Tangasseri is a small suburb with an area of about 99 acres situated on the coastline of South India in the state of Kerala. Coconut Trees are the main plantation besides exotic fruit trees and the homes are surrounded by colourful tropical gardens. This little inlet has breath- taking views of the Arabian Sea and glorious sunsets.
The historic edifices still existing are:
- The ruins of Fort St.Thomas
- The Portuguese,Dutch/English Cemeteries
- The Tangasseri Arch as you enter Tangasseri was erected by the British in 1939 as a customs check post for goods entering Tangasseri.
- The Lighthouse constructed by the British in 1902
- The Infant Jesus Pro-Cathedral built by the Portuguese in 1789
- Holy Cross Church.
- The Bishop’s Palace (Olicarai)
- Infant Jesus Boys’ Anglo-Indian High School
- Mount Carmel Anglo-Indian Girls’ High School.
History has it that many wars had been fought in this little hamlet. The Portuguese arrived first having leased out Tangasseri from the Rani of Quilon (Kollam) to be a trading post. Fort St.Thomas was built by the Portuguese between 1517 and 1519 of which the ruins still stand. St.Thomas Church was erected around the same time which has eroded into the sea. Pepper which was called Black Gold was the main source of trade . Gold (Thangam) and (Cherri) means a Village in the local vernacular from which the name Thangacherri originated, which is now known as Tangasseri. The next invasion was by the Dutch, Fort St.Thomas was surrendered to the Dutch in 1661. The Dutch built many beautiful houses in Tangasseri and Quilon near the waterways. The Portuguese, English and Dutch Cemeteries, still stand testimony to the wars waged in that era. After another 100 years, peace was shattered when the Dutch surrendered to the East India Company in 1795. This enclave of about 2000 residents mostly Christians vehemently protested when the Maharajah of Travancore decided to take over the regime of this place. The British (who were in control at this time) and the Travancore Princely state were at loggerheads but the British had the last say . St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Francis Xavier have also left their imprints on this shore. The Anglo-Indians who are the progeny of the Europeans integrating with the local residents, were the majority that resided here. The progressive invasions and conquests by different nations contribute to the colourful history of Tangasseri.