Clock Tower, Lucknow

When you are in Lucknow, one of the most prominent places to visit is the Clock Tower, Lucknow. Situated near Rumi Darwaza, this Clock Tower was constructed in 1881 which celebrated the arrival of Sir George Couper, the first Lieutenant Governor of the United Province of Awadh.

History

For any city, the clock tower is always an interesting attraction and the same it is with the tour in the city of Lucknow. The Hussainabad Clock Tower is an architectural marvel which was started by Nawab Nasir-ud-din. Towering at a height of 221 ft, this imposing structure has been the witness to many historic events starting with the arrival of Sir George Couper. Amidst the chaos of the urban beat and city life, this historical tourist attraction in Lucknow is also commonly referred to as Ghantaghar. It is the tallest of its kind in India.

The Clock Tower, Lucknow is a 19th-century construction which ideally thought to be the replica of London’s Big Ben Clock Tower. The use of gunmetal in its construction is one of a kind and is a rare material used in clock tower construction.

The clock of the tower remained inoperative for more than 27 years, and in 2010, the district administration of the region decided to replace the clock. However, Akhilesh Agarwal and Captain Paritosh Chauhan - two patrons, proposed to mend the clock to the administration. They worked rigorously for three years and repaired the clock and did not take any remuneration because their purpose was to ensure getting the charm of the clock back.

The Design of the Clock Tower, Lucknow

The well-known designer Roskell Payne created the architecture of Hussainabad Clock Tower. It is built in the Gothic-Victorian style. Gunmetal is the main material used to make the clock and includes a large pendulum that has a length of 14 feet. Also, this historical clock’s dial is in the form of a 12-petalled flower. As per the economy of those times, the total cost of the construction of the Hussainabad Clock Tower was around Rs. 1.75 lakhs.

The clock tower at the General Post Office (GPO) in Lucknow is not an exception in the Indian clock tower which does not have the right time. These clock towers are a part of the heritage of the country and need proper preservation and restoration.

Lucknow has around five clock towers. They are at:
•    Hussainanabad Clock Tower,
•    Central Bank in Hazratganj
•    Aminabad
•    Hamid Clock Tower at City Statio
•    GPO
Of all these, Hussainabad Clock Tower is the most popular tourist destination. Yogesh Praveen, a city based historian revealed that James William Benson, the then clockmaker to the Queen of England and makers of the celebrated Big Ben was awarded the contract and Major Norman MT Horsford of the Bengal Staff Corps supervised the construction work.

The Making of the Clock Tower

Installing the huge cast-iron bells and carting the weighty machinery at a towering height of 220 ft inside the clock tower was a challenging task. The clock was made entirely of bell metal imported from London and has a signature Moorish dome on the top. The clock measures 13 ft in diameter on each side and has a flower-shaped dial where the petals are 3 ft in diameter. The hour hand is 4.5 ft long and the minute hand is 6 ft long. It is said that the bells were supposed to rings creating a sound that could have been heard across the city lengths and breadths.

Maintenance of the Clock Tower, Lucknow

The clock tower in Lucknow is known to be the tallest in India and is about 67 metre (220 ft) high standing tall overlooking the gorgeous city of Lucknow. Unfortunately, this clock tower is not on the preservation list of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) even though they are with great heritage value and many of them are lying defunct.

The district administration took an attempt to start the clock in 1999, but was not successful. In 2004, another effort to restore the clock was made which also went in vain. In 2009, HAT attempted to restore the timekeeper unfortunately, the Anglo Swiss company’s official said the clock could not be repaired as many of its parts were missing.

The district authority was about the replace the clock in 2010. However, Akhilesh Agarwal and Paritosh Chauhan came forward to make one last attempt of repair the clock. It took them around 6 months to repair the clock; they began the repair work on 13th April 2010, and were able to complete it by 28th October 2010.

Location

Hussainabad Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226003, India.

Visiting Timings

Hussainabad Clock Tower can be visited all days of the week. The place remains open from 7:00 am and 8:00 pm every day.

Other Places of Attraction

•  Christ Church

•  Bara Imambara

•  Shah Najaf Imambara

•  Dilkusha Kothi Palace

•  Butler Palace

•  Botanical Garden

•  Picture Gallery

•  Jama Masjid