Lighthouses of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is located at the north end of the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by India except for a short border with Myanmar (Burma) in the far southeast. The country was part of the British Empire of India until 1947. Bangladesh then comprised the eastern part of Pakistan until achieving its independence in 1971.

Chittagong, in the southeast, was the only deepwater port in the present territory of Bangladesh during British rule. There is a second, much smaller port at Mongla in the southwest. The British built only two traditional lighthouse stations in the country, Chittagong River (Norman's Point) and Kutubdia Island. Neither survive, although new towers have been built at both locations.

Coastal lighthouses in Bangladesh are operated by the Mercantile Marine Department of the Ministry of Shipping; harbor lights are maintained by the port authorities of Chittagong and Mongla. The Bengali word for a lighthouse is batighar.

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
Chittagong Port Authority Navigational Information
This page lists five of the lighthouses below with accurate geographical coordinates, making it possible to locate the lights on Google satellite images.
World of Lighthouses - Bangladesh
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

St. Martin's Island Light
St. Martin's Island Light, St. Martin's Island, December 2005
Panoramio photo copyright Shahriar Masood; permission requested

Chittagong Division Lighthouses
* St. Martin's Island (Narical Gingira)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); two white flashes every 30 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The upper fourth of the tower is enclosed by a red and white horizontally slatted daymark. Shahriar Masood's photo is above, Jim Traub has a distant photo, Salman Mahbub has a view of the island in which the lighthouse can be seen very distantly, the light is at the far left of Shahnoor Habib's sunset photo, and Bing has a satellite view. St. Martin's Island is located off the mouth of the Naf River at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The island has a permanent population of about 10,000, and the government is working to develop it as a tourist destination. Located near the northern end of the island; Mahbub has a map. Site probably open, tower closed. Operator: Bangladesh Ministry of Shipping. ARLHS BAN-006; Admiralty F1057; NGA 26752.
* Cox's Bazar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 15 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) structure, a short square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery centered on the roof of a 2-story concrete building. Lantern painted orange. Indranil Kishor's photo is at right, a small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. More information is needed on this station and its history. Located on the highest point of a ridge in Cox's Bazar about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the beach. Site status unknown, but probably one can view the lighthouse from nearby. Operator: Bangladesh Ministry of Shipping. ARLHS BAN-001; Admiralty F1056.4; NGA 26756.
Cox's Bazaar Light
Cox's Bazar Light, Cox's Bazar, June 2011
Flickr photo copyright Indranil Kishor; used by permission
* Kutubdia (Akbar Shah, Kutubdia Island) (2)
Date unknown (2004?) (station established 1846). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The top of the tower carries a red and white horizontally slatted daymark. The photo at right, published by a local newspaper, is believed to be by the Chittagong Port Authority. A Ministry of Shipping photo is at right, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse appears to be a twin of the St. Martin's Island lighthouse. The Admiralty first listed it in a Notice to Mariners in February 2005. The original masonry lighthouse had a height of about 34 m (111 ft) and a focal plane of 37 m (121 ft). It has gone to sea due to beach erosion, and some sources report that a portion of it remains visible at low tide. Kutubdia is an island about 30 km (19 mi) long, located just off the coast about 50 km (30 mi) south of Chittagong. It is fairly densely populated, with a permanent population of about 90,000. The lighthouse is located on the northwestern coast of the island. Site probably open, tower closed. Operator: Bangladesh Ministry of Shipping. ARLHS BAN-004; Admiralty F1054; NGA 26760.
* Norman's Point (Chittagong River) (4?)
Date unknown (around 2006?) (station established 1866). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The Chittagong Port Authority refers to the lighthouse as "new" and reports it has a range of 17 nautical miles, the same as the St.Martin's Island and Kutubdia lighthouses. NGA lists a much smaller tower with a focal plane of 12 m (39 ft) and a range of 12 nautical miles. This is consistent with descriptions around 1900 of a small brick tower on the point, but a 1920 light list gives a focal plane height of 18 m (55 ft). According to Findlay's 1879 list, the original light here was a "white beacon," and a second beacon was built 40 yards (37 m) to the west in 1878. These lights were intended to mark the best area for ships to anchor offshore. Located about 2 km (1.2 mi) south southeast of the point, the south side of the entrance to the Karnaphuli estuary and Chittagong harbor, the country's principal deepwater port. Operator: Chittagong Port Authority. Site probably open, tower closed. ARLHS BAN-005; Admiralty F1048; NGA 26764.
* Patenga
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); red flash every 10 s. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Bing has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Patenga is on the point of land at the west side of the entrance to the Karnaphuli estuary and Chittagong harbor, the country's principal deepwater port. The lighthouse was probably built near the tip of the point, but the land has been extended by fill on which the Bangladeshi Naval College has been built. This places the lighthouse just inside the estuary entrance on the east side of the college. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Chittagong Port Authority. Admiralty F1049; NGA 26792.
* Chittagong Outer Bar Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); green light, 5 s on, 2 s off. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower painted with black and white horizontal bands and carrying a white triangular daymark at the top. Tutu Saad has a photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront about 400 m (1/4 mi) northeast of the Patenga lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1050.41; NGA 26780.
Kutubdia Light
Kutubdia Light
Chittagong Port
Authority photo

Khulna Division (Mongla Approach) Lighthouses
Note: The Port of Mongla is about 130 km (81 mi) upstream from the Bay of Bengal on the Pusur (or Pusser) River, one of the many mouths of the Ganges. The modern port was established in 1954 to provide a port of entry for southwestern Bangladesh (then East Pakistan).
#Jefford Point (?)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2011, and probably demolished. This was a 36 m (118 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Jefford Point is named for Admiral James Jefford, a Royal Navy officer who served as Pakistan's first naval chief of staff. Located on the east side of the entrance to the Pusur River. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS BAN-003; Admiralty F1045; NGA 26836.
Hiron Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft) ; two white flashes every 20 s. 35 m (115 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower stands next to the Hiron Point Pilot Station. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Pusur River. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS BAN-002; Admiralty F1045.5; NGA 26840.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: South: Myanmar (Burma) | West: West Bengal

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Posted November 18, 2007. Checked and revised January 14, 2014. Lighthouses: 8. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.