When you walk through the busy packed streets of Laad Bazaar in Hyderabad and get a glimpse of the Charminar from afar, you are most likely to think – meh. Especially when it is summer but you are an enthusiastic traveler who decided to do some walking. So you are trying to push your way through the market crowd, rubbing shoulders with unknown passerby’s, sweating like crazy, you are probably not in the best mental framework. And when you first lay your eyes on the 16th century mosque from a distance, it probably does not seem as grand as you might have pictured it to be. I was certainly slightly disappointed.
But as you get closer and get a better look, you realize it is a structure worth taking a few moments off your busy mind to do some admiring. The minarets are very pretty and simple at the same time. I remember it being a hot sunny day when we visited Charminar, but once we went inside and got up to the tower after a really long winding flight of steps, we were welcomed by a cool breeze of air. There is something about these old structures, the way they were built by master craftsmen, who made the hallways and passages in such a way that no matter how hot it is outside, the atmosphere inside is cool and balmy.
Charminar literally means four towers. There are these slender ornate towers at the top of the Mosque and maybe that is why the literal name. It was built by the then ruler of Hyderabad, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah who also founded the city of Hyderabad. According to folklore Qutb Shah prayed for the end of a plague that was taking a toll on the region, vowing that he would build a mosque if his prayers were answered. But there are lot of other versions too.
If you are not a prude, you might perhaps enjoying sitting on its floor and looking at the Makkah Masjid that lies on the southwest direction and is another ornamental and beautiful mosque. Or just the plain azure sky as the cool breeze plays around you. You would definitely want to relax a little after those flight of steps. There are a lot of other historical places pretty close by too that one can visit. Maybe I will make another post out of it.