Established on 2 February 1885, the lighthouse was built at the southern end of the Minicoy Island. This was a time when India was completely engulfed under the atrocities of the British rule. About 162 feet in height, this lighthouse has a viewing range of around 74 km and has been completely built-in brick masonry.
In the past, the lighthouse area in the southern side was exclusively built by the Britishers while the locals preferred to live in the northern part. Talking about the features of the lighthouse, it has all kinds of modern instrumentation of electrification along with an automatic system of shining mirrors which lights up in a gap of around every 15 seconds.
If you are a history lover then you will definitely like this place. Talking about history, this lighthouse was brought under the control of the Indian government when the Indian flag was unfurled over it on 2 April 1956.
The winter season is the best time to visit Minicoy Island. The most favourable months for you would be from September to May. This is a great time for sightseeing activities and exploring around.
History of Lighthouse Minicoy Island
The opening of the Suez Canal in the year 1862, helped reduce the overall distance between Europe and countries lying in the east. It was during this time that the General Lord Ripon, who was also the Governor-General of British rule at that time had decided to build a lighthouse sometime in 1882. The main purpose behind it was to have complete 360-degree visibility of the area.
Thus, keeping this thought in mind the board of trade then decided to establish their own lighthouse on the Minicoy Island for providing safe passage of their vessels who would be traversing the Eight Degree Channel. Following this, the site of the island was also selected in 1882 and the construction work then began in 1883 and then finally completed in 1885.
This lighthouse, strategically situated on the sea route from Aden to Colombo and Suez to Singapore passes just south of the Minicoy Island on the Indian Coast Line leading to Colombo which was also known as the lifeline of the empire. It is also important to note that after the completion of this lighthouse no shipwrecks had occurred on the island. It is the lone surviving historic structure of the British period in the Lakshadweep islands.
And after India's independence, the Sri Lankan government decided to transfer all the functions of the lighthouse formally to our country. This legal formality was completed on 19 September 1963.
Major Attractions Around Lighthouse Minicoy Island
1. Kalpeni Islands. Located at an approximate distance of 218 kilometres from the west of Kochi, these islands are a great attraction for exploring nature’s beauty. If you love vast panoramic views of the great horizons of the sea then this is the kind of destination which you must visit.
2. Viringili Islands. It is an uninhabited islet situated at the southwestern end of the Minicoy’s reef. And perhaps it is one of the geographical reasons that it has been scattered with gravel and bushes. However, this is something which adds on to the overall beauty of the island.
3. Kavaratti Islands. This island is famous for having the most number of mosques all over Lakshadweep islands. So, if you are a religious person then you will surely be liking this place.
4. Agatti Island. Famous for its rich natural scenery and crystal clear waters, Agatti Island is truly a fun place to visit. This place lets you relax and unwind and perhaps that is what absolutely matters, isn’t it?
How to Reach Lighthouse Minicoy Island
An incredible establishment of 1885, the lighthouse situated at the Minicoy Island was built by the Britishers that is popular with the name ‘The South Side Lighthouse’ in Lakshadweep. The distance of Minicoy Island from Delhi is 2311 km, 1201 km from Mumbai, 722 m from Bangalore, and 955 km from Chennai.
By Air. The nearest Airport to Minicoy Island is the Cochin Airport that shares a well-established connection with the mainland of Lakshadweep too. It is one of the best methods to put your steps into the land of an island as the road networks are not quite developed there.
From Coimbatore. Board IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air Asia India flights from Coimbatore Airport. The flight charges around INR 6000
From Kozhikode. Board Air India or IndiGo flights from Kozhikode Airport. The airfares start from INR 5218
By Train. Though Minicoy Island does not have any railway station. You can take a train to Kannur Railway Station after which you can travel by ships or cabs to reach the mainland.
From Chennai. Board MAS MAQ SF EXP from Chennai Central and deboard at Kannur.
From Madgaon. Board MNGLA LKSDP SPL from Madgaon Railway station at deboard at Kannur Railway Station.
By Road. Being covered with water from all sides, the Minicoy Island lighthouse does not have a great catch on the road network. However, you can travel by private or public buses to reach the nearby cities of the island. Afterwards, passenger ships can be the best conveyance method to reach there.