Saturday, November 9, 2013

Charmed by Charminar!

 Last year, when I visited Hyderabad (erthwhile) I made it a point to visit the much famed Charminar.

Entering the old city with a view of Charminar.
Here are some facts about this imposing structure standing tall at the intersection of four busy roads:
a)      One of the main landmarks of Hyderabad.
b)      It is known as Charminar because of its four (char = four, in Hindi; Minar in Arabic, manara = spire/tower) minarets.
c)      It is one of the main landmarks of Hyderabad.
d)     Known as ‘The Arc de Triomphe of the East”
e)      It was built in 1591to commemorate the eradication of plague in Hyderabad.
f)       It is a  massive square structure, 56 meters (183.72 feet) high and 30 meters (98.42 feet) wide
g)      It is built of granite and lime mortar.
h)      Each of the four grand arches of this structure, face the four cardinal directions that open into four streets which lead to thriving markets known as Laad Baazaar and Pather Gatti, which are famous for exquisite bangles and pearls, respectively.
i)        It has four minarets, one on each of its corners. These fluted minarets are attached to the main building and rise towards the sky to a height of 56 m (183.72 ft). Each minaret has a double balcony.
j)        Inside the minarets, 149 winding steps lead to the top floor, which provides a panoramic view of the city. However, the general public is not allowed to access this.
k)      It is the oldest surviving mosque in the city of Hyderabad. 

Delicate stone work adornment

A view of the imposing structure.
Adjacent to this monument is a Durga temple – an excellent example of communal harmony!

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