Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse – කොලඹ ගල්බොක්ක ප්‍රදීපාගාරය

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Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse
Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse

Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse in Sri Lanka is operated and maintained by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. It is located at Galbokka Point south of the Colombo harbour on the waterfront along the marine drive, in Colombo fort. The Name “Galbokka” or “Gal Bokka” (rocky bay) was the name given to this rocky knoll by the fisherman in the old days. The British called it “Galle Buck” .

There has been a tombstone with a Arabic inscription at Galle Buck belonging to a santon which was held in great vernation by the moors of Colombo. The inscription recorded the death of a Arabian saint died in 948 AD. In 1815. This stone was serving as a door step of a house in Pettah as recorded in 1879 (Digby, 1879). This is considered the most ancient Mohammedan inscription on the island (Johnston, 1826).

The inscription reads ;

In the name of the Compassionate and Merciful God. There is no god but God. Muhammad is the prophet of God. May the Blessing and Peace of God be upon him. O God pardon, have mercy upon the and pass away from (the sins of) thy servant, the son of thy servant, Khalid Ibn Abu Bakaya (takaya or Nakaya) (who) has left the world and (who) was dependent on Thee; but Thou wast sufficient without him (who) has departed to Thee, and Thou art his best place of departure. O God, pardon his sin, and his piety may remain and grant him his last (reward) and that he may be justified. And Protect Thou and multiply favor and security to him. And may He (God) appoint our excellent prophet supreme that he may afford to us and show us the truth clearly; for he has admonished with the established word and his decision has obtained, and his resistance is (as) the depth (lake) of reproach. Amen! Lord of the Worlds!

It was written on the second day (of the week) five nights taken out of (the month) Rajab (5th of Rajab) in the year 337 (Hijra). And in the vicinity he completed a security for religion with (other) conveniences in the year 317 (Hijra). May God Give Blessings and Peace upon his Prophet Muhammad. (Lee, 1826)

This rock had been destroyed for its in late 19th century and a 1886 report states the the site at Galle Buck been levelled by removing 26,368 tons of granite and 66,726 cubic yards of earth (Forrest, 1886).

The lighthouse was built in 1952 with a height of 15 meters (Sailing Directions (Enroute) for India and the Bay of Bengal, 1989) after the Old Colombo Lighthouse was deactivated when its light became obscured by nearby buildings. The seaward side of the tower is painted in a black and white checkered pattern.

References

  1. 2005. Sailing Directions (Enroute) India & Bay of Bengal. 8th ed. Annapolis: Lighthouse Press, p.78.
  2. Forrest, J., 1886. Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Vol LXXXVII. London: Institution of Civil Engineers, pp.77-79.
  3. DIGBY, W., 1879. Forty Years of Official and Unofficial Life in an Oriental Crown Colony: being the life of Sir Richard F. Morgan, etc- Vol 1. Madras: Madras, Higginbotham & Co : London, Longmans, Green & Co., p.240.
  4. Lee, S. (1826). A Cufic Inscription Found in Ceylon. Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1(2), 545–548. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25581728
  5. Johnston, A. (1826). A Letter to the Secretary Relating to the Preceding Inscription. Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1(2), 537–548. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25581729

Also See

Map of  Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse

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Travel Directions to Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse

Route from Colombo to Colombo Galbokka Lighthouse

distance : 1.8 km
Travel time : 5 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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