5 Insta-Worthy Lighthouses To Add To Your Travel List In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has always been an important maritime stop due to its central location and its significant role on the Silk Route. As a result, the country was colonised thrice over by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The Portuguese built forts which the Dutch further fortified, if you’re interested, visit every ancient fort in Sri Lanka! If you’ve got a love for history and stunning structures by the blue ocean, here’s a list of lighthouses you MUST add to your travel list!
Dondra Head Lighthouse
Proudly known as Sri Lanka’s tallest lighthouse, the Dondra Head Lighthouse, located in the Matara district at the southernmost point of the island, was constructed in 1890 with materials that were imported from all over the UK. The lighthouse has withstood the test of time, and today it stands tall dwarfing its surrounding coconut trees, making it a picturesque spot.
The Batticaloa Lighthouse is a relatively new one- built in 1913- and one of the country’s smaller lighthouses. It is just 5km from Batticaloa town and it is surrounded by the lagoon. One way to get to the lighthouse is by boat, which is a must in Sri Lanka because the mangroves of the lagoon are home to some endemic animals and plants. Additionally, if you have a bit of time, here are 5 things you can do in Batticaloa.
The Colombo Lighthouse was constructed in 1952 after the Old Colombo Lighthouse was deactivated when skyscrapers obstructed its light. The Colombo Lighthouse, in the commercial capital Colombo was opened by the first Prime Minister of Ceylon. There are four statues of lions at the base of the tower which is 95ft tall. It had a panoramic view of the ocean making it a popular landmark, however, during the Civil War, the area was closed off since it was opposite a naval base. Today, the lighthouse is still functional and people can visit it, but it is no longer close to the ocean due to the construction of the Colombo Port City.
Galle Lighthouse, also known as Point de Galle Light, is an onshore lighthouse situated within the Galle Fort, in the southern town of Galle. This is Sri Lanka’s oldest light station, dating back to 1848. The lighthouse that stands today, however, is not the original one; the one you see today was built in 1939 after the first lighthouse was destroyed in 1934 by a fire. Nevertheless, this lighthouse is unique because of its location, and it is still functional as it is at the southern end of the ramparts. Walk along the ramparts in the evening and catch the sunset as it washes the lighthouse with a pinkish hue. Explore Galle Fort in a day; the town offers a variety of things to do!
Great Basses Reef Lighthouse
This is perhaps the most interesting of Sri Lanka’s lighthouses; the Great Basses Reef Lighthouse is situated 13km off the coast of Yala National Park on the south of the island, and it is one of the few offshore lighthouses in the whole of Asia. Construction for the lighthouse began in 1870 and was completed 3 years later when Sri Lanka was still under the British rule. The lighthouse itself is very beautiful as its white tower is set against the azure ocean, but an added bonus is that the reef around the lighthouse is teeming with different species of coral and fish, so when you’re there you must go snorkelling.