Great Basses reef and the Little Basses reef are two rock formations on the south-east coast of Sri Lanka. Locals call these ‘Maha Ravana’ and Kuda Ravana’ reefs respectively. With Sri Lanka being on major shipping route connecting China with the rest of the world, and these rocks located 12-13 kilometers off the shore, the ancient sea fairers found navigating these rocks a formidable challenge and the large number of ships which have wrecked close to these rocks have made this area a popular diving attraction.
Both the lighthouses on these two rocks were designed by James Douglass and constructed by his brother William Douglass of the Imperial Lighthouse Service. The 34 metre high Great Basses was commissioned in 1873 and was made with massive stone blocks which were shipped from Scotland and England. The Small Basses Reef was completed five years later in 1878. Both these light houses survived the great tsunami of 2004 with only damages to the bases. These damages were repaired and the lighthouses were made operational again in 2007 with the aid from UK