Sights of Charminar in Hyderabad, India

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Well, what’s a trip to Hyderabad without visiting the Charminar? Even though I was in Hyderabad for only one day, I decided that I will visit Charminar, no matter what. So, after the Salar Jung Museum and Chowmahalla palace, I headed straight to Charminar!

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Ok, I do agree that the Charminar captured by my camera doesn’t look as big or majestic as other photos available on the Internet, but this is a more realistic version. I have seen some night photos/long shots of the Charminar which look amazing, but then with finite amount of time to spend in this place (and due to the lack of long-shot photography skills), this is what I was able to get.

Actually, I took an auto to the Chowmahalla palace from Salar Jung Museum. The auto guy said, 40 rupees fixed. I thought WoW. He didn’t know that I came from Chennai and in my town, fixed prices often start from something higher than the amount quoted by him 🙂 While going, the auto-guy was quite conscious of ‘over-charging’ me and gave me a lot of tips. He showed me how to go to Charminar by walk, he showed me the bus-stand from where I could get a bus back to the terminus where I wanted to go next, etc. Oh, it was so refreshing to see such a helpful auto-guy 🙂

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Actually, when I started from the Chowmahalla palace, it was around 5:00 PM. If I had gone straight to the Charminar, I would have been able to climb above the spiral stairs and enjoyed the view from near the clock (in the above picture). I could have even taken photos from there and enabled you people to see the view from there too. Little did I know that the timings for going up the stairs in the Charminar closes by 5:30 PM!

I could have still made it had I just traveled straight from the palace. It takes just ten minutes, by walk. But on the road I saw one shop selling masala dosa. I was like ‘Wow’. I went in to eat one but since the food is much tastier in Hyderabad (compared to Bangalore), I couldn’t resist eating two of them (Butter masala)! 45 minutes. I lost precious 45 minutes there, and hence I was not able to climb the Charminar. It’s ok, I guess I can use this excuse to visit this place once again when I go there 🙂

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So, I was able to only watch these people from outside 🙁 But the butter masala dosa was too good – don’t miss 😉 Now for some gyan on Charminar – ‘Char”Minar’ means Four Minarets. As you can see in the photos, there are four tall (56m) towers/minarets in the corners of this square structure, which measures – 20m x 20m. It seems that the Charminar was built in 1591 AD by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth ruler of Qutb Shahi dynasty. It seems it was built to commemorate two events – The shift of capital from Golkonda to proper Hyderabad and the elimination of a plague epidemic from the city.

It seems each minaret has four stories and this structure is actually a mosque. There is place on the upper floor of Charminar for people to pray. Back then, it was at the center of the four royal roads connecting the main administrative areas of the city. It seems the Laad bazaar and Pather Gatti markets near Charminar are very famous for jewelery (bangles) and pearls. No, I didn’t buy any 🙂

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This is the best shot of Charminar I was able to get. Near to the Charminar, there is one more mosque (actually the biggest mosque in South India and third biggest mosque in India) – Mecca Masjid. Before going there, I asked one shop-keeper if I can go inside (as I was not a Muslim) and he told me, ‘Just go. How can anyone know that you are not a Muslim?’. But since I didn’t want to incite any Hindu-Muslim problems (my small contribution to maintaining cultural harmony) and the websites clearly mentioned that entry to the mosque is restricted only to Muslims, I decided not to go inside. Here are two photos that I took from outside the mosque though.

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You can find more information on this Mecca Masjid from here.

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16 Replies to “Sights of Charminar in Hyderabad, India”

  1. Wow! Charminar! The pictures are gorgeous DI! Loved every bit of it. The charminar is glowing with the sunshine hitting them. Thanks for those information.
    I’ve been to Hyderabad quite a few times during summer hols coz my aunt and cousins stay there. I’ve been to every place there, but I don’t have any pictures to reminisce about them. And i never knew any of these info about the place. I love chudi bazaar (bangle bazaar) – the street parallel to the entrance. And if you go there during night, it’s the most happening place with dazzling lights and shimmering glow that comes from the bangles. .

    1. Yes, I heard about the Chudi bazaar. But since I didn’t have any reason to visit it, I didn’t concentrate much. I was more interested in the masala dosa actually 🙂

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    1. This Charminar is located right in the center of the old city. Whenever you go to Hyd, it’s going to be very easy to reach this place.

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  2. If you had not eaten TWO masala dosas but climbed the Charminar, you could have saved some money, time and LOST calories too! Hmmm….

    I had climbed this place and visited chudi bazaar too, a few years back, but missed to meet Saritha! Your pictures are good!

    I liked the huge saambaar vada they gave in the hotel! Masala dosa will wait for my next visit!

    1. Next time I am going there, I have decided what to eat – Sambar Vada! 🙂 Yes, I should have gone straight to the Charminar and climbed it. But I didn’t know about the timings.

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  3. Salarjung Museum and Charminar…i still hold those wonderful memories during my stay in hyderabad for around 6 months in 2006…

    thank you Rajesh for making me re-live those memories through this post…

    1. How I wish I could stay on in Hyderabad for at least ten days. This place seems to have a lot of interesting tourist spots.

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  4. Fantastic angles and an impressive historic building.
    Never been to Hyderabad. Want to see Hyderabad and also Vizag. If you have some money to spare for tourism, then people prefer to go to Singapore, Malaysia and all. So distant Indian places become not so attractive.

    1. People are stunned when I say I don’t have a passport. Strangely, I think I am not going to take one in the near future.

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