Discover the rich history of Tranquebar, the first Danish trading post in India, in the century-old four-bedroom villa Thanga House, just a short walk from the Bay of Bengal. Restored by INTACH as a private residence for Francis Wacziarg, co-founder of Neemrana Hotels, this location is surrounded by colonial remnants and religious sites, making it an ideal spot for a historical and spiritual retreat. Spend your day touring various heritage sites around Tranquebar, such as Fort Dansbourg, the second-largest fort the Danes built in the world, and many centuries-old temples.
Thanga House was born through the partnership of Francis Wacziarg, the co-founder of Neemrana Hotels, and INTACH, whose mission is to conserve and restore Indian architectural heritage. In the post-tsunami devastation of Tranquebar, the Government of Denmark and non-profit institutions set about rehabilitating and restoring the entire colonial and Tamil quarter of the village to recreate a bygone era.
On the northern side of the Danish Quarter lies Goldsmith Street, where INTACH restored two rows of ancient Tamil houses to serve as multi-use community spaces. One of these homes caught Francis’ eye, and he purchased and restored it as his private residence.
This is why stepping into the lime plaster walls of Thanga House transports you back to a design ethos that merges Danish and Tamil styles. Signature peaked, tiled roofs cover each room, supported by sturdy wooden beams. The rosewood beds complement the rest of the house’s teak and cane furniture, lending to a picturesque antique atmosphere you’ll fall in love with.
Thanga House started as 2 small buildings separated by a courtyard. The front building led upstairs to Francis’ room — now the Platinum Room — and the back building hosted 2 more bedrooms. At the time, there was no way to reach Coromandel Terrace. While adding a third bedroom during renovations, the desire emerged to give patrons access to the house’s most scenic views. So the roof was flattened out and a floating staircase ensconced in greenery came up, leading to the 3 bedrooms in the building and then the terrace. Now, you can bask in the view of the Tharangambadi shoreline from one of the highest points in the town.
The ethos of Thanga House revolves around finding an understated luxury in simplicity. It stands today as an imprint of the often-forgotten town’s roots, a fitting place to stay for a historical and religious retreat.