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Alleppey City

The town was founded by Raja Keshawadasan, Divan of Travanacore in 1762. With the arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the venice of the east by travellers from across the world, this backwater country is also home to diverse animal and bird life.

By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, Alappuzha (Alleppey) has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, & also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.

Places To See in Alleppey

Kuttanad : 
Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of banana, cassava and yam. This is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done 1.5 to 2 m below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region.

Alappuzha beach :
This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya beach park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse which is greatly fascinating to visitors. The Vijaya beach park: Picnic spot with children’s park & boating facilities (Open 1500 – 2000 hrs). Entrance fee Rs. 2 per person; Free entrance for children below 5 years. Boating charge: Rs. 10 for 10 minutes. Other facilities for children: Toy train, bicycles, Video permit Rs. 25, Camera permit: Rs. 5 respectively.

Sea View Park :
The park offers boating facilities and a swimming pool. Boat rentals for 10 minutes: Roundboat (4 seater): Rs. 10 Pedalboat (2 seater): Rs. 15 Pedalboat (4 seater): Rs. 25. Video permit Rs. 15, Camera permit Rs. 100 respectively.

Pathiramanal (11/2 hours by motor boat/30 min. by speedboat from Alappuzha):
According to mythology a young brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight). This little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat.

Champakulam Church : 
One of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary’s Church is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas. The annual feast at this church falls on the 3rd Sunday of October every year. The feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19th.

Chavara Bhavan (6 km from Alappuzha. Accessible only by boat):
Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayer, receive favours and feel amply gratified. Here, a 250 year old historically important beacon of light is preserved intact in its original and primitive form.

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple (15 km south of Alappuzha): 
Built in the typical Kerala architectural style, this temple is famous all over India for the Palpayasam, the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge. It is also in this temple that Pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers) once every twelve years. Paintings of the Dasavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are on display on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam. Ottanthullal, a satiric art form originated by the poet Kunchan Nambiar, was first performed on the premises of this temple.

Arthunkal (22 km north of Alappuzha) : 
The St. Sebastian’s Church here is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual festival: Arthunkal Perunnal – the feast of the patron saint (January)

Edathua Church (24 km from Alappuzha, on the Alappuzha – Thiruvalla Road):
Established in 1810, the church is dedicated to St. George. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments. During the annual feast (5th, 6th and 7th of May) pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed, visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint.

Krishnapuram Palace (47 km from Alappuzha): 
Built by Marthanda Varma, this palace at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. Dating back to the 18th century, this exquisite piece of art is one of the largest murals in Kerala. The palace museum houses antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.

Karumadikuttan (3km east of Ambalapuzha):
Many fascinating legends are associated with this 11th century statue of Lord Buddha.

Kerala Backwaters

Alleppey Backwaters

With the Arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.

Referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world, this backwater country is also home ot diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala.

Today, Alappauzha has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad.

Kuttanad: 
Kuttanad, known as the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is the very heart of the backwater. The scenic countryside here is a rich crop of bananas, yams and cassava.

This one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.

Pathiramanal
(1 ½ hours by motor boat/30 min. by speed boat from alappuzha): According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vemabanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight).

This little island on the backwater is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different part of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat. Read Full Post…

Umaid Bhawan – Jodhpur

Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with western lifestyles so he marshalled the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, a creditable equal of Edward Lutyens to construct a three hundred and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace.

This was to become India last of the great palaces and the biggest private residence in the world. Spectacular Central Rotunda, the cupola rises to a hundred and five feet high; the Throne Room with its exquisite Ramayana murals; an elegant wood-panelled library, and even a private museum; an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts makes Umaid Bhawan Palace is unabashedly the most magnificent.

The palace was also built with superficial intentions of providing employment to famine stricken farmers. The Palace now is a five star deluxe palace hotel. The museum of the palace is highly recommended for its display of weapons, an array of stuffed leopards, a huge banner presented by Queen Victoria and an incredible collection of clocks.

This is known as Umaid Bhawan Palace because of the particular type of sandstone used, to build it – which is not weathered. Portions of the Umaid palace have been converted into a hotel and a museum.

Located in the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is known for its impressive fortified bastions, specially those of Mehrangarh Fort, which has been a witness for many battles and is associated closely with the history of the region.

