Tharangambadi The Indian Town With Danish Legacy

Tharangambadi, a town that boasts Danish heritage, an ancient fort, historical landmarks, and a beautiful coastline, should be on your travel list
Cover Photo Credit Every Shutter Counts /
Cover Photo Credit Every Shutter Counts /

Tharangambadi, also known as Tranquebar, is a charming coastal town in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, India. This town has a rich history intertwined with Danish heritage, making it a great destination for travellers.

The town's historical significance can also be traced back to the 14th century when the Masilamani Nathar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, was constructed in 1306. This holy place was built on a piece of land that Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I gave. It is a testament to the remarkable architectural expertise of that time.

What To See

It was during the 17th century that Tharangambadi witnessed the arrival of Danish settlers. In 1620, construction began on the impressive Fort Dansborg, a Danish stronghold that still stands today as a testament to the town's colonial past. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department, the fort is an architectural marvel that showcases Danish influences. Visitors can explore its stone walls and mounted cannons. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the town's rich heritage by visiting the archaeological museum housed within the fort. The museum is open every day except for Fridays.

Tharangambadi also holds the distinction of being the place where the first printing press in India was established. In 1714, the New Testaments in Tamil were printed here, marking a significant milestone in the history of Indian literature. This pioneering achievement showcases the town's importance as a hub of intellectual and cultural exchange during that period.

For history enthusiasts, a walk through Tharangambadi is a journey through time. From the town gate, known as Landporten in Danish, visitors can explore King Street (Kongensgade), lined with colonial buildings, stucco walls, majestic churches, and carriage porches. This street has some noteworthy landmarks, such as Rehling's House, which used to belong to Danish governors and features a grand collonaded facade, and Van Theylingen House, where you can find a small maritime museum.

At the southern end of King Street lies the Zion Church, one of India's first Protestant churches. This architectural gem showcases a unique fusion of Indian and colonial styles. Across from Zion Church stands the New Jerusalem Church, which houses the mausoleum of Bartholom&aumlus Ziegenbalg, a German missionary who arrived in Tharangambadi in 1718.

The Masilamani Nathar Temple, built in 1305, can also be found on the beachfront at the southern end of Tranquebar.

Where To Stay

When it comes to accommodation, Tharangambadi offers options to suit various budgets and preferences. For those seeking affordable government accommodations, the official Tamil Nadu Government website can help with booking information. Alternatively, visitors can indulge in a luxurious stay at one of the three Neem Rana properties in Tranquebar The Bungalow On The Beach, The Gate House, and The Nayak House.

Where To Eat

For food enthusiasts, the Danish Port area has a variety of delicious options. There are many small restaurants in the area that serve both local and fusion cuisine, giving visitors a chance to savour the unique flavours of Tharangambadi while taking in the lovely coastal ambience.

Getting There

By Air Nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli and Chennai

By Road All the buses from Chennai to Velankanni on ECR go to Tharangambadi

By Train Nearest railway heads are Karaikal (13 km) and Mayiladuthurai (29 km)

Cover Photo Credit Every Shutter Counts /

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