Lighthouses of India: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands are located in the northeastern corner of the Indian Ocean. Together they form an arc between Myanmar (Burma) and Sumatra, separating the Bay of Bengal on the west from the Andaman Sea on the east. There are some 550 islands in all, but only 26 are large enough to be inhabited. The Andamans are in the northern part of the arc and the Nicobars are to the south, the two groups being separated by a broad passage called the Ten Degree Channel.

Following failed attempts at colonization by Denmark, the islands were colonized by Britain during the mid 1800s and were administered as part of the British Empire of India. They were occupied by Japan during World War II (1942-45). When India became independent in 1947, they were organized as a union territory of the Republic of India. Since 1974, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands have had separate district governments within the territory.

The great tsunami of 26 December 2004 caused heavy damage throughout the territory. In some areas, especially in the south, the damage was catastrophic, with heavy loss of life.

Aids to navigation in India are administered by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), an agency of the Ministry of Shipping. DGLL has a district office at Port Blair, the territorial capital.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
DGLL - Lighthouses
Lighthouse information from DGLL, including photos for most of the lighthouses. Select "Port Blair" on the dropdown menu. As mentioned below, a number of these photos are not correct.
World of Lighthouses - India
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Little Andaman Island Light
Little Andaman Island Light, Little Andaman, March 2011
Panoramio photo copyright RafaNosh; permission requested

Andaman Islands Lighthouses

Northern Andaman Islands Lighthouses
Narcondam Island
1983. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. Narcondam Island is an isolated volcanic peak rising abruptly from the Andaman Sea; it is uninhabited except for an Indian police contingent posted there to establish sovereignty. Myanmar (Burma) gave up its claim to the island in a 1986 treaty. Located about 120 km (75 mi) east of East Island, Narcondam is the easternmost point of Indian territory. The lighthouse is located near the northern tip of the island. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F1201.1; NGA 26560.
East Island
1969. Active; focal plane 89 m (292 ft); white flash every 15 s. 37 m (121 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A DGLL photo appears at right, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the northern end of the Andaman Islands. It appears to be another cast iron tower similar to the Indira Point and North Point Lights, which were built three years later. Located at the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS AND-001; Admiralty F1201; NGA 26552.
Port Cornwallis (Ross Island, Bopung)
1976. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with gallery, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. Google has a satellite view. Port Cornwallis is named for an early and unsuccessful British settlement (1789). Located at the southern tip of Bopung or Ross Island, off the northeast coast of Great Andaman Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-017; Admiralty F1202; NGA 26556.

Mayabunder Area Lighthouses
Square Rock
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 15 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a rock off the south point of Sound Island and on the north side of the entrance to Mayabunder, on the east coast of Middle Andaman Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.4; NGA 26548.
Awes (Aves) Island
2008. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two white flashes every 7 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has a satellite view. Located at the highest point of a small island on the south side of the entrance to Mayabunder. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.45; NGA 26544.
East Island Light
East Island Light, North Andaman
Dir. Gen. of Lighthouses and Lightships photo
Interview Island
1994. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. DGLL's photo is at right. This lighthouse was reported heavily damaged by the tsunami of December 2004, but it has been repaired. Interview Island lies off the northwestern tip of Middle Andaman Island. The location of the lighthouse is unclear, however. The DGLL web page mentions the southern tip of the island, but the coordinates describe a location on the west coast. Google's satellite view shows a station at that location, but the tower is not seen. Site status unknown. ARLHS AND-008; Admiralty F1202.3; NGA 26542.

