The Light House - Mamallapuram

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Though the first light here was commissioned in 1887, it was only in 1904 the lighthouse with a circular masonry tower made of natural stone became fully functional. The lighthouse stands next to India's oldest lighthouse, built around 640 AD by Pallava king Mahendra Pallava. The Pallava era lighthouse is now a protected monument, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) while the existing lighthouse is maintained by the ministry of shipping.

Ancient light houses in Chennai, Mamallapuram, Muttam near Kanyakumari and Rameswaram are to be renovated in the first phase of the lighthouse museums project. Also to come up up at Mamallpuram is a National Maritime Heritage Museum which will showcase centuries-old vessels in the sub-continent.

The new lighthouse use dischargeable lamps which rotate inside a bowl of mercury. Under the new arrangement, around 50 tourists would be allowed to climb atop the 42-metre lighthouse with 227 steps, at a time. Tickets are priced. The lighthouse will be open between 9am and 5.30pm and around ten minutes would be allowed for each visitor to get a glimpse of shore town from the lighthouse.