Char Kaman

  • Destination: Hyderabad

After the completion of Charminar, about 250 feet to its north, the great piazza of four lofty arches known as Char Kaman was built in 1592, in perfect symmetrical scale. These arches are separated from their centre by 375 feet and the space between two arches facing each other is 750 feet. Each of them is 60 feet high, 36 feet wide at the base and six feet in thickness. They are so impressive that a huge caparisoned elephant carrying a canopy could easily pass through them. The effort that might have gone into their building was very impressive. The Char Kaman and the Charminar formed part of a “conscious urban design scheme of the Qutub Shahis. One cannot be separated from the other”.

The four such structures which are part of the Charminar are called char Kaman. The four Kaman’s are Charminar Kaman, Machli Kaman, Kali Kaman and Sher-e-Batil-Ki-Kaman. Each Kaman had a different name and at least two of them had folk tales to narrate.

The northern arch is the first one after crossing Madina café known as the Machli Kaman or the “arch with a fish”.

The southern one, facing Charminar is the Charminar Kaman.

The western arch was the grandest, most significant and has an interesting legend attached to it called as “Kaman-e-Sehar-Batil” (the arch of the magic breaker) now connected to Kaman Sher-e-Batil and Mitti-Ka-Sher.

The eastern arch is the Kali Kaman from where royal musicians, played the shehanai and drums, five times a day, or heralded the arrival of important visitors on special occasions.

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