Charminar, the hub of the city, has four wide roads radiating in the four cardinal directions. The four minarets command the landscape for miles. The structure is square, each side measuring 100 feet, with a central pointed high arch at the center. The whole edifice contains numerous small decorative arches arranged both vertically and horizontally. The prominently projected cornice on the first floor upholds a series of six arches and capitals on each façade, rising to the double-story gallery of the minarets. The projected canopy, ornamental brackets and decoration in stucco plaster add graceful elegance to the structure. On the upper courtyard, a screen of arches topped by a row of square jali or water screens lends a fragile charm to the sturdy appearance of Charminar. This courtyard was used as a school and for prayers from the nearby mosque. The minarets, their domed finials rising from their lotus-leaves cushion, rise to 180 feet from the ground.
A thriving market still lies around the Charminar attracting people and merchandise of every description. Hyderabad is famous for pearls, which are sold in shops around the Charminar.
Near the Charminar stand four magnificent arches called Char Kaman, which served as the gateway to the Zilu Khana (ante chamber) of the royal palace and are named Machli Kaman, Kali Kaman, Sher Gil Ki Kaman and Char Minar ki Kaman. The Char-su-ka-hauz, a cistern with a fountain in the center of the arches is now called Gulzar Hauz. The royal residential palaces stood around the Charminar. Of the Qutb Shahi royal palaces in Hyderabad nothing of importance has survived; not even the Qutb Mandir, the pleasure of which admitted only Muhammad Quli and his female companions. The gardens have simply vanished. The mosques have been however spared.
The Mecca Masjid
Near the Charminar stands the Mecca Masjid, begun by Muhammad Qutb Shah in 1617 and completed by Quranzeb in 1693. It is a grand edifice with a huge courtyard which can accommodate nearly ten thousand men at prayer. Tavernier has provided a graphic description of the mammoth boulders cut to size and carted for use in the building of the mosque. The minarets look rather stunted in comparison with the grandeur of the whole massive structure. But it looks more Mughal then Qutb Shahi in its perfect granite finish and vast courtyard. A particular stone brick in the mihrab is believed to have been brought from Mecca. Other Mosques – The other two mosques–the Jami Masjid and the Toli Masjid-are small and modest structures.
Muhammad Quli Shah built the Jami Masjid in 1592, after founding Hyderabad. Musa Khan, a supervisor of works at the Mecca Masjid, levied a damri for every rupee spent on the building of the Mecca Masjid. With these collections he built the Toli Masjid, near the Purana Pul. Two buildings, the Badshahi Ashur Khana and Darul Shifa-built in 1594-are much dilapidated and in need of large scale repair.
Places of Interest in Hyderabad
Aalankrita-the Ethnic Gateway
Spread over an area of 10 acres, Aalankrita blends the convenience of a 5-star resort, the ambience of a heritage site and the ethnicity of the times gone by. Located about 19 Km from More Details… Botanical Gardens.
The first Botanical Gardens in Andhra Pradesh, spread over 120 acres, when completed will have 19 sections (Vanams). Already open to public is the first phase, with the completion of 5 sections.
This is a typical setting recreated with the entire rustic ambience and charm of an ethnic Rajasthani village, situated at Kompally on Medchal Road. Camel rides, puppet shows, folk dances, authentic
Dream Valley Resorts
Nestled amidst lush green environs and located at Gandipet, Dream Valley Resorts is a water theme park with waterslide
One of the modern monuments of trade and technology, it embodies the newfound attitude of Hyderabad and today finds a place of pride.
This beautiful entertainment park is situated on the shore of Hussainsagar lake. The landscaping here is a visual treat. A musically synchronized water fountain
A leisure and entertainment centre adjoining the Hussainsagar lake, the NTR Gardens house a memorial (Samadhi) of Late N.T. Rama Rao, one of the most charismatic
Ocean Park is an excellent Water Theme Amusement Park modelled on International Standards.
Pragati Green Meadows & Resorts
Spread over 26 acres and an hour drive from Hyderabad, Pragati Resorts offers facilities like swimming, boating, children park, coffee and snack bar, restaurant, conference hall, uniquely designed cottages for overnight stay.
Hyderabad has several beautiful gardens, one of the most popular being the Public Gardens, which also encloses the State Legislature,
Ramoji Film City
A dream world created for the celluloid on a sprawling 1000 acres, with every imaginable set and location, Ramoji
Shilparamam-The Crafts Village
Shilparamam is an arts and crafts village showcasing various art forms and handicrafts of various artists from all over the State. Shilparamam plays host to myrid traditions of arts and crafts of the country.
The Birla Planetarium & Science Museum
Birla Planetarium is India’s most modern planetarium and first of its kind in the country. It is equipped with advanced technology from Japan and is built on Naubat Pahad adjacent