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Kannur Lighthouse Museum Travel Guide


Kannur Lighthouse and Museum is situated near the Payyambalam beach, a few kilometers from Kannur Town. It is located close to the Government Guest House and Sea View Park. It is the fourth largest lighthouse in Kerala and the second largest light house museum in Kerala. Painted in Red and White colours, The Kannur lighthouse is active still now and looks towards the Arabian Sea. This is also referred as Cannanore Lighthouse. Cannanore was the old name of Kannur.


kannur lighthouse musuem travel guide entrance
Entrance of Kannur Lighthouse Museum. Photo: Anil Kumar

The Kannur Lighthouse Museum is only 3 Kilometers (1.8 Miles) away from Kannur Town. To reach the Lighthouse you can either use your vehicle, walk, or hire a taxi. Public transport may not be always available in this area.


A 360 Degree View of the Lighthouse.

Kannur Lighthouse Museum Route Map

The Kannur Lighthouse Museum is located at a distance of  3 km from Kannur. The nearest national highway is at Taliparamba is National Highway 66 which connects Goa and Mumbai in the north and Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram in the South. When Driving from Kannur, The shortest route (3 km) is Kannur- Fort Road – Prabhath Junction – Burnacherry – Lighthouse Museum.  The nearest Railway station is Kannur Railway Station (CAN). The nearest Airports are  Calicut International Airport (CCJ) (118 km) and  Mangalore International Airport (IXE) (152 km). It is recommended to make use of your own vehicles or a taxi to reach the destination. Parking space is provided near the Lighthouse Museum.

kannur lighthouse musuem travel guide walkway
Walkway from Parking area to Lighthouse Photo: Anil Kumar

Kannur Lighthouse Museum History

During the 15th century, when the Zamoorin ruled Kannur, It was a major port city in southern India. The Kannur harbor had trade links with the ports of Madras, Colombo, Tuticorin, Alappuzha, Mangalore, Mumbai and Karachi.

A Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama landed at the Kappad  in 1498 at Kozhikode ( almost 80 km away from Kannur) . In early 16th Century, The Portuguese built the St Angelo Fort at Kannur. After almost two centuries the region came under the control of the British Empire and they established a cantonment in Kannur in the nineteenth century.


kannur lighthouse museum lamp display
An Old Lamp is kept outside for diaplay. Photo: Anil Kumar

The first Light house in Kannur was constructed by the British in 1843 at Mappila Bay near Kannur. This was to assist the ships in the Arabian Sea. An oil wick lamp was used to produce the light. The lamp was only lit when the climate was fair. After this, seven other lighthouses too were built. But All of them are no more. Several enhancements were made to the lighthouse in course of time. In 1939, the source of light was shifted to a steel pole 16 meters high at the northern side of the fort. This steel pole still exists there. In 1948 the system was replaced by a flashing light which uses Dissolved Acetylene gas as fuel. This light was functional till the present lighthouse was constructed. The Present lighthouse have a height of 23 meters and was constructed in 1976. This lighthouse is useful for the numerous fishing boats in Kannur.

Kannur Lighthouse Museum Attractions

The Lighthouse museum was opened in September 2015. It is functioning in a new building. The Directorate of Light houses & Lightships, Ministry of Shipping, Govt of India maintains the Kannur Lighthouse and Museum.  If you reach there in the evening, you can enjoy sunset and beauty of the sea. The light house museum will be a great way to get knowledge about the marine equipments.

A 360 Degree View of sea near the Lighthouse afternoon.

The museum displays various lights, lenses and techniques used for helping sailors, from different parts India and Lakshadweep. From the olden time when the lights was shown by burning fire from  hills to now, the museum exhibits a history and the transformation from the old light houses to the modern light systems. They have set up a five-ton equipment for display which was used in Kutch Strait in Gujarat. The Museum displays rare lights and lenses that have used since 1890. Another interesting feature of this museum is the Mini Theater. People can sit and watch a short film showing  history of the lighthouse. The main attraction of the museum is the large optic lens used in Minicoy from 1885 to 1962.  From 1962 to 1975 it was in Nagapattanam.

In the cold season, Lighthouse may not be visible always, In such situations a huge bell was used to help the sailors using sound. A model of it is also displayed here. An optical lens weighing more than 6 tonnes also has been placed at the museum. The lamps used in lighthouses at various parts of the country are displayed here. The museum displays lamps operated on oil at Kutch coast in 1890. The model of different types of ships and vessels will be an amazing experience for a visitor.

spiral staircase at-kannur lighthouse
Spiral Staircase inside the Lighthouse Photo: Anjana V

The Kannur Lighthouse and Museum will be open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm. (Monday holiday). There is a nominal fees to enter the Lighthouse and museum. You can go to the top of the Lighthouse through the spiral staircase and enjoy the view of the Arabian Sea from there.


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