Friday, 26 May 2017

Awe-inspiring St. Mary's church. Bangalore - a colonial legacy


01. St. Mary's Basilica is one among the oldest churches in Bangalore and was the first one to have come up here. 

02. It was first built  in 1818as a small Chapal  in a place called   ‘Blackpally’’ (now Shivaji Nagar).with thatched roof in 1818 by the Tamil migrants from the town of Gingee, Tamil Nadu, it had a humble beginning as a small chapel with thatched roof called  Kanikkai Madha' in a place called  ‘‘Blackpally’’ then (not Shivaji Nagar). The name of the place Blackpally is derived from John Blakiston (1785-1867), who designed the layout of the Bangalore Cantonment, according to Historian Aruni. This colonial church is symbolic of rejuvenation and reorganization  of Christianity in Mysore state after the death of rulerTipu Sultan. 

St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore.

In the 18th  century, during Hyder Ali's reign in 1724-25,  the  first Church, Drummers' Chapel in the Kalasipalya locality of Bangalore  came into being. In those days, Bangalore was not a city and was just a small town. When Hyder Ali's son Tipu Sultan became the ruler, he hated the British and  their dubious honesty. He was against the Christian community living in that region because he mistook them for the supporters / spies of unjust British East India Company.  It was after his death in 1799 in the final battle against the British at Srirangapatna, and with the establishment of Cantonment in Bangalore, more native Christians moved in here including many European families.

Jean-Antoine DuboisEncyclopedia Britannica

Above image:  Abbe J.A. Dubois alias  Jean-Antoine Dubois (January 1765 – 17 February 1848) was a French Catholic missionary in India, and member of the 'Missions Etrangères de Paris'. He wrote a book, Hindu manners, customs and ceremonies, a valuable work of Indology.  It was after the fall of Seringapatam in 1799, he went to Mysore to reorganize the Christian community that had been shattered by Tipu Sultan.who destroyed many churches there. He was one of the first to  introduce vaccination in India .............

St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore..

Fr. Jean Dubois in 1811 built a small chapel along with residence for the catholic priests. Later Rev. Fr. Andreas, a priest from Pondicherry of Indian origin, expanded the church building in the shape of a cross. Unfortunately in 1832, there was a communal riot in which the Church was pulled down and the violence had to be quelled by the troops. The credit goes to Rev. L. E. Kleiner  who established the present form of Gothic-styled church that was consecrated on  8 September  1882 by Bishop Jean-Yves-Marie Coadou, the vicar apostolic of Mysore.

Mary's feast day, St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore

 Over the years, the church of St. Mary's at Blackpally became popular enough to become  a parish. Through a special edit Pope Paul VI  elevated the church to  the status of minor basilica in 1973 -  the sixth church in India to be elevated to this exalted status. The church is impressive and its grandeur is showcased by  the stately arches of the church that are supported by eye-catching stained glass windows and multiple columns built in a rich Corinthian style.

St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore  Amazing India Blog

 This Basilica is well-known for  the festivities held during the St. Mary's Feast in the month of September each year. It celebrates the birth of Mother Mary and is the most important festival held in the basilicaThe  highlight is an annual 9 day Novena held between 30 August and 7 September, with Mass being offered in English, Kannada and Tamil languages, culminating in a grand chariot procession on the last day


01. Many  Churches in Bangalore and other areas came up only after the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799 under the colonial rule.

02. The mass vestments worn by Fr. Jean-Antoine Dubois are still preserved in the church at Palahalli near Srirangapattana. 

03. The basilica  had a humble beginning and currently stands in the place where there was a small prayer room in the beginning.

04. The church is called Kaanike Mathe Devalaya (which in Kannada means the Church of Our Lady of the Presentation). 

05. The stained glass windows, for unknown reasons,  were removed during World War II and were later restored in 1947. This was done to avoid theft or damages to the stained glasses.

06. The consecration of the church (8 September 1882) by  Bishop Jean-Yves-Marie Coadou, the Vicar Apostolic of Mysore, took place in the presence of 35 priests and a gathering of 4,000 Catholics of Bangalore. 

07.  A total sum of  Rs. 29,659. 00 was spent on the construction of the new church,  including the pulpit and the statues.,_Bangalore

Shimla's Christ church and the chiming clock!

Christ Church and the clock, Shimla.  Wikitravel

 Any visitor to  Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh can not miss the iconic  Christ Church, which  is the second oldest church in North India, after St John's Church in Meerut. It is a parish in the Diocese of Amritsar in the Church of North India.

