On 16 April 1620, Raghunatha Nayak of Tanjore invited Danes to settle down and establish trade in Tharangampadi – known also as Tranquebar. Over the next 225 years, several hundred Danes made Tranquebar their home, and over a thousand found their resting place here. During this period, printing was established by German missionaries, a Protestant mission was founded, science and arts flourished, an astronomical observatory was set up and an exploration of the Nicobar Islands took place. The town had to be rescued several times from impending wars. This book shows glimpses of this exciting period from the remains left by the Danes. Arranged as a walking tour of the town, we pass by places where significant people lived and noteworthy events took place.
P. S. Ramanujam, Professor Emeritus in Optics at the Technical University of Denmark, was born in Tamilnadu, India, and has lived in Denmark for more than 40 years. Besides a significant number of scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, he has also written several articles on Tranquebar and is coauthor of Videnskab, oplysning og historie i Dansk Ostindien (2020), a book on the Norwegian astronomer, scientist, historian, philosopher, and reformer in Tranquebar Henning Munch Engelhart.
"It will be impossible for me to analyse and discuss all details so elegantly presented by PSR in this book. I have touched on some as samples, especially those that appealed to me and those I thought would interest readers of this journal. On the whole, reading this book offered a fulfiling experience. It unveiled many dimensions that were new to me pertaining to a tiny segment of Tamil-speaking India. I am confident that reading this book will be a rich experience for other readers. [...] I am sure this book will be a prized inclusion in both personal and public libraries of India because it shines a bright beam of light on a European culture that subtly varied from that of the Portuguese in Mylãpôre (Chennai), the French (Põndiçéry and Karaikkãl), the Dutch in Pazhavérkãdû and Çadûranga-p-pattinam (both near Chennai), and the English in Fort St. George (Chennai) between the 17th and 20th centuries".
— Dr ANANTANARAYANAN RAMAN, Current Science, vol. 123, No. 3, 10 August 2022.