The Khan Clock Tower marks the northern entrance to the Pettah, at the beginning of Main Street. It was built in 1923 by the sons of the Indian businessman Framjee Bhikhajee Khan, to commemorate his death, 45 years earlier. The text on a plaque on the clock tower starts with: "This clock tower and fountain was erected to the memory of Framjee Bhikhajee Khan…”; but where is the fountain? Obviously it was removed over time.


Prime Minister and later President Ranasinghe Premadasa had a ‘love-affair’ with clock towers. All over the country in each town, village and hamlet he used to build a clock tower. In those days the joke went on that once somebody was in a village and saw the clock tower, he said: “Oh, Premadasa was here”; unfortunately not many indicate the correct time and some have been removed.

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