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Some 185 lighthouses dot the coast of India, standing tall like silent sentinels in remote locations. Not many would consider including them in their travel itinerary. But these are worth a visit for the panoramic views they offer from a vantage point.
Did you know that lighthouses are painted in a variety of colours and designs to serve as a guide for mariners? Those at sea can identify the area or location they are passing through by looking at the lighthouse’s day mark, which is painted differently and notifies them. And here’s how to tell them apart in the dark-each lighthouse flashes a different sequence of lights, and people can see the flashing light using a notified chart to identify the area/location where the light is located.
India’s Ministry of Shipping is on a mission to showcase them and promote lighthouse-based tourism. They are prettifying around 194 lighthouses in India. And new ones are coming up as part of a plan to build around 65 new lighthouses across the country.
Here are five approved lighthouses that you can add to your travel bucket list. Perhaps, design a road trip around lighthouses for your next holiday.
This four-storeyed lighthouse is part of the formidable, centuries-old Portuguese fort of Aguada in Goa. Built in 1864, it is among the oldest lighthouses in Asia; the oil lamps inside once emitted a beacon of light to ships sailing the sea. A new lighthouse has been built closer to the edge of the cliff, as the condition of the original has deteriorated. Once you make the nail-biting climb to the top, the gorgeousness of the Goan coast will be laid out in front of you. The view is particularly stunning as the lighthouse looks out over the confluence of the Mandovi river and the Arabian Sea.
The colourful, 36-metre-high Vizhinjam Lighthouse is situated near Kovalam beach in Kerala. This is a relatively new structure—it was opened in June 1972 in an area that used to be a thriving seaport in the 18th and 19th centuries. The lighthouse offers views of the coast of southern Kerala.
This lighthouse was built in the nineteenth century with bricks brought from London. It was once under the control of the London Board of Trade. The 162-foot-tall structure features a lantern, a gallery, and shining mirrors with light beams that flash every 15 seconds.
This structure, known locally as the ‘bati ghar,’ was built in 1968 on a coast that once saw trading vessels from Bali, Java, Sumatra, and Ceylon. The lighthouse is located on Chandrabhaga beach, three kilometres east of the 13th century Konark temple and thirty kilometres from the coastal town of Puri.
Pamban, Tamil Nadu
Built in 1845, this black-and-white structure with a red roof stands 66ft high. It is also known as Pamban channel northwest point lighthouse. Check out the balcony and its impressive lantern. Getting here is half the fun – you can take one of India’s most spectacular train journeys via the Pamban Channel bridge.
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