RESTORATION

This is one of the many buildings, above, that was devastated by the Tsunami in 2004.

The same building, above, after restoration work.

Tranquebar is unique in its architecture and deserves the attention of the world. Its buildings reflect layers of influence - the traditional Tamil architecture interwoven with intricate European designs and Scandinavian sensibility. This rare blend of aesthesis drawn from various corners of the world needs to be conserved. After the 2004 Tsunami the issue of restoration became all the more important. A number of Danish as well as Indian partners consciously aim to preserve the townscape and create an increased local awareness of the importance of preserving heritage.

INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), Pondicherry carried out restoration of the neglected former British Collector’s residence in 2005 -- now the ‘Bungalow on the Beach’, a Neemrana Group’s heritage hotel and the Gate House -- a Danish - Tamil style building on King Street also owned by Neemrana. Danish Bestseller Foundation bought five Tamil vernacular houses on the Goldsmith Street to house its developmental activities in Tranquebar and partnered with INTACH, Pondicherry to restore them. The restoration was done considering two important concepts of conservation namely use of  ‘like-for-like’ and ‘policy of least intervention’. INTACH has also undertaken restoration of the Shiva Temple, façade restoration of St. Theresa’s Convent and former Danish governor’s residence. In consultation with the Danish Museum of Denmark this will be turned into a cultural centre. The beautification of the Beach is also an initiative of INTACH, Pondicherry.

The Danish Tranquebar Association, a society consisting of private volunteers, since 2001 has been working for preservation of Danish heritage of Tranquebar, mostly contributing to restoration of Fort Dansborg. In 2002, the Tamil Nadu State Archaeological Department in collaboration with Danish Tranquebar Association restored the Dansborg Fort. It now houses a museum with a display of Danish coins, weapons, porcelain artifact and a replica of the signed treaty of 1620 between The King of Tanjore and the King of Denmark, Christian IV.