Chapel Hill Lighthouse (Trincomalee Bay)

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Trincomalee is a natural harbor which has been one of the main shipping ports since the ancient times. With the invasion of the European empires, this harbor was moved hand to hand and finally to the British. Today  Trincomalee is renowned for unexploited fine beaches and is one of the main tourist destinations.

There are three lighthouses in Trincomalee. They are Chapel Hill Lighthouse, Round Island Lighthouse, and Foul Point Lighthouse. The Chapel Hill lighthouse lies on the North of the Trincomalee harbour. This lighthouse is currently operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Its focal plane is 111 m (364 ft) with a white flash every 10 s.

This lighthouse has been formerly described by NGA as a “white structure on building.” No photo is available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. There is a tall communications tower adjacent to the light. An Indian Notice to Mariners reported this light was deactivated in September 2016 but it was probably inactive for some time before that. Located at Manayaveli, on the heights on the north side of the entrance to the harbor of Trincomalee. (Rowlett, 2006)

The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, ARLHS.COM has a listing of this lighthouse since 2006. However, no historical document could be found of a lighthouse been existed at Chapel Hills. The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1864 provide directions to enter the Trincomalee harbor but mention only 2 lighthouses, Foul Point and Round Island. However, Chapel Hill is mentioned as a landmark but does not mention any lighthouse at the location. None of the Nautical magazines starting from the 1800s note Chapel Hill in Trincomalee having a lighthouse but includes all other lighthouses of the country. Therefore whether this hill ever had a lighthouse is doubtful.


  1. Rowlett, R., 2006. Lighthouses of Sri Lanka. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2022].
  2. 2006. Chapel Hill (Trincomalee Bay) Light – ARLHS SLI-004. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2022].
  3. 1864?. The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1864. London: Simpkin Marshall and Co, J.D Potter, p.218.
  4. 1989. Sailing Directions (Enroute) for India anf the Bay of Bengal. 4th ed. Defence Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center, p.121.

Also See

Map of  Chapel Hill Lighthouse

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Chapel Hill Lighthouse

Route from Colombo to Trincomalee (Chapel Hill Lighthouse) Route from Kandy to Trincomalee (Chapel Hill Lighthouse)
Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Dambulla
distance : 266 km
Travel time : 6-7 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Katugasthota – Matale – Dambulla
distance : 185 km
Travel time : 3.5-4 hours
Driving directions : see on google map


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