A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar

Tripoto
2nd Feb 2019

Bungalow by the Beach - Neemrana, Tranquebar

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato
Day 1

Did you know that somewhere along the Coromondel coast of India, there is little bit of Denmark? The small obscure town of Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) with a population of less than a thousand holds precious nuggets of Danish history dating back to 16th century AD - a fort, few churches, a few administrative buildings and a 17th century Danish house.

Neemrana - Bungalow by the Beach

Photo of Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, India by Sugato

The Devastating Tsunami

The 400 year old bungalow was devastated in the 2004 Tsunami which rocked the southern coast of India. More than 10000 people lost their lives and the small hamlet of Tranquebar also bore the brunt. Almost 800 people perished here. Old buildings which had stood the testimony of time were ravaged. The 17th century Bungalow owned by an erstwhile Danish family was already in dilapidated condition when the sea waves crashed against it. Neemrana Group like many of its other properties in India decided to restore this heritage property and promote it as their Neemrana “Non Hotel” property and touted it as the perfect honeymoon destination.

The Side Entrance (PC: Prasun Nag)

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

The Renovation

An album at the reception reveals the amount of work that has gone into its renovation. It has comparative pictures of the bungalow ‘before’ and ‘after’ the renovation which gives a lucid picture of the admirable preservation of heritage and history. 

Post Tsunami Structure (Old Pic)

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

Bungalow by the Beach (Current Pic)

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

Bungalow by the Beach  - Side Entrance (PC: Prasun Nag)

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

Neemrana has done a spectacular job of retaining the basic structure and outline of the property. The old world charm is still evident. A beautiful swimming pool and a verdant green garden has been added to add to the allure of the place.

View from the Verendah Balcony in the First Floor

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

The Property

The time warped property is an absolute classic and the only place to stay in the erstwhile Danish settlement. Located besides the magnificent Dansborg Fort, it is perched right on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. High walls, gorgeous chandeliers, long verandahs with wooden railings, thick cylindrical pillars, spiral wooden planked staircases, old world incandescent lighting, traditional furniture, life size mirror in the rooms and long arm chairs are some of the typical archaic charms which you will find here along with all the modern amenities. 

The Entrance

Photo of Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, India by Sugato

The Lobby

Photo of Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, India by Sugato

Verendah in the Ground Floor

Photo of Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, India by Sugato

Air conditioned rooms in the first floor offer a seating area on the encircling verandah providing picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal. Ground floor rooms offer garden view. The tall wooden doors have room names such as ‘Christianus Septimus (named after King Christian VII), Prince Christian (named after a Danish Ship), Queen Anna Sophie (named after a Danish Royal Mistress) which adds to the experience of living in a heritage colonial Bungalow. Strong wooden beds and long arm resting chairs are a feature of each room here.

Sit Out Area - First Floor

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

Swimming Pool Area

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

The Ozone Rich Beach

Day 2

Did you know that Tranquebar has the only Ozone rich beach in India? The Ozone layer here is the thickest in the country and second thickest of the World. The long stretch of beach is usually sparsely crowded except on weekends when locals throng to this place. 

Tranquebar Beach with the Dansborg Fort in the background

Photo of Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu, India by Sugato

Sunrise views are mesmerizing from the beach and the illuminated Dansborg Fort bathed in the morning rays looks spectacular.

Sunrise View from Tranquebar

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

What to see around

Dansborg Fort

Located a few steps away is the peach colored Dansborg Fort. Built in 1620 by Ove Gedde, Commander of the Royal Danish Navy, the Fort is the second largest Danish Fort in the World. Dotting the shores of Bay of Bengal, this used to be a trading center between Europe and the Coromondel coast. 

Dansborg Fort

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

The Danish East India company was established in 1616 and the Danes wanted a fair share of spice trade from India. British and Portugese companies had already established themselves at various places in India. A treaty was signed between Christian IV, King of Denmark and Ragunatha Nayak, King of Tanjore for permission to build a fort in Tharangambadi (Tranquebar). This Fort remained with the Danes till 1845 until the British took over. It is now a protected monument overseen by Tamilnadu State Department of Archeology since 1977. A small museum also has been built inside the fort to revealing the history of the political, cultural, social and trade connections between India and Denmark.

Masilamani Nathar Temple

On the western end of the Tranquebar Beach lies the 700 year old Masilamani Nathar Temple. It is said that the temple design is a rare fusion of Chinese and Tamil architecture. 

Masilamani Nathar Temple

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

Built in 1306 by Pandya King Maravarmam Kulasekara Pandyan, it is believed to be an attempt to woo Chinese traders to the Coromondel coast.

Heritage Walk – Governor’s House, Zion Church and The New Jerusalem Church

Spanning a few hundred meters, the heritage walk on King Street is the road leading from the old gate entrance to the beach. On either side of it, there are vestiges of the old colonial past. Built in 1701, the Zion Church at the end of the street is the oldest Protestant Church in India. Opposite it lies The New Jerusalem Church built by German missionaries in 1718. This structure is in good shape and stands out amongst others on King Street.

The New Jerusalem Church

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

The Governor House (as the name suggests) housed the Governor when Tranquebar was the headquarters of the Danish settlement in India. Its under restoration now.

The Governor House

Photo of A Danish Affair - Bungalow by the Beach by Neemrana in Tranquebar by Sugato

FACTFILE

Getting There: Tranquebar is a 6 hours drive from Chennai. It is the only way to reach this erstwhile Danish settlement

Best Time to Visit: November to March

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