STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

A new lease of life for French clock tower in Pondy

The tower was donated to the town of Puducherry in 1849 by Diagou Mudaliar,  a philanthropist who had also built the Tourist Home at Uppalam for the tourists.

Published: 16th February 2021 10:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2021 08:49 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: The ancient clock tower at the Grand Bazaar Market, belonging to the French period and supposed to be the first of its kind in South India, got a new lease of life recently, in Puducherry.

The tower was donated to the town of Puducherry in 1849 by Diagou Mudaliar,  a philanthropist who had also built the Tourist Home at Uppalam  (now Tourist Guest House under the Tourism Department). He was Sarastadar in Cuddalore and a descendant of Lazaro De Motta. It was renovated by Dr Samuel Diagou, a descendant of Diagou Mudaliar and was recently inaugurated by CM V Narayanasamy.

The clock tower has occupied a prominent place in the historical records of Puducherry. Its mechanical parts were made in Paris by Engineer J. Wagner, said Samuel Diagou.

The construction, which started in 1849, was completed in 1859 and was dedicated to the public. However, Diagou Mudaliar passed away soon after the commencement of the construction work in 1849 and wasn’t able to see the completion of the tower, said Samuel.

Since then, standing tall at the Grand Bazaar market area, it has been telling time to the public. However, the clock stopped working some 15 years back and the structure also needed renovation. The wooden staircase, leading to the tower, was also dilapidated. 

Last year, Samuel Diagou approached the Puducherry Municipality to repair and renovate the structure with his own funds and workmen. After permission was granted, he used his own workmen to renovate and paint the structure. However, restoration of the old clock became a problem and no one knew how to repair the clock, said Samuel Diagou. Finally, an old mechanic in the Puducherry Municipality agreed to repair it.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp