Saturday, 26 August 2017

Tangasseri Lighthouse (1902), Kollam- a colonial structure

Tangasseri Lighthouse (1902), Kollam, Kerala. BuzzMashup
Tangasseri Lighthouse, Kollam, Kerala en.wikipedia.org/

Tangasseri Lighthouse or Thangassery Lighthouse is situated at Tangasseri in Kollam city, Kerala is a historical lighthouse 115 years old.  It is one the most well-known lighthouses in the state of Kerala and has a high rate of visitors every month.  Maintained by the Chennai Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships, the light house has  a cylindrical shaped tower  painted with white and red oblique bands. Built in 1902, it has a height of 41 metres (135 ft), making the highest lighthouse of Kerala state.

Though the lighthouse has been here  since 1902, while under the British East India company rule, there existed a tall tower with an oil lamp to guide the ocean-going ships and navigators. In 1930 the tower had developed cracks that needed jacking masonry to make it safer and stronger. Based on the changing technology with respect to light source for the beamflashed from  the lighthouses, here also the lighting system underwent periodical modifications after 1930 till the 1990s.


Tangasseri Lighthouse, KollamThe Big Jackfruit Tree

The location of the lighthouse on the coast at Tangasseri in Kollam city is quite interesting because it is one of a few locations in India where the legacy and heritage of Anglo-Indian  community is not lost. Location of lighthouse itself provides many advantages. Still one can run into vestiges  of an ancient Portuguese built coastal defence - the St Thomas Fort, a Portuguese Cemetery, a canal - Buckingham canal, the ancient Port of Quilon and the Infant Jesus Cathedral.

Tangasseri Lighthouse, Kollam tripadvisor.in

 Above image: Tangasseri Lighthouse, Kollam Spiral staircase going up to the lantern room. There are 193 steps to get to the top. ......

Earlier the lighthouse was open to the public for two hours from 3 pm. Unaware of the lighthouse timings, the morning visitors had to return disappointed without reaching the top of the tower. In January 2014, the light house authorities  changed the timings from 10 am to 5  pm for the benefits of the tourists. Visitors  can go up to the lantern room through the spiral stairway that has 193 steps. From the top of the light house, one can  enjoy the cool breeze, aerial view of Kollam city and beyondThe lighthouse has not lost the old chrn and glory. Nor does it fail to retain the colonial idendity.

www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tangasseri-lighthouse-to-stay-open-for-longer-hours/article5525671.ece