Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Throwing some light

Of course you know all about Chennai's lighthouses. But I did not realize until quite recently that the lighthouse on the Marina is still called the Madras Lighthouse, making it one of the few institutions that have not - and hopefully never will - changed over to the Chennai nomenclature. 

It is not just this lighthouse. The stretch of lighthouses along the peninsula, from Kovilthottam in the Kollam district of Kerala on the west coast to the one at Pulicat just north of Chennai falls under the jurisdiction of what is called the Madras District. Says who, you ask? It is the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships, that's who. The Madras District is one of the four that are headed by a Deputy Director General; the others being Jamnagar, Kolkata and Headquarters. 

Kolkata district has had its name changed from the former Calcutta. So too has Bombay, changed to Mumbai. But then, neither of them has a lighthouse named after the city - and that should make Madras stay on for a long while!

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