Rajabai Tower Mumbai

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Next to the High Court, the Venetian -Gothic University has a Gothic clock tower 260 feet high that is curiously adorned with oriental figures. In the old days it used to play Rule Britannia, God Save the King and a Handel Symphony among sixteen tunes that changed four times a day; now the repertoire is limited to the wafting chimes of the Big Ben on the quarter hour. The Rajabai Clock Tower is named after the mother of a 19th century stockbroker, who contributed towards its construction; it has a spiral staircase , which is unfortunately closed to the visitors after several unhappy citizens hurled themselves from the top. Under the clock tower is the magnificent University Library, with what are undoubtedly some of the most exquisite stained glass windows in Asia. These have recently been treated by British conservationists and restored to their pristine glory. Well worth a look.Rajabai Tower is situated within the premises of the Fort campus of the Mumbai University. It is basically a clock tower that rises to a height of 85 m (280 ft) and houses the University Library. The tower has been modeled after the Big Ben Clock Tower of the UK houses of Parliament, situated in London, and was built as per the designs of Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. It was in March 1869 that the foundation stone of the Rajabai Clock Tower of Bombay was laid down. Beautiful rocket shaped tower of Mumbai, Rajabai tower has a big old Analog clock which can bee seen from long distance because of its size. This tower was designed by ‘Sir George Gilbert Scott’ of London and Complete Construction cost was done by ‘Mr. Premchand Roychand’ a jain community rich broker and founder of (Bombay Stock Exchange – BSE) with only condition to keep the name of this beautiful monument of Mumbai by name of his mother ‘Rajabai’, So this famous clock tower. This beauty is very near to High Court in Fort (Hutatma Chowk) area, Near around to Mumbai University Building Surrounded by Long Coconut trees, Public visits for Mumbaikers and Foreigners is not allowed due to dangers like previous Suicide attempts.The Rajabai Tower is a tall tower in South Mumbai. Rajabai tower has a big old Analog clock which can be seen from a far distance and thus can be identified. It is located in the confines of the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai next to the High Court. The tower stands at a height of 85 m (280 ft). The Rajabai tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. It was modeled on Big Ben, the clock tower of the UK houses of Parliament in London. During its time, it was the tallest structure in the city of Mumbai. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1869 and construction was completed in November 1878. The total cost of construction came to Rs. 2 lakhs (Rs. 200,000), a huge sum in those days. This entire cost was given by Premchand Roychand, a prosperous broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange on the condition that the tower be named after his mother Rajabai.

The construction was completed in November 1878, nine year after its commencement. Even in those days, the cost of the monument came to somewhere about 2 lakh rupees (Rs 200,000). Premchand Roychand, the broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange, bore the entire cost of the Rajabai Clock Tower. In return, the only thing he wanted was that the tower be named after his mother, Rajabai. The architecture of Rajabai Clock Tower presents a beautiful amalgamation of Venetian and Gothic styles of architecture. The material used in its construction is the buff colored Kurla stone, easily available in Mumbai. One of the most impressive features of the tower comprises of its stained glass windows, believed to be the best in the city. When the Rajabai Tower was constructed, it was the tallest structure in the entire city of Mumbai. Premchand Roychand’s mother was blind and as a follower of Jain religion she was supposed to eat her dinner before sunset. The evening bell of the tower helped her to know the time without anyone’s help. The tower was built in a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles. It is built out of the locally available buff coloured Kurla stone. The tower has one of the best stained glass windows in the city. During the British era, it played the tunes of “Rule Britannia”, “God Save the King”, “Home! Sweet Home!” and “A Handel Symphony”, out of a total of sixteen tunes, which changed four times a day. However, the glockenspiel repertoire currently plays only ‘Big Ben’, after every fifteen minutes. Under the clock tower is the magnificent University Library, with what are undoubtedly some of the most exquisite stained glass windows in Asia. These have recently been treated by British conservationists and restored to their glory. The tower was closed to the public after it became a frequent spot for those attempting to commit suicide.Premchand Roychand, a successful broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange, financed the entire cost of construction that was Rs 200,000 – a substantial amount in those days. The clock tower owes its name to Rajabai – mother of the generous broker who was blind and a staunch follower of Jainism. Thanks to the bell of this tower, she didn’t require anyone’s help to know the time and she could herself take her dinner before evening, on the word of her religion. Presenting a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles of architecture, Rajabai Tower is constructed out of Kurla stone – the locally available buff colored stone. In the earlier times, it played the tunes of ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘God Save the King’ and ‘A Handel Symphony’, amongst the sixteen tunes that changed four times a day. However, the glockenspiel repertoire currently plays only ‘Big Ben’, after every fifteen minutes.

The ground floor of the tower has two rooms, along with a spiral staircase. The tower has a square shape towards the bottom, which continues upto the gallery at the top of the first level – 68 feet from the ground. From a square, Rajabai Clock Tower then takes the shape of an octagon. The total height of the tower is around 280 feet. Earlier, the tower was open for public viewing. However, after a number of suicides were attempted from here, it was closed down. The tower has a spiral staircase, but is closed to the visitors due to some sad incidents. Rajabai Tower houses the library of the University, which has some of the brilliant stained glass windows in Asia. Recently treated by the British conservationists, these exquisite windows have been reinstated with their grandeur. In a nutshell, Rajabai Tower is a spectacular structure that is a standing testimony to the transformation of the Mumbai as well as India, and is worth visiting. Rajabai Clock tower chimes a single tune after every fifteen minutes. During the British rule, the tower used to play sixteen different tunes, like “Rule Britannia”, “God Save the King” and “A Handel Symphony”, etc.

How To Reach  Rajabai Tower Mumbai:

You can board a local train and get off at Churchgate station (western line) and then catch a taxi or even a bus to get there. If you’re new to Mumbai, you can disembark at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and get a taxi to the place. It is opposite the Oval Maidan in Churchgate and reaching the tower is very easy.Just few minutes Walk from Churchgate station and one can find Flora Fountain (Fort) and Just next to it is the Heritage to be seen.One can easily reach Rajabai Tower by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

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