Being a part of the desert triangle, and venue of Marwar Festival it is also covered by the famous “Palace on Wheels”, a super luxurious (emperor style) rail-cum-road package tour.

The city again is of high tourist attraction and has all basic amenities for both domestic and foreign tourists. Hotels from Super Deluxe ranging to low budge can be checked in. It is well connected by rail, road and air to the city as it again witnesses high flow of tourist traffic in winters.

Taj Mahal – Agra

The story of Taj Mahal reflects the intensity of love. The fairy tale began when walking through the bazaar of Agra prince qhurram saw a girl. The girl was exceptionally beautiful. It was a love at first sight for both of them. After five years, on an auspicious day they were married and from that moment began the great epic of love.

Shah Jahan, “The King Of The World”

Prince qhurram was the fifth son of emperor Jahangir. He was the man of extraordinary brilliance, a great diplomat, a warrior and a lover of art. Once Jahangir wrote, “In art, in reason, in battle there is no comparison between him and my other children”. In the honor of his numerous victories Jahangir entitled him as “Shah Jahan”, “The King of the World”. After Jahangir’s death all his sons quarreled for the thrown, after fighting for years Shah Jahan killed all his brothers under suspicious circumstances and became the emperor, besides him stood his queen, comrade and confidante.

Mumtaz Mahal “The chosen one of the palace” 

Shah Jahan titled her “Mumtaz Mahal”, “The chosen one of the palace”. A rare found combination of beauty and brain. She was her husband’s best friend and confidante. She would counsel him in the diplomatic matters. She too was a great lover of art.

The End of the Fairy Tale 

In 1631 Shah Jahan set up to berahanpur with his troops to subdue a rebellion, accompanied by Mumtaz Mahal Unfortunately during childbirth she suffered some complications and died. According to legend before dieing she extracted a promise from Shah Jahan that he would build a mausoleum as a tribute to their love.

The story of Taj Mahal begins Shah Jahan was obsessed to fulfill his wife’s last wish. He invited the architects and artisans all over the world and planned for the building with absolute perfection. Taj Mahal was structured in Persian style combined with carvings of artisans called from Afghanistan and the garden designers from Kashmir. It took 22years to complete the Taj Mahal, a memento of love with the perfection of art. The carvings of Taj Mahal were decorated with very precious gemstones.

The story of Taj Mahal is unique in itself. It is an evidence that how the emotions and feelings are important to human life. The story of Taj Mahal is an example of devotion and faith. The story of Taj Mahal is a love story not found in papers but stands in the structural form. The story of Taj Mahal is rare.

Qutub Minar – Delhi

The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world.

Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.

The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlak are quite evident in the minar. The relief work and even the materials used for construction differ. The 238 feet Qutab Minar is 47 feet at the base and tapers to nine feet at the apex. The tower is ornamented by bands of inscriptions and by four projecting balconies supported by elaborately decorated brackets.

Even in ruin, the Quwwat Ui Islam Mosque in the Qutab complex is one of the most magnificent in the world. Its construction was started by Qutab-ud-din Aibak in 1193 and the mosque was completed in 1197. additions were made to the building by Iltutmush in 1230 and Alla-ud-din Khilji in 1315.

The main mosque comprises of an inner and outer courtyard, of which the inner is surrouded by an exquisite collonade, the pillars of which are made of richly decorated shafts. Most of these shafts are from the 27 Hindu temples which were plundered to construct the mosque. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Muslim mosque has typical Hindu ornamentation.

Close to the mosque is one of Delhi’s most curious antiques, the Iron Pillar. Dating back to the 4th century AD, the pillar bears an inscription which stated that it was erected as a flagstaff in honour of the Hindu god, Vishnu, and in the memory of the Gupta king Chandragupta II (375-413).

How the pillar moved to its present location remains a mystery. The pillar also highlights ancient India’s achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98 per cent wrought iron and has stood. 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing.

Konark Temples

The crowning glory of Oriya temple architecture, the 13th century Sun temple also known as ‘the Black Pagoda’, comes with a baggage of centuries – old myths and legends. Legends say that Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father’s curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he built this temple.

