Old Lighthouse, Pondicherry
The Old Lighthouse on Goubert Rue was built in 1836 a cost of 10000 French Francs.Louise Guerre , the engineer became famous because of this outstanding building and soon came to be known as 'Colonial Engineer'.He later became the head of the Public Works Department in the French India Colony.
This 19th century lighthouse is one of Pondicherry's most famous landmarks. Before the lighthouse was built there wasn't any signal for the ships coming to Pondicherry. A committee was formed to persuade the goverment to build a lighthouse. After they agreed it took some time to get the project going.
The foundation was laid in 1835. At the time it was built, it was considered a modern lighthouse for its time because of its unique architecture of a round tower. It took only a few months to complete and the inauguration ceremony took place in February 1836. However, the beacon had not arrived from France so the lighthouse was not operational until it arrived in July 1836.
The lighthouse is 29 meters high. Its round tower sits on a square base with a foundation nine meters deep to stablilize the sandy ground on which it was built. The lighthouse is not in use today but is still very interesting to see.
This 19th Century Lighthouse in Pondicherry is a significant landmark and its unique architecture of a round tower made it a modern lighthouse at the time it was built.
There is an interesting story behind its construction. At that time there was no signal for the ships coming to Pondicherry. The only light that was there was the fire located on the top of the Red Hills. Therefore, all the principal merchants and captains of the ships set up a committee and asked the government to build a lighthouse. After much delay the project was finally taken up during the tenure of Governor Saint Simon in 1835. The engineer of the project, Louis Guerre laid the foundation at the end of 1835 and the inauguration ceremony of the lighthouse took place in February 1836. However, the lighthouse was not used from that time since the beacon, which was coming from France, did not reach Pondicherry till later and so the first time it was used was on 1st July, 1836.