Striking Since British Rule – The Clock Tower of Faisalabad

clock tower Faisalabad

The Clock Tower of Faisalabad is one of the many buildings in Pakistan that is the result of British bequest. The foundation stone of the epochal Clock Tower was laid down by the British lieutenant governor of Punjab, Sir Charles Rivaz, in 1903. Resembling the pattern of the Union Jack (the national flag of the United Kingdom) it stamps the fact that the British have left many of their legacies engraved in the sand of Pakistan. It is generally believed that the Clock Tower was built in the memory of Queen Victoria.

The Clock Tower, generally and widely known as Ghanta Ghar, is significant because of its unique construction pattern where 8 bazaars are intertwined and linked together with the clock tower positioned right in the center of these bazaars. These 8 bazaars are constructed in such a manner that the clock tower in the middle can be seen from all the bazaars, even from their end.

The significant 8 markets of the Clock Tower include Amin Pur Bazar, Chiniot Bazaar, Katchery Bazar, Rail Bazaar, Karkhana Bazar, Montgomery Bazaar, Jhang Bazaar, and Bhowana Bazaar. These markets are known for very productive sales and purchase and hold the income of thousands of vendors in the city. Each bazaar deals with separate types of products.

The historical traces of Clock Tower tells that the tower was built on a well, which existed at the exact location of the tower. This well, then, later on, was filled by the earth which was the courtesy of Chak Raam Dewali. The construction of Ghanta Ghar was a momentous event of history. The red sandstone utilized in building the tower was obtained from Sangla Hill. The red big blocks of this sandstone were constructed utilizing the expertise of Gulab Khan, who belonged to the family who built the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The clock for the tower was brought from Mumbai. The tower was built for multi-purposes including, the installation of the clock to inform the citizens about the time and the arrow of the tower directs towards the Holy Ka’aba for the guidance of Muslims. Along with that, history tells that the British used to ring the bell installed on the tower to gather the people for serious matters like the collection of taxes or to communicate an important announcement.

Ghanta Ghar is undoubtedly the center of all the political activities that take place in the city. It is that landmark of the city that is still standing in its original state from the period of British Raj.