The Dufferin Clock Tower and Silver Jubilee Clock Tower of Mysuru - ever-lasting legacy of the Wadiyar ruling family

 Among the Indian cities Mysuru is one of those cities that have a large number of heritage buildings of splendor and majesty and invariably most of them have close link with the Royal Wadiyar family, the former rulers of the Mysore kingdom.   The small Dufferin Clock Tower and  the 75 foot tall Silver Jubilee Clock Tower located in the busy areas of the city have a heritage tag and they are landmark sites in this heritage city.  

In the colonial days, including in the princely states in india for the preponderance of people owning  a chiming clock  at home   or wearing a wrist  or pocket watch was  far beyond their reach. Expensive and a  luxury item more than a century ago  the common  people of India depended on the clock towers built in the main areas of the town or cities. There is no Indian Princely state  in the past which did not have a majestic freestanding clock tower - be it tall or small and most of them were built in honor of the visiting British dignitaries primarily to please them and b in their good books.   

Located at  busy places in towns and cities to keep track of time ago in the past decades, these clock towers, hough stand majestically,   have become non-functional because of official apathy and lack of interest to preserve the structures.  In many cases the buildings are damaged and there is lack of clock mechanic to repair the huge old clocks. As many of them are imported items, it is difficult to import the spares  from European countries to replace the spares. As they stand a legacy of past area efforts are afoot repair the clock towers and replace the old mechanical clocks with the modern ones -digital clock. Several clocks on the tower that became up during the last rule of the Nizam were repaired one by one. recently, As part of the smart city project recently the Ranee's clock tower and the clock built in 1883 when  king Serfoji II ruled Thanjavur were restored and repaired recently. The Maratha queen's contribution was Rs. 12,000 - a whooping  sum in those days. Hence, the clock tower at Thanjavur was named after the Ranee.

So was the one in Gandhi market at Trichy, Tamil Nadu. The popular landmark of Kollam  Chinnakada clock tower (1944) - the first clock tower in the erstwhile Travancore state.  It was built in honor of  Unichakam Veedu K G Parameshwaran Pillai, the former chairman of Kollam Municipality from 1932–48. Kollam Municipal Corporation  allocated Rs. 2 million to renovate the historical clock tower in the recent past..

There  are two heritage clock towers in Mysore city  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. They are not only surviving old clock towers, bu also this far they have stood the test of time and majestically stand as the legacy of Mysore rulers to whom their subjects social welfare and quality of life was very important. 

Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, Mysuru: 

 Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, a heritage structure, Mysuru.

Silver Jubilee Clock Tower,Mysuru.Alamy.

Above image:   Located in the prime area of heritage city Mysuru close to the Town Hall,  Chamaraja Circle, the 75 foot tall Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, built ingeniously in Indo-Saracenic     architecture with a blend of other designs  came up to commemorate the silver jubilee of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar’s reign in 1927. Note the eaves on the edges of the roof  overhanging the face of a wall and other details. The tall double arches and framing slit windows highlight  the influence of early English church architecture.  A declared heritage structure, the 5 foot diameter clock is set right below the top and above it lies a domed canopy resting  on a consoled base. A well-known landmark the clock tower glows at light when it is illuminated with lights, reminding the present generation, the legacy of the late Maharajah Krishnaraja Wadiyar ( 4 June 1884 – 3 August 1940),who had an impeccable record as an able administrator. ..........

What is special about his clock tower  is its simplicity, it is neither tall and imposing nor is it richly ornamental. Exquisite detailing related to indo-Saracenic style and a chhatri-like domed canopy atop the tower get our attention. the historical fact is the entire cost of this landmark tower was borne by the employees of the Mysore palace.  It is locally known as Dodda Gadiara, meaning the "big clock tower."


Dufferin clock tower in Mysuru:

Dufferin clock tower, Mysuru.

Dufferin clock tower,

As for Dufferin clock tower in Mysuru, it was named after British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, who served as Viceroy between 1884 to 1888. He visited  Mysore in 1886 - the first Viceroy of the colonial India to pay a ceremonial and friendly visit to Mysore kingdom. His host was  Maharajah of Mysore Chamaraja Wodeyar.  The historical aspect of this clock tower, its foundation was laid in 1885 by none other than  Alan Octavian  Hume, ICS,  ex-British Officer who had soft corner for the Indians and who was instrumental in the formation of  Indian National Congress. INC played a key role in getting freedom for India.

Locally known as Chikka Gadiyara or the small clock tower set in the busy part of the city near Devaraja Market close to bus stand,  its construction was a strong one with good foundation  consisting of eight pillars covered by railings. The addition of a decorated fountain in the middle was meant to improve the look of this  simple looking tower. As happened to many monuments, this historical clock tower prior to 2010  was poorly looked after due to negligence and paucity of funds for a long period.  The city council, with a view to safe this heritage site in 2012  took serious steps, drove away the hawkers around the tower and completed the much needed renovation work with large space good enough to conduct small meetings. The new work included  fixing of  tiles and seats for tourists, 9 small fountains and 13 powerful decorative lamps to create a  nic ambiance.