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Name: Great Basses Light   Map it!

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Nearest Town or City:
Palatupana, , Sri Lanka

Location: Near the south end of the Great Basses reef, off the SE coast of Sri Lanka.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Örnulf Borgman

Managing Organization:
Sri Lanka Ports Authority


The Basses (derived from the Portuguese word "baxos," meaning shoals) are a line of reefs off the SE coast of Sri Lanka. Both the Little Basses and Great Basses lighthouses were designed by James Douglass and constructed by his brother William Douglass of the Imperial Lighthouse Service. Each of the two is said to have received a hyperradial lens in 1888. The lighthouses were rehabilitated in the late 1990s, but they suffered some damage from the December 2004 tsunami, mainly to the lighting equipment. In December 2005, the English and Scottish lighthouse authorities - Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board - announced that, in agreement with the Sri Lanka government, they had undertaken to repair the damage and launched a joint campaign to collect private funds for that purpose.

Tower Height: 127

Height of Focal Plane: 110

Characteristic and Range: White flash every 15 seconds; range 25 nautical miles.

Description of Tower: White conical granite tower.

This light is operational

Date Established: 1873

Date Present Tower Built: 1873

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No.

Diving excursions to the reefs are available from Colombo and can be arranged from such places as Kirinda and Yala on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka. The diving season in this area is from November to April.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Keepers: Mohamed Zarook (1969-1971), J. P. Padmasiri (c. 2000), B. K. Rahuman (assistant, c. 2000)

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