Shimla was once home to a large  Anglican British community and in the later colonial period it served as the Summer Capital of the Raj.  Built in the Neo-Gothic style in 1857, the church stands on The Ridge  and forms  one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla and is quite visible at distance from the place. Besides, it is one of the most photographed monuments of this place. A lasting British legacy, its architect was  Colonel J. T. Boileau (1844)  and the church was consecrated after 1857 (after the end of Sepoy Mutiny).

The impressive church has a beautiful clock that was  donated by Colonel Dumbleton in 1860. Because the old church has fallen into neglect, with no proper response from the state government to repair it, the clock also stooped working a couple of decades ago. 

Christ Church and the clock, Shimla.

The old timers of this town still recall the the jingles of the church bells that stopped ringing quite long ago. In the past, some German engineers were brought in to fix it.  The clock did work for sometime, but later stopped working. The growth of vegetation inside hampered the proper functioning of the clock and the bell. Years ago,  the state government made some restoration work, but the work was inadequate because of paucity of funds. Representations were made to the government by the Christian community living here and by the local people. According to media  reports in June 2016, the state tourism department was going to do the restoration work of the church to be funded by the world bank. A sum of  Rs, 5.3 crores had been  sanctioned for the restoration work including the church clock. The government was in touch with some firm in  Kolkata and else where, specializing in repairing old buildings  and the clock bells. Illumination, change of plaster on the outer walls of the church, flooring in the interior, etc., would be given due attention. The local people were looking forward to hearing  the ticking of the clock and the chiming of the bells.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Ludhiana City’s colonial Clock Tower

Ludhiana Clock

Clock Tower, Ludhiana,
Ludhiana City has a beautiful iconic clock Tower in the prime locality close to the railroad station and business  center - Chra bazaar is near-by. Popularly known as Ghanta Ghar, it is the most impressive one among many clock towers in the state of Punjab. It was  inaugurated on 18 October 1906 by the then Lt- Governor of Punjab and its dependencies, Sir Charles Montgomery and Deewan Tek Chand, the then Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Its architect was the then municipal chief engineer of Amritsar, John Gordon and the construction  work began in 1862. The name of the clock tower built in Indo-Gothic style  was Victoria Memorial Clock Tower and was erected  as a memorial to mark  the silver jubilee year of Queen Victoria’s regime. It was built long before the worst Jallianwalla  Bagh Massacre in 1913. Since its construction, it has been an emblem of Ludhiana city. In the colonial era, it had a manually wound clock later it was  replaced by an electronic clock

Clock Tower, Ludhiana The Tribune

However, during the reign of  Giani Zail Singh, on Jain community's request the landmark clock Tower was renamed was Bhagwan Mahavir Clock Tower. 


 Like many clock towers across India, this one is not well maintained and the local administration fails to pay attention to these structures that carry historical value.. According to media reports, the following need to be taken care of immediately to preserve this beautiful colonial structure. 

01.The digital clock fixed in the past shows incorrect time and the original clock - manually wound type is lying unfixed.

02. Though countless people want to go to the top of the tower through the spiral stair way, they can not do it. Above the first floor, stairs and wooden planks are either broken or weak. So, for heritage freaks, this clock tower's top floor is out of reach. The entry is prohibited by the Municipal Corporation..

03. The stench from the adjacent place is very bad. Illegal bill boards on the wall around this place mar the elegance of this historical tower,

04.  The structure has cracks and there are plant growths at many places that might weaken the building. Since, the building above the  ground floor is not in use, it has become a home to pigeons.

Madukkarai Maharaj a rogue elephant !!

Madukkarai Maharaj, Behindw 


The name Madukkarai Maharaj may sound like the name of a zamindar or a big land lord of an old Tamil Movie  owning vast spread of cultivable land and groves. In reality,  Madukkarai Maharaj is none other than a pachyderm who was not on his best behavior and gave lots of problems to the forest officials and the people in that area.  He was also nicknamed ‘Kattayan’(in Tamil meaning a strong man; here it refers to the elephant). Tagged as a rogue elephant, M. Maharaj 's active place of activity  is Madukkarai and nearby areas that are close to Coimbatore city. There are paddy, banana, jack fruit and other farms and the small farmers and others  depend mainly on the agricultural income from their farms.

