Historical Lighthouse of Visakhapatnam restored in the recent past.

Vizag old lighthouse .thenewsminute.com

The famous Natural Harbor city of Visakhapatnam has many historical places of interest that include old schools such as  St. Aloysius School built in 1847, Queen Mary's school (1800),  colonial structures  such as St. John's church built by the EIC in 1844, Queen Victoria's  Pavilion built in 1904 just across the old Post office, Town hall built by the Raja of Bobbili in 1904 etc. The old light House is one among the old buildings of heritage value. Invariably most of them stand neglected and least attention  is paid to repair and renovate them so that they  can become tourist spot.

Vizag, old light house and the artillery gun.deccanchronicle.com

The Lighthouse  built in 1903 at Flagstaff (in front of St Aloysius School)  is not a tall one and just 59 feet high and it was constructed in this spot with a view to guiding the ships into the Visakhapatnam harbor.  The light house had a dome and lantern that were from  the lighthouse at Chantilly or Chintappali,  18 km from Bheemunipatnam. The source of light for the lighthouse is  gas-fired  bright white  dioptre light of second grade with  brightness levels of 45,000 candles. It flashed every 20 seconds and was visible from 12 miles in clear weather.


Vizag lighthouse, AP.thehindubusinessline.com

For various reasons the lighthouse on the beach Road  was abandoned in 1962 and fell into   disrepair  for several decades. In 2015,  steps  were taken to put the old lighthouse back to use for navigation purpose. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VCP) and the Visakha Container Terminal Pvt Ltd (VCTL) stepped in and repaired it and it was open to public in January 2018.  VCTL had spent Rs. 25 lakhs  a part of restoration cost.   According to INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage),  official it was a text-book restoration  work in the city. Apparently, the conservation was done with meticulous care. The tedious restoration of an old lighthouse bears testimony to  the long marine tradition and ethos of this city known for ship building and Indian Navy.  It was a well-planned restoration work, taking particular care to retain the old shape, size, structure, design and color.  The conservationist included a washroom replicating the old plan. According to heritage conservationist and INTACH member Edward Paul, “Early to Flagstaff light house, another lighthouse had been erected on the Dolphin Nose Hill in 1873. The work was commissioned in 1874, but just after two years, it was ravaged by the severe cyclone in 1876.

The two two anti-aircraft guns  stationed  there near the lighthouse remind us of WWII and how the city was prepared to face any eventuality.  

After the restoration of this old light house, it hs become a major tourist attraction before the COVID -19 pandemic. During the peak season November to March  for roughly four years till February 2020 roughly 100 to 120 tourists  came to this place. World over, the governments are restoring the old lighthouses to get more tourists and  the official of the VCP  and VCTL did the right thing - enticing the tourists to see the historical structure(s) in this city.