EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX which is the Latin abbreviation for Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of All Britain Defender of the Faith. These are the inscription which people often do not notice when the cross the small clock tower in Chinsurah. Most just simply call it the “Ghorir More” (Clock Crossing) due to its presence at a four-point crossing.
As mentioned in my previous blog Chinsurah was part of the East India Company and under the Dutch it was the Dutch East India Company. Once one of the jewels in the crown this small town had its good share of glorious past and one such example is the Edwardian Clock Tower that sits right in the middle of the road.
This is a small clock tower constructed out of steel, there are four clock faces indicating time to four different directions. There is a bell on top which rings at certain intervals. There are also four lamp shades in the four corners which light up at night giving it a very beautiful feel.
This clock tower was installed in 1914 to commemorate the life of Albert Edward (King Edward VII) who was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. King Edward VII reigned Britain and its dominions from 22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910.
In 1973, a statue of Bhupati Majumdar (1890-1973) was installed right in front of the clock tower. This was inaugurated by then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Siddhartha Shankar Ray. Bhupati Majumdar was a freedom fighter and a close aide of Bagha Jatin.
Though the clock tower is fully functional with proper illumination at night and the ringing of the chimes at the regular interval I was a bit disappointed by the numerous flex banners that people have tied up against the railing of the Clock Tower. This spoils the beauty of the clock tower, I hope that the local administration realises this soon and keep all the façade clutter free.
Apart from the clock tower this small town being right next to the Hoogly River is dotted with numerous concrete banks with adjacent park, you can spend hours here enjoying the cool breeze and watch the numerous traditional boats which keep crisscrossing.
This small town is also famous for its terracotta temples, I am not getting into the details of these as that would require a separate detailed blog. You will be totally surprised to see this century old terracotta temple at every nook and corner of the town, some even tucked between houses completely obscured from view. Some are famous while some are not, however, the classic terracotta structure will surely draw your attention.
This blog was part of my Dutch heritage and Chinsurah series. My next blog will be on Imambara so keep watching this space.
Bandel Church – Hanseswari Temple – Zafar Khan Ghazi Mosque & Dargah