Charminar still Hyderabad’s USP

Around 10 per cent of the visitors are foreign tourists, who usually visit city between August and February every year. — Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The Charminar continues to be the most visited historic monument in the city, with around one lakh people visiting the monument every month. Data provided by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) states that around 12,47,000 persons visited the monument in 2019.

Courtesy the publicity campaign by the Department of Tourism Telangana and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the numbers are quite encouraging, officials say.
“All measures were taken to improve the facilities for visitors. Moreover, to educate visitors about the history of the monument, several boards with information about the structure were put up all around the area,” explains Bhanu Prakash, in-charge Conservation Assistant (Charminar Circle).

Around 10% of the visitors were foreign tourists, who usually make their presence felt between August and February every year. During the months of November to January, several tourists from North India and other parts of the country visit the historic place. During summer vacation as well, local tourists from across the country visit the monument apart from visiting other tourist attractions in the city.

The ASI had taken up major restoration and conservation works on the 400-plus-year-old monument. The work taken up on all the four minarets in the monument has been completed.

What makes Charminar a must visit place? Visitors to the monument after going around the edifice go to the top of the building to have a wide view of the city. Next there are several markets and other places of tourist interest around the Charminar that are frequented by the visitors.

“Increased number of visitors means good business for the traders in the market,” said Tajuddin, a trader at Lad Bazaar.

A supervisor at the Charminar said that after the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project was taken up around the monument, there is a lot of space for tourists to walk around and watch the towering edifice from all directions.

“Hundreds of visitors now take snaps by standing in front of the monument conveniently. Previously, there was complete chaos around the monument, but now with traffic restrictions, things are different,” he explains.

Midnight visits to monument

Hyderabad: Visiting the Charminar during night is the new in-thing for youngsters in the city. Nevertheless, the Archaeological Survey of India has no plans to open up the monument in the evenings or night.

Hundreds of youth visit the Charminar and its surroundings during the evenings and hang around till late in the night. A selfie against the backdrop of the monument is something they look forward to during their visit.

Rakhshita Goel, a PG student, said: “The best time to visit the Charminar area is close to midnight. With shops and other establishments closed and the area free of hawkers and pushcarts, we can completely take over the place, loiter around and enjoy the ambience.”

Several groups of friends are turning up at the place during the night and celebrating various occasions including birthdays. On any night, one can find youngsters cutting the cake as the clock strikes 12.

However, visitors have to restrict their movement to outside the monument as the ASI closes the monument for visitors at 5.30 pm. “We adhere to the timing fixed by our office. People come around midnight also and ask us to allow them inside but we cannot oblige,” said a security guard at the monument.

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