Rajabai Clock Tower
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|Rajabai Clock Tower|
|Architectural style||Venetian and Gothic|
|Town or city||Mumbai|
|Construction started||1 March 1869|
|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. It stands at a height of 85 m (280 ft or 25 storeys). The tower is part of The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, which was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2018.
The Rajabai Clock Tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. 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 550,000, a princely sum in those days. A portion of the total cost of construction was donated 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. Legend says that 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.
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.
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.
From October 2013 to 11 May 2015, the tower underwent restoration work under the observation of Anita Garware (Heritage Society), Dr Rajan Welukar (Vice Chancellor; University of Mumbai) and N Chandrasekar (CEO, Tata Consultancy Services).
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