The sight of a lighthouse is a refreshing sight. The tall lighthouse that stands apart from the surroundings tells us that there is a beacon of light for the needy to navigate. The beauty and the serenity of lighthouses often attract people to it. I often spend time around lighthouses to read and wonder about.
The Malabar cost has some of the most spectacular lighthouses in this part of the world. Thanks to the British, they made it a point to ensure the best in maritime safety. They recognized the importance of ensuring safe passage for the trading vessels and maritime vessels visiting the ports of Malabar. Building lighthouses became the cornerstone to this project. Post Indian Independence, as the British left, India was left with 6 major operational lighthouses. One of these majestic lighthouses is the Kadalur Point Lighthouse.
Kadlur Point Lighthouse stands near a series of dangerous rocks called ‘Vellayam Kallu’. These rocks are partly submerged. Hence, even expert navigators couldn’t ensure safe passage of ships through these rocks. In 1895, after a series of shipwrecks, the administration was forced to contemplate building a lighthouse. Repeated engineering survey of the coastal waters told them that it was a very difficult task. The cost of such a project was prohibitively high. Still the British commenced the work. And on 20th October 1909 a lighthouse was inaugurated. Since then, since 100 years, not a single shipwreck has been reported from Kadlur cost.
The story of each lighthouse is a story of engineering skill and human determination to keep the trading lines open.
But Kadalur Point Lighthouse has still others stories to tell. A local poet once said that in the moon lit nights on ‘Vellayam Kallu’, thousands of dragonflies would fly around flipping their noicy wings. The locals believe that these dragonflies are visiting the watery graves of seafarers who lost their lives in this sea. It is also believed that the noise these dragonflies make is the joyful music of the souls visiting their graves. As I pray that their souls rest in peace, I pray that Kadlur Point Lighthouse flash the beacon of light for another 100 years in this beautiful sea.
Special Cover and Photo from personal collection.