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Lighthouses of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka — the island, the sea country. For a variety of purposes, and above all for safe navigation, many lighthouses have been built in our country. Many of them are unique, and represent a high architectural and historical value. Let us dwell on the description of only a few lighthouses that, in the opinion of the Lankarus team, are of particular interest to travelers.
                                  
Batticaloa
This lighthouse was built in 1913 by the British. Its height is 28 meters. After neglecting for many years and because of the LTTE's terrorist activities in this area, as well as the tsunami in December 2004 on the east coast of Sri Lanka, the lighthouse suffered.But it suffered only minor damage. With the support of a number of foreign aid agencies of this region after the tsunami, the lighthouse received a much-needed «face-lift» and is now restored to its former glory.

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Beruwala
The Beruwala Lighthouse is located on Barberine Island on the south-west coast Sri Lanka. A spectacular 10-minute boat ride from the town of Beruwala takes up to this island, a place without the hustle and bustle of people, cars and traffic. The island is a piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean.
¾ of the island of Barberine is covered by coconut palms, plumeria flowers, mango trees and cashew plants, and a cool shadow. Exotic birds, reptiles and insects are common throughout the island, and here you can feel instant merging with nature. The solemn yellow tower of the lighthouse stands majestically on the edge of a 30-meter cliff.
The light emits light from 6.30 pm to 6.30 am. Luminous revolution occurs within one minute.

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Dondra
Dondra is located at the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka near to the small the town of Dondra or Dewundara. Once upon a time there was a temple of Vishnu with a gilded and copper roof, but it was destroyed by the Portuguese. However, the place still attracts pilgrims to the fair in Dondra and Peracer, which takes place in the month of Esala (July-August). It is interesting that Dondra was once the capital of the country.
The lighthouse in Dondra is managed and maintained by the authorities of the Port Authority of Sri Lanka. It was built in 1889. This highest lighthouse in Sri Lanka was designed by Sir James Douglas and built by William Douglas of the Imperial Office of Lighthouses.
The height of the lighthouse of Dondra is 160 meters. And the tower is a white octagonal brick structure, which is currently used as an active navigational aide.
A characteristic feature of the lighthouse is a white flash that appears every 5 seconds, and is visible in a range of 28 nautical miles from a focal plane height of 153 m. By the way, the city itself is known from antiquity, as Devinuwara (in Sinhalese: City of the Gods), and is of vital importance for several reasons. The huge historical, geographical and religious significance makes it one of the most demanding places to visit in Sri Lanka. According to legend, the town of Devinuwara was a respected city Buddhists for the fact that this the city is endowed with some special power of the gods.
The city was founded around 660 AD, when Buddhists and representatives of other religions came here from remote parts of the country to bow to the place. During the annual festival season, which takes place in June, many pilgrims come from far away to receive the blessings of the gods. Therefore, Dondra is not only the city of the lighthouse, but also a sacred place.

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The Great and The Small Reefs Lighthouses
Lighthouses of the Great and Small Reefs — two rock formations on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka. The locals call these reefs Maha Ravana and Kuda Ravana, respectively. Sri Lanka is one of the main shipping routes connecting China with the rest of the world, and these stone reefs, located 12-13 kilometers from the coast, are ancient navigators. But these rocks are also a huge problem for a large number of ships that have crashed near these rocks. This fact made the area of rock beacons a popular attraction for divers.
Lighthouses for these two breeds were designed by James Douglas and built by his brother William Douglas from the Imperial Office of Lighthouses. The 34-meter high lighthouse (Maha Ravana) was commissioned in 1873 and was made of massive stone blocks that were brought here from Scotland and England. Small Lighthouse (Kuda Ravana) was completed 5 years later in 1878. Both lighthouses survived the great tsunami of 2004 and suffered considerably in the grounds. The damage was repaired and the lighthouses were put into operation again in 2007 with financial support from the UK.
The underwater treasures surrounding the reefs were described in 1961 in a publication called The Treasure Reef written by Sir Arthur Clark of C, based on his experience during the diving expedition to the reefs. He discovered a sunken 24 cannon ship that belonged to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707). The treasure of the sunken ship contained thousands of silver rupees dated 1702.

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Hambantota
The lighthouse in Hambantota was built in 1913. Its height is 14 meters. It is a round tower with a lantern and a gallery.
The rocks that were used to build this tower give the impression of a black and white spiral paint on the tower. The lighthouse was active until the 1970s, but until 2013 it was in a dilapidated state.
Martello Tower is adjacent to the lighthouse. It was built by the British between 1901 and 1903, and is the only such tower in the country. The construction was led by Captain Goper, who built the tower on the site of an earlier Dutch earthen fort. The tower was rebuilt in 1999. The tower was again restored in 2013.
And the lighthouse itself is located on the ground in front of the entrance to the government Holiday House in Hambantota.

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Kankesanture
The Kankesanture Lighthouse (or Kankesanturai / KKS) lies in the immediate vicinity of Kankesantura harbor. Both the harbor and the lighthouse are surrounded by an ancient fortress wall, built by the Portuguese and the Dutch. This lighthouse was built in 1893. Its height is 22 meters. This lighthouse also collided with destructive wars with terrorists during years unfavorable for the state. KKS harbor is currently used as a naval base.

