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Little Denmark In A Quaint Little Place A Few Hours From Pondicherry

Himanshu Goyal
  • Tharangambadi is a quaint little Danish village located at a distance of three hours from Pondicherry in India.
  • It is the perfect mix of Indian and colonial history as well as architecture.
  • The village has something for all kinds of travelers.

India is a country that has suffered quite a few colonizations and conquests. It has a rich history, and its struggle with freedom is remembered even today.

This is probably why several countries and regions across the world have left their mark all over India. For instance, did you know that India boasts of a little Danish village that you can reach in about 3 hours from Pondicherry?

Yes, and it has a typical South Indian name too – Tharangambadi!

Tharangambadi – The Best-Kept Scandinavian Secret Of India

The Danish village of Tharangambadi has a rich and vibrant history. It is believed that Ove Goedde, who was a Danish admiral, visited the village in 1618 and fell in love with it.

The calm shores and dazzling personality of Tharangambadi left him enthralled. At that time, the Maharaja of Tanjore granted the trading rights for the place, and a fort was constructed to continue spice trade.

In the same vein, in the early 1700s, Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, who was a German Lutheran missionary, even established a printing press service in the village.

He translated the Holy Bible after gaining expertise in the Tamil language. Therefore, it cannot be disputed that this quaint little Danish village has a rich history.

Why Should You Visit Tharangambadi?

The best part about Tharangambadi is that this place has something for everyone. If you are a history aficionado, you are in for a treat.

You can visit King Street with its stucco walls, colonial buildings, a fort, carriage porches, and majestic churches. You can walk down the town gate, which is known as Landporten in Danish.

This place is filled with architectural delights that will take your breath away.

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The statuesque Rehling’s House lies on the street’s western end. It has:

  1. A colonnaded facade and used to belong to the Danish governors of the time.
  2. Right next to Rehling’s House is Van Teylingen House, which has a small yet impressive maritime museum.
  3. As you reach the southern end, you will see Zion Church, which is one of the very first Protestant churches in India. This dilapidated structure is known to be the perfect amalgamation of colonial and Indian architectural styles.
  4. Located right opposite to the Zion Church is the New Jerusalem Church, which houses the mausoleum of Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg. It was built in 1718 on the arrival of German missionaries.

As is evident, Tharangambadi is a place full of history and hidden delights for history buffs. You can also visit the beach opposite Fort Dansborg, the ancient temple of Masilamani Nathar that was built in 1305 and a hunting Danish cemetery that lies parallel to the King Street.

The best time to visit Tharangambadi is from August to March. You can either stay in budget guesthouses that are run by the tourism of Tamil Nadu or more high-end places such as The Bungalow On The Beach, The Nayak House, and The Gate House.

In addition to that, you cannot argue that food is an integral part of any trip. The village of Tharangambadi is filled with gastronomical delights and treats. You must try any and all kinds of seafood dishes you can find here because the fish is as fresh as the sea.

Moreover, you can find several fabulous eateries and restaurants to tingle your taste buds. You can reach Tharangambadi by air, rail and even road.

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