Historic Patiala clock tower restored with modern tech


After nearly two decades of silence, the iconic Heritage Clock of Patiala has resumed its rhythmic ticking, upgraded with GPS and LED lights. Nestled atop the historic Musafir Memorial Central Library on Mall Road, the clock is an enduring symbol of Patiala’s royal history pre-independence, and has appeared in popular media such as Alia Bhat’s movie, “Raazi”.

The clock’s revival and the library’s beautification were made possible through funds allocated by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, with the district administration spearheading the renovation project. Deputy Commissioner IAS Sakshi Sawhney played a vital role in reinstating the clock tower, aiming to soothe heritage enthusiasts and reestablish it as a functioning timepiece for the royal city.

Due to the lack of available mechanics to restore the old clock machinery and the need to maintain its heritage aesthetics, Sawhney coordinated with the Public Works Department and Executive Engineer Rajesh Channa to operationalize the clock tower. With the addition of a state-of-the-art electronic system and LEDs that illuminate at dusk, the clock now combines both historical significance and modern technology. Sawhney highlighted the support from Cabinet Ministers Chetan Singh Jaudamajra and Dr. Balbir Singh, and MLA Ajitpal Singh Kohli in securing the necessary funds from the Chief Minister during the Patiala Heritage Fair.

Engineer Rajesh Channa and Chief Librarian Prabhjot Kaur commended the Punjab government’s efforts to preserve Patiala’s heritage, noting that maintaining the refurbished clock tower is now their responsibility.

The library, established in 1956 during Pepsu, has housed the clock tower since its inception. Originally running on batteries, a keyed clock was installed in 1995. However, its winding mechanism eventually broke down, leaving it nonfunctional. The clock is now equipped with a GPS-supported electronic system and LEDs, which illuminate the clock after 8PM, symbolising a successful blend of tradition and modern innovation.