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Forgotten to be touched by time, and still known for its tranquility, is Tharagambadi, otherwise known as Tranquebar- The land of the singing waves. Tied up together still, and surviving the storms of time, Tranquebar is the ultimate destinations for those who lose themselves, when it comes to History.
Tranquebar is a tiny beach town that dates back to the 14th century with the establishment of the Masilamani Nathar (Shiva) Temple built in 1306. In around 1620, when Tranquebar was under the Thanjavur Nayak Dynasty, the Dutch arrived, made a deal with the local king Raghunatha Nayak and built a fort to start a bilateral trade. The Fort is called Dansborg and can still be seen standing on the beach of Tranquebar.
Placed at a dreamy patch at the confluence of the Kaveri river and the Bay of Bengal, Tranquebar is a beautiful playpen of many cultures. In and around the little town, one can see mixes of the Danish, British, German and French colonies that once made Tranquebar their home. Pedal along the narrow and rustic lanes, as though the whole town is in Sepia mode. Experience culture and architectural beauty like never before.
The tiny town of Tranquebar is also where, probably, Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg translated the Old and New Testaments into Tamil, and imported a printing press, publishing the New Testament in Tamil.
Tranquebar, small it may be, has plenty of history and architecture to enjoy. The Zion Church, built in 1701, the New Jerusalem Church of 1718, The BrethrensÕ Garden at Porayar near Tranquebar, etc. Wa bak through the town reveals plenty of old interesting homes. The Goldsmith Street is especially interesting and it was restored by INTACH recently.
Also do visit the Ziegenbalg Museum Complex on Admiral Street. It houses probably one of India's first printing presses.
Tranquebar was also badly hit by the Tsunami of 2004, and there are small museums in the city run by individuals dedicated to the memory.
- A very good way of getting around here, is by renting yourself a cycle.- This is a simple town with not much to do but lie back and relax. The two hotels in town are very nice, both have pools. Carry a book with you along with a camera. The Fort Dansborg as well as the streets of Tranquebar offer enough photo opportunities. The Masilamani Nathar Temple deserves a couple of visits at least. You could stroll on the beach in the evenings and enjoy beautiful skies above at night. Nearby: The Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary is a gorgeous little jungle of grasslands, Blackbucks and migratory birds. It is barely 100km south of Tranquebar. It also has an ancient Lighthouse after which the sanctuary is named. On the south of Tranquebar, across the river is Porayar. Peter Anker's country house and gardens or the Governor's Mansion are a couple of places to visit here.
Tranquebar now known as Tharagambadi is a tranquil beach town which is known to have the thickest ozone layer in India, which prolongs life.
Accessibility and language pose a problem for the travellers.
It makes for a great weekend getaway or a half day offshoot for people travelling to Chennai. Ideal for people looking for a peaceful destination in Southern India.
Tranquebar does not have any airport. The nearest one is in Chennai. The nearest railway station is at Mayiladuthrai. It is well connected by road. (Read More)
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