A VIEW FROM THE TOP
The Marina Lighthouse Is Open For Viewing; And It Will Also Be Part Of A New Weather Warning System
Friday, 15 November, 2013
What can a child get for 5? The paltry sum may not be enough for a square meal, but it can help kids in the city get a panoramic view of Namma Chennai from 46 metres above the ground — atop the lighthouse on the Marina.
While entry on Thursday, when the lighthouse was thrown open to the general public after 22 years, was free, children will henceforth be charged 5 and adults 10.
The lighthouse was closed for visitors in 1991 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This robbed city residents and tourists the high of experiencing the scenic beauty of the Marina from atop the structure.
Many are happy they have been restored the right to climb up the lighthouse. “This view is a catharsis,” exclaimed Hamsa Nandhini, a 22-year-old software professional who works for an IT major near Tambaram. She had to battle the rush-hour crowd in a suburban train when she left home for the Marina.
“I waited for this moment after I came to know the light house would be thrown open to public. But it was worth the trouble,” she said.
Each of the others, jostling for space atop the tower, had a different view of their first sight from the top. “I’ve been to the Marina a couple of times, but I’ve never observed its pristine and simplistic beauty like this,” beamed Aniruddh, 25, who works in a call centre in Thoraipakkam. “At 46 metres above the ground, you realise how small we really are when seen from the top,” he said.
For the scores of children assembled atop the tower, the primary emotion was unalloyed joy. “I’ll tell my English teacher I went to the lighthouse on the first day!” said Murali V, a class 2 student of a city school. Further down the corridor, starry-eyed boys and girls took turns to peep out of the iron grille. Their jaws broadened, and the smile came back on their faces with a gasp. Some were amazed, many looked surprised. Almost all of them seemed pleased.
SHINING BRIGHT: The lighthouse on Marina Beach was opened to the public after more then two decades. Children thronged the structure on Thursday evening (left); people are allowed to climb the tower in batches of 30
Source / Courtesy: Manish Raj | TNN | Times of India