The tranquil little town of Tranquebar is slowly being transformed into a bustling beach haven interspersed with vignettes of history. Unlike neighbouring Pondicherry where the French left an unmistakable stamp, Tranquebar's deserted colonial structures built by the Danes in the 1620s are the only remnants of the presence of the Danes. Most visitors come to this coastal town for the peace and quiet offered - away from the madding crowd of big city life. The place of the singing waves - Tranquebar also known as Tharangambadi, owes its name and identity to the Danes who made it one of their major trading posts in the early 17th century.
The closest airport is at Chennai, 280 km from Tranquebar. Nagapattinam train station is 35 km away from Tranquebar and Chidambaram is 40 km away. Drive along the East Coast Road from Chennai to Pondicherry via Mahabalipuram, Marrakkanam, Cuddalore and Chidambaram straight to Tharangambadi or Tranquebar is very scenic. The distance from Chennai to Tranquebar is around 275kms.
Tranquebar experiences tropical dry climate, with temperature soaring high during the summer season ranging from March to June and humidity levels rising because of its nearness to the sea. The summer months are followed by monsoon season, stretching from July to September. During this season, Tranquebar experiences heavy rainfall. Post monsoon, the weather is pleasant though between October and November Tranquebar is usually hit by cyclones. The best time to visit Tranquebar is from December to April, when the weather is pleasant and favourable for outdoor activities and the temperature varies between 25°C and 31°C.
Tranquebar is as quaint as its name suggests. Being a Danish settlement once, Tranquebar has a few forts that make an interesting sightseeing option. The entry into this sleepy town is through an archway and leads to King Street which is the main street. To the right is the imposing Dansborg Fort built by the Danes in the 17th century and looks a little incongruous among the surrounding landscape. The Fort has now been turned into a museum and should be on the must see list of history lovers. The other interesting sight is the Danish Governors bungalow, once a beautiful colonial bungalow, but in sad disrepair today.
There is the Pandiyan Masilamani Nathar temple, built in the 13th century, which is situated by the sea and has seen the wrath of the waters and even though slowly eroding, is worth a visit. There are a couple of churches built in the 17th century and these are located on Kings Street. The New Jerusalem Church and the Church of Zion make for an interesting visit. All in all, one can cover the sights of Tranquebar in one afternoon. There is not much scope for outdoor activities in Tranquebar, however if you want you may indulge in long walks on the ozone rich beach, to enjoy the cool breeze and the rejuvenating effect. Boating on the Uppanar River offers excellent bird watching opportunities.