|Joseph Munnings, architect. Secretariat, Patna telegraphindia.com|
|Colonial clock. Secretariat bldg, Patna, Indiatelegraphindia.com|
Patna Secretariat in the capital city Patna designed by the famous New Zealand-born architect Joseph Munnings of Sydney, Australia is a famous colonial building in Bihar. Munnings it is said, designed this building on the model of the Union Building of Pretoria, South Africa. Located between city's two historical buildings Raj Bhavan in the west and Patna High Court in the far east, the work began in 1913 and completed in 1917 and the contractor was Martin Burn of Calcutta based company. Frequently referred to as Patna Sachiwalaya or Old Secretariat, this building built in Victorian style carefully following Indo-Sarcenic design is an architectural beauty and splendor and it is the administrative headquarters of the state Government of Bihar. Actually, the building that came up during World War I is a blend of the neo-Gothic and pseudo-Renaissance styles, measuring 716 feet long 364 feet wide. It is considered the largest government building in the city.
|The Union Buildings, Pretoria, S.Africaen.wikipedia.org|
|Secretariat building, Patna, Indiatelegraphindia.com|
This impressive old structure is adorned by a tall, highly visible clock tower in the center of the building in the middle of lush green lawn. Presently its height is 184 feet. In the past 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.
|Gillett and Johnston clock maker. alamy.com/|
|Gillett and Johnston clock with large face. en.wikipedia.org|
The following are the interesting facts: 01. The clock's pendulum weighs over two quintals, 02. Its minute and hour needles have a combined weight of over 50kg, 03. Its hour-needle is 4.5ft long and the minute-needle 5.5ft, 04. The winding of the watch takes about 15 minutes, 05. The clock is provided with a bell and it needs another 15 minutes to wind it and 06. Clock keepers have to climb 276 steps to reach the top to wind the clock and maintain it regularly.
In those olden days when the giant club of the clock used to strike the equally large disc for gong the sound would reverberate through the entire town at a time when the population was around 100000.
Since it is tough to get spares for defective old colonial clock, copying spares in India is equally tough, the govt. authorities had a proposal to have a digital clock fixed like the one in Patna Junction. As it happened to be '' a heritage structure of Patna, the government should have ensured its proper upkeep", many monument and heritage lovers felt.
|Gillett & Johnston clock-bell makers gracesguide.co.uk|