NAGAPATTINAM: Nine years after the picturesque coastal town of Tarangambadi was battered by tsunami, which claimed more than 700 lives, the town has undergone a total transformation and emerged among the most searched travel destinations on the internet.
Yahoo India recently published ‘Year in Review,’ its annual report on internet search trends based on analysis of millions of searches by users in India in its search engine.
The report revealed that Tarangambadi, also called Tranquebar, is one of the most searched travel destinations in India after Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Wayanad in Kerala.
“Yahoo’s annual report reflects Tarangambadi’s growing popularity as a popular heritage travel destination. The town has great tourism potential and if properly tapped,it will emerge as the Goa of Tamil Nadu,” says Prof Maria Lazar, former Head of Department of Commerce, TBML College, Porayar who has done extensive research on heritage structures at Tarangambadi.
In the 17th Century, Tarangambadi became Denmark’s chief overseas settlement. They built a fort, churches, bungalows for Danish Governors, Guest Houses and the King and Queen Streets, all near the seashore. With all these monuments and ozone rich clean beach, the coastal town is now fast emerging as one of the preferred destinations on heritage tourism map.
In addition to native visitors, a large number of foreign tourists, mostly from the Scandinavian countries, visit the town every day.
Most tourism development activities in Taranagambadi were in the post-tsunami era. Until a decade ago many Danish relics were in a dilapidated condition due to neglect. Pained to see the poor state of the monuments erected by their forefathers, a voluntary outfit called ‘Danish Tranquebar Association’, comprising prominent citizens in Denmark came forward to renovate the monuments in 2002.
After the tsunami attack, their activities gained momentum and with the support of the Denmark Government, Tamil Nadu Government and other organisations, helped renovate many monuments in Tarangambadi and succeeded in restoring the glory of the town.