In what seems to be a major damage to the 428-year-old Charminar, a huge chunk of lime-plaster from its south-west minaret broke and fell to the ground late on Wednesday night. Pictures from the site showed that the lime-plaster comprising eight flower-petals, sized about 2.5 meters/0.8 meters, came-off the minaret.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the monument's custodian, is likely to undertake repairs soon after assessing the damage. ASI's superintending archaeologist, Milan Kumar Chauley, said that the damage has taken place due to the monument's erosion over a period of time and that nobody in particular can be blamed for it.
"The plastering on the monument is not original, as it was redone in 1924 by the Nizam (seventh, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Asaf Jahi monarch of the erstwhile state of Hyderabad). About two decades ago, a similar incident took place on another minaret. I have also been asking the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to not undertake any heavy machinery work. But I've learnt that they used it to demolish a building a few days ago," Chauley told Mint.
The Charminar was built in 1591 by Mohd. Quli Qutb Shah, the fourth king of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, which also built the historic Golconda fort. The 428-year-old monument was built as the foundation of Hyderabad, which founded by Mohd. Quli Qutb Shah, after he decided to shift outside the Golconda fort.
However, this is not the only damage that has taken place in the Charminar. Prior to this, the ASI had proposed to study a huge crack in the north-eastern part of the monument to examine the damage and ascertain whether it has affected the structural integrity of the monument.
The easily noticeable cracks were also suspected to be the result of water-logging due to rainfall some years ago on the north-eastern side’s upper section.