Tharangambadi, a perfect getaway from Trichy

Tharangambadi is a beautiful town close to Trichy and most known for its checkered history. The Dutch had the biggest influence in the place during their long rule, and their remnants are easily visible throughout the place. This vacation head to the town and explore its golden past.  

Imagine a place in India where schools teach in Dutch dialect, instead of English! That is precisely what might have happened if Dutch had survived and reigned Tranquebar in Tamil Nadu. They arrived much before the British, to establish Dutch East India Company. On the off chance that the leaders of the Denmark had sent good backup to the Dutch East India Company, India would have been totally the province of the Dutch, and not England.


Tharangambadi, or Tranquebar, as it is often called, is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam area in Tamil Nadu, 15 km north of Karaikal, close to the origin of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Tharangambadi is the administrative seat of the eponymous taluk. Its name signifies “place of the singing waves”. It was a Danish territory from 1620 to 1845, and in Danish and some other European dialects it is known as Tranquebar or Tranquebar.


The oldest reference to Tharangambadi is in a fourteenth century engraving, where the place was mentioned as Sadanganpade. Tranquebar was established by the Danish East India Company in 1620, when a factory was opened and a fortification, known as Fort Dansborg, was constructed by a Danish commander, Ove Gjedde. This stronghold was the home and central station of the representative and different authorities for around 150 years. It is currently a museum exhibiting a large gallery of antiques from the past era.

Tranquebar went under the control of the British in February 1808, amid the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, yet was restored to Denmark followed after the Treaty of Kiel in the year 1814. Alongside the other Danish settlements in India, it was sold to the British in 1845. Tranquebar was then still a bustling port, however it later lost its significance after a railway line was opened to Nagapattinam.


ns porcelain product, Danish compositions, steatite lights, glass objects, Chinese tea jugs, enhanced terracotta objects, lamps, figurines, stones, swords,  sculptures, knives, lances, and wooden articles. There is likewise part of a whale skeleton, which is the highlight of the display.

When you stroll down the 200 year old passageway curve through King’s road, you can feel the Dutch impact on the area, with old houses, religious circle, Zion Church constructed in 1702, New Jerusalem Church worked in 171 8, Governor’s residence to the left and the Fort at the edge of the ocean to the right, as well as the British Bungalow to your left side. At the edge of the street, there is exquisite statue constructed for priest Ziegenbalg.

The roots of the Fort go back to 1620 A.D. As you get on the parapet of the fort towards the ocean, you can picture the quantity of boats, which more likely arrived there in the medieval era. The quiet guns looking towards the ocean as though they prepared to shoot are fascinating. Time stops here and you are transported to those days that are long gone from today.

It is only obvious that this is one place that every history buff should try to visit, as there is plenty in display here that can help you learn the history of the place, the Indian Dutch history, impacts that the Dutch made in India, and most importantly, spend a wonderful vacation.