Sunday, June 26, 2016

Charminar

Location: Charminar, Ghansi Bazaar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500264, India
The Charminar is a monument and mosque, located in Hyderabad,
Telangana, India. Constructed in 1591 CE, by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah The landmark has become a global icon of Hyderabad, listed among the most recognized structures of India.

The Charminar is situated on the east bank of Musi river. To the west lies the Laad Bazaar, and to the southwest lies the richly ornamented granite Makkah Masjid.

It is listed as an archaeological and architectural treasure on the official "List of Monuments" prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India under the The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.

The English name is a translation and combination of the Urdu words Chār and Minar or meenar, translating to "Four Towers"; the eponymous towers are ornate minarets attached and supported by four grand arches.

It is widely accepted that charminar was built at the center of the city, to commemorate the eradication of plague", a deadly disease which was wide spread at that time. as Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah had prayed for the end of a plague that was ravaging his city and vowed to build a Mosque at the very place where he prayed.

The Charminar is a square structure with each side 20 meters (approximately 66 feet) long, with four grand arches each facing a fundamental point that open into four streets. At each corner stands an exquisitely shaped minaret, 56 meters (approximately 184 feet) high, with a double balcony. Each minaret is crowned by a bulbous dome with dainty petal-like designs at the base. Unlike the Taj Mahal's, Charminar's four fluted minarets are built into the main structure. There are 149 winding steps to reach the upper floor. The structure is also known for its profusion of stucco decorations and the arrangement of its balustrades and balconies.

The structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar and pulverised marble. Initially the monument with its four arches was so proportionately planned that when the fort was opened one could catch a glimpse of the bustling Hyderabad city, as these Charminar arches were facing the most active royal ancestral streets.

There is also a legend of an underground tunnel connecting the Golla konda fort to Charminar, possibly intended as an escape route for the Qutb Shahi rulers in case of a siege, though the location of the tunnel is unknown.

A mosque is located at the western end of the open roof; remaining part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. The actual mosque occupies the top floor of the four-storey structure. A vault which appears from inside like a dome supports two galleries within the Charminar, one over another, and above those a terrace that serves as a roof, bordered with a stone balcony. The main gallery has 45 covered prayer spaces with a large open space in front to accommodate more people for Friday prayers.

The clock on the four cardinal directions was added in 1889. There is a vazu (water cistern) in the middle, with a small fountain for ablution before offering prayer in the Charminar Mosque.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charminar

Image By Sumeetrajendrabhavsar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21479163

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