Saturday, 10 June 2017

Colonial clock (1876) of Gandhi Gate in Amritsar

Even today, clock towers in cities and towns never  fail to attract our attention  and they have become  curios for the younger generations. Be they small or big, they still stand majestically as the sentinels of the past era of colonial glory. In India, during the British rule there were a large number of majestic clock towers built in public places for the convenience of  common who could not afford a watch. Invariably most of the clock towers were built by the  local rulers or a  leader in memory of a visiting English higher-up to that place. Building  towers with a clock on it served dual purposes - to help local dwellers to know the time and to please the English official to get his favours. In those days for outside use, the rich and upper middle class people carried a pocket watch to know the time before the advent of wrist watch.

There is an old clock  at the busy Gandhi Gate in Amritsar, in Punjab. Also called Hall Gate, before Independence, the clock was first installed in 1876 - about 19 years after the famous mutiny of 1857 but the clock  became defunct and was not yet fixed by the local 

Gandhi gate clock, Amritsar, Punjab

Hall bazaar -Gandhi gate clock, Amritsar, Punjab.Hindustan Times

municipal corporation. One C.H. Hall was the then deputy commissioner and the gate  which is  on the way to Walled City and Golden temple, was named after him and the clock was designed by John Gordon, the then executive engineer in Amritsar. Considering its proximity to the important places in this city, the colonial clock is not functioning and it clearly shows how the authorities are quite careless about not repairing a simple time machine of colonial legacy. 

Clipart Of

 In 2008, the color of the historical Hall gate was changed from red to pink and then to yellow. It 
was a big shock for the heritage freaks because the odd and outlandish  color combination showed lack of aesthetics and knowledge of preservation of historical sites without losing their heritage values.

All it needs is a simple initiative from like-minded people interested in the preservation of our old monuments, heritage and antiques that have hoary history. 

Hall bazaar, where the Gandhi gate is located,  is just 1 km from the railway station.