Charminar – The Beating Heart of Hyderabad
Built in 1591 AD by Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, Charminar stands elegantly amidst the crowded old city. The square shaped monument built out of lime and mortar has predominantly Islamic style design. Flanked by four minarets on every corner it is believed that they are symbolic of Islam’s first four Khalifas. A short climb up the minaret leads to the top floor opening up a view of the sprawling market beneath.
It is widely accepted that the Charminar was built to commemorate the eradication of the plague which was widespread during that period in the city. According to Jean de Thévenot, a French traveler of the 17th century the construction was done to celebrate the beginning of the second Islamic millennium year. Others believe that the king erected the structure at the very spot where he first laid his eyes on his future begum (wife), Bhagmati. There are watches in the four cardinal directions which were added in the year 1889.At the base of Charminar was originally a Vazu (water cistern) at the center with a small fountain for customary ablutions, before offering prayers in the mosque.
Things to do and see
The structure looks spectacular when illuminated at night. Walk around the markets to buy locally made ‘itr’ or perfumes. Visit Laad Bazar, the bangle market for a range of colourful and glittery bangles. Have Hyderabad’s famous Irani chai and street food in the old cafe’s infront of Charminar.