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 recently 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 (বাতিঘর)
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
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
St. Martin's Island Light, St. Martin's Island, December 2005
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 an orange lantern centered on the roof of a 2-story building. 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; the nature of the building is not known. 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 Bazar Light, Cox's Bazar, June 2011
Flickr photo copyright Indranil Kishor; used by permission
- * Kutubdia (Akbar Shah, Kutubdia Island)
- 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. 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
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). The reports are
that it has gone to sea due to beach erosion, and 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)
- 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 good 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. Tutu Saad has a photo,
and Bing has a satellite
view in which the narrow shadow of the tower can be seen. 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
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); green light, 5 s on, 2
s off. 20 m (66 ft) steel post light, painted with black and white horizontal
bands and carrying a white triangular daymark at the top. A photo is
available. Located on the waterfront about 400 m (1/4 mi) northeast of the
Patenga lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty
F1050.41; NGA 26780.
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. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); two white flashes
every 20 s. 36 m (118 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but
Google has a 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 a 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
Return to the Lighthouse Directory index
| Ratings key
Posted November 18, 2007. Checked and revised November 8, 2012.
Lighthouses: 7. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.