Charminar is situated in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. It is in the heart of the city. Charminar is basically a huge arch. It is considered a masterpiece of Qutub Shahi architecture. It is in the amidst the choodi Bazaar (Bangles Market). It has four tall minarets and a mosque on its top floor.
This great monument was built by Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah. It was built in honour of his Hindu wife, Bhagmati. It was constructed between 1591 and 1612. It was the time he shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad. The whole structure is built upon four grand arches. The four arches face the four directions. It has spiral staircases leading to the top of the minarets. The structure is generally considered as the symbol of the glory of Qutub Shahi dynasty.
The name Charminar is based on its four minarets. The minarets are beautifully carved. Charminar literally means Four Pillars. Charminar is basically a square structure. Granite and lime mortar were used for its construction. It stands on a square base. Each arch is 11 metres wide and 20 metres high. There are four flocks, one each on every archway. They were added in 1889. The height of the minarets is 22 metres. Each minaret stands on a lotus - leaf base.
Each minarets has four floors. They look like rings around the minaret. In between the floors of the minaret, there are spiral staircases of 149 steps. A beautiful view of the city is available from the top fo the minaret. The upper levels of the Charminar were used as mosque.