Northbrook Clock Tower and Ripon Hall: History and Architecture of Ghanta-Ghar Multan, Pakistan
Keywords:British Architecture, South Asia, Pakistan, Multan, Northbrook Clock Tower and Ripon Hall, Ghanta-Ghar
Ghanta-Ghar has been considered a marked distinction of British Architecture indicating a symbolic centrality of imperial administration and reflecting the cultural, religious and political acumen of the imperial mind in the town planning of an administrative center. This symbolic erection has been used as means of expressing wealth, power, manifestation of authority and influence of empire. Multan as an important and central point of Southern Punjab came under the British empire in the mid of 19th century. The British erected urban and religious establishments to exhibit their power, authority, wealth and control. Multan has been a rich region with a strong legacy of architectural heritage from the oldest hindu times to the time of British’s Muslim predecessors. However, British contributed significantly to that heritage. Northbrook Tower and Ripon Hall (Ghanta-Ghar Multan) is one of the major Imperial administrative establishments in Multan constructed with a blend of the English and Indian (synthesis of Indian and Mughal) architecture between 1884 to 1888 CE. According to Francoise Dasques, the clock tower was built using Anglo Indian, Indo Saracenic and Greeko-Roman patterns. The purpose of this paper is analyze the structure, style and approach of the Ghanta-Ghar establishgment, along with exploring the tradition of clock towers in India by the British and amalgamation of native & European built environment. Hence the paper highlights the elements and features used in architectural scheme of the building and explains the nature of its structure with a contribution-assessment of use and compatibility of native/indigenous and foreign techniques and materials The paper explains the advent of British in Multan and its construction in the area very briefly while it explains the history, construction of Northbrook Clock tower and Ripon Hall, its construction style, structural pattern, and decorative material in detail. The study analyses the elements of the building separately comparing with other colonial and Mughal structures. Drawings, photos of the building and terminologies has been used in the paper to make the study easier and understandable.
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