444 years of Charminar

While empires have risen and fallen, governments have changed and so has people’s view of the world, Charminar has remained synonymous with Hyderabad and its culture.

Published: 01st August 2022 06:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2022 06:56 AM   |  A+A-

People take a look at the archives on Sunday. (Photo | RVK RAO, EPS)

People take a look at the archives on Sunday. (Photo | RVK RAO, EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Four hundred and forty-four years after Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, inaugurated it on the first day of Muharram, 1000 AH, Hyderabad’s iconic Charminar stands tall.

A rare picture of Charminar taken
by Swiss national Martin Hurlimann |
(Photo courtesy: Asif Ali Khan)

Known as the founder of modern Hyderabad, Qutb Shah, during the inauguration, had prayed that the new city remains prosperous and thrives as a fish does in the ocean. While empires have risen and fallen, governments have changed and so has people’s view of the world, Charminar has remained synonymous with Hyderabad and its culture.

To celebrate 444 years of the monument, Deccan Archives in collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organised a heritage walk through the Old City on Sunday. Discussions on the history, art, architecture and traditions of the land were held. A week-long photo exhibition named Charminar444, depicting the evolution of the monument was also thrown open to the public by Anuradha Reddy, Convenor, INTACH, Hyderabad chapter.

Mohammed Sibghatullah Khan, the founder of Deccan Archives, said, “Historical images, paintings, sketches and maps illustrating different phases of construction and transformation of Charminar are on display for the viewers. Some of these photographs were captured by the renowned Jack Birns of Life Magazine. Descriptions have also been provided in three languages — Telugu, Hindi and Urdu — to help people gain a better understanding of the monument’s history.”

Asif Ali Khan, an architect and heritage enthusiast, who documents the lesser-known architectural heritage of Hyderabad, told Express, “Charminar is an architectural and engineering marvel based on Persian architecture concept. Along with the Persian landscape elements such as gardens and water bodies, Charminar was constructed right in the centre of the city with four roads diverging from it.”

He added that Charminar would feature in currencies during the rule of the Asaf Jahi dynasty.“In the late 1850s, many artists and photographers from across the world, including ones from European and British nations, were inspired by the monument and used it as a subject for their artwork and photographs. Even now, many youngsters and students enjoy sketching and painting the pictures of the historical Charminar.”



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