An identifying feature of the city, Charminar is the most prominent landmark located right in the heart of Hyderabad. The monument was erected by Quli Qutub Shah to signify the founding of Hyderabad. As is evident from the structure, it was so named as it consists of four minarets. Although it lies right in the centre of the city with traffic and crowds milling all about it, Charminar certainly manages to hold the gaze. It is also famous for the market that sprawls around it and is called ‘Laad’ or ‘Chudi’ Bazaar.
Since the construction of the monument in 1591, Charminar has been synonymous with the culture of Hyderabad standing tall as a reminder of the glorious days of the past era. It is a massive structure which has four minarets which many believe stand for the first four ‘khalifas’ (Prophets) of Islam. Towards the north of the monument, there are four gateways known as Char Kaman which have been constructed in the cardinal directions. The structure was intended to serve as a Madrasa or a Mosque. In its present form, Charminar, along with Qutub Shahi Tombs and the Golconda Fort, has been added to the ‘tentative list’ of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.