Lighthouses of Indonesia: Southeastern Sumatra

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. Unfortunately, it's difficult to know how many of these aids can be considered lighthouses. Information about them is scarce and photos are even scarcer. Official light lists contain dozens of entries for "framework towers" and "white beacons," providing little guidance for the lighthouse fan.

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. This page includes lighthouses of the southeastern coast and Sunda Strait including the provinces of Jambi, South Sumatra, and Lampung.

This page is probably not complete. Listed here are towers at locations known to be historic Dutch light stations, plus some additional sites at which there is some evidence for a lighthouse. Added to this is an appeal for more information and photos; if you know about lighthouses in Indonesia, please share that knowledge.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, pulau is an island, selat is a strait, and teluk is a harbor.

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Sea Transportation.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume Q of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Lighthouses in Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia; most of the photos are historic.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Indonesia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore - Maps
Nautical charts posted by the National Archives of Singapore.

Tanjung Cukuhbalambing (Vlakken Hoek) Light, August 2016
Google plus photo by hasan s

Jambi Province Lighthouses

East Tanjung Jabung Regency (Southern Berhala Strait) Lighthouses
Note: The Berhala Strait separates Sumatra from the southern Riau Islands southwest of Singapore. The strait is generally 25-40 km (15-25 mi) wide.
Kuala Niur Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) white tower on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Jambi River and the small port of Niur, at the south end of the Berhala Strait. Located in mid river opposite the town. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q0973; NGA 22744.
Kuala Niur Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located in the forest on the east side of the Jambi River. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0973.1; NGA 22748.
Pulau Berhala (2)
Around 2012. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 5 s on, 10 s off. 21 m (69 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Muizzuddin Lingga's photo is at right, Muhammad Yani has a 2012 photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. A 2010 photo shows the earlier lighthouse, a square pyramidal skeletal tower. Pulau Berhala is a small island in the middle of the Berhala Strait, which separates the Linga Islands from the Sumatran mainland. Note: There is another Pulau Berhala off northern Sumatra, and another off the coast of Sabah in East Malaysia. For many years, jurisdiction over this Pulau Berhala was in dispute between Jambi and the Riau Islands province; this dispute was resolved in Jambi's favor in 2011. Located on an islet a few miles east northeast of Pulau Berhala. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-111; Admiralty Q0976; NGA 22728.
Selat Berhala (Berhala Strait, Tanjung Jabung)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); three white flashes every 14 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Four 1-story coast guard buildings. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on Tanjung Jabung, the mainland cape on the south side of the entrance to Berhala Strait, which separates Pulau Singkap from the mainland near the southern end of Riau Province. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-273; Admiralty Q0975; NGA 22726.

Pulau Berhala Light, Berhala Strait, September 2010
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Muizzuddin Lingga

Sumatera Selatan (South Sumatra) Province

Note: The Bangka Strait separates Sumatra from the island of Bangka. Lighthouses on the east side of the strait are described on the Bangka and Belitung page.
Banyuasin Regency Lighthouse
Tanjung Kampeh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) "white beacon" on a platform supported by piles. No photo available; a fuzzy spot in Bing's satellite view probably locates the lighthouse. Located on a cape at the northern entrance to the Bangka Strait, which separates Sumatra from Bangka. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0931; NGA 22752.

Ogan Komering Ilir Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Tapa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); green flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) green beacon. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located off a prominent cape about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Tanjung Kampeh. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q0991; NGA 22884.
Pulau Maspari (Lucipara)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 48 m (157 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Arwin Novansyah has the view from a nearby village and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse guides vessels approaching the southern entrance to the Bangka Strait. It is often grouped with the Bangka lighthouses, but the island is in South Sumatra province. Located on a small island about 13 km (8 mi) off the Sumatran coast at the southern entrance to the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-024; Admiralty Q0983; NGA 22916.
Tanjung Menjangan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) "white beacon" on a platform supported by piles. No photo available and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 5 km (3 mi) off a low cape and about 50 km (30 mi) south of Pulau Maspari. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1045.7; NGA 22383.5.

Lampung Province Lighthouses

East Lampung Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Bungin
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) "white beacon" on a platform supported by piles. No photo available and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 16 km (10 mi) off the Sumatran coast roughly halfway between Pulau Maspari and the entrance to the Sunda Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1045.5; NGA 22383.
Pulau Segama
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 5 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo is at right and Bing has a distant satellite view. This lighthouse guides vessels approaching the northern entrance to Sunda Strait. Located on a small island about 30 km (19 mi) off the Sumatran coast and 80 km (50 mi) north of the entrance to the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-246; Admiralty Q1043; NGA 23380.
* Maringgai
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round white tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. NGA misspells the name as Maginggai. Located on the waterfront just north of the harbor at Maringgai, a fishing port in southeast East Lampung Regency. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q0929.6; NGA 23015.

