Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Elegant, but simple Dufferin Clock Tower (1886) of Mysore

The present generation may not be aware that owning a chiming clock  or a wrest  watch was a luxury 100 years  ago and the ordinary people of India, in the colonial days, had to depend on the clock tower built at busy places in towns and cities to keep track of time. So, in the past  a century ago,  small cities and town had one or two clock towers (big or small) to serve the local population. Now, many of them are functioning and many are not functioning, either damaged or not  repaired. They stand as excellent monuments of by-gone era that saw the colorful  days and our struggle to get freedom from the foreign rulers.


Lord Dufferin   Viceroy of India (1884-88),Flickr

Above image:  Lord Dufferin served as Governor General of 
India and Viceroy from 1884 to 1888. It was during  his administration, the Third Burmese war led to annexation of 
whole of Burma and Burmese ruler was exiled to India. In 1885, Alan Octavian  Hume, ICS,  ex-British Officer laid the foundation of Indian National Congress. INC played a key role in getting freedom for India...........


The Dufferin Clock Tower of Mysore is a popular landmark and is  located  in front of the Deveraja Market near the new bus station in Mysore city.

When Mysore was a princely state, it had to maintain a good relationship with the British rulers despite  differences of opinion on matters related to the functioning of the administration. So, the British dignitaries used to visit Mysore to call on the maharajah and discuss political
issues with the Dewan who acted for the ruler..

Dufferin Clock Tower 1886, Mysore city. en.wikipedia.org
 
In the past,  in 1886 British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, who served as 

Viceroy between 1884 to 1888 visited Mysore at the the invitation of the Maharajah of Mysore Chamaraja Wodeyar. His visit happened to be an important one because  Lord Dufferin  was the first Viceroy of the colonial India to pay a ceremonial and friendly visit to Mysore. Befitting the honorable British Chief visiting Mysore for the first time, a majestic,  but simple  cloak tower was built in his memory which the local people call  Chikka Gadiyara or the small clock tower. Set in the prime area of the city,  it was built on a strong foundation consisting of eight pillars covered by railings. The decorated fountain in the middle enhanced the majesty of this simple looking tower. Prior to 2010, the place around the clock tower, was not well maintained and was frequented by hawkers. The space around the Clock tower was also used as a parking lot.

lock Tower 1886, Mysore city. en.wikipedia.org

In order not to lose the heritage value of this historical clock tower, the  state heritage department  removed the hawkers and declared it as a protected area. In 2012, the city council completed the work of renovating adequate  space around the clock tower by fixing tiles and seats for tourists. The space  is good enough to conduct small meetings. To make this place more attractive, the city council added nine small water fountains and 13 decorative lamps. For the renovation work, a sum of Rs.4 million was spent by the city council. 

This historical heritage clock tower connects us with the past legacy of Mysore rulers and their cordial relationship with the British.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dufferin_Clock_Tower