is an imposing monument, which reflects the glory of
the Qutub Shahi dynasty. It is a massive square structure,
56 m (183.72 ft) high and 30 m (98.42 ft) wide. This
monument is built entirely of granite and lime mortar.
It has 4 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
of the Charminar has a double balcony. A small bulbous
cupola crowns each of these beautiful minarets, which
is decorated with petal like formations. A short pointed
spire crowns all the minarets.
The four grand arches
of the Charminar face the four cardinal directions.
Once upon a time each of these arches led to four royal
roads. Each of the four arches is decorated on its
sides with a row of small arched niches. The Charminar
is a two-storied building with the first floor being
covered. The elegant balconies on this floor provide
excellent vantage point for viewing the surrounding
areas. There is a small mosque on the top floor of
the building, which can be reached by climbing a total
of 149 steps. The mosque is situated on the western
side facing the Muslim holy city of Mecca. There are
as many as 45 prayer spaces on this floor, which does
not have a roof on top of it. It is said that people
thronged this mosque to offer Friday prayers, during
the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty in Hyderabad.
This mosque is the oldest surviving mosque in the city
of Hyderabad. The panoramic view of the city from the
top is simply breathtaking.
The Charminar is a unique
blend of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture that
flourished in India during the medieval period. The
beauty of this enchanting monument is accentuated every
evening when it is illuminated.