Light House & Surrounding Monuments @ Mahabalipuram, ECR, Chennai


The light house is perhaps the most recent structure in Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram. It doesn’t belong to the Pallava or Sangam period. It belongs to the British period! This light house was constructed in 1900 and is 26 meters tall. This was constructed to signal the ships in Bay of Bengal, of course.

From the Mahabs bus-stand, if one takes a left, they’ll reach the shore temple/beach. If you go further up (straight) instead, the road curves right and there is a 2-way junction. You need to take left from there (taking right will lead you out of Mahabalipuram) and the light house/surrounding monuments can be reached through a gate on the right side of the road.

You can do two things here – You can climb on the rock or you can climb on the light-house itself! Yes, you are allowed to climb the light-house here. It seems they have reopened it after 20 years! I didn’t want to miss this chance, hence I opted to climb the light-house, which is taller. There is only one problem – The omni-present crowd on the weekends!

If the light-house is crowded and if you see anyone standing on the steps when you enter, it is better to skip and not buy the ticket, as it takes a long time for limited batch of people (10-15 are allowed at a time) to climb the last stretch that has very narrow wooden-steps. These steps (around 15) at last are very steep and only one person can climb at a time. It may not be a good idea to try to climb this, if you are over 50 years of age.

But once you get to the top of the light-house, the view is stunning. It took me half an hour of standing in the queue and another 20 minutes at the top, with relatively less crowd during the time I went in (lunch). That’s because, even if one person is struck up and is not able to climb down, it takes some efforts to bring them down (I guess). People have to go up and come back from the top, for the next batch to enter. I just wish the stairs were broader, especially the last few ones made of wood.

Have a look at the photos of monuments around this light-house campus –


And now, have a look at the light-house itself –


Here’s the view from the top of the light-house –



Howzzzzz it? Yes, the height makes you slightly dizzy, but that’s better than climbing those wooden stairs! It looks like climbing the light-house is only for the brave hearts, and (accidentally) I too became one! 🙂

Destination Infinity

Photos: Destination8Infinity. All photos published under this creative commons license.

Reference: Directorate General of Light houses and Light ships.

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13 thoughts on “Light House & Surrounding Monuments @ Mahabalipuram, ECR, Chennai

  1. I had climbed the light house a couple of years back!

    I have visited this place many times. Everytime I go, I come across new sculptures which are unique.

    I love the last picture!

    1. Excellent Maami. I found climing this structure (last 15 wooden steps) so difficult! I guess maybe because its due to the lack of my fitness 🙁 Also, the steps were so small, I was not even able to place my feet properly. But fortunately, there are only 15 steps like this. Other steps that go from bottom to top are normal. Wonder why they made such narrow steps at the top? Perhaps they didn’t visualize this place becoming a tourist attraction in 1900! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  2. Looking at the world around, from the Lighthouse must be an awesome experience!! I remember seeing the a huge part of Jaipur city and Jodhpur city from the Nahargarh Fort and Mehrangarh Fort respectively… it was a fascinating view!
    The monuments around the Lighthouse are interesting too!

    1. I need to visit Jaipur forts sometime. Maybe in a few years, I will. It’s so far off… 🙂

      Destination Infinity

    1. It’s very much possible to miss certain parts of Mahabalipuram. There are so many monuments and one is not clear how they should go about visiting the place. It will be better if they handed out some flyer with all the places to visit. Anyway, I am doing my bit by writing about many of the places that one can visit there.

      Destination Infinity

  3. Stunning captures! The views are amazing and I have climbed only the small lighthouse in the last picture – the structure reminds me the elephant safari. The stairs leading to top sounds scary, I couldn’t dream what if one couldn’t able to climb down.

    Hope it was a wonderful beginning for you this year 🙂

    1. People can climb up and down, but it takes some time if they are not physically fit. The fact that only one person can get on those stairs doesn’t really help. But then, once we reach the top, the experience is very good! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

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