Cruise tourism soon around 15 vintage lighthouses

Fifteen vintage lighthouses, both located at the sides of the coast and in the islands, will be developed as new tourist destinations by the government.

The move is aimed at giving a fresh impetus to the ongoing efforts to make India as an “attractive” cruise tourism destination with the state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities with other attractive features.

The decision was taken jointly by the Ministries of Tourism and Shipping at a meeting here recently. Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi assured his Shipping Ministry counterpart G K Vasan of providing financial support to the development of 15 “heritage” light houses of historical importance into new tourist destination.

The two ministries will soon sign a memorandum of understanding for the development of the vintage light houses.

Mumbai’s Kanhoji Angre light house, situated at an island nine nautical miles away from the Gateway of India, is one of the first five lighthouses where the development work will begin in the first phase. 

Angre was a notable chief of the Maratha Navy in 18th century. The island, which was previously known as Khanderi, was named after him in his honour in 1998 on 125th anniversary of Mumbai port trust.

Madras Light House, Chennai, Mahabalipuram light house, Tamil Nadu, Vishakapatnam lighthouse, Andhra Pradesh, Kadalur lighthouse in Kerala, Aguada lighthouse Goa, Chandrabagha and Gopalpur lighthouses, Odisha, False Point lighthouse, Paradip, Sunk Rock lighthouse, Mumbai, Minicoy lighthouse, Lakshadweep and Dwaraka lighthouse, Gujarat are among the 15 vintage spots identified for development by the ministry.

Heritage value

 “Lighthouses are very important part of our man-made heritage, which we need to preserve and develop for future generation. In maritime history the voyages for India have always remained important for the foreign travellers. It will be appropriate, if we can catalogue the historical part and make heritage lighthouses as new tourist destinations,” the Tourism Minister told Deccan Herald.

He also said that the effort of developing heritage lighthouses into tourism destinations will give “a new impetus” to development of cruise tourism in the country. With “cruise shipping” being one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide, government is making efforts to develop necessary infrastructure and facilities to attract tourists in the sector.

“The cruise tourism is still in its infancy in India. We are making efforts to develop it as but country’s vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can be a fabulous tourist destination for cruise tourists,” a Ministry official said.

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