Monday, October 10, 2011

Charminar, Hyderabad Deccan.

Charminar, Hyderabad Deccan.

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Charminar meaning "Mosque of the Four Minarets"

and "Four Towers" is the most famous mosque and monument

in the city of Hyderabad, capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Charminar has the signature style of Islamic architecture.

This great tribute to aesthetics looks sturdy and solid from a

distance but as one moves closer, it emerges as an elegant and

romantic edifice proclaiming its architectural eminence in all its detail

and dignity. Charminar looks equally spectacular at night

when it is illuminated. Apart from being the core of the city’s

cultural milieu, it has become a brand name.

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Charminar is a beautiful and impressive square monument.

Each side measures 20 m, and each of the corners has a tall,

pointed minaret. These four gracefully carved minarets soar to

a height of 48.7 m above the ground, commanding the landscape

for miles around. Each minaret has four stories, marked by a

delicately carved ring around the minaret. Unlike the Taj Mahal,

Charminar's four fluted minarets of Charminar are built into the

main structure. Inside the minarets 149 winding steps guide the

visitor to the top floor, the highest point one can reach, which

provides a panoramic view of the city.

The actual masjid occupies the top floor of the four-storey structure.

Madame Blavatsky reports that each of the floors was meant for a

separate branch of learning - before the structure was transformed

by the Imperial British administration into a warehouse for opium and liqueurs.

Each side of the structure opens into a plaza through giant arches

that overlook four major thoroughfares, which once were royal roads.

The arches dwarf other features of the building except the minarets.

Each arch is 11 m wide and rises 20 m to the pinnacle from the plinth,

which is a large table raised seven or eight feet from the ground with

steps that go up to it. Today, the four arches each have a clock, which

was installed in 1889. This monument is equally graceful on the inside

having intricate designs. The painstaking details result in a graceful and

quite elegant look.

The monument overlook another beautiful and grand

masjid called Makkah Masjid. The area surrounding

Charminar is also known by same name.

A thriving market still lies around the Charminar, attracting

people and merchandise of every description.

In its heyday, the Charminar market had some

14,000 shops; today the famous markets known as Laad Baazar

and Pather Gatti, near the Charminar, are a favourite of both

tourists and locals alike for jewellery,

especially known for exquisite bangles and pearls respectively.

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A vault that 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.

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It is said that, during the Mughal Governorship between Qutb Shahi

and Asaf Jahi rule, the south western minaret "fell to pieces" after

being struck by lightning, but "was forthwith repaired" at a

cost of Rs 60,000. In 1824, the monument was replastered

at a cost of Rs 100,000.

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