Not content with water and food available in his area, Madukkarai Maharaj  raided  nearby places for food and water  and spent  much of his time eating whatever his trunk  could lay on. This bull  was just 20 years old and weighed 3500 kg. It is said he was not seen with a herd. Befitting his name, he raided majestically unmindful of various obstructions and scare methods such as beating drums, firing crackers, etc., used by the people. The rogue tusker  was causing havoc in and around Madukkarai and consequently the farmers had incurred heavy loss on account of damaged crops during 2015 and 2016.  He was responsible for the death of two people, one of them being a forest  guard. Considering its aggressive nature and threats to farmers and public, the government took serious steps to catch the elephant alive so that it could be relocated.  
Think Elephants International - blogger

 The forest officials knew the areas he used to frequent and a few places where he was seen more often. After a long wait, the forest officials and their team of wildlife vets, tranquilizer experts, police and the special team reached the army camp area - the tusker's regular path and spotted it  inside the army camp at Madukkarai at night. Even there were health and revenue officials in the team to coordinate the capture of the jumbo. Around 4 am, the tusker was returning on the same path  and the capture team members with tranquilizing guns were put on high alert. Around  4.45am, when the elephant was returning to the forest in its usual path, they took a good shot with the tranquilize gun. Soon after darting, in half sedated state, the elephant moved over the national high way and then  entered the reserve forest area. As it was a safe spot, the forest officials decided to set off the kumkis (trained female elephants) to corner the tusker to prevent it from running wild.

In a thrilling  night-long 10 hr operation after a week long pursuit, in the last week of June, 2016, the forest officials  successfully tranquilized and trapped the rogue elephant which had been a source of trouble for scores of farmers living in that area. The elephant, without giving any trouble further boarded the truck. Earlier, it was given two tranquilizer shots and Kumki elephants goaded the sedated jumbo  into the truck. It was a safe operation and the officials and the people were happy about it. But according to the Covai post published  in Coimbatore, it was a meticulously executed brutality as the trained elephants caused painful  injuries on the back of Maharaj while boarding the truck. The officials pumped in another  dose of Ketamine and Xylamine to calm it down. 

Scars on the back of Madukkarai Maharaj, TN. /

Considered as the biggest operation in the recent years, it included 50 officials /personnel. The captured elephant was escorted to top-slip area by DFO, pilot vehicle and others officials including vets. The  tranquilized tusker  at Madukkarai next day  was taken to the camp and lodged in the kraal the same evening.
The sedated wild elephant, 'Madukkarai  Maharaj’, unfortunately died at the elephant camp at Varagliyar near Top Slip, two days after it was captured. He  had suffered multiple fractures on its forehead and other injuries while trying to free itself from the kraal, a post-Mortem examination hasd revealed it.The media reports  say that he was given heavy dosage of tranquilizer.
Madukkkarai Maharaj

 Its broken tusks and  marks left on the heavy wooden logs of the kraal pointed out its desperation to get out of the trap and escape into the wild. Around 4.10 p.m.  it hit a wooden structure hard, fell down and died in the next five minutes, leaving its trunk out of the cage.

In 2011, operation similar to this one was a failure. The sedated elephant accidentally fell into a pit and finally dead. 

 Having been free, enjoying fresh air and fresh crops, Madukkkarai Maharaj did not like to live like a prisoner within the confines  of  kraal. He preferred death to life in a  small enclosed  space, begging for food from the forest officials.

Tall, impreassive Husainabad Clock Tower, Lucknow

Hussainabad clock tower, Lucknow

In the pre-independence days, a tall or  small clock tower in a buy place used to form an important landmark, besides it served the local community to know the time. In the colonial days, in the Indian princely states, it was a tradition to  honor the visiting English dignitaries by erecting in a prominent place a tall attractive structure with a big clock having four faces fixed.

The Husainabad Clock Tower in Lucknow city, UP, is an historical structure that  was built in 1881 by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider, the ruler of Avadh.  This beautiful structure, a legacy of Awadh rulers and their close association with the English rulers, came into being  to honor the  arrival of Sir George Couper, 1st Lieutenant Governor of United Province of Avadh. 

Hussainabad clock tower, Lucknow en.wikipedia.

Located adjacent to the  famous Rumi Darwaza, this clock tower, built in English architecture is an impressive one . In those days, it was adjudged as the tallest clock tower among the Indian clock towers across the subcontinent. 

