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Hyderabad and surrounding
Temples, Churches
Temples, Churches

There is a beautiful ancient mosque almost in the center of the city of Hyderabad. It was built in 1591. And thanks to its four tall minarets, it acquired the name of Charminar, meaning «four towers». It is often referred to as the Arc de Triomphe of the East, and none of the cities of India has a similar arc.

Charminar is a classic example of Muslim architecture. The square building with minarets is almost 50 meters high. Inside, each tower hides a beautiful staircase consisting of 149 steps and leading to the observation deck with a remarkable view of the city.

From each side, the mosque is decorated with arches 11 meters high, ornamented with granite and marble carvings. Probably, it is because of them that Charminar is sometimes called the Gates of Hyderabad. At the end of the 19th century, big clocks were installed above each arch. They still work today showing the exact time and allowing the whole city to use it as a reference.

On the eastern part of the open roof of Charminar, there is a mosque. It is tiny and can host only 45 people. And, as in many cases, tourists aren’t allowed there.

But Charminar is more than a religious structure. It is a sort of commercial center of the city. The mosque is surrounded by kiosks and stalls, shops, and the Laad Bazaar, the most popular market in the city.

But even that is not the primary thing. Charminar is a cultural landmark. And it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. So, there are countless legends about it. For example, it is supposed that this mosque was built by a sultan to make the city more attractive and to increase its population this way. Another legend says that it is a treasury and its dungeons hide hundreds of kilos of gold. Some say that there is an underground tunnel that connects Charminar with Golconda Fort, which is correspondingly old.

Address: Charminar

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

All content and media files are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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