Charminar, built by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1591 to appease the forces of evil and protect this new city from plague and epidemic. Beautiful monument in granite, lime, mortar, around which the state of Hyderabad started.

To reach here, cross over the Puranapul "Old bridge" to the Old City that lies south of the Musi River, passing the impressive Osmania Hospital and High Court buildings that stand on either bank. Moving toward the heart of the Old City, you enter the Charkaman area between four great gates, Charkaman means "Four Great Gates". Within these gates you can find Hyderabad's famed pearl and bangle markets, and also the striking Charminar.

Charminar means "four minarets", is a square structure with four minarets in the four corners of the square, each of its sides is 20 metres in length. Every side opens into a platform through huge arches, 20 metres high from the plinth and 11 metres wide. Each minarets are four-storeyed and is 24 metres tall from the roof of the edifice. Climb 149 steep, dark spiral stairways steps inside the minarets to reach open verandahs, from top you can have a panoramic view of the city. Be careful, as there are gaps in the protective railing.

At the western end of the roof of Charminar is the oldest mosque in the city. The remaining of the roof was used as a court in Qutub Shahi period. Atop the monument are 45 prayer spaces for offering Namaz "worship". On the east side of this space is a spacious verandah with small and large arches in the middle. The first floor has beautiful balconies from where you can view this historic city.

Around Charminar you will find many colorful markets where you can walk and do shopping, one of them is "Lad Bazaar", popular for colorful stone, glass and handmade bangles. Another market is of pearls. Do bargaining in shops to get good price on your items.

Old monuments around are the Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace, Khilwat Mahal, Purani Haveli, Unani Hospital, Malwala Palace and Dewan Devdi.

Timings: 9.00am to 5.30pm (All days open)
Phone: (+91-40) 24522990
Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Indians, Rs. 100 Foreigners

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