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Kovilan Point
The lighthouse Kovilan Point is located on the Jaffna peninsula on the north-western tip of Karativu Island, which about 25 km. from Jaffna city. This is the largest island in the region of the Jaffna peninsula, and is connected to the mainland by a dam. This island also boasts one of the best beaches in Jaffna.
The lighthouse is a tall tower built in 1916. The height of the building is 30 meters. Because of the terrorist activities in the past, the lighthouse suffered. This area is currently available to the general public.

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Talaimannar
Mannar is one of the driest places of Sri Lanka, connected via 3 km. dams with the mainland. Mannar was one of the busiest cities in antiquity, and the bay of Mannar was one of the biggest «pearl banks» in the world, supplying huge volumes of pearls for kings and queens all over the world for more than 2000 years.
The new Talaimannar was built in 1915. Its height is 19 meters. The tower does not function because of the military situation that existed for 30 years. After the defeat of the rebels from the Tamil tigers, this area is currently available to the general public.

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Oluvil
The Oluvil Lighthouse is the only lighthouse built after Sri Lanka's independence was proclaimed, before the port of Hambantota and the expansion of the Colombo port in 2012-2013. The lighthouse was built in 1999 together in a fishing harbor. The 24-meter-high lighthouse is a white cylindrical tower with a lantern and a gallery. The tower was damaged during the 2004 tsunami, but was rebuilt.

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Sampur
Sampur was released by security forces from the terrorists of the LTTE in 2007. This place is home to one of the most famous lighthouses in the country. The Sampur lighthouse served for the safety of seamen for decades.The lighthouse was built in 1863. Its height is 32 meters and its diameter is 25 meters. The lighthouse is built in 5 levels with steel stairs. Because of the military situation in the past, the stairs are in a dilapidated state and can not be used.

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Sangaman Kanda
Sangaman Kanda (Sangamankanda) — the most eastern point in the Sri Lanka. The lighthouse was built in 1947. Its height is 8 meters. The tower was destroyed during the tsunami of 2004, and only a fragment of the lighthouse with a height of 4.5 meters exists at the present time.
Sangaman Kanda is on the route to Pottuvil — Kalmunai. A small hill lies close to the road. But to reach the lighthouse, which marks the easternmost point of the country, you need to walk through several private landholdings.

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Galle Fort
The port of Galle dates back to the time when Arab merchants swam to China in search of eastern riches. Halle was their last refuge before the crossing of the Bay of Bengal. Perhaps one of the earliest references recorded about Halle is a note by the great Arab traveler Ibn Battuta. He visited the port, which he calls Kali, in the middle of the 14th century. Galle was central to the spice trade route.
Galle lighthouse is located inside the Galle Fort. It is built on the basis of a 7 meter shaft.
The beacon lights are controlled from the computer. The light at the top of the lighthouse turns on automatically at night and turns off at dawn. This is the oldest light station in Sri Lanka. In the event of a power failure, an engineer is on duty inside the lighthouse building.
The lighthouse was built in 1848, but the original tower was destroyed in a fire in 1934. Then the lighthouse was rebuilt at a current height of 26 meters. The light station is within the walls of the ancient Galle Fort, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the famous tourist attraction, making this lighthouse the country's most visited lighthouse.

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Colombo — Galbokka
The Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse is operated and maintained by the Port Authority of Sri Lanka. It is located on the southern tip of the Galbokka harbor on the waterfront along the sea drive, at Colombo Fort.The lighthouse was built in 1952. Its height is 34 meters. The side of the tower facing the sea is painted in a black and white checkered pattern.

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Colombo Harbor — Southwest Lighthouse
Southwestern Lightouse at Colombo Harbor is one of 6 lighthouses in the harbor of Colombo.
It is located at the end of the southwestern harbor Colombo. This lighthouse was completed in 1885, its construction cost an astronomical £ 705,000. The lighthouse and adjoining territory were built by 300 convicts who loaded and unloaded the stones brought for the construction of coastal fortifications.
The lighthouse was put into operation in 1903, it emits green light every 5 seconds in a range of visibility of 13 nautical miles. This lighthouse is administered by the Port Authority of Sri Lanka.
Access to this area is limited, and requires the authorization of the authorities from the Port Authority.

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Colombo Harbor — Southern Lighthouse
This lighthouse was put into operation in 2013 with the opening of the southern, the last international terminal of the Colombo port .Construction began in December 2011, and the first pace of the container terminal of Colombo — South was solemnly opened for traffic on August 8, 2013. This fact makes Colombo one of the largest port complexes in the world.The total length of the new mall is 6830 meters. The berth of Deptis is 18 meters long.

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Colombo — Old Clock Tower
This old beacon tower with clock no longer works, but functions like a clock tower and is designated as a monument. The lighthouse is located at the junction of Chatam Street and Janadhipati Mawatha (formally Queens Road) in Colombo Fort.
The location allowed the lighthouse to be used at the time. In 1829 the tower was first built, and became a tower with a clock in 1865. The original watch (made by the same manufacturer as Big Ben in London) was replaced in 1913, and the lighthouse itself was deactivated after its light began to interfere with nearby buildings. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1952. Instead, he built the lighthouse mentioned above in Galbokka.

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If you need more information about Sri Lanka's lighthouses or you would like to visit lighthouses, please contact Lankarus for your optimal route.

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