Saturday, July 13, 2013

Danish Fort (Dansborg Fort)-Tranquebar

Danish fort is the main attraction in Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar). This was built in 17th century and its primary objective was to support trade between the then India (Chola Kingdom in South India) and Denmark. While the fort campus does have a few cannons, the walls seem to be too low to serve as protection against insurgency. It had large rooms, used for storage of goods that were meant to be exported.

Fort is open to tourists from about 10.30 AM till 5.30 PM. Entry fee is Rs 5 per person and camera fee is Rs 30. It houses a museum, which contains few artefacts dating back to 17th century or later, along with several historical details like governors of Tranquebar and so on. Friday is weekly off.

This fort has successfully survived the 2004 tsunami that hit east coast of India, despite being on the sea shore. Another testimony as to how ancient engineers knew the art of building ever lasting structures.

View the photos below.
View of the Dansborg fort from the sea shore
View of the Danish fort, Tranquebar from an inside corner
Another inside view of the fort. Notice the ramp on left side
At the centre is a well, serving freshwater but is now poorly maintained. Goats were roaming around freely inside the fort campus. Some stairs were unofficially closed.
Frontal sea facing unit of Dansborg Fort. Now houses fort office and a small museum
History of Danish fort
Below: History and a cannon facing the sea

Notice ventilation hole in a store room
One of the store rooms inside the fort. This one had protective bars while other rooms were open. Probably sensitive/expensive items were stored in this room, or this could also have been a jail
Neemrana's Bungalow on the beach and Hotel Tamilnadu are the available accommodations nearby. I was hoping to get some good sunrise shots around this fort, but clouds spoiled my chances.

Out of curiosity I checked how to go to Denmark from Tranquebar, Google maps is showing a distance of 10000+kms and says road includes toll and ferry. Understandably there was no Google maps back in 17th century and the traders had to use sea route, which could have been 3 times longer than the direct point to point distance shown by the map below. Copenaghen is home for world's largest shipping liner.

View Larger Map


Arumugam Easwar said...

The Fort at Tranquebar is a testimony to the marvels of ancient engineering.
Like the pictures.

Meghana Hassan said...

Looks like a very well maintained fort, just from the pics, i thought Tranquebar was somewhere in Europe...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Arumugam Sir,

No, it is in south TN. It has strong Europe connection though said...

nice captures and well informing post !! I could imagine being there at the Danish Fort :) .. may be I am hallucinating :D
Nice post bro !

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks. Those were very kind words...

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice post on Dansborg fort!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan

Vatsala Dorai Rajan said...

Hi Shri! I have a question - Are you sure about the 1996 tsunami? Wasnt the tsunami in tamilnadu in 2004? -

Tsunami was an unheard of thing in 1996 in TamilNadu from what I remember..

Shrinidhi Hande said...


You're right. It's my bad. have corrected it