Skip to main content

Featured Post

The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Rajabai Tower

As a student of Mumbai University, I always regretted the fact that I never had to visit the beautiful campus at Fort, commuting to the Kalina campus instead. Every time I was in town, I walked along the Fort Campus, looking up at the clock tower, slowing down to take a closer look at the convocation hall. At one time, I remember hoping that I would enter that beautiful hall for receiving my degree, but that hope too came to naught, since the premises were too small, and we were handed our degrees by a harassed clerk who couldn't care less about the momentous occasion! I digress, however, for this post is not about my degree, but about the majestic clock tower of Mumbai University - Rajabai Tower, which I recently photographed on a visit to the University.

The Rajabai Tower is our very own version of the Big Ben. It was modeled on the famous clock tower by its architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott. It was built over a period of over 9 years, from 1868-1879, at a cost of about 2 lakh rupees, the entire cost borne by the one of the founders of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Premchand Roychand, under the condition that the tower be named after his mother, Rajabai. 

It is said that Rajabai was blind, and, as a staunch Jain, she had to eat her dinner before sunset. The chimes of the clock helped her do so without anyone's help!

During the British Rule, the clock played a total of 16 tunes, which were changed 4 times a day. According to Wikipedia, today, the clock chimes only one tune, every 15 minutes, something I haven't noticed! So, the next time you find yourself in town near the Fort Campus, see if you can hear it!


  1. Interesting. Never heard of it before.

  2. Lovely pictures and interesting history. How nice it would be to have it as part of your university premises or maybe like everything else we might then take it for granted?

  3. Mishtee took this structure for her scrap book. I've promised to take her to visit it. In addition to the above information, we also read that it has very beautiful stained glass windows.

  4. you would have seen the clock tower, Indrani...this is just its official name

  5. Its a beautiful building, Mridula not just this one but the whole campus is beautiful! it still hosts the old library. unfortunately, it was built for the univ of the early 1900s and woefully lacks space, so the whole campus has been shifted to huge but boring premises near Kurla... but as u say, it might be taken for granted! as it is, i had to take a taxi that day since i was in a hurry, and the taxi chap didnt know the univ... when we finally reached, he insisted that this was not the 'vidyapeeth' - it was on the other side of the road, according to him!

  6. u need permission to enter, Sonal.. unfortunately... u can go to the convo hall if there is some exhibition or they wont allow u inside... and even then only certain parts of the building are open for us.. security is strict post 26/11 :( all u can do is see it from outside... and even then they dont allow u to stand there for long. i clicked these while waiting for the bus opp... and yes, the stained glass windows are awesome! tell mishtee to take up arts in the univ  (PG level) and then she can go to their beautiful library... outsiders arent given permission any more :(

  7. After reading the title of the post I was leasurely and I was scrolling down beacuse the photographs were loading slowly. I was perplexed to see the beauty caught by you. The tower is a familiar sight but I could never imagine that they look so beautiful at night. Thanks.

  8. I lived close to it for a couple of years and always used to admire this landmark! Thanks for the brief history and refreshing my memory

  9. Very beautiful shots of the lovely tower Anu. The night lights give it a completely different orientation and look.

  10. Thanks a lot, Zephyr! I was surprised too... had never seen it lit up!

  11. Thanks PNS! Neither could I imagine the place all lit up!

  12. Awesome blog with nice and interesting information.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t