A visit to Tranquebar: A forgotten rich Danish colonial heritage

Located on the Coromandel coast, Tranquebar is a small fishing panchayat town with some 7,000 inhabitants in Nagapattinam district in Indian State of Tamilnadu,  120 KM south  of Puducherry and 50 KM south of Chidambaram. Tanquebar was a Danish colony in India from 1620 to 1845. Spelled Tanquebar in Danish, it’s name in local Tamil Tarangambari, meaning “place of dancing and/or singing waves”.

I visited the place on number of occasions with friends and family members, particularly when we visit nearby important tourist and religious places such as Poompuhar,  Thirunallar, and Karaikal. Recently I got an opportunity to have the splash of the wild sea waves in the lovely tranquebar beach.

Sea Beach at Tranquebar

Sea Beach at Tranquebar

Tranquebar was a town which, in the years 1620- 1845, served as Danish trading colony for spices and textiles trade. The landmark in Tranquebar is the Dansborg or Danish Fort, a seat of power, located on the beach established by the Danes in 1620. They (Danes) had been in the town for 225 years before finally relinquishing the territory to the strengthening English Empire.

Dansborg, the first built in 1620 AD

Dansborg, the first built in 1620 AD

The Dansborg ( has two levels)  which under renovation and currently houses a archaeological museum.

Dansborg Fort, a closer view

Dansborg Fort, a closer view

A lovely place in this tiny town to stay for couple days is the Neermrana property, the Bungalow on the beach.

Bungalow on the Beach, to undergo soulful refuge

Bungalow on the Beach and scenic landscape

The allure of Tranquebar is a fascinating albeit seamless cultural concoction – a  magical mixture  of languages, cultures and religions. Two centuries of Danish heritage has left important cultural and architectural imprints which can be seen even today once anyone enters the town through an arched gate – the colonial past  comes alive with missionary schools,  churches, old cemeteries as you come to the beach.

"Bungalow on the Beach"  in the left and the Masilamani Temple (built in 1306) in the extreme right

“Bungalow on the Beach” in the left and the Masilamani Temple (built in 1306) in the extreme right

Tranquebar is not only a lost colonial heritage yet it is place of soulful refuge and a mystic silence except splash of the wild waves with the magnetic effect of openness of the sea.


About subalcbasak

I am an Associate Professor of pharmacy at Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram,Tamilnadu. I am a person who is interested in pharmaceutical sciences and its education in India. Originally from West Bengal, I am now living in CHIDAMBARAM, Tamilnadu. I just want to share some of my subject basics; and thoughts associated with travelling and living. I also enjoy clicking camera, eating bengali cuisine, listening Rabindra sangeet, reading, learning, and open source of literature/publications.
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