False Point lighthouse “Batighara”, Kendrapada-The first lighthouse on the east coast of India , Odisha
False Point Fort : the first modern port of Odisha:-
False Point is a low headland in the Bay of Bengal. It is located in the Kendrapara district of Orissa , This is present in the front of Batighar, It was the first modern port of Odisha coastline. At the mouth of river Mahanadi & Jamboo, The point derives its name from the circumstance that vessels proceeding up the Bay of Bengal frequently mistook it for Point Palmyras, less than a degree farther north. A lighthouse is situated 2 km inland from the point, at a place which screens it from the southern monsoon .
False Point Port was commissioned in the year 1855 and was in working condition till 22nd October 1924. A devastating storm on 22nd September 1885 completely destroyed this port. There was a submerged ship in the nearby sea, which is the reminiscent of the past glory.
Kendrapara was the trade hub of the ancient Kalinga :
Kendrapra District has got many names from its origin time. The District was nemed as Tulasi, Kshetra, Gupta Kshetra, Brahma Kshetra and Kendrapalli in the pages of the mythological texts and purans. The District owes its name from the death of one mythical demon named “Kandarasura” who was killed by Lord Baladev, the elder brother of Lord Jagannath. The presiding deity, Lord Baladev Jew is being worshipped in picturesque temple at Kendrapara.
History says that once upon a time Kendrapara was the trade hub of the ancient Kalinga. It is the first municipality of Odisha during the British Raj. The trade of False Point was chiefly with other Indian harbors, but a large export trade in rice and oil-seeds sprung up with Mauritius, the French colonies and France .
Details of False Point lighthouse “Batighara” :-
The lighthouse is situated on a large island created by the Mahanadi river delta. It takes its name from the fact that it was often mistaken by ships for Point Palmyras (Palmyras is a sort of palm), which lies one degree farther north. Point Palmyras was the spot from where the ships moved towards the Ganga. In fact, many incoming ships used to take sailors from the town of Balasore as guides because they were considered well versed in navigating the tricky mouth of the river.
This is the first lighthouse installed in eastern coast of India. The stones used were transported from Barabati Fort, Cuttack It is around 45 KM from District HQ. It is situated in a village named Batighar, on the other bank of river Kharinasi. It is surrounded with pleasant natural beauty. Once upon a time, this was known as Kaudia Dwip and used as hunting ground of Kujanga Kings.
Construction of this lighthouse was started on 6th December, 1836 and it was lighted on 16th October 1837. The stones used were transported from Barabati Fort, Cuttack. The height is 125 feet, foundation wall is 15 feet thick. The diameter at land level is 10 feet. To reach the top, 138 steps made of cement concrete and a 16-step ladder are there. The speciality of this lighthouse is that it is operational from the date of its lighting and presently it is managed by Calcutta Light House.A plaque at the lighthouse informs that the first light was exhibite3d on 1stMarch 1838 by H. Righly, 2nd Lieut., Executive Engineer
Next to the boundary wall of the lighthouse is a small cluster of graves. These are the graves of the English superintendents of the lighthouse, their assistants and the families. Inscription on a grave reminds us of Capt. H.A. Harris, the Conservator of Odisha Ports who died by drowning in May 1877.
About an hour’s further boat ride lies the island of Hukitola. Near the island are visible the remains of a sunken ship. The ship is believed to be a French ship ‘Velleda’. John Beames, who served as Collector of Cuttack from 1875 to 1878 and later as Collector of Balasore district from 1869 to 1873 has, in his autobiography, Memoirs of a Bengal Civilian, described this ship.
How to Reach False Point Port :
- By Road / Bus :-One can reach at False Point Port via Jambu. You can take taxi from elsewhere to reach at Jambu. It is 40 Km away from Kendrapara town. Then by boat you can reach at the historic place, False Point Port. It takes a two-hour boat from Paradip Port, on the eastern coast of Orissa, to reach the place.
- By Train :- Nearest Railway Station is Cuttack.
- By Air : Nearest Airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport.
What is the Best time to visit :-
- All seasons of Year .