Designed by Richard Roskell Bayne, Lucknow's Ghanta Ghar is a fine example of an architectural amalgamation.
Clock towers in medieval India were a very common sight and were built in the middle of the busiest city markets to help people keep a track of time. Thus various Indian ancient provinces including Jodhpur, Dehradoon, Meerut, Delhi, Mumbai and many others, have a clock tower or a ghanta ghar depicting the city's typical architecture and style. However, the one that chimes in the city of Lucknow is far more special than any clock tower in India.
The Tallest In The Country
Lucknow's Ghanta Ghar is about 67 meters in height, which roughly translates to about 219 feet. This soaring tower in Lucknow's Husainabad has been identified as the tallest among all the clock towers in various Indian cities.
Lucknow's Heritage Since 1881
Lucknow's Ghanta Ghar was made by Nawab Naseer-ud-din Haider in 1881 as a token to acknowledge and welcome Sir George Couper, the first lieutenant governor of United Province of Avadh. It is said that it took about ₹1.75 lakh and 6 years to construct this 138 year-old tower.
Designed by Richard Roskell Bayne, the Ghanta Ghar is a fine example of an architectural amalgamation. Blending in the Victorian and Gothic structural designs, it was assembled to replicate London's Big Ben.
The Flower Shaped Clock
Ghanta Ghar's clock arms have been designed using the metal which was usually used in the making of guns and was sourced from Ludgate Hill, London. The clock dial is designed in the shape of 12 petals of a full gold flower with bells around and a pendulum which is about 14 ft long!
Ghanta Ghar Talaab
What magnifies the beauty of the clock tower is the a lake built on its foot. The red stoned stairs of the Ghanta Ghar talaab match the stone of the tower and add a scenic touch to the highest clock tower in India. Today, it acts as a classic backdrop for Bollywood movies set in the city of Lucknow.
Today, the sight stands as one of the major tourist attractions in the city and has the picturesque view of the grand Rumi Darwaza adjacent to it. Rumi Darwaza was the entrance to the Nawab's Palace and is about 60 meters in height. The clock tower was right outside these palace gates and is significantly taller than the aristocratic Turkish entryway! One can also peak a look at the Bada Imambara from this site.
Standing tall since 27 years
In 2010, the city administration wanted to replace the mechanical clock with a digital one due to its faulty working. However, two city samaritan convinced the district administrator to let them work on the repairs. After 17 months of pro bono repairs, Captain Paritosh Chauhan and Akhilesh Agarwal were able to restore the chimes of the clock that echoed in the city after a long silence of 27 years!
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