Photographer: D'Cruz, Zachariah
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of the Alleppey Light House, in the erstwhile Travancore State. It is one of 76 prints in an album entitled 'Album of South Indian Views' of the Curzon Collection. George Nathaniel Curzon was Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office between 1895-98 and Viceroy of India between 1898-1905. The town of Alleppey owes its origin to Raja Kesava Das, the illustrious Dewan in the latter part of the 18th c. Often called the 'Venice of Travancore', it is almost surrounded by sea and backwaters and the many canals that intersect the town, carrying 'vallams' or country-craft laden with merchandise. The port was opened in 1762, when Kesava Das built three ships for trade with Calcutta and Bombay and was chosen because the oily-muddy bank sustains itself even in the height of monsoon. It has a pier 773 feet long and 21 feet broad fitted with two steam cranes and two hand cranes for handling cargo. A lighthouse was constructed for the convenience of mariners in 1862 by Captain Hugh Crawford.