Arikamedu Archaeological Site

Arikamedu Archaeological Site

Arikamedu Archaeological Site
3.5
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
About
We offer a guided tour of Arikamedu, an ancient trade center on the banks of the Ariyankuppam river which dates back to 300 BC. Archaeological artifacts unearthed from the site reveal ancient trade links with the Roman Empire and establish Arikamedu as the “mother of all bead centers” in the world. Along with few other sites in India, the historical significance of this archaeological site cannot be overstated. Arikamedu can be accessed by road and the site is open at all times. Entry is free, but you would require the services of an expert to explain the history and the cultural significance of Arikamedu. Those of you who are interested in knowing more about Emporia Poduca at Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trading post in this part of the world, may get in touch either on e-mail a few days prior to your visit, or call on the mobile number. We can organize a private, tailor-made tour just for you!
Duration: 2-3 hours
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3.5
42 reviews
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Amit J
Kolkata (Calcutta), India882 contributions
Jan 2020
This is supposedly an ancient Roman port in ruins. However, there is not much to see on the site except a wall in ruins and two pillars to signify the entrance. Entry to the site is free, however will recommend people to save their time and go elsewhere. My uploaded pictures is all that is visible at the site.
Specially, if you have seen any grand archaeological sites, this site will be a big disappointment.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Partha C
Pondicherry, India1,270 contributions
May 2016 • Friends
We visited the Arikamedu site, REALLY NICE TO SEE THE RUINS OF PALACE.
Now whole area is full with Mango trees. Remaining are beautiful to know about civil construction of 1000 years old.
Written May 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anandsrivastava
Delhi, India154 contributions
Oct 2019
The place is in ruins and looks interesting. But the visitor is not given any information. Still worth a visit to get an idea that there used to be trade with Rome.
AKSrivastava
Written October 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark Pinto
Panjim, India6 contributions
Mar 2023
I heard about this site when I visited the Pondicherry Museum and decided to visit it as a history buff and an archaeology enthusiast. This experience was bittersweet. I was happy that I got a chance to visit this site but I was appalled at its state of preservation. Getting there could have been so simple if due importance had been given to the site. The signboards leading to the site are hardly visible and if I hadn't checked with some locals, I wouldn't have been able to reach there by road. Even the entrance to the site has no board mentioning that it is the site. There is trash all around. Inside the fence, it looks like an abandoned and wild scene. Only once you approach the largest building do you begin to realise that there is something of historical importance here. The area around this largest building is the only area that seems to be swept and has some semblance of preservation. However, I was appalled to see stacks of cement bags piled into the corner of the building. The property is massive and there isn't a single signboard or any information telling you what is where. There are a couple of paths leading to nowhere. I explored around and found some of the ruins. You can walk down to the river, but again it looks so abandoned and desolate with trash strewn around that you wonder if people entrusted with its care actually understand the significance of this rare archaeological gem. Thankfully, the objects that were found during the excavation are preserved at the Pondicherry Museum. I recommend people to visit this spot to give it the attention it deserves and perhaps that would push the authorities to give it its due importance. I also recommend people to visit the Pondicherry Museum before venturing into this site.
Written March 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kathira s
3 contributions
Jun 2017 • Couples
When we were at Pondicherry, we had pretty much seen all there's to see at the place in no time. After just browsing through the Wikipedia page for Pondicherry, we had come across Arikamedu. Thought there would be a museum there or something and decided to go there on our rented moped - it's just 6 km from the French Colony. When we went there, we realized that the place was empty, except for a metal fence which was easily accessible. It was off-the-grid and we could see beer bottles lying around - however we decided to at least check out one abandoned building not to far from our moped (to run if there was something unsavory, esp. since my wife was also with me). There were two gentlemen who then came out of nowhere and we became hesitant and decided it was time to head to the moped for a quick getaway. Don't know why but decided to ask them a question about the place - thank God we did. They were working with the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) - Ramesh and Ranganathan). They explained about the place and we were amazed. It is the Harappan equivalent in South India - a port location where the locals used to trade with the Romans and the Chinese since 2500 years (500-750 BCE). Like all things discovered in India during the colonial/Victorian period, they initially attributed the port city to be a product of Roman conquest and reach. It is a trading port in South India made by the locals. The issue is that the ASI has absolutely made a mess of the place (except for the two gentlemen who were the only ones who seemed to care. They spent a good 40 min explaining about the place) - the place seems to have been vandalized by drunks in the past and we were told that there hasn't been a dig at the place in over 70 years. So as a result, we found pieces of Roman and Indian pottery lying around the place - had we spent a little time looking, we could've probably found some indian glass beads. I'd say if there is a bone of curiosity to learn about Indian and world history beyond the books, Arikamedu is definitely a place to go. I would still urge you to be careful but this is a must-see.
Written July 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
From the recent excavations carried out by various parties in recent times - starting with Father Fancheux and Raymand Surleau, who were not qualified archaeologists, in the early 1940's - it is well established that Arikamedu was a bustling industrial, port-city with extensive maritime trade links with the Romans in ancient times, from 50 BCE to 150 AD. Followed by trade with some far eastern countries. The ruins of the building that is still standing are those of a French-built seminary constructed in 1773 by French missionary, Monsieur Pigneau de Behaine, designated Bishop of Adran. Built as a seminary and residence for the Jesuit refugees of Siam, only to be abandoned in 1783. Although it is listed on all the tourist brochures, not much has been done to maintain, provide security and information to visitors who make the effort of visiting Arikamedu. It is indeed unfortunate that on your visit to Arikamedu there was no one to tell you of the historical significance of the place. The site is owned and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and they have not done much to protect what remains of the site, nor publicized the historical significance of Arikamedu, let alone secure the site from vandalism and other anti-social activities. However, from the beginning of 2018 we have started a guided tour of Arikamedu, where we take interested parties by boat to Arikamedu and tell them about the various settlements through the ages, and the corresponding artifacts that have been unearthed. If you do visit Pondicherry again, we will be glad to help you.
Written March 15, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

