Tharagambadi Beach or otherwise Tranquebar, is a place which has been forgotten to be touched and is still known for its tranquillity. The destination is a heaven for those who tend to forget themselves when it comes to history.
A tiny beach town which has a history dating back to the 14th century, it all began with the construction of the Masilamani Nathar Temple dedicated to Shiva in 1306. In 1620, the Dutch arrived and struck a deal with the local king and built a fort to start a bilateral trade. The fort can be still seen standing on the beach of Tranquebar.
In and around the town, one could see mixes of the Danish, British, German and French colonies who made Tranquebar their home. The town was badly hit by the Tsunami of 2004, one can find small museums in the city run by individuals dedicated to the memory.
Tranquebar is the only place in India, which had a military and historical connection with the Dutch. It holds the record for having the world's second largest Danish fort and the only Ozone-rich beach in India and second across the globe.
It is believed to be the place where Bartholomaus Zeigenbaig translated the Old and New Testaments into Tamil and imported a printing press to publish the New Testament in Tamil.
Best Time To Visit
December to April is the best time to visit when the weather is pleasant and favourable.
Places To Visit
1. Danish Fort
The fort was built in 1620 AD by the Danish Navy Commander, Ove Geddes under the then King, Raghunatha Nayaka. The fort is right on the beach and houses a museum with original trade treaties made between the King of Denmark and King of Tanjore.
During excavations, things like smoking pipes, bones of a whale, sculpture of Sun god and earthen kitchenwares were found.
2. Masilamani Nathar Temple
The temple was built in 1306 AD by the Pandyan King Maravarman Kulasekara. The temple is a combination of Chinese and Dravidian architecture which was an attempt to attract the Chinese merchants.
The temple was badly damaged during the Tsunami in 2004 and has been restored now to its past glory.
3. New Jerusalem Church
This is the first protestant church to be built in India. The church houses the tomb of Zeigenbalg. He was missionary sent by King Fedrick IV of Denmark to spread the Gospel at the Danish settlement in 1706.
4. Maritime Museum
At this tiny museum, one will be shown a mishmash of old boats, various varieties of fishes and a photo-video of the effects of the 2004 tsunami.
5. Zion Church
The church has its own history to be told. It is located close to other places of worship and is surely worth a visit.
Where To Stay
There are three properties in Tranquebar. One is the Bungalow on the beach which is a heritage stay, the other two are The Gate House and The Nayak House. Hotel Tamil Nadu, a budget guest house run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism offers you neat and basic accommodation.