Ritchie's Archipelago and Diligent Strait Lighthouses
Note: Ritchie's Archipelago is a loose group of islands lying to the east of the main Andaman Islands. The Diligent Strait separates the two groups.
Barren Island (2?)
1993(?) (station established 1982). Inactive since 2013. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted white. The island is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. Barren Island is a volcanic island about 100 km (65 mi) east of Middle Andaman Island. The 1982 lighthouse was destroyed when the volcano suddenly erupted in 1990 after some 180 years of inactivity. Eruptions have continued intermittantly since that time. The DGLL page is not clear; the light may have been re-established in 1993. Accessible only by boat, but landing on the island is not permitted. Site and tower closed. ARLHS AND-018; Admiralty F1202.7; NGA 26536.
Cape Portman (North Passage Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 5 s. Square masonry tower, height unknown. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This light marks the northern entrance to Diligent Strait. Located on a sharp cape at the northern tip of North Passage Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.58; NGA 26539.
North Button Island
1983. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. The three Button Islands lie in the northern entrance to the Diligent Strait. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.6. NGA 26532.
Interview Island Light
Interview Island Light, Middle Andaman
Dir. Gen. of Lighthouses and Lightships photo
Middle Button Island
1983. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.62. NGA 26528.
South Button Island
1983. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 15 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and a partially enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the southernmost of the three Burron Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.64 NGA 26524.
Strait Island
1983. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted white. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island on the north side of the Diligent Strait, which separates the Ritchies Archipelago from Middle Andaman Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.66 NGA 26520.
Wilson Island
1994. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted with red and white horizontal bands. An indistinct Google satellite view may show the tower. Wilson Island is an island in the central part of Ritchie's Archipelago. The light guides vessels in the narrowest section of the Diligent Strait. Located at the northwestern point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.68; NGA 26518.
[Havelock Island]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 4 m (13 ft); white flash every 10 s. 4 m (13 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery. Baron Collins-Hill has a closeup, Khayyam Wakil has posted a December 2006 photo, and another photo is available, but the tower is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view. Havelock Island is the southernmost major island of the Ritchie's group. About 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Port Blair, it is the location of several ecotourism resorts. Except for Port Blair, it is the location in the Andamans best known to Western visitors. Located at the north point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1202.9; NGA 26514.
Sir Hugh Rose Island
1969. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 7 s. 23 m (75 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No closeup photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island, the southernmost island of the Ritchie Archipelago, about 40 km (25 mi) east northeast of Port Blair. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS AND-015; Admiralty F1203; NGA 26512.

Southern Great Andaman Island Lighthouses
Baratang Island (Andaman Strait Eastern Entrance)
1985. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island off the entrance to the narrow Andaman Strait, which separates South Andaman and Middle Andaman Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1202.8; NGA 26516.
*** North Point (2)
1972 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 35 m (115 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white spiral stripes. A photo is at right, Kalle Anka has a view from the sea, an August 2006 closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The best known lighthouse of the Andamans, this cast iron tower appears to be a twin of the Indira Point Light in the Nicobar Islands. Both towers were built in 1972. Located on a promontory on the north side of the entrance to the harbor of Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, on the east side of South Andaman Island. Excursions from Port Blair to the lighthouse are available. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keeper. ARLHS AND-012; Admiralty F1205; NGA 26492.
North Point Light
North Point Light, Port Blair, November 2010
Flickr photo copyright savishy; used by permission
Atlanta Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square masonry tower, painted white with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a headland on the south side of the entrance to the harbor of Port Blair, on the east side of South Andaman Island. Site status unknown. ARLHS AND-005; Admiralty F1209.5; NGA 26502.
[Ross Island]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 15 s. 11 m (33 ft) concrete post light mounted on a round concrete pier. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Vicky Peters has a 2007 photo, and Google has a satellite view that shows the round pier. The light was damaged by the 2004 tsunami, but it has been repaired. Located on the southwest side of Ross Island, a triangular island off the entrance to Port Blair. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1204; NGA 26508.
Chidiya Tapu
2009. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) masonry tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Bing's cloudy satellite view. Chidiya Tapu is a small resort town at the south end of Great Andaman Island. The light marks the entrnace to the town and to the MacPherson Strait separating Great Andaman and Rutland Islands. Located on a small island off the southeastern tip of Great Andaman Island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1210.5; NGA 26513.

