The Charming Charminar – Status Symbol of Hyderabad

Charminar, a memorial masjid situated in Hyderabad, Telangana is established in 1951CE. It is in the style of Islamic architecture and about 48.7m (160ft) height and encloses four minarets. Charminar one of the popular land mark of India, has now known as the status symbol of Hyderabad. It is surrounded by Musi river on the east, Laad Baazar on the west and Maccah Masjid on the south west

The word Charminar is derived from two Urdu words – ‘char’ and ‘minar’ meaning together four towers. The four similar towers are designed elaborately and connected through four magnificent arches. According to The Archaeological Survey of India, Charminar was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in order to celebrate the complete evacuation of plague from his land. As dreadful plague was destroying his people and city, Qutb Shah prayed for help and promised to construct a Masjid , for helping him. And in 1591 CE, at the centre of the city he constructed the monumental Charminar at the very same place where he prayed for the grace of god.

The Muslims widely celebrate this event as Qutb Shah,the founder of the City of Hyderabad and as the starting of 2nd millennium of Hijra era. Historian Masud Hussain Khan asserts that work of Charminar had been finished only by 1592 and the city of Hyderabad was established by 1591. But the book “Days of the Beloved ” says that Qutb Shah built the Charminar in the place where he met his beloved queen Bhagmati for the first time and named the city Hyderabad. Thus story gained wide popularity among local people, though historians and scholars don’t accept this During Qutb Shah’s rule one of the minarets (south western) was destructed by lightning and got fully damaged. It was reconstructed and re-plastered in 1824.

Charminar bridges the Trade markets of Golconda and Musalipatanam port. Charminar within the centre of Hyderabad city is widely stretched into four parts, char kaman or four gate ways in the fundamental directions. Mir Momin Asterbadi, prime minister of Qutb Shah developed the structural plan for Charminar and the new city of Hyderabad. He was also assisted by Persian architects. Its architectural style is Indo – Islamic blended with Persian style. The structure was meant for both masjid and madrassa. The structure of Charminar is square shaped with the length of 20m each side and with four splendid arches opening to cardinal directions of four streets. This arches are linked by elaborately designed minarets at four meeting points, each of 56m height and incorporates two balconies adorned with rounded vault having pretty flower petal markings at the bottom. Minarets are enclosed with 149 rounded steps leading to top floor. These minarets are famous because of the abundance of stucco ornamentation and the orderly disposition of its balustrades and balconies. It is built of pulverized marble, mortar, limestone and granite. From this fort one can enjoy the mind blowing , throbbing city of Hyderabad.

It is also believed that there exists a tunnel underground which connects Charminar to Golconda, but the site was unknown till now. At the west part of the roof there is a mosque and a court. In 1889 clocks were included in the fundamental directions and in the centre there is a water reservoir and a fountain for the people who come for prayer. Makkah masjid, another splendid mosque located near Charminar is also a place of historical importance. Qutb shah built this masjid using bricks made of soil brought from Mecca, the holy land of Muslims. Hence the name Meccah Masjid

Charminar is famous for its lively and throbbing market spread around it with a no of 14000 stores. Laad baazar widely known for its ornament and bangles, Pather Gatti known for pearls are some among them.

Charming Charminar with its majestic style and ornamental structure influenced the people so much that the Hyderabad Muslims in Pakistan recreated a tiny Charminar at Bahadurabad near Karachi. Charmed by Charminar, a chocolatier Adelbest Boucher made a model of Charminar out of 50 kgs of chocolate.