|Patna secrateriae, Bihar timesofindia.indiatimes.com|
|Secretariat building, Patna, Indiatelegraphindia.com|
Designed by the famous New Zealand-born Architect Joseph Munnings of Sydney, Australia, the work began in 1913 and completed in 1917 and the contractor was Martin Burn of Calcutta based company. It a fascinating Victorian style of building, carefully using Indo-Sarcenic style of design. Munnings designed the secretariat building, using the Union Buildings of Pretoria, South Africa as model, hence the structure in the center looks like an arch connected with two other allied two-story buildings. The Pretoria building was built by Herbert Baker, an architect of secretariats, Council House, and the New Delhi capital area. He was an associate of Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, who was the architect for designing Delhi's capital area. British Raj's capital was shifted to Delhi in 1911 from Calcutta. Munnings was the consulting architect of the then newly formed state of Bihar and Orissa during 1913-1918. His major works included the secretariat, government house and council chamber in Patna. This two story structure is massively built with mansard roofs ( after French architect F Mansart -1598-1666; four-cornered fast sloping roofs with red tiles) and it adds more charm to it.
|Patna secrateriae www.dailymail.co.|
The secretariat building with the tall clock tower was built by the British during World War I. The architecture is actually a blend of the neo-Gothic and pseudo-Renaissance styles. The dimension of the building is 716 feet long 364 feet wide, and is considered the largest government building in the city. The columns first incorporated by Greeks and Egyptians in Doric style stand either alone or in groups of two or three. The latter grouping that was not ornamental became a style called 'Tuscan'' that had its origin in the region of Tuscany, central Italy. On the ground floor there occur non-decorated basket-type arches in classical style. The portico with' mansard roof' is supported by columns. buttresses and walls. The central lobby has columns and arches. The interior part of the building maintains reasonable temperature during the hot summer season because of 4-foot gap between brick and cement ceiling and outer covering of Raniganj tiles - an ingenious way to maintain cool temperature inside the building in tropical countries.
This beautiful edifice is adorned by a tall, highly visible clock tower in the center of the structure amidst lush green lawn. Gillett and Johnston, clock makers from Croydon, England, made the Churcill-pattern clock - such clocks have a patterned round face and larger digits than usual. One of the finest pieces of Churchill-pattern clock towers in India, the clock was installed in the tower at the old secretariat in 1924. The winding of the clock takes about 15 minutes and another 15 minutes to wind the bell. Clock-keepers have to climb 276 steps to get to the top to wind it and maintain it periodically. Presently, the clock tower is 184 feet tall. Originally it stood 198 feet tall, but part of he building fell down in the wake of 1934 earthquake that struck part of Nepal and Bihar.