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Monday, February 15, 2010

Interesting Facts About Charminar

Built in : 1591 AD
Built by : Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah
Location : Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)

Charminar is an important travel destinations & landmark in the city of Hyderabad. The monument is synonymous to the city as well as to its glorious historical past. It was erected, when Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to the present city of Hyderabad. The monument is called so, owing to its four minarets. The splendor of the monument is especially evident during the night time, when it is illuminated. For some more interesting and fun facts about Charminar, read on.

Interesting & Fun Facts about Charminar

    * Charminar was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591.
    * It is believed that Charminar was built to honor a promise Quli Qutb Shah made to Allah.
    * The mosque became popular as Charminar because of its four minarets.
    * The four minarets of Charminar are said to honor the first four khalifas of Islam.
    * The mosque actually occupies the top most floor of the monument.
    * Charminar is a four - storied structure.
    * As per a popular legend, an underground tunnel connects the palace at Golconda to Charminar, in order to provide the Qutb Shahi royal family an escape route in case of a siege. However, the exact location of the tunnel is unknown.
    * Charminar is an impressive square monument.
    * Each side of the monument measure 20 m and each corner has a tall pointed minaret.
    * The height of each minaret is 48.7 m above the ground.
    * Each minaret of Charminar has four stories and is marked by carved ring.
    * Each minaret encloses 149 flights of steps, which take the visitors to the top floor.
    * Each side of the Minar has a giant arch, which is 11 m wide and 20 m high, measuring from the summit to the plinth.
    * Each arch also has a clock, which was installed in 1889.
    * Built with granite and lime mortar, Charminar is a fine example of the Cazia style of architecture.
    * There are two galleries within Charminar, one over another.
    * Above the two galleries, there is a terrace, which acts like a roof along with a stone balcony.
    * The main gallery of the Minar has 45 covered prayer spaces. Just in front, there is a large open space to accommodate more people for prayers on Fridays.
    * Charminar is famous for its intricate carvings and moldings.

The Charminar is an imposing monument, which reflects the glory of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. It is a massive square structure, 56 m (183.72 ft) high and 30 m (98.42 ft) wide. This monument is built entirely of granite and lime mortar. It has 4 minarets one on each of its corners. These fluted minarets are attached to the main building and rise towards the sky to a height of 56 m (183.72 ft). Each minaret of the Charminar has a double balcony. A small bulbous cupola crowns each of these beautiful minarets, which is decorated with petal like formations. A short pointed spire crowns all the minarets.

The four grand arches of the Charminar face the four cardinal directions. Once upon a time each of these arches led to four royal roads. Each of the four arches is decorated on its sides with a row of small arched niches. The Charminar is a two-storied building with the first floor being covered. The elegant balconies on this floor provide excellent vantage point for viewing the surrounding areas. There is a small mosque on the top floor of the building, which can be reached by climbing a total of 149 steps. The mosque is situated on the western side facing the Muslim holy city of Mecca. There are as many as 45 prayer spaces on this floor, which does not have a roof on top of it. It is said that people thronged this mosque to offer Friday prayers, during the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty in Hyderabad. This mosque is the oldest surviving mosque in the city of Hyderabad. The panoramic view of the city from the top is simply breathtaking.

The Charminar is a unique blend of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture that flourished in India during the medieval period. The beauty of this enchanting monument is accentuated every evening when it is illuminated.


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