Rajabai Clock Tower

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Rajabai Clock Tower
Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai (31 August 2008).jpg
Rajabai tower
Rajabai Clock Tower is located in Mumbai
Rajabai Clock Tower
Location within Mumbai
General information
Architectural style Venetian and Gothic
Town or city Mumbai
Country India
Coordinates 18°55′47″N 72°49′48″E / 18.92964°N 72.82999°E / 18.92964; 72.82999
Construction started 1 March 1869
Completed November 1878
Cost INR 200,000
Client Bombay Presidency
Technical details
Structural system Buff coloured stone
Size 280 feet (85 m)
Design and construction
Architect Sir George Gilbert Scott

The Rajabai Clock Tower is a clock tower in South Mumbai, India. It is located in the confines of the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai. The tower stands at a height of 85 m (280 ft).

History[edit]

The Rajabai Clock Tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect.[1] He modeled it on Big Ben in London.

The foundation stone was laid on 1 March 1869 and construction was completed in November 1878. The total cost of construction came to INR 200,000, a princely sum in those days. This entire cost was defrayed by Premchand Roychand, a prosperous broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange on the condition that the tower be named after his mother Rajabai.

Premchand Roychand's mother was blind and as a staunch follower of Jain religion she was supposed to consume her dinner before evening. The evening bell of the tower helped her to know the time without anyone's help.

The tower was closed to the public after it became a frequent spot for those attempting to commit suicide.

A file photo of University of Mumbai taken in the 1870s. Rajabai Clock Tower here seen shrouded in scaffolding was completed in 1878

Structure[edit]

The tower was built in a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles. It is built out of the locally available buff coloured Kurla stone. The tower has one of the best stained glass windows in the city.

The ground floor has two side rooms, each measuring 56 × 27.5 ft (17 × 8.5 m). The tower forms 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 form up to the gallery at the top of the first level which is at a height of 68 feet (20.7 m) from the ground. The 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) and 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).

During its time, it was the tallest structure in the city of Mumbai.

Chimes[edit]

Rajabai Clock Tower, brightly lit during the night.

During the British Raj, it played the tunes of "Rule Britannia", "God Save the King", "Home! Sweet Home!" and "A Handel Symphony", out of a total of sixteen tunes, which changed four times a day. It currently chimes only one tune every 15 minutes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Re-setting the time". Mumbai: The Hindu. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 

External links[edit]