Great Basses Reef Lighthouse

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Great Basses Reef Lighthouse
Location South of Sri Lanka
Coordinates 6°11′N 81°29′E / 6.183°N 81.483°E / 6.183; 81.483Coordinates: 6°11′N 81°29′E / 6.183°N 81.483°E / 6.183; 81.483
Year first constructed 1873
Year first lit March 10, 1873 (1873-03-10)
Automated n/a
Construction Scottish granite
Tower shape Round tower
Markings / pattern White
Height 37 m
Range 34 m
Characteristic white flash every 15 s

Great Basses Reef Lighthouse is an offshore lighthouse in the south of Sri Lanka, and it is operated and maintained by the Sri Lanka Navy. It is located on a reef 13 km off the coast of Yala National Park, near Little Basses Reef Lighthouse. It is accessible only by boat. The two Basses lighthouses, 'Great' and 'Little', are among the most famous offshore lighthouses of Asia.

The lighthouse was designed by Alexander Gordon and Sir James Nicholas Douglass in 1867. Each block weighs 2 to 3 tons.[1] It withstood the force of the tsunami with only modest damage; it was repaired with assistance from the UK lighthouse authorities Trinity House and The Northern Lighthouse Board.

The reef is the site of the Great Basses wreck, an early 18th-century wreck of an Indian ship, carrying a treasure of silver rupees, that was discovered by Arthur C. Clarke and Mike Wilson in 1961.


  1. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1974). The treasure of the Great Reef (1st revised ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0345238451.