South Lampung Regency (Sunda Strait) Lighthouses
Note: The Sunda Strait, separating Sumatra from Java, is the most important passage through the islands of Indonesia. The strait is a broad bay at its southwestern entrance from the Indian Ocean, but it narrows to a minimum width of 24 km (15 mi) at its northeastern entrance from the Java Sea. Lighthouses on the east side of the strait are described on the Southwestern Java page.
Pulau Mundu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island just off the coast about 8 km (5 mi) north of Ketapang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0929.5; NGA 23014.
Pulau Segama Light
Pulau Segama Light, Java Sea, June 2004
photo copyright Indonesia Sea Turtle Foundation
permission requested
Tanjung Tua
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Tantri Cutte has a view from the sea, Robi Saputra has a 2016 street view taken in the base of the tower, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This lighthouse is at the southeastern corner of Sumatra and marks the west side of the northern entrance to Sunda Strait. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-331; Admiralty Q0927; NGA 23016.
Pulau Sebuku (Ujung Cukubanding, Cukuh Banding)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) (?) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Google has a satellite view of the station. The tower looks taller than 10 m in the satellite view. Located on the north point of Sebuku, an island at the east side of the mouth of the bay of Panjang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0926; NGA 23024.
Panjang (Koeala, Bandar Lampung)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (134 ft); red light, 2 s on, 3 s off. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square white skeletal tower with gallery. Google has a street view and a fuzzy satellite view. Bandar Lampung is a city of 1.2 million residents, the provincial capital and the metropolis of southeastern Sumatra. The city is built at the head of Panjang Bay. Located in the industrial Panjang harbor at the southeastern edge of the city. Site and tower closed. Admiralty Q0922; NGA 23044.
Kunyit (Kunjit, Teluk Lampung)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 3 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square white skeletal tower with gallery. Lina Pesisir has a closeup photo, another photo is available, Malik Ismail has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located behind the waterfront in Bandar Lampung. Site open (but not in a good neighborhood), tower closed. Admiralty Q0920.5; NGA 23052.
Serdang (Pulau Serdang)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Fajri Gitu has a view from the sea and a second view showing the lower portion of the tower and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is on an island on the west side of the Sunda Strait in the mouth of the bay of Panjang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-276; Admiralty Q0926.5; NGA 23020.
Ujung Cukucimanuk (Pulau Cimanuk)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two white flashes every 7 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower painted white. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a tombolo (an island connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus) on the east side of the bay of Panjang. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0923.5; NGA 23036.
Maitem (Pulau Maitem)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 8 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Part of Eka Bond's photo is at right and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of an island projecting into the west side of the bay of Panjang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0923.2; NGA 23064.
Pulau Rakata (Krakatau)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) round white fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located in the middle of the Sunda Strait, Krakatau (Krakatoa) is a famous volcano that exploded catastrophically on 27 August 1883, killing more than 36,000 people. A group of islands, remnants of the explosion, surround the caldera of the volcano, Pulau Rakata on the southeast side being the largest. The light is just off the southeast coast of Pulau Rakata. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0927.5; NGA 23022.

Pulau Maitem Light, Bay of Panjang, September 2016
Google Plus photo by Eka Bond

West Lampung Regency (Indian Ocean) Lighthouses
Tanjung Cukuhbalambing (Vlakken Hoek, Balimbing, Belimbing)
1880. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 58 m (190 ft) 16-sided cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 2016 closeup is at the top of this page, Arif Prasetyo has a closeup photo (2nd photo on the page), Lightphotos.net has a nice view and second view by Mikhail Tsyganov, the Rijksmuseum has a scale model, and Bing has a good satellite view of the station. Endangered; Prasetyo visited in early 2011 and found the lighthouse to be in "fragile" condition. A September 2018 photo shows some repair work in progress. Prefabricated at The Hague by Enthoven and Co., this historic lighthouse marks the southern point of Sumatra; it is a landfall light for eastbound ships approaching the Sunda Strait. The tsunami waves created by the eruption of Krakatoa in August 1883 damaged the first floor of the lighthouse and destroyed the keeper's house and other station buildings. The light station is now included in the Tambling National Park. Located on the point of the cape near Balimbing. Site status unknown, but there is road access to the area. ARLHS IDO-082; Admiralty Q0914; NGA 23076.
Pulau Batu Kecil
2007. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 6 s. 40 m (131 ft) square pyramidal skeletal with lantern and gallery mounted on a 2-story coast guard station building. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available but Bing has a good satellite view. This is a landfall light for the Sunda Strait, replacing the Vlakken Hoek lighthouse in that function. Located on a small island about 13 km (8 mi) west of Vlakken Hoek. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0913; NGA 23077.
Ujung Cukubatuberagam
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a hook-shaped promontory about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of the historic Vlakken Hoek lighthouse. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0911; NGA 23086.
Ujung Walor (Walur)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); continuous white light. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Several 1-story coast guard station buildings. Google has a satellite view and a street view through the forest. Located on a promontory near Krui. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-353; Admiralty Q0910; NGA 23088.
Krui (Tanjung Salobu)
1904 (?). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. A distant view is available but the tower is not conspicuous in Google's satellite view of the location. It seems likely that the present tower is the original. Krui is popular with surfers and has a number of resorts. Located on a steep bluff near Krui. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-151; Admiralty Q0906; NGA 23092.
Pulau Pisang (Teluk Krui)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); one long white flash every 15 s. 31 m (102 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Apri Yansa's photo is at right, Said Ardi has a 2018 photo, Egi Ramdhani has a closeup, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island about 15 km (9 mi) northwest of Krui. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q0904; NGA 23096.

Pulau Pisang Light, Krui, June 2018
Google Plus photo by Apri Yansa

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Sumatra | Northeast: Riau Islands | East: Bangka and Belitung | Southeast: Southwestern Java | Northwest: Southwestern Sumatra

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Posted April 13, 2006. Checked and revised February 22, 2019. Lighthouses: 26. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.