Photograph of a street in Hyderabad looking towards the Char Minar, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s. This is from the Curzon Collection: ‘Views of HH the Nizam’s Dominions, Hyderabad, Deccan, 1892’. Hyderabad was founded beside the River Musi in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (r.1580-1612) as an alternative to his capital at Golconda. The town was laid out in a grid pattern with two main roads running east to west and north to south; the Char Minar, or Four Towers, sits at the intersection of these two roads. This ceremonial strucuture was built in 1591 to mark the centre of the city. It comprises four imposing arched portals with arcaded storeys and geometric screens above. The four corner minarets, crowned with domical finials, contain spiral staircases opening onto triple tiers of balconies. The Mecca mosque, begun in 1617, can be seen to the right of this image.
Hyderabad was founded besides the River Musi in Andhra Pradesh in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1562-1612) as a more salubrious alternative to his capital at Golconda. The town was laid out in an unusual grid pattern with two main roads running east to west and north to south, at the intersection of which was Hyderabad’s most famous building, the Char Minar (1591). Hyderabad was made up of four sections; the north-western section was set apart for royal palaces and state offices; the north-eastern for residencies of the nobles. It was an extremely prosperous and cosmopolitan city attracting merchants from Asia and Europe. Many of the city’s buildings were destroyed as it expanded and much more was destroyed in the disastrous flooding of 1908.