History of Tharangambadi
The history of Tharangambadi can be traced back to the 14th century and the most ancient monument of this area is the Masilamani Nathar (Shiva) Temple which was constructed during 1306 in a land area donated by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I. This region was reigned by the Thanjavur Nayakas till the Danish arrived here. Fort Dansborg was erected at Tharangambadi by Ove Gjedde, the Danish admiral after destroying a Jesuit Catholic Church which was attended by the Indo-Portuguese people residing here. Heinrich Pluetschau and Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg were the first Protestant missionaries who approached this portion of the country and commenced operations in Tranquebar which by that time had developed into a Danish settlement. A printing press was installed at Tharangambadi during 1712 which was home to 300 books in Tamil language. Some new churches were built here in the 18th century. The British captured Tharangambadi from the Danish during February 1808 but returned the area to Denmark after the Treaty of Kiel in the year 1814. However, like all other Danish colonies, even Tharangambadi was sold to the British Raj in India during 1845, following which it started losing its significance.
Tourism in Tharangambadi
The tourist destinations at Tharangambadi town are Danish Museum and also the Danish Fort. Various kinds of unique artefacts belonging to the Danish settlement and the British colonial era are displayed at the Danish Musuem. Visitors will discover China tea jars, Danish manuscripts, lamps, stones, adorned terracotta objects, terracotta figurines, spears, daggers, glass artefacts, precious stones, steatite lamps, figurines of stucco or 'sudai', portion of a whale skeleton and tiny cannonballs in the Danish Museum.
The Danish fort, or Fort Dansborg is another popular tourist spot of Tharangambadi and its construction task had commenced during the year 1620. The fort contains a large rampart equipped with bastions at a cardinal point and it also contains a jail, warehouse, kitchen and much more. The main building of this impressive fort is a two-storeyed building towards the eastern end of this fort which faces the sea. The fort is safeguarded naturally by the presence of the sea apart from the huge moat which was established around the fort.
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