Ranked 10 among Places to Visit in Pondicherry
Time Required: 2-3 hrs
Situated within a half hour drive of the French colonial town of Pondicherry, Arikamedu is an ancient Roman trade centre hidden from the eyes and ears of the commonplace Tamil tourism. Its name has been taken from the Tamil word- 'Arikanmedu' which means 'eroding mount'. Very little is known about any Indo-Roman ties in the Before Christ era, but with the discovery and excavation of Arikamedu, extensive proofs were unearthed. This port town was occupied by the people of Rome, Cholas, and French serving as a very famous maritime centre from 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. The glass bead manufacturing factory of Arikamedu is called the mother of all bead centres in the entire world.
The first dig in Arikamedu took place in the 1940s, and since then these excavations are continuously being carried out. Out of these, the institution of Sir Mortimer Wheeler was the most encouraging. At present, the town does not have much to it other than the two perpendicular walls which were laid open and the French Jesuit Mission House which was constructed in the 18th century. More so, one can come across mango trees and coconut trees in this region. The site also comprises of numerous amphorae having the mark of the Roman schools including VIBII, Camuri and IITA present there.
Here you can see the final few columns, bricks and mortars of the structure in ruins standing like a ghost along the river. Sitting in between the green pastoral hamlets of Tamil Nadu, Arikamedu does not attract much tourism and thus is an ideal place if you love to explore old, architectural sites. There is not much to see except taking in the vintage ambience of the past and take back home some memories captured by your camera.
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