Lucknow, Hussainabad clock tower.
Lucknow. Memory of Col Sir George Couper fades with time. |Flickr

 Designed by Roskell Payne, the cost of the construction was around 1.75 lakhs, a whooping sum for this kind of structure in the olden days. What is unique about this 67 meter tall clock tower is, its design was based on the Elizabeth Clock Tower (Big Ben) in London and followed Victorian and Gothic style structural designs. For durability, gunmetal is used for building the clock parts. The big pendulum has a length of 14 feet and the dial of the clock is designed in the shape of a 12-petalled flower and bells around it. The dial is so big, the numerals can be read  from  a distance. 


Sir George Ebenezer Wilson Couper, 2nd Baronet KCSI (29 April 1824 – 5 March 1908) was a British civil servant in India. He was the eldest son of  Colonel Sir George Couper, Chief Equerry and Comptroller of the Household of Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent. His father was created a baronet in 1841. He had his education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He landed in India in 1846 an joined  the Bengal Civil Service.

From 26 July 1876 to 15 February 1877, he  served as Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces and from 15 February 1877 to 17 April 1882, he  acted as the Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh (Awadh).

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Razia Sultana, first Muslim woman ruler of Delhi Sultanate

 Among the Muslim rulers of India, in the  early period only the males were the legal successor to the throne and the women were not either engaged or allowed to rule the land. Ruling the state was responsibility of the males.  This was also true of the Hindu rulers. Razia Sultana became the first woman in Indian History to preside over the Muslim kingdom. 

 Razia Sultana (1205 - October 13, 1240), the Sultan of Delhi from 10 November 1236 - 14 October 1240  was surprisingly  the only  Muslim  woman ever to rule the Delhi Sultanate dominated only by male royal family members. Her given name was  Raziya al-Din (also  Jalâlat-ud-Dîn Raziyâ)
Her father Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, was a Turk slave to  Qutb ud din Aibak, the first Sultan of Delhi, and ultimately he became the  Sultan of Delhi. Since he happened to be a loyal slave, Aibak himself  gave his  daughter  Qutub Begum in marriage to Iltutmish.  Razia's brother  was  Nasiruddin Mahmud.  Razia was brought up in the corridors of power and enjoyed special privileges in the royal family and also in the court. On the other hand, her half brothers  Rukn ud din Firuz and Muiz ud din Bahram, who were the sons of former slave-girls,  were side-tracked and not in the center of power. 

Razia's early childhood was mostly spent around her father, particularly after the demise of  Qutb ud din Aibak. Along with her father, she used to attend the court  and was exposed to the functioning of the state affairs. Being inquisitive and had the ability to learn anything quickly,  she became well trained to run the kingdom independently, if required, in the absence of her father or her husband. Her flair for administration, hard work  and  her mother's royal lineage, stood her  in good stead and made her  a confirmed favorite with Iltutmish. At the same time, her brother  Nasiruddin Mahmud (Razia's brother)  was  also groomed by Iltutmish to succeed him.

The unexpected sudden death of  Nasir ud din Mahmud  in 1229 CE, left Iltutmish  in the dark as he did not have a right person to succeed him to the throne. The choice fell on Razia,  as  none of his several surviving sons, born of his other wives, were unfit to succeed the throne. In 1230 - 1231, after his successful war expedition to Gwalior,
ltutmish became the first sultan to appoint a woman (his own daughter) as his successor. The sultan took this decision because during his absence, princess Razia governed the state well and won the appreciation of  the people Thus Razia became  his heir apparent and took the credit of  being  the first and only female ruler of Delhi Sultanate. 

After Iltutmish's death  on  30 April 1236, Razia's half-brother Rukn ud din Firuz was elevated to the throne instead. Since  he was more after the trappings of the highest position and was in pursuit of personal pleasure and spent his time in the harem, he never paid attention to the state affairs and welfare of his subjects. This resulted in resentment and outrage among the people.  Iltutmish's widow Shah Turkaan  for all practical purposes ran the show. Six months later on  9 November  1236, both Rukn ud din and his mother Shah Turkaan were assassinated . With no male members to lead the Sultanate, with hesitation, the nobility agreed to allow Razia to reign as Sultan of Delhi.

Razia was  endowed with all attributes an effective ruler would require. Being just and sagacious, she patronized the learned. Her husband was
Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia  with whom she had romantic involvement earlier. Before wedding, when Atunia was the Governor of  of  Bathinda, the Turkic aristocracy, on purpose,  spread rumors about Razia's romantic escapades with Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut, an Abyssinian Siddi (Habshi) slave. Infuriated Altunia's became jealous and rebelled against her in order to get her back. In the ensuing battle, Yaqut was killed and Razia was taken as  prisoner at Qila Mubarak at Bathinda. A chanced meeting with Altunia while offering Friday prayers in a mosque cleared the mistrust and  helped Razia win back her lost-love  and she  she was released in August 1240  and  later she married him.

