Beachfront Tranquebar gives you a holiday like no other. RUPA GOPAL
Had enough of these crowded touristy places and forced sightseeing in groups? Searching for a pleasant holiday? The Europeans had it judged right, centuries ago. Having fallen in love with India, they proceeded to find ideal locations and left behind a legacy of happy spots, forming quaint, charming holiday places that do not kill pockets or spirits. The
Danish settlement of Tranquebar, or Tarangambadi (where the waves sing), is a little town on the sea, pristine in its beauty, with King Street immaculately maintained, old churches and all.
The road leads right down to the sea, across the sandy beach, with the landmark Dansborg Fort standing guard on the sea front. Today, this heritage building maintained by Danish associations and the ASI houses a museum with relics of Denmark’s stay in India. A half drowned ancient temple still beckons visitors at low tide, gradually giving in to the relentless sea.
The Bungalow on the Beach is Neemrana’s fabulous work of restored heritage, a luxury hotel on the sea, where many foreigners come, stay, spend time exploring the town, and check out the graves of their ancestors. Many go back with detailed sketches of the town’s lifestyle that form the basis of large canvases to be painted later in their European homes. Shopping for curios and antiques is a big pastime here. The beach is, of course, the main attraction to most visitors, lazing in the shade, or basking in the sun between invigorating swims in the sea, tucking into fresh fish and swigging chill beers.
Explore it and have a holiday like no other, and come back to face the nitty-gritty freshly rejuvenated.
Where is it: 19 km from Nagapattinam, 10 km from the French town of Karaikal
Where to stay: At Tranquebar, one can stay at Neemrana provided pockets are deep enough. Alternatives are the Neemrana-run budget stay at Tourist Centre, Flora Cottage on Queen Street, Mission House on King Street. Shared rooms make an easy budget for backpackers, and students.
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