Climbing the Lighthouse @ Marina Beach will give you one of the best viewpoints for the city of Chennai. You can see the ocean, you can see the sand, you can see the roads, you can see the buildings. What more do you want? I know this lighthouse has been opened to public from Nov. 2013, that too after 22 years. But due to sheer laziness, I went there only in Jan, 2016. Hmm…
Did you know that this is the fourth lighthouse built in the city of Chennai/Madras? The first one was built on Fort Museum campus during 1796. The second lighthouse was built inside the Madras High Court campus and was in use for 50 years. The third lighthouse was constructed over the largest dome of the Madras High Court and that was used until 1977, when the existing and the fourth lighthouse came into being.
I was surprised to find an elevator that carries us directly from the ground floor to the viewing gallery on the 9th floor, which is the only floor of the 11 floors open to public. Yoohooo!! No need to climb any steps 😛 The 9th floor viewing gallery is covered with steel welded mesh panels to avoid anyone from jumping down and committing suicide (the reason for its closure to public in the first place).
The height of the lighthouse tower is 45.72m and height of the light source is 57m. That makes it one of the tallest lighthouses in the country. It is also the only lighthouse in India within city limits, and has a range of 28 nautical miles.
There is Rs. 10 entrance ticket to the lighthouse and a separate ticket for camera for Rs. 20/-. We need to deposit our bags on a shelf near the security counter. It seems they have planned to build a museum and other attractions in this campus, but am not sure when that will be ready.
This is an excellent tourist place for visitors coming to Chennai, along with the nearby Marina Beach, Statues along the Marina Beach, MGR/Anna Ninaivagam, and Marina Swimming pool. Read more about the Marina Lighthouse from here.