Skip to main content

Featured Post

Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

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

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavantesh

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