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Madras Clock Towers

Doveton – 1900, Royapetha – 1943, Mint – 1948, Pattalam – 1948, Thondiarpet – 1948.


Royapetha, Mint, Pattalam, Thondiarpet are all of somewhat the same structural and architectural design with minor dissimilarities.


Royapetha & Doveton are maintained until date as they are, whereas Mint was functioning for some time and then stopped and then it was revived in 2014. Patallam is facing an existential problem. If you Google for the older pictures, you can see a park around the clock. In fact, all clock towers are/were situated in between a small park, but with regards to the Pattalam Clock Tower, the park is gone missing as the builders have bought over the land and the park vanished and it is standing like an orphan child on the road. Thondiarpet was also not functioning for some time, but it started to work this December, as I kept visiting it quite often to complete my pictures.


Doveton Clock Tower



Royapettah Clock Tower



Royapetha & Doveton colours were minorly changed during the course of time with the main theme of white and blue, whereas with regards to Mint and Thondiarpet there is a drastic theme and colour change, the most inappropriate being Thondairpet clock tower.


Mint Clock Tower



Tondiarpet Clock Tower



Visibility wise, you can see only the 2 sides of the Pattalam clock tower; the other side is blocked by a high rise building which is still questionable as in how permission was given to a high rise building when the land is in dispute – Binny Mills. The final side of the Pattalam clock tower is taken over by trees, as well as people passing urine as and when they like.


Pattalam Clock Tower



It is believed that there were several clock towers in North Madras, as that is where the industries and people lived and worked from back in those days. They didn’t have watches, so they all relied upon these clock towers.


It seems that Madras had 16 clock towers but right now only 5 are surviving and the other 2 which were built in 1962 are taken over by either vegetation or illegal building occupancy. Thiruvottriyur had a clock tower which was demolished recently & there is no pictorial record of that tower.

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