India, with its vast and unique coastline, has been a seafaring nation since historical times. These coastlines served as the transit route for ships carrying people and items of trade and thus, lighthouses served as the guiding light for sailors to identify the right docking points.
India is renowned the world over for its beautiful beaches making it amongst the most popular tourist destinations globally. However, very few people actually get to know that there are iconic lighthouses nearby which should not be missed anyhow.
We are going to take you on a journey from India’s west coast, starting from Gujarat, till West Bengal to give you a glimpse into the majestic lighthouses adorning India’s coastlines. So, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy this ride along with us!
1. Dwarka Lighthouse, Gujarat
Dwarka is famous for its temples and historical significance but very few know about this majestic lighthouse on Rupen Creek which is located in the westernmost part of Saurashtra Coast. This lighthouse was constructed in 1962 and is 43 meters tall. The architectural design in blue and white shades is mesmerizing, and it is open to visitors between 4 pm to 6 pm on all days. The panoramic sunset view of the Arabian Sea on one side and glittering Dwarka city should definitely be on your agenda when you come to Dwarka.
2. Moti Daman Lighthouse, Daman & Diu
The Moti Daman fort was built in the 1550s and this lighthouse is also believed to be built during that time. The fort complex now houses the Secretariat and other government offices. While visiting the Daman lighthouse, do visit the famous St. Cathedral Church as well.
3. Ratnagiri (Jaigad) Lighthouse, Maharashtra
Ratnagiri is synonymous to the world-famous Alphonso mango ‘haapus’, but do you know about the majestic Ratnagiri lighthouse? The modern structure of this lighthouse was constructed during British times as Jaigad was one of the important ports used by trade vessels during those times. The hilly terrain and proximity to the nearby fort give this lighthouse one of the most long-range views of the Arabian sea.
4. Fort Aguada Lighthouse, Goa
One of the most popular and frequented lighthouses in India due to popularization by Bollywood movies, the Aguada lighthouse is a sight to behold. It was built by the Portuguese in the 1800s and is one of the best-preserved monuments from that era. On a bright sunny day, the white-coated lighthouse shimmers its radiance from miles away. The lighthouse overlooks the confluence of the Mandovi river with the Arabian sea. The lighthouse is open to visitors every day.
5. Kaup Lighthouse, Karnataka
The Kaup Lighthouse, near Udupi, was built by the British in the early 1800s. It stands tall on a 27-meter-high rock and is 100feet tall itself. The sight of waves crashing on the rocks is something not to be missed. It is open to visitors between 4 pm to 6 pm on all days.
6. Vizhinjam Lighthouse, Kerala
Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam is one of the most tourist-friendly beaches in India with shacks, restaurants, and hotels lined up along the coastline. One of the most distinguishing aspects of this beach is the lighthouse, which sits on top of Kurumkal Hill. The high location gives the visitors a serene view of the sandy beach meeting the vast expansive Arabian sea.
7. Pondicherry Lighthouse, Puducherry
On the coast of Puducherry, lies this majestic lighthouse in black and white-colored bands. The new lighthouse, 157 feet in length and built-in 1979 replaced the original lighthouse built by the French in the 1830s. It was used as a guide by the seafarers entering Pondicherry from the Bay of Bengal. It is open to visitors every day from 9 am to 5 pm and entry fees are minimal.
8. Mahabalipuram Lighthouse, Tamil Nadu
Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram in local dialect) is a UNESCO world heritage site due to presence of architectural relics devoted to Lord Shiva, dating back close to two thousand years. It has thus become one of the most visited places for religious tourism in India. This is also the place where India’s oldest known lighthouse exists, built around 600AD during the Pallava Dynasty, and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The modern-ay Mahabalipuram Lighthouse was commissioned by the British in the early 1900s and stands adjacent to the historic lighthouse.
9. Dolphin’s Nose Lighthouse, Andhra Pradesh
Named as a Dolphin Nose due to its stark resemblance, this majestic lighthouse in Vizag is a crucial guide for ships and vessels entering the Vishakhapatnam port. It is believed to have been originally constructed during the British times in the early 1800s. Tourists can enjoy a sterling glimpse of the Bay of Bengal during the visitor hours from 3 pm to 5 pm on all days.
10. False Point Lighthouse, Odisha
Contrary to its name, False Point Lighthouse guided the seafarers coming from the Bay of Bengal to turn towards Paradip instead of going north towards Kolkata. With a history of more than 180 years, it is among the oldest functional lighthouses in India. This 129-feet tall structure is embossed with a ten-pointed star in red and white colors in order to recognize it from many miles away.
11. Sagar Island Lighthouse, West Bengal
Sagar Island is situated in the South 24-Parganas district in West Bengal and is the southernmost point of the state. Sagar Lighthouse was originally built in 1821 to guide ships and vessels towards Kolkata. Sagar is also considered as a pilgrimage site as at this place the holy river Ganga meets the Bay of Bengal.
I hope you had a great time reading this list of 11 majestic lighthouses that should definitely be on every travellers list. So, what are you waiting for? Get set for your next vacation and cover these beautiful monuments for sure.