After Razia  became a ruler, the Turkic nobles along with Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia, Razia's lover, conspired to weaken the administration by setting a rebellion against her. When  Razia confronted him  at the head of an army. Altunia and his fellow-conspirators lost no time to capture  Razia who was entrusted 

with the care of Altunia and the rest of the nobles returned to 
the capital.
Muslim Heritage

Razia's half-brother Muiz ud din Bahram, took advantage of the chaotic political situation and   ascended the throne.  Altunia and Razia  in October 1240 made a vein attempt to get back the  sultanate from Bahram and later they fell into the hands of Hindu Jats  who  robbed and killed them on 13 October 1240.  Bahram 's reign lasted from  from 1240 to 1242, and later  he was dethroned for incompetence.
Grave of Razia Sultan inDelhi en.wikipedia. org

Razia died at the age of 35 and the  place of Razia's burial is a subject of discussion  by historians. Among  Delhi, Kaithal and Tonk, Rajasthanm, one place seems to be  her place of burial. Some people also say that she was buried where she died in the hands of the Jats. The strong belief is that Razia Sultana was buried in Kaithal, Rajasthan.
The grave of Razia Sultana, it is believed is  in Bulbul-i-Khan near Turkmen Gate, Delhi.
 As for her reign, she got a good name from all sections of the society. She was a good ruler and respected the sentiments of other cultures, including the Hindu community.  She established schools, public libraries and encouraged Islamic as well as Hindu philosophers.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hannelore Schmatz, first German woman to die - Mt Everest expdition

Mountaineer Hannelore Schmatz

 Scaling Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is a tough job and it requires tough mind and good preparation well before the expedition. It is  so difficult  that  many  trained climbers  were killed due to ice falls, horrible falls, deep crevasses, shifting ice, etc.  Its altitude, sudden weather changes at higher reaches and  the technical aspect of climbing  are not to be underestimated.

A perusal of the Everest records would tell you that the death zone above camp 4 has taken the lives of many strong and skilled climbers  despite their expertise and technical skill.  Even if the ascent goes well, you can not take it for granted, for Everest never fails to  live up to its fearful reputation should the conditions turn against you on the higher slopes either before the assault or after summitting. That discretion is better part of valor is true in the case of Everest expedition leaders. A wrong decision means climbers  will never see the plains. 

Though, Everest expedition  right from the base camp to the top and then from the peak back to the same spot is fraught with dangers, in the past decade or two more and more daring women have  taken part in the expedition  and proved their courage, confidence  and commitments. In the past, among them was one courageous woman by the name of  Hannelore Schmatz from  Germany. She successfully scaled the peak, but was not lucky to be  alive to enjoy her victory. She became the victim of unpredictable weather while descending.

 Hannelore Schmatz (born on 16 February 1940) was a well-trained German mountaineer  and her husband  Gerhard Schmatz.(then 50 years old) was also a competent mountaineer Later he became the oldest man to be atop Everest. Hannelore Schmatz was on an expedition via the South East Ridge route  to scale Mt. Everest along with her husband. When they were on the tough expedition to the tallest peak in the world, they never realized the impending tragedy awaiting them. They undertook severe training before embarking on this expedition. As ill-luck would have it, when she was returning after having successfully summitted Everest, an unexpected thing had happened and nobody in the team would have dreamed of. She  collapsed and died on 2 October 1979, thus becoming the first German citizen to die on the risky  upper slopes

Quote Master

of Everest.  She happened to be a member of an expedition that was
led by her husband  Gerhard Schmatz. Paradoxically,  set the world record then by becoming the oldest person to have summitted Mount Everest but was not in a mood to celebrate it because of his wife's unexpected death while coming down the higher slopes.

Gerhard Schmatz, Hannelore's husband. The Post-Mortem Post
South Ridge route. SlideShare

Among the Expedition groups to Mt. Everest, it has been a  practise  to split into smaller groups, allowing a few members to summit at a time as the rest of the team will stay at the at base camp.  It so happened Hannelore, was teamed  with  experienced mountaineers Swiss-American Ray Genet and a Sherpa, Sungdare to summit the mountain.

