Lucknow has around five clock towers. These are situated in Husainabad, Central Bank in Hazratganj, Aminabad, City Station and GPO. But almost all the clocks in these Clock Towers have either stopped chiming or were unfunctional.
The Clock Tower in Husainabad, Lucknow is one of the tallest clock towers in India. It stands at a height of 221 feet on the banks of Gomti river and attracts tourists as they pass by the magnificent Rumi Darwaza.
It was built by Nawab Nasir-Ud-Din Haider, to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, the first Lieutenant Governor of United Province of Awadh. The construction of Husainabad Clock Tower started in 1880 and was completed in 1881.
Gunmetal was used in the construction of Clock Tower and the pendulum has built with a gigantic length of 14 feet. The total cost incurred for its construction then was Rupees 1.75 lakhs.
It was designed by Roskell Payne and therefore, it has Victorian and Gothic style designs. You’ll easily notice the dial of the clock, which is in the form of a 12 petalled flower with bells around.
If you happen to reach the Husainabad Clock Tower after the sunset, you’ll witness the amazing picturesque that the lit up red structure with a lush green garden around provides.
The Husainabad Clock Tower, like many other heritage sites in the Lucknow city, was also stuck in time. It was due to the inability of the departments concerned in preserving the city’s rich heritage, that the demands for its restoration were not fulfilled.
In the year 2010, the district administration decided to replace the mechanical clock of the Clock Tower with an electronic clock. This came when the surrounding area was also being restored for tourism purposes.
It was two proud residents of the Lucknow city, Captain Paritosh Chauhan and Akhilesh Agarwal, who requested the Government to allow them to restore the mechanical clock. It is the sound of the pendulum that makes history resonate with the people fo Lucknow.
The two gentlemen made untiring efforts for the restoration of the mechanical clock of the Clock Tower. It was Captain Chauhan’s passion and love for Lucknow, that he reconstructed the entire clock on pro bono basis.
And the result is before us. The historic Clock Tower of Lucknow is functional now after 27 years of silence. It is a symbol of Lucknow’s past and the artistic influences that its people have.
It is standing high for ‘One India’, that faced the British subjugation and attained freedom after a long struggle.
And we hope, at this year’s Lucknow Literature Festival, we all stand for ‘One India’.