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No records of chilla adjacent to Charminar: ASI

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  • Categories
    History & Culture
  • Published
    18th Feb, 2021

The Bhagyalakshmi Temple abutting the Charminar ‘came into existence’ after the merger of Hyderabad State with the Union of India, and there are no records of the chilla at the monumentthe Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stated responding to a Right to Information query.

The matter

  • The Bhagyalakshmi temple too has been in the centre of a land dispute like the Ayodhya Ram temple.
  • It was alleged that the temple was built and later encroached into Charminar property.

Key-observations made by ASI

  • The Bhagyalakshmi Temple came into existence after taking over of Hyderabad by the Government of India adjacent to South Eastern minaret of the Charminar, a Centrally Protected Monument.
  • No records are available in this office about the Chilla adjacent to Charminar.

“Protected monument” means an ancient monument which is declared to be of national importance by or under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (AMASR Act).

  • There have been a lot of questions in connection with the both the temple and the chilla.

What is chilla?

  • Chillais a spiritual practice of penance and solitude in Sufism known mostly in Indian and Persian
  • In this ritual a mendicantor ascetic attempts to remain seated in a circle practicing meditation techniques without food for 40 days and nights. 
  • The word chillais derived from the Persian word chehel "forty". Chilla is commonly performed in a solitary cell called a chilla-khana.

Quick facts about Charminar

  • Built by: Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1591
    • He was the founder of Hyderabad to commemorate the end of the plague in the city
  • Each of the sides measure 20 meters while the minarets are located at a height of 48.7 meters from the ground level.
  • Each side of Charminar opens into a plaza like structure where the giant arches overlook the major thoroughfares.
  • It is a clear square structure that measures 31.95 mts. on each side while imposing arches span a distance of 11mts.
  • It is these four (char) minarets (minar) that give the building, its name 'Charminar'.
  • Each minar stands on a lotus-leaf base, a special recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings.
  • There are 149 circular steps inside each minaret.
  • The four clocks in four cardinal directions were added in the year 1889.