The British colonization has significantly contributed in defining India’s history. But there are some more colonies which date back to times even before the British colonies.
No, we aren’t talking about the French colonies traces of which are still found in the pretty town of Puducherry or the Portuguese colonies found in nooks and corners of beautiful Goa. Thanks to the curious travelers who dug deep into the history to find out about this foreign colony and actually ventured out to visit this gorgeous town on the Coromandel coastline, we now are aware of an unknown gem: Tranquebar which is home to the Danish colony.
Long long time ago, before the 17th century to be clear, this quaint, sleepy village near Karaikal was called ‘Tharangambadi’, which meant, ‘the land of the singing waves’. When the Danes shipped their way to India and decided to inhibit this village, they faced trouble pronouncing the name. Giving up trying, they then simply changed the name to ‘Tranqebar’. The name remains still.
The Danish invasion’s story is quite similar to the one of the British invasion. A trade agreement was struck between King Christian IV and Raghunatha Nayak, who was the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Thanjavur. Eventually, The Danish East India Company came into existence and the rest they say is history.
The village started adopting the Danish style of living. The demeanor was even reflected in the architecture such as residences, churches, and cemeteries, so much so that it housed the second largest Danish castle in the world, ‘The Dansborg Fort’. Even though the Danes left and the village is back to being a Tamil land, the Danish features are still as contemporary as ever.
According to a report by BBC, the Danish Government expressed that it’d be an honor for them to share this part of their history with India. “The Danish government believes that their history is incomplete without a reference to this significant period. So they have preserved these historical records carefully in Copenhagen’s museums and archives. And Danes still like to visit Tranquebar to identify the graves of their ancestors in the local cemetery,” says SB Prabhakar Rao, the Honorary Vice Consul of Denmark in Chennai.
Here’s where you can learn more about this scenic town and plan your next holiday!
Information source: homegrown
Title image source: natgeotraveller