This place was once a busy fishing zone and trade centre for Danish people. Danish are the ones who turned Tarangambadi into a historical place, by erecting many colossal buildings. Some of the hoary grand buildings are now renovated into homestays and hotels. Though Tarangambadi is not an often visited detention, its always dotted with few tourist, especially on weekends.
The Danish Museum and the Fort Dansborg are the major attractions on Tarangambadi beach. The Museum has many antiquities belonging to the colonial period. This stunning fort was built in the year 1620, by the Danish admiral Ove Gjedde, who was very passionate in bringing Tarangambadi as Danish power seat. He built this fort in his own expense on behalf of Danish East India Company. Unlike other colonial forts in India, this Fort is well maintained and is found in a great shape. This is the main reason that attracts tourists and history lovers. The fort is inbuilt with rampart wall with bastions and has barracks, kitchen, church and lodging for the governor and other senior officials. There is also a lower storey used as arsenal storage.
This fort is accompanied by a museum that displays many artifacts unearthed in the area including lamps, decorated terracotta objects, sculptures, figurines, lamps and cannon balls. There are also few artifacts used during 16 or 17 the century for kept for auction. The museums threshold is known as “Town gate”, starting from that point, we can see lots of high colossal buildings, churches, domes, and many hoary structures that extends till the verge of the beach shore.
Apart from Tarangambadi yet another fascinating structure is the Zion church. After the invasion of Danish, many Christian missionaries started to inhabit Tarangambadi and gave their perching. Once they had converted most of the people into Christianity, they erected Zion church. The Zion Church is considered to be India’s oldest Protestant church. They also brought the first printing press from their land and set it up in Tarangambadi to print bibles in Tamil. Other than Zion church there are The New Jerusalem Church and the Lutheran Church.
Sri Masilamaniswara temple:
Even though, Tarangambai is occupied by Christianity, there is a popular Sri Masilamaniswara temple, built facing the sea. This temple is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site and always thronged with lots of devotees. This temple was believed to be built by the King Maravarman Kulasekara Pandian in 1306, and still now this temple houses many stone inscriptions belonging to Chola dynasty.
Tarangambadi may look like one another ordinary hamlet of Tamilnadu from outside but, if we take a deeper look, its surely will bring out the diverse hue of Tamilnadu historical path. A current survey says that there are about 33 heritage buildings and a nonprofit sector of Pondicherry had taken immense steps in restoring the hoary colossal buildings of Tarangambadi.
How to reach:
Tarangambadi is located near Karaikal. From Karaikal there are regular busses to Tarangambadi. One can also take bus from Mayiladuthurai and Nagappatinam.
The beach Bungalow at Tarangambadi serves the best sea foods and it is the best place to dine while you are at Tarangambadi. Other that this there are not much restaurants in this area, but you can find lots of tea stalls
Karaikal’s beach and port, Pondicherry’s beaches are worth visiting. There are quite few famous temples around Tarangambadi like Thirunallar, Thanjavur, Karaikal Ammayar Temple and the church of Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health in Velankanni.