Time machine enthuses all at Salar Jang Museum

Hyderabad: Ever wondered how time was maintained when the modern day mechanised clocks had not been invented?

Well! In the ancient days, people relied on sun dials. Time almost stood still at the Salar Jung Museum on Saturday, as Ms P. Anuradha Reddy, convener, Intach, Hyderabad chapter, gave an engaging talk on clocks during a guided tour of the clock gallery on the first floor of the Western block.

She threw light on the importance of good time management and how it was kept in the days gone by. The shadow cast by the sun indicated what hour it was on the sun dial. “Such a clock still exists at the historic Macca Masjid in the city,” Ms Reddy said. So how did one calculate time on days when the sun wasn’t shining? This problem led to the invention of the water clock, where water falling drop by drop in a bowl indicated time.

Then came the hourglass. Modern age saw European countries invent a series of clocks - grandfather clock, table clock, wall clock. During the Qutb Shahi period, drums were beaten at public places to indicate time. The Asaf Jahi rulers, who came later, built clock towers at strategic points as not everyone possessed clocks. The city has a number of clock towers at Charminar, Mahboob Chowk, Sultan Bazaar, Secunderabad. Even private buildings installed clocks for the convenience of people. Ms Reddy explained how later day clocks saw new features being added, like the second hand, date and calendar. The present-day clocks even have a barometer to check weather conditions.

Later, Ms Reddy answered queries raised by visitors about the unique clocks displayed at the museum. She also explained the importance of time in religion. For horoscope matching, Hindus look at the Nakshtra and take time of birth, day, hour and minute into account. Muslims, too, attach great importance to time in the conduct of prayers and other religious matters.

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