A trip to the city of Nizams is never complete if your sightseeing list gives Charminar a miss.
In 1591, Charminar, which means four pillars, has been built as a monument and mosque which has emerged as the global icon for Hyderabad. It occupies the place of pride in the official “List of Monuments” prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Story of the storeys- Popular theory states that Charminar was built to honour a pledge done by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah to Allah, when a deadly plague was taking its toll in his city. History also states that the construction of Charminar had also marked the foundation of the city of Hyderabad, when Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad.
The built: Claimed being the first multi storeyed structure built in the city, the Charminar masjid has been constructed as a square structure with four grand arches each facing a point that opens into four streets. The four minarets stand at four corners each measuring approximately 184ft, with a double balcony. Each minaret is built with 149 flights of steps leading to the top floor.
Confluence of religious beliefs: Charminar is said to be an emblem of religious harmony by virtue of the fact that it consists of a mosque occupying the top floor of the four-storey structure with the Bhagyalakshmi temple situated at the base of the structure.
Shopper’s paradise: If you fancy authentic pearls, bangles and other paraphernalia, Laad Baazar, the thriving market surrounding Charminar, is just the place for you. Visit the shops for exquisite trinkets while you explore your skills in bargaining.
Enigmas of Charminar: It is said that all the structures of Charminar tells a tale of mystery. Each of the four minarets has a story and is marked by carved ring.
Legends talk about a secret tunnel between the charminar leading to the Golkonda fort which is rumoured to house treasures yet to be found.
The architect has carved a cat’s head in the apex of one of the small arches on the eastern side which symbolically means that a cat keeps away rats which once plagued the city of Hyderabad.