The Charminar – or literally Four Towers – is a monument and mosque located in the center of Hyderabad. There are many theories about why the Charminar was built. The Archaeological Survey of India states, “It is widely accepted that Charminar was built at the center of the city, to commemorate the eradication of plague” as Qutb Shah (of the Qutb Shahi Tombs fame) had prayed for the end of a plague that was ravaging his city.
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.
You can climb to the top, but expect a long line – and know that the Charminar is still a functioning Mosque and Madraasa. The neighborhood is quite crowded with many tiny shops: this being a major marketplace in Hyderabad. During Golden Hour at sunset the Charminar is a sight to see, with the bright Andhra sun shining on the limestone and granite of the minarets.
Pair a trip to the Charminar with a visit to the calmer Chowmahalla Palace nearby.
- Hours: variable, closed on Friday
- Address: Khilwat, Charminar, Hyderabad, AP 500082
- Directions: Go to the center city – ask anyone for Charminar. They will guide you. I would suggest a taxi or hired car.
- Charminar on Wikipedia
- Charminar on Andhra Pradesh tourism site