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Tharangambadi (or Tranquebar) is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was a Danishmarker colony in India from 1620-1845. It is spelled Trankebar or Tranquebar in Danish, which came from the native Tamil, Tarangambadi, meaning "place of the singing waves".

It is located in Nagapattinammarker district, about 100 km south of Pondicherrymarker, near the mouth of a distributary of Kaveri river.


Tharangambadi is located at .


It was founded by the Danish East India Company in 1620 when the main fort in Trankebar city, known as Fort Dansborg, was built by a Danish captain named Ove Gjedde as the residence of the governor and other officials for about 150 years. It is now a museum hosting a collection of artefacts from the time of Danish presence in the region. A Danish factory (commercial settlement) was opened here as early as 1620.

Tranquebar was controlled by the British in 1801 due to the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, and restored to Denmark following the Kiel Peace in 1814.It was sold, along with the other Danish settlements in India, Serampore and the Nicobarsmarker, to Great Britain in 1845. Tranquebar was a busy port, but it lost its importance when the railway was opened to Nagapattinam.

The first Protestant missionaries to set foot in India were two Lutherans from Germany, Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Pluetschau, who began work in 1705 in the Danish settlement of Tranquebar. They translated the Bible into the local Tamil language, and afterwards into Hindustani. They made little progress at first, but gradually the mission spread to Madrasmarker, Cuddaloremarker and Tanjoremarker. Today bishop of Tranquebar is the official title of a bishop in the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) in South India which was founded in 1919 as a result of the German Lutheran Leipzig Mission and Church of Sweden Mission. The seat of the Bishop, the Cathedral and its Church House ("Tranquebar House") is in Tiruchirappallimarker.

Moravian Brethren missionaries from Herrnhutmarker, Saxonymarker established the Brethren's Garden at Porayar near Tranquebar as a missionary center for a number of years. The Italian Catholic, Father Constanzo Beschi, who worked from 1711 to 1740, found himself in conflict with the Lutheran pioneers at Tranquebar, against whom he wrote several polemical works.

The churches as well as the fort and the city gates are being restored for tourism.


 India census, Tharangambadi had a population of 20,841. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Tharangambadi has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 69%. In Tharangambadi, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Image:European settlements in India 1501-1739.png|Danish and other colonial settlements in India.Image:Tranquebar 1600.jpg|Tranquebar, about 1600.Image:Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg monument in Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, South India.jpg|Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg monument in Tranquebar.Image:Dansborg Fort.jpg|Fort Dansborg. Established in 1620 and partially renovated during 2002 by the Tranquebar Association. View from the governor's bungalow.Image:Fort Dansborg.JPG|Fort Dansborg

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