A good book is a lighthouse; a wise man is a lighthouse; conscience is a lighthouse; compassion is a lighthouse; science is a lighthouse! They all show us the true path! Keep them in your life to remain safe in the rocky and dark waters of life!Mehmet Murat Idan
I was standing at the top of the newly opened lighthouse letting the sea breeze sweep along my face wondering how beautiful the view was. The lighthouse has a round balcony at the top allowing one to have a 360 degree view of the landscape.
Towards one side is the vast sea. One could spot the Kuthenkuly beach from here. The other side, the lands are dotted with green thorny bushes and patches of sand. The beach is lined with small fishing boats on the shore a few meters away from the sea. A couple of meters from the boats are small huts made of palm leaves. Probably these structures are used to auction fish in the morning when the fishermen folks bring their fishes to the shore. The beach is well enclosed within two stonemade breakwaters almost a kilometer away from each other providing safe passage for the fishing boats.
The beach is dotted with some palm trees and water bodies too. The soil near the water body is red colored and the green color of the trees provide a wonderful pattern. The sea looks so dull and looks like a pond when viewed from this height.
The beaches are connected with narrow tar roads to the main road. These small roads also have few houses around them. None of these roads are in good condition, even the one leading to the lighthouse.
There was also a small river beneath a bridge which looked so old. I had to cross to reach the lighthouse. I was able to see it from the bird’s eye view from the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in a small village.
This settlement had less than 30 houses with a water tank and two small temples at one end of the village. Most of the houses were built with bricks and concrete. I was also able to spot a small burial ground close to the village.
Standing at the top gave a clear view of the village. I was wondering how it would be to watch the village from here the whole day. The sun was setting in the west. It added more colors to the sky towards the west. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever watched.
I stood there for sometime just watching the sunset and the magical colors it threw in the horizon. I always loved watching the sunset without uttering a word. The sunset makes me quiet and silent. I was wondering how many stories this one light house is going to make. It acts like eyes in the darkness and will help numerous fishermen reach the shore safely.
Once while attending a Muslim family function in an island in Kerala ,I had to get back to mainland late at night. The boat started from the island and to find the location of the jetty one had to stand in the jetty and wave a light at us. Without this small help it would be really difficult to find the jetty in darkness. This lighthouse is going to do the same for years to come for thousands of fishermen. Without this help, it’s going to be difficult for these folks to reach shore at night.
With this thought in mind, I started descending. I had to climb down hundreds of steps to reach the ground. The route had one or two balconies which can be used to rest.
I was lucky I was let in. It was not supposed to be open for tourists. But since there were some local kids asking the caretaker to let them in, the caretaker opened the door and started speaking to a fisherman about the lighthouse. I used the opportunity to sneak in.
This lighthouse is the first lighthouse in Tirunelveli district. Tamilnadu has 17 light houses dotted around its coast. The ones in Mahabalipuram and Chennai receive more tourist footfalls than any other. The Chennai light house was commissioned in 1796 and is the oldest in Tamilnadu and the newest one is Kuthenkuly lighthouse.
It would be a nice road trip plan to visit all these lighthouses, and climb those steps to reach a tall place and have a birds eye view of the surrounding. The Government of India is keen in making these beacons of navigation into tourist hotspots and have invested in tourism infrastructure in some of these lighthouses. But the other ones are left alone. They stand as tall structures out of nowhere beating the hot sun and watching the sea for a long time to come.