India to turn lighthouses into tourist destinations across the country

In an effort to help the ravaged tourism sector, India has decided to develop existing lighthouses across the country and turn them into travel destinations. The Ministry of Shipping has identified 194 lighthouses for the purpose.

The ministry will also step up efforts to identify lighthouses which are more than 100 years old, news agency PTI has reported.

A high-level meeting was called by Union Minister of Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya, to take stock of the preparations to develop these lighthouses. The move to develop the selected lighthouses will not only boost tourism in these areas but also provide people an opportunity to learn about their history, the minister said.

Construction of museums to showcase the history, operations and equipment used at the lighthouses will also be undertaken, a statement issued by the Ministry of Shipping said. The plan is to build other key attractions at these spots like large aquariums, children’s play area, sprawling gardens along with huge water bodies, the PTI report said.

Mandaviya also took stock of the progress achieved in the development of Gopnath, Dwarka and Veraval lighthouses of Gujarat. The officials were also instructed to present a detailed blueprint of the impending projects at the earliest, the Ministry’s statement added.

Lighthouses were used to aid the movement of sailors and traders in the waterways. Apart from illuminating the sea to aid the sailors, lighthouses also proved useful in the field of navigation as it provided sounds and signals to the ships.

India has many lighthouses along its long coastline. They are administered by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships, whose head-office is located in Noida. They are categorized for administrative reasons into nine directorates: Gandhidham, Jamnagar, Mumbai, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata and Port Blair.