Inside the Marina Lighthouse after 22 years

India has had a glorious maritime tradition.For approximately the  past 30 centuries it has been practicing commerce with foreign countries/civilizations.With the advent of the British East India Company in the 1630s and the establishment of Fort St.George in 1640s Madras has grown and is still growing.

The light house located at Marina Beach,Chennai  has been shut for close to 22 years now for public.But there are indications by the authorities that it’ll re-open in August this year.There are numerous rumours associated with the closure of the lighthouse in 1991,some of which were,the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and a person committing suicide from the top of the light house.

22 years of shying away..finally giving way !

22 years of shying away..finally giving way !

T.Ramadoss,Director of the department of lighthouses and lightships enlightened us with the history of lighthouses and it’s importance to the sailors in the Bay of Bengal.This 46 metres long structure gives an beautiful view of the whole of south Chennai and an enthralling view of the marina beach alongwith the sea.The Lighthouse keeper,  told us that the lighthouse is being powered by an fully automatic electrical system at present  and it’s geographical range is 20 nautical miles.

Turning towards the past of the lighthouse,it has been through 4 phases uptil now.The 1st light house which opened in 1796,functioned from the roof of the officer’s mess cum-exchange building (presently Fort Museum) in Fort St.George.The 2nd light house built in 1844 operated from a tower in the present hight court building compound and stood 38 metres tall.The third light house established in 1894 functioned from the central main dome of the newly constructed Madras High court building which stands tall at 175 feet above sea level.

The 4th and the current light house was constructed on 1977 at Marina Beach,Santhome.This is the only light house in India which is situated within the city limits and is equipped with an electric lift.The history shows great technological advancement from a lantern fed with oil bearing large wicks in the first light house to stepper motor that powers lights in the current light house.

The history attached with it and it’s importance to the sailors coming to the east coast of India makes this light house an important part of Chennai.


About prayank

Prayank, a graduate of Asian College of Journalism, Chennai (India), works as a freelance reporter with some of leading online publications. Author of several books on Herbal cure, and Hindi language. Likes to travel and scribble some poetry.