The Sun Temple

Built by Raja Narsimhadeva of the Ganga dynasty, in the 13th century AD, the temple is a pageant of human grandeur, in its perception, and in the execution of even the finest details. It resembles a colossal chariot, with 24 wheels, pulled by seven straining horses, and has a three-tiered pyramidal roof topped off by a fine spire. The Sun – God’s chariot, also represents the seven days of the week, and the 24 hours of the day, in its concept. The temple is a brilliant chronicle in stone, with impressive sculptures. Every aspect of life is represented here, and the erotic imagery, depicts the sublimation of human love manifested in countless forms. Scenes from court, civic life and war are also done with great precision.

Unlike the other temples of the Bhubaneswar-Konark-Puri region, the Konark temple had two smaller outer halls, completely separate from the main structure. The assembly-hall and the tower were built on an imposing platform, which were carved into meticulously crafted twelve pairs of decorated wheels, each 10 feet in diameter. The entrance is reached by a broad flight of steps, flanked on either side by prancing horses, the whole representing the chariot, in which the Sun-God rides across the heavens. The court of the temple, was decorated with large free-standing sculptures of great strength and beauty. Now protected under the World Heritage List, the temple’s interior was filled – up in 1903 A.D., by the then British Lt. Governor of Bengal, to save it from deterioration.

Festivals

The Chandrabhaga Mela or Magha Saptami mela in the month of February, is a grand religious festival. Thousands of pilgrims converge on the pool, on this day to take a holy dip in its curative waters, and then shuffle off to the beach where, in accordance with an age-old custom mentioned in the puranas, they watch the sun rise over the sea. The event is followed by the puja of the Navagraha.

Those interested in attending the Konark Dance Festival, held in the Open air Auditorium north of the Sun Temple, should visit during the first week of December.

Khajuraho Temples

The temples of Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love, to joy; perfect in execution and sublime in expression. Life, in every form and mood, has been capured in stone, testifying not only to the craftsman’s artistry but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose rule the temples were conceived and constructed.

The world renowned temple town of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site for its archaeological and historical monuments.

The Khajuraho temples were built in the short span of a hundred years, from 950-1050AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity. Of the 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today to constitute one of the world’s great artistic wonders.

The Creators of Khajuraho claimed descent from the moon and the legend behind the founding of this great dynasty and the temples is a fascinating one. Hemwati, the lovely young daughter of a Brahmin priest, was seduced by the moon-god while bathing in a forest pool.

The child born of this union was Chandravarman, founder of the Chandela dynasty. Brought up in the forests by his mother who sought refuge from a sensorious society, Chandravarman, when established as a ruler, had a dream-visitation from his mother.

It is said that she implored him to build temples that would reveal human passions, and in doing so, bring about a realization of the emptiness of human desire. It is also possible that the Chandelas were followers of the Tantric cult, which believes that gratification of earthly desires is a step towards attaining the infinite liberation of nirvana.

Why they chose Khajuraho, even then a small village, as the site for their great complex is also open to of their faith and the many beliefs represented in the temples, the Chandelas conceived Khajuraho as a seat of religion and learning, to bring together many sects.

With their decline, the temples lay forgotten for many centuries, covered by the encroaching forests, victim to the ravages of the elements. Re-discovered only in this century, restored and claned, the temples of Khajuraho once again testify to a past glory.

Architecturally too, they are unique, being very different from the temple prototype of their period. Each stands on a high masonry platform with a marked upward direction in the structure, further enhanced by vertical projections to create the effect of grace and lightness.

Each of the chief compartments is mounted by its own roof, grouped so that the highest is in the centre, the lowest over the portico; a highly imaginative recreation of the rising peaks of the Himalayas, abode of the gods.

The three main compartments are the entrance (ardha-mandapa), assembly hall (mandapa) and sanctum (garbha griha), with further additions in the more developed temples.

India Gate – Delhi

Built as a memorial to commemorate the 70,000 India soldiers killed in World War I, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931.

Located on Rajpath, the road which leads to the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhawan, the gate is 160 feet high with an arch of 138 feet.

Built from sandstone, the arch also houses the Eternal Flame, a gesture in memory of the Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

India Gate, a majestic structure, 42 metres high, is set at the end of Rajpath, perhaps the most beautiful area of New Delhi with plush green lawns in the backdrop. It is a popular picnic spot during the winters and equally popular as a relaxation area during the summer evenings.

Designed and built by Lutyens, it was originally called All India War Memorial in memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in the campaigns of World War I, the North-West Frontier operations of the same time and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco.On the walls of the structure are inscribed the names of all the soldiers.

