A splendid piece of architecture standing in the heart of the city built by Quli Qutub Shah, in 1591. This magnificent monument is the unique symbol of Hyderabad. Charminar is often called as "The Arc de triomphe of the East". It is considered as the legendary masterpiece of Qutub Shahi's. This beautiful structure derives its name from four intricately carved minarets, The four graceful minarets literally meaning 'Four Minars', soar to a height of 48.7m each, above the ground. It is located amidst the colourful shops of Lad Bazaar with its glittering traditional bangles in the old city. Enormous in its size, this imposing monument exudes a charm that is more than 400 years old.
The Qutub Shahi Reign :
The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Owing to the inadequacy of water and frequent epidemics of plague and cholera Quli Qutub Shah established the new city with the Charminar at its centre with four great roads fanning out in four cardinal directions.
The plan is a square, each side 20m long, while the four arches are 11m wide and rise 20m from the plinth. The four-storeyed minarets rise 20m from the roof of the massive monument and measure 24m from the plinth. The western section of the roof contains a mosque, ranking among the finest the gifted Qutub Shahi artisans ever built.
There are 45 prayer spaces with a large open space in front to accommodate more for Friday prayers. To the east of this space is a lovely verandah with a large open arch in the centre, flanked by smaller ones on both sides.
A Representation Of Indo-Sarcenic Tradition :
It was built with granite and lime-mortar. It is a blend of 'Cazia' and Islamic style of architecture. The intertwined arches and domes are examples of typical Islamic style of the architecture. The graceful floral motif atop the Charminar is enchanting. The Charminar depicts the Indo-Saracenic tradition - a symbiosis of the Hindu and the Muslim traditions, which has woven the magic of a rich Deccan culture. The Charminar looks spectacular particularly in the nights when it is illuminated. It offers an excellent panoramic view of the city and Golconda Fort, which makes the mind go back into time and recapitulates the past glory of Hyderabad during the Qutub Shahi times. Charminar has become an inseparable part of the history of Hyderabad.