Explore the Museums of Tranquebar

Tharangambadi is a former colony of Denmark, also known as Tranquebar. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu. In 1620, Ove Gjedde, a Danish admiral, made a deal with the then king of Tharangambadi, Raghunatha Nayak, as he thought this town can be a potential trading centre. The fort was built, which is now popularly known as Fort Dansborg. The treaty between the king and the admiral was signed on a golden leaf manuscript, which can be viewed by visitors in Copenhagen, and maintained in the Danish Royal Archives. The Danes converted this fishing village into a colonial town with European-style buildings and churches that are bound to enthral visitors, especially history buffs. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the land by visiting the famous museums of Tranquebar.

Tharangambadi Maritime Museum

Tharangambadi Museum is an 18th-century maritime museum that was built for Danish military commanders, showcasing maritime items by the Danish Tranquebar Association. It is located opposite the iconic Danish Fort, allowing visitors to explore both attractions in one go. This Tranquebar museum is also 350 metres from Neemrana’s Coconut Alley, one of the most luxurious stay options. As you wander amid the hallways of the museum, be prepared to witness some of the most notable things of the past. These include models of boats, parts of ships, Chinese tea jars, weapons and an old wooden ship intact with its oar placed in the centre of the museum.

A Chinese teapot with a cup next to it on a wooden chair
A wide shot of the Danish fort in Tranquebar

Danish Fort Site Museum

Danish Fort, also known as Fort Dansborg, was built by Ove Gjedde in the 17th century and is the second-largest Danish fort ever built. To preserve the grandiosity of the structure, it was renovated twice, once in 2001 and again a decade later in 2011. This fort currently is used as a Danish museum showing artefacts of the Danish Empire and a few remains of the fort. The museum also protects crucial antiques like Danish manuscripts, Chinese tea jars, stone sculptures and utensils from the Chola period. Danish Fort Site Museum is located 350 metres from Neemrana’s Coconut Alley.

Zieganbalg Museum Complex

A fun fact - Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, a German-born Danish missionary came to Tranquebar and set up the first Tamil printing press in the 18th century. This building has been converted into Zieganbalg Museum Complex. He translated The New Testament of the Bible into the Tamil language, and this translation of the Bible is still in use today. The restoration of this museum was completed with the help of the German Foreign Office, The Francke Foundation, Christian NGOs and the Tamil Nadu government in 2017. Visitors can find models of typeface letters and the remains of a printing machine that was used by Zieganbalg. This museum is one of the best museums of Tranquebar and is less than 100 metres from Neemrana’s Coconut Alley and 350 metres from The Bungalow on the Beach.

An image of an old printing machine inside a building

Neemrana’s Coconut Alley offers a heritage stay option in the ‘land of the singing waves’. Close to Tharangambadi Beach, the abode offers pet-friendly rooms, bespoke experiences, a swimming pool, marvellous views of the beach and a range of activities organised by the hotel. Book now for a delightful sojourn!