From November 14 onwards, public will be allowed to climb the top of Chennai lighthouse to have a panoramic view of the Marina beach, Bay of Bengal, Kamarajar Salai and a portion of the city.
It is the fourth lighthouse in the city and the first major one on the east coast to be thrown open to public. The lighthouse will be inaugurated by the Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan. This will be followed by opening of Mamallapuram Lighthouse in December.
As part of the Lighthouse Tourism project, the Shipping Ministry has identified nearly 15 lighthouses in the country. The visitors will also get an opportunity to learn about the maritime history and how ports, trade, cities and lighthouses have evolved over the years.
Talking to The Hindu, T. Ramadoss, Director of Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships said: “Efforts are being made to keep the facility ready by the first week of November. We have an internal lift that is capable of carrying 13 people and plans are on to install an external lift for which we are yet to receive formal approval from various state government agencies.”
According to him, the maritime museum on the ground floor will give technical details as how the lighthouse started, the past and present status of the lighting system, modern marine navigation equipment and radar network among others.
“The Mamallapuram lighthouse will be ready before the commencement of annual dance festival, as it attracts a large number of foreign tourists during that period. As an added attraction, the Mamallapuram museum will have the local flavour,” he said. Last week, Mr. Vasan said that they were not in a hurry to throw open lighthouses to public as most of them were located in old structures.