The Charminar (“Four minarets”), built in 1591, is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad, India. The landmark has become globally known as a logo of Hyderabad and is listed among the famously recognized structures in India. It has also been officially incorporated because the Emblem of Telangana for the state of Telangana. The Charminar’s long history includes the existence of a mosque on its top floor for quite 400 years. While both historically and religiously significant, it’s also known for its popular and busy local markets surrounding the structure, and has become one among the foremost frequented tourist attractions in Hyderabad. Charminar is additionally a site of various festival celebrations, like Eid-ul-adha and Eid al-Fitr.

The monument overlooks another grand mosque called the Makkah Masjid. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the 5th ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, commissioned bricks to be made up of the soil brought from Mecca, the holiest site of Islam, and used them within the construction of the central arch of the mosque, hence its name.

A market exists around Charminar. Lad Bazaar is understood for its jewelry, especially bangles, and therefore the Pathar Gatti, which is understood for its pearls. In its high spot, the Charminar market had almost 14,000 shops. The Bazaars surrounding Charminar were described within the poem “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad” by Sarojini Naidu.

Four arches to the north of Charminar are referred to as Char Kaman. These were built alongside the Charminar within the 16th century. These are the Kali Kaman, Machli Kaman, Charminar Kaman and Seher-e-Batil ki Kaman. At the middle of those arches may be a fountain called the Gulzar Houz. The Char Kaman are in awful need of restoration and protection from encroachments.

The “Charminar Pedestrianization Project” was instituted by the then combined Government of Andhra Pradesh in partnership with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The project was initiated in 2006 with an investment of Rs 35 crore. However, the project didn’t see the sunshine of day thanks to various factors like Telangana movement, illegal encroachments by hawkers, vehicle traffic, and illegal street vendors. Later in January 2017, the new Government of Telangana announced a 14-member French Delegation to require over the project to assess the practicality in developing the monument as an eco-friendly tourism and heritage destination. The team has scanned surrounding areas like the Gulzar house, Macca Masjid, Sardar Mahal and Lad Bazar. Subsequently, the project took over on a brisk pace and is predicted to be completed by May 2018.

A temple named Bhagyalakshmi Temple is found at the bottom of Charminar. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which controls the Charminar has announced the temple structure as an unauthorised construction. Hyderabad High Court has put a stop on any further expansion of the temple. The origin of the temple is presently disputed, the structure that houses the idol was erected within the 1960s. In 2012, The Hindu newspaper published an old photograph showing that the temple structure never existed. The Hindu also released a note asserting the authenticity of the images, and clearly stated that there was no temple structure in photos taken in 1957 and 1962. Additionally, it showed photos that provide evidence that the temple may be a recent structure – a temple structure are often seen in photos taken in 1990 and 1994. Also, a temple is seen during a photograph taken in 1986 which is kept within the Aga Khan Visual Archive, MIT Libraries’ collections, us, but not within the earlier ones.