Indian IT giant Infosys has said it plans to build the world’s largest free-standing clock tower at its campus in the southern city of Mysore.

When it is ready next year the Gothic-style tower will stand 135m (443 feet) tall, the firm says, dwarfing other clock towers around the world.

Currently the tallest free-standing clock tower is thought to be the 100m-high Old Joe in Birmingham in the UK.

Big Ben in London is just 96m in height (and is not free-standing anyway).

It is not clear if the Infosys clock will chime on the hour, as Big Ben does.

Why build it?
Infosys, which employs tens of thousands of people around the globe, says it should aspire to be the biggest and best in the world.

“Clock towers symbolise perfection, discipline and the way we do our work,” the company’s Executive Vice-President Ramadas Kamath told the BBC Tamil Service.

Big Ben is a heavier proposition - its massive bell alone weighs more than 13 tonn
Big Ben is a heavier proposition – its massive bell alone weighs more than 13 tonn

The firm claims its corporate training campus in Mysore is the largest such facility on the planet.

When built, the new clock tower will have 19 stories which will include meeting rooms, a visitor lounge, dining facilities and viewing galleries.

It will also be digital, unlike its clockwork rivals.

But it doesn’t look digital!
Well actually, it is. The face may look old-fashioned but it is all underpinned by state-of-the-art digital technology.

Both types of display are possible with a digital face, the company says.

“The advantage with the digital clock tower is that we can display

An artist’s impression of the tower which will stand 135m (443 feet) tall

messages on national days and religious events like Christmas,” Mr Kamath told the BBC.

Will the new tower set a record?
The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower – known as Old Joe – is widely thought to be the tallest of its kind at the moment. With its own Twitter page, it is a famous landmark at Birmingham University in England.

But it is not a record holder – Guinness World Records says it has a record for largest clock but no record for clock tower, free-standing or otherwise.

“We have recorded applications over the years for the world’s tallest clock tower, but none have been approved,” Guinness said.
The Mysore tower will be a third taller than Old Joe, and Guinness says it would welcome an application from India.

It says if Infosys applies for a record and submits evidence according to its guidelines, “our adjudicators will review and make a decision on whether a record can be granted”.

Other famous clock towers include the 85m Rajabai Tower in Mumbai and the 94m Sather Tower in Berkeley, California.
Many, such as at Moscow State University, are not free-standing.

How much will it cost?
The tower will be built on a 22x22m base in the Gothic style and is designed to match the classical look of other buildings on the campus, Infosys says.

The proposed design will apparently be a marriage of traditional architecture and modern technology, at an estimated cost of nearly $10m (£6.8m).

It will be prefabricated in Tamil Nadu before being assembled in Mysore in neighbouring Karnataka state – and should be complete in about 20 months (BBC)