New look for Tangasseri lighthouse

Tourist attraction:Abseilers giving a fresh coat of paint to the Tangasseri Lighthouse in Kollam city.  

The 114-year-old iconic Tangasseri point lighthouse will soon sport a fresh look.

Painters have begun work to provide a fresh coat to the spiral red and white day mark stripes of the landmark lighthouse. Contractors say that if the weather is fine, the work could be finished in two days.

Painting the 135-foot-tall lighthouse, the biggest on the Kerala coast, is not an easy job.

It has to be done from top to bottom rather than bottom to top and it is impossible to put scaffolding around. So the work is being done by two abseilers.

Since the dimensions of the stripes have to be strictly maintained, the work will be a slow process.

The inside of the lighthouse is also being painted.

The work on directions from the Directorate of Lighthouses and Lightships is part of a process to give a facelift to the Tangasseri lighthouse complex.

The lighthouse was last painted in 1910, said Salim Jose, the head light keeper.

The grand old lady of Tangasseri had her origin as a raised column with an oil lamp built by the British 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.

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

Mariners now identified the Tangasseri light house with its distinctive character of three flashes every 15 seconds, said Mr. Jose.

Visitors are allowed to go up the lighthouse everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

They have to climb a spiral staircase comprising 193 steps to reach the lantern room.

The entry fee is Rs.10 for an adult and Rs.3 for a child. From the gallery on top, one could get a majestic aerial view of Kollam city and beyond.

Painting the lighthouse, the biggest on the Kerala coast, is not an easy job.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 8:27:57 PM |

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