Minaret (/ˌmɪnəˈrɛt, ˈmɪnəˌrɛt/; Persian: گل‌دسته goldaste, Azerbaijani: minarə, Turkish: minare, from Arabic: منارة manarah or المنارة‎ menara) is a type of tower typically built into or adjacent to mosques. Minarets serve multiple purposes. While they provide a visual focal point, they are generally used for the Muslims call to prayer (adhan), though they may also exist as standalone non-religious structures, especially in the Indian subcontinent. Minarets can have a variety of forms, from thick, squat towers to soaring, pencil-thin spires. The top is often decorated with a conical or onion-shaped crown.