Formerly known as Tranquebar, Tharangambadi is a small urban in Panchayat in the region of Nagapattinam in the State of Indian of Tamil Nadu. This small town is located 15 kilometers north of Karaikal, in the vicinity of the Kaveri River. This town is the place of the Tharangambadi Taluk, which means” the place of the singing waves”. In the year 1620 up to 1845, the town Tharangambadi was under the supervision of the Danish, wherein they call it Trankebar.
History of Tharangambadi
The town date back to fourteenth century. Shiva or Masilamani Nathar temple was developed in 1306, in a territory provided by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan the first. Until the year 1620, the time when the Danish group arrived, the whole place was under the Kingdom of Thanjuvar Nayak. Ove Gjedde, Danish Admiral, felt the site has a good potential business center, and then he made an agreement with Raghunatha Nayak and agreed to construct a fort, and they call it the Fort Dansborg. On the other hand, a Jesuit Catholic minister had been already in the place prior to that, servicing the whole community of Indo-Portuguese. Perhaps, the Catholic Church was knocked down to develop the fort. The castle was the house and also served as the headquarters of the highest official such as the governor for approximately 150 years. At this point in time, the fort was converted into a museum that hosts lots of collections of relics and other work of art from the colonial time.
Amongst the 1st Protestant disciples to arrive in India were Lutherans come from Germany, Heinrich Pluetschau as well as Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg, who started work in the year 1705 in the settlement of Danish of Tranquebar.
Ziegenbalg interpreted or converted the New and Old Testaments into Tamil bring in a printing press, and then in the year 1714 the New Testament was printed in Tamil.
They were required and pressured to study the broken Portuguese, which was the” lingua Franca” amid Europeans and Indians at that time, and afterwards converted the Holy Bible into the native Tamil Language. These disciples are made a printing press that in a hundred years of the establishment in the year 1712 had already printed more or less 300 books in the local language of Tamil. In the beginning, they just made a minor development in their spiritual attempt and endeavor. On the other hand, little by little, the mission extends to Cuddalore, Madras, as well as Tanjore. At this point in time, Tranquebar Bishop is the certified name of a bishop in the TELC or Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church in South India that was discovered way back in 1919 as an outcome of the mission conducted by Church of Sweden and German Lutheran. The Bishop Seat, the Church House or also known as Tranquebar House as well as the Cathedral is located in Tiruchirappalli.
The church of Zion was consecrated in the year 1701, this is considered as the oldest church of Protestant in India. And way back in 1718, The Church of New Jerusalem was built. Moravian Brethren disciples from Saxony, made the Garden of Brethren at Porayar in the vicinity of Tranquebar that served as a missionary headquarter for so many years. Father Constanzo Beschi, a catholic priest from Italy, who employed in the settlement from year 1711 up to 1740, discovered himself in difference with the pioneers of Lutheran in Tranquebar, opposed whom he wrote lots of polemical works.
Tranquebar came in the command of the British in the year 1808 of February, for the duration of the Napoleonic Wars in the continent of Europe, on the other hand was re-established in Denmark subsequent in the 1814 Treaty of Kiel. Together with the other settlements of Danish in India like the Nicobars and Serapore it was traded in 1845 to the British. That time Tranquebar was still an active port, on the other hand it soon after lost its significance after the opening of the railway to Nagapattinam.
The antiquities associated with the royally era and Danish settlements at Tharangampadi are put on display. The museum has the collection of porcelain ware, glass objects, Danish manuscripts, Chinese tea jars, decorated terracotta objects, steatitle lamps, figurines, lamps, sculptures, stones, swords, daggers, sudai (stucco) figurines, spears, as well as wooden objects. Also, there is a part of a small cannonballs and whale skeleton.
The building of Fort Dansborg began in year 1620. Some of the sections of the castle have been rebuilt so many times include the parapet or barricade wall is a quite big four sided construction, with upholders at every cardinal section. A one storied construction was developed along 3 inner corners of the barricade that has warehouse, barracks, jail as well as kitchen.
The spaces on the southern portion of the fort are still in a proper condition. On the other hand, the spaces located on the northern and western parts of the castle have been damage to a large extent. On the eastern part of the castle, you will see a two storied structure wherein you can see the beautiful scenery of the ocean. This also served as the main structure of the castle. The arched lower storey acted as a warehouse and a magazine, at the same time the arched upper storey enclosed the church as well as the residence of the highest officials including the Chaplain and the senior merchants. The ocean on the western side and eastern side secured the castle. The castle was bounded by a moat, way in to the castle above a drawbridge. At this point in time, the moat has totally gone.
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Tharangambadi, according to 2001 India Census had a populace of 20, 841. Females constitute of 52 percent of the populace and males 48 percent.
Tharangambadi has a standard literacy rate of 74 percent, which is higher compared to the general average of 59.5 percent: 79 percent of literacy is male and female literacy is 69 percent. In Tharangambadi, 10 percent of the populace is under six years of age.
Today, Tharangambadi is one of the most sought after place in India with lots of remarkable sightings to witness and lots of exciting thing to do.