The famed Tangassery Lighthouse, one the prominent landmarks of Kollam City in India, recently celebrated its centennial.
Out of the 16 lighthouses maintained in the maritime state of Kerala, the “Tangy” lighthouse is fifth in height and antiquity.
The lighthouse is a reminder of the erstwhile significance of the Kollam as a port city. The British later ruled Tangassery, originally Travancore region. But, before that Dutch and Portuguese administration dominated “Tangy”. Thus it is an area of confluence of three major naval forces of the 19th century. Its natural harbor and famed “Buckingham Canal” used to two in the merchant vessels for repair have been lost to the pages of time. The “Tangy fort” is in fact the remains of the Dutch Governor’s residence. The cemetery in Tangassery retains the mortal remains of five generations of European nationals.
The lighthouse project began in 1896 and was commissioned in 1902. The exterior of the tower is finished with brick and mortar while the interior of the tower is wood and steel. There are 196 steps that lead up the spiral staircase to the top. The light, which used to be hand wound by a chain and pulley system, is now electrified having been a kerosene lantern as recently as 1994.
The nearly day long celebration at the lighthouse was attended by numerous dignitaries and celebrities.
This story appeared in the
June 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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