Bytes - blogger

Upon completing a successful summit, Mrs. Schmatz and Genet felt  tired and fatigued and made up their mind to take rest to avoid further exhaustion. Having no other choice, they  spent the evening in a  bivouac (a temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by soldiers or mountaineers0. This would help avoid  returning to a base camp at 27,200 feet in the so called Death Zone. The  pathetic part is the Sherpa who  was an expert guide and knew the mountains well, urged them to move down to the base camp as it was risky to stay on high slopes, considering the weather condition. Normally at such dizzy  heights it is not uncommon to see snowstorms that would generate all of a sudden. Yet another risky factor was snow avalanche. During the night,unexpectedly  there was a severe snow storm  blowing hard across the higher slopes. In such a scenario, the temperature would plummet drastically below zero and survival is a tough job, considering the height.  Following morning, Ray Genet  was found dead due to hypothermia. His body was eventually buried by the snow. Soon, Hannelore died 330 feet away from the base camp because of extreme cold and exhaustion. Reportedly, her last words were “water, water”. Sungdare, who somehow survived the snowstorm  stayed with Hannelore, even after her death, and as a result, he not only lost one finger and but also most of his toes to frostbite. In 1984, a Sherpa and a Nepalese police inspector made a vein attempt to recover the body of Hannelore Schmatz.  The terrain was so tough and difficult to access, both fell to their death during the recovery effort. For years, Hannelore body has remained in plain view of the mountain’s Southern Route; her body was frozen in a sitting position, leaning against  her backpack and known to most as only, “The German Woman”. Because of subzero  weather conditions, her  body is well preserved with her eyes open and the hair blowing in the heavy winds. There is a likelihood that her body was pushed down slope by the strong winds. Her remains  were pushed over the edge and down Kangshung Face.  Her eternal resting place on the mountain remains a jigsaw puzzle. Anyway, she finally received some form of a burial. As for Gerhard Schmatz, his wife's death on the lap of the Mt. Everest was an irreparable loss, and his  record of being the oldest  man then to summit Mt. Everest, was overshadowed by his personal tragedy.

Colonial Silver Jubilee clock tower, Mysore.

Big clock tower, Mysore. the

Silver Jubilee clock tower, Mysore.

With the advent of modern  civilization and digital clocks, the age old clock towers have become things of the past. Yet, they have not yet  lost their charm and the underlying heritage values because of their links with the  by-gone era.  Further,  clock towers are still today mostly admired for their aesthetics and their usefulness to find time in the past. 

 A Clock tower is a specific type of structure  which may be free standing or can also adjoin or be set atop of another building. The structure houses a turret clock and may have one face or  more clock faces on the upper exterior walls. The clocks are  big enough so that people can read the numerals easily.  World over, many cities have one or more clock towers and in many places they add beauty to the
iconic buildings and the area. One example that comes to our mind is  the Elizabeth Tower in London (erroneously called 'Big Ben', though this name refers only to  the bell inside the tower).  As for India, the Rajabai Tower in Mumbai is a popular one. One can see such clocks in some churches, universities and town halls in many countries, in particular, in Europe and USA.

Silver Jubilee clock tower, MysoreTouchtalent

The mechanism inside the tower is known as a turret clock and it often marks the hour (and sometimes segments of an hour) by sounding large bells or chimes, sometimes playing simple musical phrases or tunes.

Silver Jubilee clock tower, Mysore. My India Travel - blogger

The use of clock towers dates back to  several centuries. The earliest clock tower was the Tower of the Winds in Athens which had eight sundials. In its interior, there was also a water clock (or clepsydra), driven by water coming down from the Acropolis

The popular Silver Jubilee clock tower in Mysore city in the state of Karnataka   forms  yet another important landmark in this city where there is no dearth of heritage monuments. It  stands in a busy area adjacent to Chamaraja Circle and the Town Hall. Gandhi Square is nearby. To commemorate the silver jubilee (25 years) of the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV,  the maharajah of Mysore, this tall clock tower was constructed in 1927 and the cost was borne by the employees of the Maharajah's palace.

There  are two clock towers in Mysore and this one is called  Dodda Gadiara , meaning the "big clock tower"; the other being the "small clock tower"  called  the Dufferin Clock Tower located near KR Circle.

This 75 feet tall structure was built in  Indo - Saracenic style. However, it also carried the features of other architectural designs. In the  curvilinear chhajja ( overhanging eaves supported on carved brackets)  design, one can see the influence of  Rajasthani tradition. The tall double arches and framing slit windows suggest  early English church architecture. The clock has a diameter of five feet and carries Kannada numerals.