aishwarya m
New Delhi, India42 contributions
Jan 2017 • Friends
We visited Arikamedu on scooties. The ride was lovely as it went past beautifully bright coloured houses on the way. Though the site is a little secluded and we( a group of 3 girls) were the only ones there, we did not have any discomfort in exploring the site. One could spend as much time as one wants here away from the city's hustle- bustle amidst nature and history. Arikamedu is a must visit if you are in Pondicherry.
Written March 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
My compliments to you and your friends for making the effort to go to Arikamedu on your own! Although it is listed on all the tourist brochures, not much has been done to maintain, provide security and information to visitors who make the effort of visiting Arikamedu. The site is owned and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and they have not done much to protect what remains of the site, nor publicized the historical significance of Arikamedu, let alone secure the site from vandalism and other anti-social activities. However, from the beginning of 2018 we have started a guided tour of Arikamedu, where we take interested parties by boat to Arikamedu and tell them about the various settlements through the ages, and the corresponding artifacts that have been unearthed. If you do visit Pondicherry again, we will be glad to help you.
Written March 22, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amrita67
Bengaluru, India39 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
The trip to Arikamedu really added a load of meaning and fun to an otherwise normally "things-to-do" weekend in Pondicherry. The site is well worth visiting, not only to relive the glory days of the trade routes that thrived in between two great civilizations of a bygone era, but also because our guide made the outing that much more meaningful by introducing the colourful aquatic bird life the life-sustaining mangroves hugging the snaking shores of the river mouth and the calm, serene traditional fishing and boating in the placid backwaters of Thengathittu (quite literally "coconut lagoon"!!!).

Our guide was Prithvijit, a suave and decidedly knowledgeable gentleman who effortless took us through the many ages and historical influences that buffeted this little known corner of an erstwhile Roman glory. He recounted many stories and anecdotes. His remarkable knowledge of Nature springs from an obvious empathy with all things natural.

I must admit that we had a jolly good time. I wholeheartedly recommend this outing to Arikamedu to anyone who wants to add some substance to an otherwise run-of-the-mill weekend we all tend to breeze through ever so often.
Written March 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks a lot, Amrita! It is indeed encouraging to read the review of your tour to Arikamedu with us. We are glad that you enjoyed it so much, and have recommended it to others as well! In all sincerity, we started this tour hoping that both, the residents and the visitors to Pondicherry will get a meaningful insight into a place that is of such historical significance. That too in our very own backyard!
Written March 19, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SUBASITA B
Bengaluru, India14 contributions
Sep 2016 • Friends
We visited this archaeological site as we heard so much about it. The site is not that far from the main city. We travelled by bike.. The google map was really handy.. It pointed the exact location.. The road is beautiful.. As soon as we reached, the greenery was eye catching, it was pleasant and there was an uneasy calmness.. The place did not have any other tourist or visitors.. After 5 mins, we were approached by two localites, who told us to leave as soon as possible as it was not a safe place.. He told us if we are wise, go now.. We were scared and we left.. While leaving, we saw some guys drinking and such other activities.. The place was beautiful but not safe.. I would say if only you're travelling in a large group, take the risk of visiting this place.
Written September 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
It is indeed unfortunate that your visit to Arikamedu was not a pleasant one. Although it is listed on all the tourist brochures, not much has been done to maintain, provide security and information to visitors who make the effort of visiting Arikamedu. The site is owned and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and they have not done much to protect what remains of the site, nor publicized the historical significance of Arikamedu, let alone secure the site from vandalism and other anti-social activities. However, from the beginning of 2018 we have started a guided tour of Arikamedu, where we take interested people by boat to Arikamedu and tell them about the various settlements through the ages, and the corresponding artifacts that have been unearthed.
Written March 7, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ABIKRISHNA
Pondicherry, India7 contributions
Mar 2016 • Family
One of the places everyone should visit in Pondicherry is the Arikamedu Archaeological Site. It has lot of interesting things to look after. Well maintained site.
Written April 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gayatribrowncritique
Pondicherry, India4 contributions
Feb 2018 • Friends
Our knowledgeable tour guides -- Pritvijit & Basu -- made Arikamedu in Kakkayanthope, Puducherry, come alive narrating how this archaeological site was once a bustling trading harbour where Romans and Greco-Romans arrived following the tradewinds and flourished more than 2,000 years ago. With flat bricks large bricks, water reservoirs fitted with wells, colourful glass beads and amphorae in which the Romans carried wine, garum and olive oil found at the site, it was a sure sign they had indeed come to settle here.

The trip throws in an unforgettable boat ride along the Ariyankuppam river lined with mangroves and teeming with life along with Pritvijit's in-depth knowledge of the local plants and birds and other residents. Needless to say, this trip is a MUST if you're anywhere around Tamil Nadu.

What's more, our generous guides gave us tea and lovely delicacies once the excitement of the trip was over. The entire experience left me in great awe and, as a writer, inspired me to find out more about the history of Arikamedu where today only a seminary built by the French remains.

In fact, I plan to return to the Lost City again . . . very soon.
Written March 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much, Gayatri! Indeed, it was wonderful having you and your friends aboard our trip to 'Emporia Poduca', and I am glad you all enjoyed it so much. Should you wish to know more about Arikamedu and its historical legacy, we will happy to help you.
Written March 22, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Arikamedu Archaeological Site - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)