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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: India Travel

The Beypore Lighthouse
Lakshmi Nair

Our mission was to discover the Beypore lighthouse. So we set out on a nice bright day our hearts singing with joy and overflowing with enthusiasm. After an initial teeth rattling bone jarring ride in an ancient auto owned by a very friendly local named Moideen we arrived at Beypore port. Along the way we passed many local attractions including the Chaliyar River dotted with colorful steamers chugging quietly along, the Feroke Tile factory a place steeped in history and of some antiquity and an ancient mosque built along the lines of a Hindu temple, which in itself was rather unique.

Located some 15km from the heart of the bustling Calicut city centre, Beypore is a small sleepy port town with a single thoroughfare. Our auto plunged, twisted and turned through numerous country lanes scattered with brightly painted fishing cottages, where the shy fisher folk peered at us from their verandahs. After losing our way a couple of times and coming close to annihilating a couple of dimwitted squawking free range chickens, we finally ran down a person who could give us the accurate location of the lighthouse.

Standing proudly on a small strip of land that jutted dangerously out into the sea, we finally spotted the statuesque red and white beauty. Gulls and hawks wheeled and dipped around her with joyous abandon.

The lighthouse as such stood inside a massive gated compound dotted with coconut mango and areca nut trees. There were three small outhouses flanking the lighthouse. These housed the generator, the office and sleeping quarters of the lighthouse personnel.

A massive burgundy wooden door with brass handles opened onto a spiral stone staircase with polished teak railings. Small glass windows set high in the walls, gave us a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside which unfolded in all its wondrous green glory. A wraparound viewing deck at the very top of the lighthouse afforded us an unobstructed view of the sea and the far away fishing vessels and ships.

Built in 1977 the Beypore lighthouse stands tall at 32.41metres. The optical equipment supplied by J Stone and Co has 4 panels and can generate a powerful flash once every 15 seconds at a revolution speed of 2 R.P.M.
With the advent of new technology lighthouses are slowing being nudged into oblivion. One among a handful of still functioning lighthouses a visit to this landmark is a must for first time travelers to Calicut.
© Lakshmi Nair September 2009

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