An eternal flame called Amar Jawan Jyoti that runs on gas was lit in 1971 to honour the martyrs. During the night, it is intensely floodlit and the fountains nearby are lit up with coloured lights.

Close by is the canopy which once became controversial and under whose red sandstone roof was the marble statue of King George V which has been shifted from there. The canopy was also designed and built by Lutyens.

Humayun’s Tomb – Delhi

The mughals brought with them a love for gardens, fountains and water. The first mature example of Mughal architecture in India, Humayun’s Tomb was built by the emperor’s grieving widow, Haji Begum, in 1565 AD. Constructed with red sandstone and ornamented marks the beginning of a new tradition of ornate style which culminated in the Taj Mahal of Agra.

Designed by the Persian architect, Mirza Ghyas, Humayun’s Tomb shows a marked shift from the Persian tradition of using coloured tiles for ornamentation.

Located in the midst of a large square garden, screened by high walls, with gateways to the south and west, the tomb is a square tower surmounted by a magnificent marble dome. The dome stands 140 feet from the base of the terrace and is topped with a copper pinnacle. In addition to the remains of Humayun, the complex also houses the grave of many other distinguished members of the Mughal dynasty.

The first Mughal Emperor, Babur, was succeeded by his son, Humayun, who ruled in India for a decade but was expelled. Eventually he took refuge with the Safavid shah of Persia, who helped him regain Delhi in 1555, the year before his death. Humayun’s Persian wife, Hamida Begum, supervised the construction from 1562-1572 of her husband’s tomb in Delhi.

The architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, was Persian and had previously designed buildings in Herat (now northwest Afghanistan), Bukhara (now Uzbekistan), and elsewhere in India. The location chosen for the building on the bank of the Yamuna river adjoins the shrine of an important Sufi Chistiyya order saint, Nizam al-Din Awliya.

The Chistiyya was particularly venerated by the Mughals; Humayun’s son, Akbar, would build his new palace at Fatehpur Sikri next to the shrine of another saint of the Chistiyya order. The tomb established some of the important norms for later Mughal mausolea. It is set in a geometrically arranged garden criscrossed by numerous water channels and probably representing symbolically a paradise setting.

Such typical Persian gardens had been introduced into India by Babur; later they would be found in the Red Fort in Delhi and at the Taj Mahal in Agra. The architectural form of the building is Persian and especially in its main chamber shows some familiarity with the tomb of the Mongol Ilkhanid ruler of Persia, Oljeytu, at Sultaniyya.

It is one of a long line of Mughal buildings influenced by Timurid architecture, notably the tomb of Timur (Tamerlane) in Samarkand. Babur was proud of his Timurid heritage and deeply regretted his inability to hold Samarkand. His successors continued to dream of regaining Samarkand and would interrogate visitors about Timur’s tomb.

Humayun’s tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome; it is noteworthy for its harmonious proportions. As with later Mughal tombs, that of Humayun is set upon a podium or platform.

The most obvious Indian features of the architecture are the small kiosks or chhatris on the roof. The building is also noteworthy for its inlaid tile work, carving embodying both Indian and Persian decorative elements, and its carved stone screens.

Gateway of India – Mumbai

Mumbai’s most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone.

Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai’s splendid natural harbour.

Built in the Indo-saracenic style, the Gateway of India is meant to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Darbar in Delhi in December 1911. The foundation stone was laid on March 31, 1911 and George Wittet’s final design sanctioned in August 1914.

Between 1915 and 1919 work proceeded on reclamations at Apollo Pier for the land on which the gateway and the new sea wall would be built. The foundations were completed in 1920.

The Gateway is built from yellow Kharodi basalt and reinforced concrete. The central dome is 48 feet in diameter and 83 feet above ground at its highest point. The whole harbour front was realigned in order to come in line with a planned esplanade which would sweep down to the centre of the town.

The cost of the construction was Rs. 21 lakhs, borne mainly by the Government of India. For lack of funds, the approach road was never built, and the Gateway now stands at an angle to the road leading up to it.

The construction was completed in 1924, and the Gateway opened on December 4, 1924 by the Viceroy, Earl of Reading.

The last British troops to leave India, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed through the gate in a ceremony on February 28, 1948.

Fatehpur Sikri – Agra

A royal city perfectly preserved, Fatehpur Sikri provides a marvellous escape into the past. Akbar embarked on the construction of a new capital here when a prophecy of the birth of a male royal heir, by the Sufi Saint Salim Chisti of Sikri, came true.

