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Built upon four grand arches facing the four directions
with its high slender minarets and spiral staircases, the structure reflects
the glory of the Qutub Shahi dynasty.
There are four minarets in the four corners which soar upwards about 22 metres from the roof of the square structure. Each minaret stand on a lotus-leaf base that is a recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings and has four floors, each looking like a skillfully carved ring around the minaret. In between the floors of each minaret, there are spiral staircases of 149 steps which ascend to triple tiers of balconies from where one can have beautiful views of the old city. From the ground to the apex, the minarets cover a length of 56 meters and on top they taper off to a bulbous dome crowned by a brass spire. The dome is decorated with petal like motifs.
The upper levels of the Charminar were used as a madrasa and mosque, from where royal proclamations were read out to the assembled public. The beautiful mosque is situated on the western section of the top floor facing the holy city of Mecca. The rear wall of the mosque is indicated by blank niches framed by petalled ornament. There are 45 open air prayer spaces without roof, to accommodate more people in Friday prayers. To the east of this space is a spacious verandah with large open arches in the center, flanked by smaller ones on both sides . There is a water tank in the middle. The first floor has beautiful balconies from where one has a fantastic view of the historic city.
Charminar has become an inseparable part of the history of Hyderabad. There is a belief that Charminar was built to mark the end of an epidemic of plague in the city. The beautiful structure looks spectacular particularly in the nights when it is illuminated. The arch is illuminated each evening from 7pm to 9pm. Open Weekdays: 0900-1700; Saturdays: 0900-1700.
The bustling bazaars near Charminar sell pearls, bangles, dresses and typical Hyderabadi delicacies. Nearby there are many structures that are historically and architecturally significant.