Arikamedu is an unequalled archaeological attraction in the union territory of Puducherry. This stand-alone historical site is said to be the only evidence of trade relations of then Tamil dynasty with Romans, dating back to 2nd century BC. Located on the outskirts of Veerapattinam village, this ancient land also offers a breath-taking panoramic view of coconut trees and Mango plantations. It is at a distance of 7 kms from the capital town, Pondicherry and takes about 20 minutes to reach.
Arikamedu is a scenic city located on the banks of Ariyankuppam river. Arikamedu was once a major port of Chola Dynasty, which began as a fishing town and later evolved to be known for bead making industries. So far, Arikamedu is recorded to be the only city in India to have Roman presence. This abandoned international settlement is an amalgamation of many cultures and traditions, those including Romans, French, Chinese and of Chola dynasty.
This port city once flourished as centre of commerce in the Coromandel coast. One gets to witness the massive wall structures of length 75m of the French Mission built in the 18th century. And also, a ruined seminary built by Monsieur Pigneau de Behaine, designated Bishop of Adran. Roman style bricks, shards of pottery, ancient beads, glassware found during archaeological excavations are preserved in Puducherry museum. The best time to visit this place is during the winter months, preferably from October to December, as summers tend to be severe. As Arikamedu is an easily accessible location, it makes it for a half-a-day trip and visitors usually spend about 15 mins to 1 hour.
Though the glory of beaches of Puducherry take away all the credit, this historical treasure stands a special place. The city that is today deserted in solitude tells us the trade tales that existed long ago. Arikamedu remains less explored and untouched by tourists. And when in Puducherry, it's worth a visit. Visitors can visit Arikamedu during timings 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. There are no visiting charges and Arikamedu remains open on all days of the week.