Charminar information

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Hyderabad’s principal landmark was built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 to commemorate the founding of Hyderabad and the end of epidemics caused by Golconda’s water shortage. The dramatic four-column, 56m-high structure has four arches facing the cardinal points. Minarets sit atop each column. The 2nd floor, home to Hyderabad’s oldest mosque, and upper columns are not open to the public. The structure is illuminated from 7pm to 9pm.

The crowded lanes around the Charminar – the neighbourhood is also known as Charminar – are the perfect place to get lost, with sidewalks full of everything from perfumes to kitchen implements to coconuts. Skilled wanderers may find the bird market, or the workshops where varakh (silver foil) is pounded out for use in sweets. Laad Bazaar , west of the monument, is known across southern India as the last word in wedding saris, jewels and bangles, and the area is also the centre of India’s pearl trade: some great deals can be had – if you know your stuff.