Indonesia has been independent since 1945 after having been the Dutch East Indies for more than 350 years. It is a huge country, stretching along both sides of the Equator for more than 46 degrees of longitude (roughly 5100 km or 3200 miles). Comprised of some 17,000 islands (more than 6000 inhabited islands), it has hundreds of major aids to navigation.
Sumatra (or, as Indonesians prefer, Sumatera) is the world's sixth largest island and the westernmost of the major islands of Indonesia. It is separated from Malaysia to the north by the Malacca Strait, from Borneo to the northeast by the broad Karimata Strait, and from Java to the southeast by the Sunda Strait. Its south coast faces the open Indian Ocean.
The Mentawai Islands are a chain of islands lying about 150 km (90 mi) off the coast of West Sumatra province and included in that province. Lightly populated, the islands are best known to surfers. From south to north the four major islands are South Pagai, North Pagai, Sipura, and Siberut.
The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar or (in two words) mercu suar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, bukit is a hill, pulau is an island, selat is a strait, karang is a reef, sungai is a river or estuary, teluk is a bay or harbor, and pelabuhan is a port.
Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Marine Navigation (Direktorat Jenderal Navigasi Laut).
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volumes F and Q of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.
Pelabuhan Tua Pejat Light, Tua Pejat, Pulau Sipura, June 2012
ex-Google Plus photo by Kawi Boedisetio
Sunset at Sioban Light, Pulau Sipura, January 2005
photo copyright bobbymbot; permission requested
Tua Pejat Light, Tua Pejat, May 2016
Google Maps photo by Kawi Boedisetio
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Southwestern Sumatra
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Posted April 13, 2006. Checked and revised February 10, 2021. Lighthouses: 22. Site copyright 2021 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.