Rutland Island and Cinque Islands Lighthouses
[Rutland Island]
1976. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 3 m (10 ft) square white concrete tower. Google has a distant satellite view. Rutland Island is the southernmost main island of the Great Andaman group; the island is about 60 km (38 mi) long and 30 km (19 mi) wide. Located at the south end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1211; NGA 26476.
North Cinque Island
1972. Active; focal plane 153 m (502 ft) ; white flash every 10 s. 7 m (23 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Upper half of the lighthouse painted red, lower half white. A DGLL photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. North Cinque Island is a high island off the southeastern tip of Great Andaman Island about 50 km (30 mi) south of Port Blair; the lighthouse marks the beginning of the approach to Port Blair for most ships. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS AND-004; Admiralty F1212; NGA 26480.

Little Andaman Island Area Lighthouses
South Sentinel Island
1997. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 15 s. 36 m (118 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. South Sentinel Island is a low, dangerous reef about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Little Andaman Island. The lighthouse was built because ships sailing from Chennai (Madras) and southern India to Port Blair must pass close to the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1212.8; NGA 26482.

North Cinque Island Light, Cinque Islands
Dir. Gen. of Lighthouses and Lightships photo
North Brother Island
1993. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. The lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. North Brother Island is a low island about 18 km (11 mi) northeast of Little Andaman Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1212.5; NGA 26481.
Little Andaman
1986. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); white flash every 10 s. 46 m (151 ft) cylindrical concrete tower with double gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Lantern removed. A 2011 photo is at the top of this page, there is a February 2007 closeup, there is a photo of the view from the lighthouse, and Google has a fine satellite view. This design is common among modern lighthouses on the Indian mainland. However, this is the only lighthouse of this type in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A National Geographic news item refers to this as "Richardson's Lighthouse." Located at the southern tip of Little Andaman Island, marking the north side of the Ten Degree Channel, the passage between the Andamans and the Nicobars. Probably accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-011; Admiralty F1214; NGA 26484.

Nicobar Islands Lighthouses

Car Nicobar Subdistrict (Northern Nicobar Islands) Lighthouses
Keating Point
1969. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 37 m (121 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the northern end of the Nicobar Islands group and therefore the southern side of the Ten Degree Channel, the passage between the Andamans and the Nicobars. The 2004 tsunami swept the point clean of vegetation and destroyed all the structures except the lighthouse, but the light station staff survived the flood. The Coast Guard aerial photo at right shows the devastation around the lighthouse. The station buildings have since been rebuilt. Located at the northern point of Car Nicobar Island. Probably accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-010; Admiralty F1220; NGA 26464.
Battimalv
1991. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. Battimalv is a small, unihabited island about 30 km (19 mi) south of Car Nicobar, the northernmost island of the Nicobar group. The lighthouse is not seen in Google's indistinct satellite view. Located on the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1222.4; NGA 26452.

