Thursday, March 21, 2013

Visit Alleppey (Alappuzha) light house and beach

Alappuzha, the place where India's Alleppey Lighthouse stands, was one of the busiest ports and trade centers of Kerala. Alappuzha, a part of Travancore, was ruled by Rajas of Earstwhile Travancore before India's independence. After the arrival of the Portuguese, Dutch and English trades, Vizhinjam, Kollam, Travancore and Purakad were the main ports of Earstwhile Travancore through which foreign trade flourished. The decline of the Port of Purakkad necessitated the rehabilitation of the traders for which Alappuzha was selected as a port and an infrastructure was developed. The port was opened to foreign traders in 1792. There was no regular lighthouse provided in 18th century-only a light, provided on the pier head.served the mariners. As port activities increased, the authorities had to provide for a lighthouse. The construction of the present lighthouse began in the reign of His Highness Marthanda Varma-II Maharaja (ruler of Travancore) and was completed during the reign of His Highness Rama Varma Maharaja of Travancore. The first stone was installed by Mrs. Mough Crawford on April 26, 1860. The 30' high lighthouse has a teak spiral staircase. A 1st order optical equipment with coconut oil double wick lamp light-source supplied by M/s. Chance Bros. Birmingham was installed and commissioned into service on 28 March 1862. The same equipment continued to serve till 1952 when it was replaced by 500 mm drum optic and DA gas flasher of AGA make. The current 4th order optic with a 1000 watt electric lamp was installed in 1960. The main supply was extended to the station in 1960 as such an electrically operated 4th order revolving optic system supplied by M/s BBT, Paris replaced the old equipment and was commissioned on 4 August 1960. The direct drive system was incorporated on 8 April 1998 and a separate emergency light in 300 mm lantern on 30 December 1998. The incandescent lamp was replaced by 230V 150W Metal halide lamp on 28 February 1999. The lighthouse is still a manned station.
The lighthouse, which was painted plain white, got red and white bands in 2000.The office of the lighthouse can be reached by telephone at +91-477-2253459.
In 2007, the structure was thrown open to the public. It is open from 3pm to 5 pm, with tariffs of INR10 for adults, INR3 for children and INR25 for foreign nationals.

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