Arikamedu – The Lost Roman Trading Port Of India


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Travelling to a heritage site always makes me happy the reason being that I get to transform myself back centuries and feel the grandeur amongst the ruins. When I was traveling to Pondicherry and was researching the various interesting places in and around Pondicherry then I chanced upon the name of Arikamedu. Searching online revealed that this is an archaeological site currently under ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).

Interestingly Arikamedu has a history that not many are aware of and the significance of the place is not only important for India but ancient Rome (Europe) also. Arikamedu was one of the most important and prominent trading ports of India with the Roman Empire dated as early as 2 BC. This place also finds a mention in Periplus Maris Erythrian which is basically the trade route map of the Roman Empire.

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Places To Eat In Pondicherry


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Pondicherry and food have a long history when it comes to the Indian Vagabond I mean me myself. Wondering what nonsense I am talking about? Well to truly understand this let us rewind a couple of years approximately 28 years. I was around 7 and somehow remember this incident as it happened.

We had gone to Bangalore during our vacation and it was just before we actually shifted there and during our vacation, we made a detour to Pondicherry where a good friend of my father Mr. Augustine Brutus lived. Pondicherry was more French than what I had seen recently, not influenced by the steady influx of tourists this place was a real little French town.

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Pondicherry – Things to Do In White Town


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In my previous blog, I have told you about White Town in Pondicherry which is basically the centrepiece of Pondicherry, a small locality located right next to the sea and stuck in a time warp. Logically this White Town is also home to some of the tourist spots in Pondicherry.

In this blog, I am going to tell you about eight of the key spots that you can visit while you are at White Town Pondicherry. These are mentioned in the order of the path that you can follow by which all of these can be covered within a walk of 1.2 Kilometres.

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Pondicherry – White Town


 

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Being a heritage lover the best part of Pondicherry according to me was the walk around White Town. As the name suggest it was a secluded section in Pondicherry which was exclusively reserved for the white French people who had settled here and called it home after 1674 when they acquired it and used it as a trading post along with other locations such as Mahe, Karaikal, Yanam and Chandannagar.

I have been to Chandannagar since it’s quite near to Kolkata and the classic French architecture is present but not like what we can see in White Town. The moment you enter this locality you will be transported a century back into some French town. The roads, houses, hanging balconies, crisscrossing streets are typical that of a French town something similar that I had seen in St. Louis in Senegal.

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Beaches in Pondicherry


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The highlight of my Pondicherry trip along with my family was the French architecture but for my daughter, her main intention was to splash in the waters of The Bay of Bengal. Thus the very moment we landed in the Union Territory of Pondicherry (now Puducherry) my daughter started throwing all sorts of tantrums forcing us to head for the beach first.

This tour of Pondicherry was completely unplanned thus I had not done any research on the important places of interest and in this confusion booked a hotel quite far from the main attractions. We took an Auto which would take us to Promenade Beach, unknown to me this is basically a beach front with a sea wall made up of large boulders and swimming is a big no no here considering the deep waters.

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Churches of Pondicherry


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India being once part of the British Empire saw its share of cross-cultural amalgamation especially when it comes to architectural style. However India being a pretty large land mass there were also some pockets of French, Portuguese and Dutch settlements. One such classic example is that of Pondicherry, a small town which had been completely engulfed into the lifestyle of a classic French town prior to India’s independence and few years even after.

After the De Jure of 1956 which was the treaty under which Pondicherry and other French territories of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam became Indian territories. There was, however, a twist where Pondicherry did not merge with Madras (Tamil Nadu) but instead remained as a Union Territory.

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