Small Ben! London’s Big Ben-inspired clock tower is city’s newest landmark
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Small Ben! London’s Big Ben-inspired clock tower is city’s newest landmark

November 16, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru, known for its rich heritage, is no stranger to clock towers, featuring landmarks like Chikka Gadiyara (Dufferin Clock Tower), Silver Jubilee Clock Tower (Dodda Gadiyara) and the Centenary Clock Tower at Manasagangothri campus. Now, a new giant clock tower is emerging near the Madina Mosque Circle in Udayagiri, NR Constituency.

Inspired by Kolkata’s clock tower replicating London’s Big Ben, Mysuru’s newest clock tower will mirror the iconic Big Ben design, with the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) investing Rs. 31 lakh in its construction. While Kolkata’s Big Ben replica stands tall at 90 feet, Udayagiri’s clock tower is at a height of 38 feet. The West Bengal Government invested Rs. 1.3 crore in 2015 for the construction of the tower in Kolkata.

Construction of the Udayagiri clock tower commenced on Nov. 10 and a substantial portion has already been completed. The tower structure, crafted from sturdy Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) with a robust one-metre base, is a testament to meticulous planning and execution.

Zone 8 engineer Nadeem Ahmed told Star of Mysore that the MCC meticulously studied the Kolkata clock tower, even importing GFRC slabs from there. The 38-foot clock tower will host four large clocks, each boasting 2.5-metre diameter Roman numerals, crafted by Delhi-based Medieval India company. Illuminated with radium, these grand clocks will showcase numerical elegance visible from all four sides, even during the night.

Will chime every hour

While the Silver Jubilee Clock Tower near Town Hall has fallen silent due to maintenance issues, the new clock tower in Udayagiri promises a unique auditory experience. Every hour, it will produce a bell sound audible up to 1 km away, adding a novel acoustic charm to the locality.

To augment the tower’s aesthetic allure, special decorations, illuminated with electric lights, will be added. These lights will be automated to turn on and off at specific intervals, enhancing the dynamic charm of the clocks and the tower.

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Given the substantial investment in constructing this magnificent clock tower, preservation is a top priority for MCC. A lightning protection system has been integrated into the upper part of the tower, safeguarding it from potential lightning strikes. This proactive measure ensures the longevity and protection of both the clock and the tower.

Mysuru, adorned with clock towers boasting a century-long legacy, continues its tradition. While Udayagiri clock tower nears completion, plans are underway for another clock tower at a different location. These towers are set to be additional attractions, further enriching the architectural heritage of Mysuru.

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