Raghunatha's Gold Foil



Chronololgy of Tharangampadi


   Black Court
   Daniel Pulley
   Gold Foil
   Gulam Muhammad
   Letters to Daniel
   Modi documents
   Peder Hansen
   Sami Setty
   Vaiyapuri's marriage
   Viraraghava Ayyangar
   Zion Church Register




     Tharangampadi (pronounced in Tamil as Tharangambadi) is a small town established by Kulasekhara Pandian in the 14th century on the Coromandel coast. Padi in Tamil means a village; Tharangam refers to the waves that constantly bash the coast. The town is known as Tranquebar or Trankebar in English. According to an agreement between Raghunatha Nayak and the Danish king, Christian IV, the town became a trading post for the Danes in 1620, and remained in their hands until 1845, when it was sold off to the English. The title picture shown above is a letter in Tamil (signed in Telugu) by Raghunatha Nayak written on a gold leaf in April, 1620 inviting the Danes to settle at Tharangampadi. The foil is 40 cm long and 2.5 cm wide - it can be found at the National Archives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

     During these 225 years, a lot of documents has been exchanged between Tranquebar and Denmark; more than 100 shelf-metres of these documents are preserved at the National Archives in Copenhagen, of which  several hundred documents are in Tamil.  There are a few in other languages such as Persian, Urdu, Modi, Telugu and Kannada. The purpose of this website is to make these documents known to a broader audience. Researchers should be able to study, translate and interpret these documents. Initially, photographs of the documents will be published. As and when possible, a transcription of the documents as well as an English translation will be provided. In addition, photographs of documents in other languages such as Danish and English that I have photographed will be made available.

     In the left column, one can see the persons or areas connected with the documents. A short chronology linking these persons to the history is given under Chronology of Tharangampadi

     In addition, several hundred more documents are to be found at the Tamilnadu Archives in Chennai.


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