Part of Hyderabad’s history and cultural heritage suffered a blow when a chunk of lime plaster on one of the minarets of Charminar fell off late on Wednesday night. Archaeological Survey of India was informed and they inspected the damage on the monument. No casualties were reported. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay

Hyderabad’s most precious historical landmark, Charminar faced damage when a portion measuring about 2.5m by 0.80m fell down from one of its four minarets on the Laad Bazar side facing the roads towards Shahalibanda at 11:30 pm on Wednesday night, thus alarming locals and tourists nearby. Thankfully, no one was injured, Charminar police station officials confirmed.

Archaeological Survey of India, who started the restoration work a few months back initially claimed that the piece of lime stucco work got detached from the granite slab as it could not stick properly to it, as reported by The Indian Express website. “It was a small piece of the newly-constructed part on the minaret. It fell down on Wednesday night within the premises only,” a senior official was quoted saying to PTI.

After the piece fell down, panic spread through the crowd and they gathered near the monument. The police took control and dispersed the crowd, further restricting public movement near and inside the monument. This historical landmark was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591. He was the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and also the founder of Hyderabad city.

The Charminar has faced damages in the past as well owing to the rising pollution levels. After discovering a blackish tinge on the monument, traffic movement was banned near the Charminar. Back in August of 2010, a small portion of one of the minarets fell down after heavy rainfall. The four exquisitely carved minarets stand tall at a height of 48.7 metres above the ground.

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