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  • LocationCharminar

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Charminar, the edifice of the four minarets, is the legendary masterpiece of the Qutub Shahis. The awesome rectangular structure was built upon a four grand arches by Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1951. But the significance and relevance of Charminar is a subject of endless debates.

The plan is square, each side 20 m long, while four arches are 11m wide and 20m from the plinth. The four storied minarets rise 20m from the roof of massive monument and measure 24m from the plinth. It is these four (char) minarets (minar)that give the building its name ‘Charminar’. The western section of the roof contains a mosque, ranking among the finest, gifted Qutub artisans ever built. There are 45 prayer spaces with a large open space in the front to accommodate more for Friday prayers. To the east of this space is a lovely verandah with a large open arch in the center, flanked by the smaller ones on the both sides. The clocks above each of the four archways were added in 1889. At the base of southern-western corner of Charminar is a small Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Laksmi, which is also a relatively recent addition.

The important theories advanced about the significance of Charminar are that the upper storey was a school, a pumping reservoir for water or simply a gateway. Whatever be the truth, Charminar today is synonymous with Hyderabad’s old world charm and beauty and connotes Qutub Shahi grandeur to tourists who are allowed to go up its spiral stairways. Directly south-east of the Charminar is the imposing edifice of the Nizamia Unani Hospital. About 50m to the west lies the Lad Bazaar and the entrance to what was the Nizam’s Jilau Khana or Parade Grounds. The grounds are now being developes into large commercial complex.