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`Methan Mani' goes cyber


The `Methan Mani,' the ancient clock tower before the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, has taken a cyber incarnation through a software developed by the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT).

This software launches a clock resembling the `Methan Mani' on your PC.

It works just like the original, with two rams banging into the cheeks of a bearded man when the clock strikes the hour.

The software also gives a brief write-up on the history of the clock and is developed as a cyber snippet for promoting heritage tourism.

It is available for free download from the C-DIT's Web site cdit.org.

The `Methan Mani' is believed to have taken its present form way back in the 1840s.

Ancient records refer to the purchase of two clockworks by the Travancore State from `Chennai Pattanam' (Chennai) during that period.

One of these is believed to have been erected before the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and the other at Padmanabhapuram, now in Tamil Nadu.

The curio element of the clock (the banging rams and the bearded face taking the knocks on either cheek) is said to have been added by a person named Kulathooraan, who afterwards came to be known as `Soothram Asaari' (trick-work carpenter).

There is also a theory that the clock symbolises Travancore's successful repulsion of Tipu Sultan's invasion attempt.

By P. Venugopal

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