Whenever we think about the historic city of Hyderabad , three things come in every travelers mind , exquisite pearls , finest biryani and the the historic Charminar . It is rightly said that no visit to Hyderabad is complete without visiting the Charminar and rightly said so . I have the privilege of living in the city which is known by this iconic structure . Charminar literally translates as “the four minarets” and rightly called so as it consists of four minarets one for each direction . Built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty of India it is the perfect match of the Hindu-Islamic architecture a perfect blend of how Indian architecture flourished in the Deccan plateau . Formerly known as BHAGYANAGAR , Hyderabad is the perfect example of communal harmony in India which houses a dargah (Muslim religious place) and the bhagyalakshmi devi temple ( temple of the goddess of fortune after whom the city was called as bhagyanagar ) on its adjacent entrances
There are varying legends as to why the magnificent structure was built . One account says that the sultan built it in honor of his wife, Bhagyamathi (or Bhagmathi), together with the construction of Hyderabad itself. Another, more popular, legend is that the sultan built it to honor a promise to Allah when he prayed for an end to a plague that ravaged the new city. The building got its name from its four minarets, which were possibly meant to honor the first four caliphs of Islam. Another legend also holds that a secret tunnel runs underneath the monument that connects the palace at Golconda to it should the royal family need to escape but so far, no such tunnels have been found.
THE ARCHITECTURE AND BUILD
The Charminar is in a square shape, with the four minarets in each of the corners. The sides measure 20 meters each, and the minarets stand at a height of 48.7 meters from the ground. Every side of the Charminar opens into a plaza and through giant arches that overlook four major thoroughfares. The arches also dwarf the other features of the building except the minarets, and these could be the reason why the Charminar was given its other nickname. The minarets, on the other hand, have four stories each, marked by a carved ring. There are 149 winding steps inside each, which the visitor can use to climb up in order to glimpse a breathtaking view of the city. At the western end of the Charminar’s roof is a mosque–the oldest in Hyderabad. Atop the building are 45 prayer spaces where the devout can worship. The first floor has beautiful balconies where one can also get a fantastic view of the city.
Islamic architecture is characterized mostly by the deployment of arches, minarets, and domes in order to make a unified whole, and the Charminar answers to this principle impressively. In spite of this, though, it still has several features that answer to Hindu architecture, and as a whole, it embodies elements of the temple architecture of South India, a fitting testament to the Hindu and Islam-influenced culture of Hydebaran and the dynasty that built it.
THE FOLKLORES RELATED TO HYDERABAD AND CHARMINAR
it is said that as the plague subsided and as the city was restored to its old charm the sultan and the people of Hyderabad believed that the city had a boon that none of its residents would sleep empty stomach and hence the city was called as Bhagyanagar , “the city of fortune” and its was believed even by the nizam that it was by the grace of the Bhagyalakshmi goddess and rightly so the people of Hyderabad have a variety of biscuit called as the “osmania biscuit” , one biscuit is enough to fill an empty stomach , a biscuit that is available at a cost of about a half of a penny which has a geographical status and is found nowhere else
a popular folklore states that while the nizam “sultan” was having an Ariel view of his city goddess bhagyalakshmi the goddess of wealth approached her as she was not satisfied with the sultans way of ruling and she was leaving the city and standing at the base of the monument sent the sultans attender to inform him the same as she felt that it might be unfair on her part that she would leave without notice , the attender went to the sultan and informed the same , the king was puzzled and worried as it was his duty to make his subjects full of fortune and if the goddess of fortune would leave the city it would be again be prone to misfortune and illness , acting witty the sultan killed the attender and the attender never returned to the goddess and the goddess still waits at the base of the monument which defines the legend of the bhagyalakshmi temple at Charminar
In the busy streets of the old city and its surrounding laad bazaar and mecca masjid , the HI-TECH capital of India , Hyderabad shows its shades of forgotten history and heritage that speaks volumes of its past legacy and grandeur that defines the historical heritage of India
LOOKING FORWARD TO EXPLORE THE UNEXPLORED SIDE OF HYDERABAD IN MY OWN SIGNATURE WAY IN DAYS TO COME !!!!!!
PROUD HYDERABADI 🙂 😉