The port town of Veraval is one of the important centres of fisheries in India and biggest in Gujarat.All aspects of Fisheries such as Fishing, treatment & freezing, canning, export, R & D Institution, Boat building, etc-all located around this town. Veraval is connected by coastal high way as well as Rail network. About 5 km from the town is situated the famous Somnath Mahadev temple in Prabhas Patan, rebuilt in 1950’s on the ruins of ancient temple site. Prabhas Patan was a flourishing port in the ancient period.
Prior to independence Veraval was part of the princely state of Junagadh ruled by the Babi Nawabs since 1748.The port at Veraval was developed during the 18th century. Special facilities were provided at Veraval for Haj pilgrims sailing to Mecca.The vessels from here sailed to Ceylon, Arabia and ports on Indian coast-Mangalore, Malabar, Bombay and Karachi. In early part of the 20th century, a regular passenger cum cargo steamer service from here to Bombay was also introduced.
In the 1860’s an ordinary wick lamp used to be hoisted from a flag mast. During the same period construction of a 14m high tower, octagonal in shape was taken up in the port premises at the root of break water. It was completed in 1865 when the wick lamp was shifted on to the new tower. In the year 1876, alterations were carried out and a 4th order optical equipment supplied by M/s. Chance Bros., Birmingham was installed in place of the old equipment. The new illuminant consisted of large diameter single wick
oil burner; special mirrors were placed at the back of the apparatus for the reflection of the light.
In February 1927 Mr D. Alan Stevenson, the lighthouse expert visited the light house and recommended for shifting of lighthouse to another site. In 1935 modifications in the same lighthouse were carried out and an occulting light equipment was installed in place of the fixed wick lamp. And a fixed Red light was also provided on the nearby Bhirria Beacon.
When overall development and modernization of lights on Indian coast line was planned during 1950’s it was decided to construct a new tower outside the port area. Accordingly the construction of the present Lighthouse about 2.5 km west of the port was taken up during 1964. It was completed in late 1965. A baffle wall for fixing electrically operated sound vibrators with horns was also constructed along with and by the side of the Lighthouse Tower.
A special two tier lantern house to accommodate most powerful occulting light equipment, supplied by M/s. BBT, Paris, was installed on the tower. Two 110V, 3500W lamps inside two 1000 mm drum optics one on each tier, were installed. The occulting operation of the light was regulated by an electrical coding motor.
The fog signal equipments also supplied by B.B.T. Paris were installed on the RCC baffle wall. The entire Lighthouse complex was inaugurated and equipments commissioned into service on 1st July 1967. The old Lighthouse inside Port area was discontinued. The fog signal service was discontinued in 1987 and the baffle was dismantled.
A Decca chain system (imported from U.K.) station was also established at Chhatroda about 6 km North West of Veraval Lighthouse. The hyperbolic position fixing Decca equipments were commissioned into service on 22nd February 1962. The Veraval Decca station was known as ‘Green’ station. Later the system was replaced by Loran ‘C’ system in March 1992.
Under the scheme of ‘Save energy’ the gigantic light source of 3500W lamps were withdrawn and a cluster of three 500W Halogen lamps with electronic controls (Dhoomketu) was installed in one of the optics placed in the upper tier. It was commissioned on 22nd May 1996. The light source in the lower tier was discontinued.