Chennai Lighthouse

History of the Chennai LighthouseChennai light house is located on the east coast of Indian Subcontinent and looks towards the Bay of Bengal.  It is one of the renowned attractions located on the well-known beach of Chennai known as the Marina beach. This lighthouse of Chennai was launched in 1977, January. It also gives shelter to the meteorological department and visitors are not allowed to visit this place. It is the only lighthouse in India which has an elevator.

History of Chennai Lighthouse:

At the present time, the Chennai light house is the 4th lighthouse in Chennai. Before the conclusion of 18th century, when Chennai used to be an open shoreline, goods were stacked and unloaded from ships at this place.  Fisherwomen used to light bonfire in order to lead people in the direction of the sea shore.

The very first traditional lighthouse started off its operation in 1796. At that time the officer’s mess-cum-exchange building’s terrace (which is presently known as the Fort Museum) was selected to be the first guiding light which employed a huge lantern to guide the vessels moving towards the seaport. This light acted as a warning signal to avoid the risk of shoals present in the Kovalam (or Covelong) beach in north as well as south. This lighthouse operated till the year 1841.

The Chennai Lighthouse District:

The Chennai lighthouse District also manages the other 23 lighthouses along southern, eastern and western coast of Indian Peninsula together with the Chennai lighthouse. In agreement with lighthouse Act 1985 and lighthouse Act 1927, the Chennai lighthouse District includes under its jurisdiction part of Kerala state which is south of latitude 13º00'N and west of longitude 80º30'E, South of latitude 9º00'N and state of Tamil Nadu, and the union territory of Pondicherry.

Description of the Towers of Chennai Lighthouse:


There are 5 towers in Chennai Lighthouse. They are:

  • The Channel Tower at the Entrance:
    The height of the channel tower at the entrance is approximately 79 feet (or24 meters) which includes flashing red, white and green lights and an 85 feet (or 26 meters) focal plane. The tower is still functioning.

  • Light House ChennaiThe 1st Tower (1796–1844)
    The very first warning light which was the lantern on the terrace of Fort Museum is out of order since the year 1844.

  • The 2nd Tower (1844–1894)
    The 2nd lighthouse in Chennai was set up in 1841. It is situated inside the Chennai High Court’s compound to the north of the renowned Fort St. George.

    The height of this stone tower is approximately 161 feet (or 49 meters). The base of the tower has a breadth of 55 feet and its column is about 84 feet high with a narrowing diameter (having 16 feet at its base and at the top its 11 feet).

    The total height of the complete tower from foot to top is 125 feet. The light was put at a height of 117 feet and it helped people to view the sea up to 20 miles. This tower is inoperative since 1894 and after that it was shifted at the top of the new Chennai High Court building constructed in 1892.

  • The 3rd Tower (1894–1977)
    The lantern was shifted from the 2nd tower to one of the highest towers of Chennai High Court. The third tower is out of order since 1977.

  • The 4th Tower (1977 to present)
    The current lighthouse has a triangular cylindrical shape which has a double gallery and a lantern. Its height is approximately 11 stories. This tower is joined to a 3 storey circular harbor control building. The full height of this tower is about 150 feet(or 45.72 meters) and has a light source which is placed at a 187 feet height from the MSL(Mean Sea Level).
     

The Progress Report of Chennai Lighthouse:

The lighthouse of Chennai is considered to be the one among the 13 lighthouses of India which are famous heritage centers and depict the nautical history of India.  A lighthouse museum has also been included in the proposal. There are also plans to construct rooms, viewer’s gallery, gaming zone, cafeteria, museums, 4D cinema hall, aquarium and a souvenir shop at Chennai lighthouse.

The proposed heritage museum will include the following:

  • Early kerosene lamps
  • Ancient electrical lamps
  • Oil-bearing huge wicks
  • Olden petroleum vapor lamps

There is also a proposal for the automation of 22 lighthouses in Chennai lighthouse District. All these lighthouses will be examined and regulated from the nearby locations known as RCSs or Remote Control Stations. All these RCSs would be finally connected to a proposed master control station situated in Chennai.
  

Location of the Chennai Lighthouse:

This lighthouse is situated on the Kamarajar Salai, just opposite to the All India Radio Station in Chennai and the Director General of Tamil Nadu Police’s Office. It is also the point where Santhome High road, Kamarajar Salai and Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai intersect.

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