Feb 14, 2015

Charminar, signature of Hyderabad

I had visited Hyderabad few times earlier but never got an opportunity to see the inside of Charminar. Now having become a resident of Hyderabad, I got an opportunity to spend a morning gazing at the marvel of the structure.

September 27, 2014
Early morning, I was at my friend Srinu's place near Kokapet. From there we drove past Golconda into the city. We approached Charminar from Laad Bazaar street, a very narrow street. However Pathergatti road, the street on which the monument stands is slightly wider. There it is.. the signature of Hyderabad. Through Charminar's arches you can see another structure.. a massive arch.

There are four such arches standing on intersecting roads and at the intersection is an ancient water fountain.

That's the fountain. In the background is another arch. This street is known for jewellery and pearl shops.

Coming back to Charminar, we walk around it looking up at its minars. Well, for this structure, minars are prominent as for Gol Gumbaz the dome is prominent.

That's Srinu with his back to the southern face of Charminar.

There are several theories as to when and why Charminar was built:
  1. The book 'Days of the Beloved' says Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah constructed Charminar in 1589 CE on the very spot where he first glimpsed his future queen Bhagmati.
  2. According to the XVII century French traveller Jean de Thévenot, Charminar was constructed in 1591 CE to commemorate the beginning of the II Islamic millennium.
  3. According to the historian Masud Hussain Khan, Charminar was completed a year after the city of Hyderbad was created in 1591 CE.
  4. Charminar was built to commemorate the eradication of plague as Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah had prayed and vowed to build a mosque.

As seen from the steps leading into the courtyard, looking up towards the arch and minars. Charminar is open to public between 9 am and 5 pm, one has to an entry ticket of Rs.10 (for Indian nationals).

I'm standing in the courtyard formed by the minars and arches looking the northern arch. At the center is a water fountain.

The ancient cast iron water fountain, a similar one can been seen at the palace ruins in Golconda fort.

Above the arches is a gallery and a shallow dome.

The 16 sided gallery is about 40' from the courtyard floor.

The stairway was pretty narrow. The  gallery is well lit and air circulation is good, it was pretty cool up here.

A mural at the dome center. Probably a chandelier hung from the ring..

One of the many windows, the grill pattern has a pattern in it.. triangles and hexagons. Over every arch crest is royal emblem (see inset).

One of the four sides of the gallery, to the right is the courtyard. The floor has drain holes covered by cast iron plates (see inset). The 12" x 8" drain cover seems to be made by an English company named BIF.

Makkah Masjid as seen from Charminar. Even for this structure minars are prominent and it has no dome.

That's Hyderabad Government Nizamia General Hospital. The ancient building is undergoing maintenance. Visitors coming by private cars usually park them in the hospital compound.

At the base of south-eastern minar is a temple dedicated to goddess Bhagyalakshmi.

Before venturing into Charminar we spent some time at Makkah Masjid and had tea at Nimrah Cafe, a typical Irani tea shop and bakery. A morning well spent!



Manjula Umesh said...

Nice post, good captures.

Shahid said...


This really amazing information about the charminar and you written very well