Imposing gateways and light- hearted palaces were built in red sandstone within this fortified city only to be abandoned a few years later.

Among its many architectural game are the places for his queens – Jodha Bai, Mariyam and his Turkish sultana, built in varying styles, each perfect in itself.

The Diwan-e-Khas entirely unique in its concept is a tall vaulted room with an intricately carved central pillar and capital supporting a platform that once held the emperor’s throne.

Narrow galleries link this to the corners of the room where it is believed his ministers sat The airy Panch Mahal a 5 storied structure rising in pyramidal fashion was probably used by the ladies of the court.

Set like a jewel in a courtyard of pink sandstone is the finest building here, the marble tomb of Salim Chisti enclosed by finely carved, lacy marble screens.

The Buland Darwaza, an imposing gateway 54 m high was built to commemorate Akbar’s Aligarh the famous university town is a center of Islamic studies. The city is also noted for its handicrafts and metal wares.

Charminar – Hyderabad

The Charminar in Hyderabad, at the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, is a massive arch built by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, in 1591 to commemorate the end of the plague in the city. The symbol of the city, the Charminar, is an impressive square monument with four minarets. The arch is illuminated daily in the evening, an unforgettable sight indeed.

The city of Hyderabad, with its delightful blend of the ancient and the modern, presents to the onlooker an interesting skyline with modern buildings standing shoulder to shoulder with fascinating 400 year old edifices. It boasts of some fine examples of Qutab Shahi architecture – the Jami Masjid, the Mecca Masjid, Toli Masjid, and of course, the impressive symbol of Hyderabad, the Charminar.

The Charminar was built with granite and lime-mortar. It is a blend of ‘Cazia’ and Islamic style of architecture. The intertwined arches and domes are examples of typical Islamic style of the architecture. The graceful floral motif atop the Charminar is enchanting. The Charminar depicts the Indo-Saracenic tradition – a symbiosis of the Hindu and the Muslim traditions, which has woven the magic of a rich Deccan culture. The Charminar looks spectacular particularly in the nights when it is illuminated.

It offers an excellent panoramic view of the city and Golconda Fort, which makes the mind go back into time and recapitulates the past glory of Hyderabad during the Qutub Shahi times. Charminar has become an inseparable part of the history of Hyderabad.

A magnificent edifice, it epitomises Hyderabad and marks its 400 years of history. Built by ruler Quli Qutb Shah it stands 180ft. tall, the four minarets soar to height of 48.7Mts. each above the ground. Within are 45 prayers spaces and a mosque. It is being pedestrianised for better access as well as safety of the monument. Must See!

A proud sentinel in the heart of the Old City, this magnificent monument built by Quli Qutub Shah, is the unique symbol of Hyderabad. It was built in 1591 by Quli Qutb Shah. to commemorate the end of the plague that had ravaged Hyderabad, The four graceful minarets from which ‘Charminar’ derives its name, literally meaning ‘Four Minars’ soar to a height of 48.7 Mts. each, above the ground.

Charminar, a splendid piece of architecture standing in the heart of the hyderabad city built by Quli Qutub Shah, in 1591. This magnificent monument is the unique symbol of Hyderabad. Charminar is often called as “The Arc de triomphe of the East”. It is considered as the legendary masterpiece of Qutub Shahi’s.

Charminar derives its name from four intricately carved minarets, The four graceful minarets literally meaning ‘Four Minars’, soar to a height of 48.7m each, above the ground. It is located amidst the colourful shops of Lad Bazaar with its glittering traditional bangles in the old city. Enormous in its size, this imposing monument of India exudes a charm that is more than 400 years old

The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Owing to the inadequacy of water and frequent epidemics of plague and cholera Quli Qutub Shah established the new city with the Charminar at its centre with four great roads fanning out in four cardinal directions.

The plan is a square, each side 20m long, while the four arches are 11m wide and rise 20m from the plinth. The four-storeyed minarets rise 20m from the roof of the massive monument and measure 24m from the plinth. The western section of the roof contains a mosque, ranking among the finest the gifted Qutub Shahi artisans ever built.

There are 45 prayer spaces with a large open space in front to accommodate more for Friday prayers. To the east of this space is a lovely verandah with a large open arch in the centre, flanked by smaller ones on both sides.