|Big clock tower, Mysore. the hindu.com|
|Silver Jubilee clock tower, Mysore. www.dreamstime.com|
With the advent of modern civilization and digital clocks, the age old clock towers have become things of the past. Yet, they have not yet lost their charm and the underlying heritage values because of their links with the by-gone era. Further, clock towers are still today mostly admired for their aesthetics and their usefulness to find time in the past.
A Clock tower is a specific type of structure which may be free standing or can also adjoin or be set atop of another building. The structure houses a turret clock and may have one face or more clock faces on the upper exterior walls. The clocks are big enough so that people can read the numerals easily. World over, many cities have one or more clock towers and in many places they add beauty to the iconic buildings and the area. One example that comes to our mind is the Elizabeth Tower in London (erroneously called 'Big Ben', though this name refers only to the bell inside the tower). As for India, the Rajabai Tower in Mumbai is a popular one. One can see such clocks in some churches, universities and town halls in many countries, in particular, in Europe and USA.
|Silver Jubilee clock tower, MysoreTouchtalent|
The mechanism inside the tower is known as a turret clock and it often marks the hour (and sometimes segments of an hour) by sounding large bells or chimes, sometimes playing simple musical phrases or tunes.
|Silver Jubilee clock tower, Mysore. My India Travel - blogger|
The use of clock towers dates back to several centuries. The earliest clock tower was the Tower of the Winds in Athens which had eight sundials. In its interior, there was also a water clock (or clepsydra), driven by water coming down from the Acropolis
The popular Silver Jubilee clock tower in Mysore city in the state of Karnataka forms yet another important landmark in this city where there is no dearth of heritage monuments. It stands in a busy area adjacent to Chamaraja Circle and the Town Hall. Gandhi Square is nearby. To commemorate the silver jubilee (25 years) of the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the maharajah of Mysore, this tall clock tower was constructed in 1927 and the cost was borne by the employees of the Maharajah's palace.
There are two clock towers in Mysore and this one is called Dodda Gadiara , meaning the "big clock tower"; the other being the "small clock tower" called the Dufferin Clock Tower located near KR Circle.
This 75 feet tall structure was built in Indo - Saracenic style. However, it also carried the features of other architectural designs. In the curvilinear chhajja ( overhanging eaves supported on carved brackets) design, one can see the influence of Rajasthani tradition. The tall double arches and framing slit windows suggest early English church architecture. The clock has a diameter of five feet and carries Kannada numerals.