Husainabad Clock Tower, Lucknow - the tallest one in India, an Awadhi-British legacy

Hussainabad clock tower, Lucknow

In the pre-independence days, a tall or  small clock tower in a busy place like market 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,

Sir George Ebenezer Wilson Couper, 2nd Baronet KCSI (29 April 1824 – 5 March 1908) was a British civil servant in India and 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 and 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).