Nancowrie Subdistrict (Central Nicobar Islands) Lighthouses
Tillanchang Island
1998. Active; focal plane 114 m (374 ft); white flash every 10 s. 24 m (79 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. 15 km (9 mi) long but only about 1 km (0.6 mi) wide, Tillanchang is a long, narrow island at the northeastern corner of the Nancowry group. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-016; Admiralty F1222.8; NGA 26451.2.
Keating Point Lighthouse
Keating Point Light, December 2004 (two days after the tsunami)
Indian Coast Guard photo
Chowra Island
1991. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 15 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Chowra is a small, isolated island at the northwestern corner of the Nancowry group. Located near the settlement, on the eastern side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1222.5; NGA 26451.4.
Bompoka Island
1989. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has a distant and indistinct satellite view. Bompoka is a small island off the southeastern tip of Teressa Island in the northern part of the central Nicobar group. Located near the south end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-006; Admiralty F1222.55; NGA 26451.3.
Trinkat Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 9 m (30 ft) round masonry tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Trinkat Island, a smaller island off the east coast of Nancowry Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1222.58; NGA 26451.1.
Cape Connaught (2)
1993. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 12 m (39 ft) square masonry tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. A DGLL photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. The light was reported heavily damaged by the tsunami and out of service; apparently it was rebuilt at a higher elevation. Located on the southern tip of Nancowry Island, which is about 10 km (6 mi) east of Katchall Island. Accessible by boat; land access to this site is difficult. ARLHS AND-020; Admiralty F1222.65; NGA 26450.
* Katchall East Bay (2)
1986. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 5 s. 24 m (79 ft) square skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. This light apparently replaced a concrete tower damaged by the tsunami. Located on a point of land on the east side of the entrance to the bay, on the northeastern coast of Katchall Island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-009; Admiralty F1223; NGA 26446.
Cape Connaught Light
Cape Connaught Light, Central Nicobar
Dir. Gen. of Lighthouses and Lightships photo
* Katchall West Bay (2)
1985. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 11 m (36 ft) square concrete tower painted black with one white horizontal band. Google has a satellite view. This light replaced a square concrete tower destroyed by the tsunami. Katchall Island, in the central part of the Nicobar group, suffered great damage and loss of life during the tsunami. Located on a point of land on the west side of the entrance to the bay, on the southwestern coast of Katchall Island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-021; Admiralty F1223.4; NGA 26448.

Great Nicobar Subdistrict (Southern Nicobar Islands) Lighthouses
Menchal Island
2004. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Menchal is a small island about 3 km (2 mi) off the northeast coast of Little Nicobar Island. Located on the south side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1223.8; NGA 26439.
Pulo Milow (Pulo Milo)
1986. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 15 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. Clouds obscure Google's satellite view. Pulo Milow is a small island just off the northwestern tip of Little Nicobar Island. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-014; Admiralty F1223.6; NGA 26440.
Kabra Island
1998. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted black with one white horizontal band. The island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Kabra Island is a small, heavily vegetated island about 8 km (5 mi) north of the northern tip of Great Nicobar Island. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-002; Admiralty F1224.1; NGA 26437.
* Campbell Bay Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. 19 m (62 ft) square tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available. This light was reported heavily damaged by the tsunami and out of service. Located in Campbell Bay, a town on the east side of Great Nicobar Island. Site should be open. ARLHS AND-019; Admiralty F1226.1; NGA 26436.
Chisen
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 6 m (20 ft) square white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory on the south side of Campbell Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1225; NGA 26428.
Rosen Point
2003. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 10 s. 21 m (69 ft) two-stage tower, with a 6 m (20 ft) skeletal tower mounted atop a 15 m (49 ft) square masonry tower. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. A Google satellite view shows the lighthouse. Located on a prominent cape about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the entrance to Campbell Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1227.1.
Indira Point (Pygmalion Point, Parsons Point)
1972. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 35 m (115 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white spiral stripes. A Coast Guard photo is at right, Lightphotos.net has an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Marking the southernmost point of Indian territory, this lighthouse is an important landmark for ships bound to or from the Strait of Malacca. The point of land, formerly called Parsons Point and later Pygmalion Point, was renamed Indira Point after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi made a visit to the light station. The tsunami of December 26, 2004, swept away all the structures of the station except the lighthouse. 16 people were killed, including the keepers and a number of scientists who happened to be visiting at the time. Geologists later estimated that the land in the area subsided 4.5 m (almost 15 ft) as a result of the earthquake that caused the tsunami; this subsidence left the lighthouse standing in the water. Nonetheless, the Indian Coast Guard succeeded in reactivating the lighthouse by the end of February 2005. When the light failed in 2007, the repair crew could not reach the tower from land, so they were lowered to the tower by helicopter (as seen at right). Now located just off the southern tip of Great Nicobar Island; the station is said to be accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS AND-007; Admiralty F1224; NGA 26424.
Indira Point Light
Indira Point Light, Great Nicobar, April 2007
Indian Coast Guard photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Myanmar (Burma) | South: Northern Sumatra

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Posted December 21, 2006. Checked and revised January 21, 2014. Lighthouses: 38. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.