Saturday, 19 August 2017

Fascinating Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai

The-Rajabai-Clock-Tower-and-the-Mumbai-University- Hindustan Times
The Rajabai Clock Tower, located in the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai, South Mumbai  is a tall clock tower (height of 85 or 280 ft)equal to a 25-story building.

The Rajabai Clock Tower,Mumbai. Alamy


Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect, it is based on the model on Big Ben in London. It took nine years to complete the construction work that began on 1 March 1869; work completed  in November 1878. The total cost of construction was Rs.550,000, a  whooping  sum in those days. A portion of the construction cost was borne by one Premchand Roychand, a highly successful broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange. The donation was made by him on condition that the tower must be be named after his blind mother Rajabai. The evening  chime of the tower helped her to know the time for her dinner without anyone's help.
 

Rajabai Clock Tower,Mumbai.  TTripHobo

Made of locally available buff coloured Kurla stone, the tower is a good example of the the blend of  Venetian and Gothic styles. The tower, it is said, has one of the best stained glass windows in the city.
The tower has  a ground floor with two big side rooms,  a carriage porch 2.4 m² (26 ft²), and a spiral staircase vestibule of 2.6 m² (28 ft²). The Tower, over the carriage porch, has a square shape up  to the gallery at the top of the first level (68 feet or 20.7 m) from the ground. The structural  form changes from a square to an octagon and the height from this gallery to the top of the tower is 118 feet (36 m).  The third stage to the top of the finial is 94 feet (28.7 m), thus making a total height of 280 feet (85 m).
Rajabai Clock Tower  is  brightly lit during the night. It currently chimes only one tune every 15 minutes. During the British rule under the crown the tower clock could play sixteen tunes; some were   "Rule Britannia", "God Save the King", A Handel Symphony",etc. The tunes changed four times a day.

Rajabai Clock Tower,Mumbai. The Hindu
Thanks to the joint efforts by Tata Consultancy Services  the Indian Heritage Society. the heritage clock tower under went restoration work between From Oct 2013 to 11 May 2015. TCS offered Rs 3 crores for the second phase of the restoration work. 

Tit-Bits:

01. The 2013-2015 major restoration work was the one first since its construction in 1878.

02.  The English architect Sir George Gilbert Scott who designed the Rajbai clock tower who did not make a  visit to India for the purpose.

03.  The beautiful sculptures (on the surface of the clock structure) and interiors (of the adjoining library) were made by Indian artisans and the students of JJ School of Art under the guidance of Sir Lockwood Kipling, their art teacher and illustrator.
04. The clock tower and the library are built with four types of stones — Porbandar limestone, basalt, red Dharangdhara and Malad stone (Malad and Kurla regions of Bombay  had large stone quarries in those days).


http://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture/insider-s-guide-to-rajabai-clock-tower/story-9Y1gNvrd1Yj1ormNC2DegL.html.

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