The Charminar is to Hyderabad what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, or the Statue of Liberty to New York City. This iconic mosque is widely known as the center of historic Hyderabad. When exactly the Charminar was built is unknown, but it is believed to have been the first building to be constructed after Hyderabad was made the capital of the ancient Golconda Sultanate, and it was likely completed in the late 1500s. The rest of Hyderabad was constructed around the Charminar, and it’s still right in the middle of the old city. Since that time, it has become one of India’s most famous landmarks, known for its beautiful traditional Islamic architecture, its intricate stucco decorations, and its unique symmetrical structure. The name Charminar translates to four towers, referring to the monument’s four beautiful minarets–one at each of the building’s four corners. There are four storeys and four balconies to each minaret, and great arches opening onto a plaza on each of the Charminar’s four sides, with a clock for each arch. Hyderabad’s oldest mosque is located on the Charminar’s top floor, and the main gallery has 45 prayer spaces which can still be used. The Charminar is especially beautiful when it’s lit up at night, so make sure to get a glimpse of it then–but no matter when you go, just make sure you don’t skip over it.