floor. There are stairs on all the four sides but only one of them is open for tourists.

Once I climbed up the stairs, I enjoyed the breathtaking view of the city from there. There are three mosques around. From the western end of the open roof, I saw the Mecca Masjid mosque. There was a flock of pigeons in front of the mosque. This beautiful and ornate mosque is made of bricks from Mecca and decorated with Belgian crystal chandeliers!

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Mecca Masjid as viewed from Charminar
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Masjid E Sardar Begum as viewed from Charminar

The clock on the four cardinal directions of Charminar was added in 1889.

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From the top of Charminar,I saw the busy street downstairs and the rush in the Laad Baazar down. After coming down the monument, I went to do a little shopping. The Laad Baazar is a very old market for jewellery, silverware, embroidered fabrics, silk materials, handicrafts, perfumes, etc. Its a place where a tourist could enjoy unlimited shopping!

The monument of Charminar is a symbol of Hyderabadi culture and now stands as a testament to the glorious era of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.

 

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