Tangi’s grand old lady to get a lift

Very soon the 114-year-old Tangasseri point lighthouse in Kollam will not look the same from inside. The well of the 135 feet tall lighthouse’s spiral staircase will be filled with a pre-fabricated glass tube to accommodate a lift.

Admiring and photographing the beauty of the well from down and above had all along been a favourite pastime of visitors. That view will get cut off with the installation of the lift. Work on erecting the lift commences on September 1.

Head light keeper of the lighthouse Salim Jose said that to facilitate the work, the lighthouse will remain closed to visitors for three months from September 1. The plan, as per an assurance given by the lift contractors, is to commission the lift on December 1.

So the next few days will be the last opportunity for visitors to get a glimpse of the well in its original colonial grandeur. Mr. Jose said the Directorate of Lighthouses and Lightships had sanctioned Rs.80 lakh for the lift and the contract had been awarded to a Kochi-based firm.

He said the wooden spiral stair case would be maintained intact and even after the commissioning of the lift, those who prefer going up the lighthouse through the staircase can do so. The lift is for the convenience of those who find it uneasy to climb the stairs.

A backup system will complement the main power supply to the lift. The lift will carry visitors till the service room on top. From there the visitors will have to climb a flight of stairs to reach the lantern room and the balcony surrounding the lantern room.

The grand old lady of Tangasseri had her origin as a raised column with an oil lamp built by the East India Company at the same site during the mid-19th century. The purpose was to guide their merchant vessels that came from the Malabar coast to Anjengo (now Anchuthengu) and went further down to enter the Bay of Bengal via Ceylon.

Commissioned on March 1, 1902

The present structure, also erected by the British, was commissioned on March 1, 1902.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 6:24:29 AM |

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