Charminar is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad the capital city of the south Indian state of Telangana. Its name literally means “four minarets” – and as the name suggests, it has four large minarets which are its identification marks. It is a major landmark in Hyderabad city and is often listed among the most recognised and must-visit structures in India.
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, who was the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (a dynasty of rulers who ruled the Golconda Sultanate and the region that is Hyderabad today, between the 16th and 17th centuries A.D) built the Charminar in 1591 (or 1592 according to some reports) after shifting his capital from Golkonda to the city of Hyderabad which was then newly formed and being developed. The Old City of Hyderabad was in fact designed with Charminar as its centrepiece!
The Charminar is a square structure having a length of about 20 meters (approximately 66 feet) on each side. Each of the four sides of this building have a grand arch opening directly onto the street/road in front of it.
There are around 149 steps to reach the upper floor of this monument, from where a beautiful view of the city from all sides can be experienced. At each four corners of this building, are four 56 meter-high (approximately 184 feet) minarets. Each minaret has a dome on top, and petal-like designs at their base.
The materials and stones used in the construction of this monument are granite, limestone, mortar, and pulverised marble.
The Charminar id open to visitors from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM daily, on all days of the week. An entry ticket is needed to enter the monument, which will cost INR 20 per head, for Indian nationals. For non-Indians/foreign nationals, the ticket price is INR 250 per head.
The distance from Charminar to Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is 25 km, and it can be reached within 40 minutes by road. The nearest railway stations from Charminar are Hyderabad Deccan Railway station (4.1km away) and Kacheguda Railway Station (5.5km away), either of which can be travelled to under 20 minutes.
The heart and soul of the city of Hyderabad, the grand Charminar was built in 1591 by Muhammad QuliQutb Shah of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. A mosque with four towering minarets on all its side, Charminar is an iconic symbol of the city’s legacy and a centerpiece around which the city was planned. Reflecting the composition of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, the Charminar is a fine specimen of the ancient masterpiece with an even grand interior.