Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trade centre is 4 Kms. south of Puducherry on the right bank of Ariyankuppam river. It has a long history that dates back to the second century B.C. The port town was inhabited by Romans, Cholas and French who left their mark on this wonderful place. The Roman treasure trail and Arikamedu river cruise take you down the History lane. An unforgettable experience that you wouldn't want to miss.
Arikamedu a fishing colony was used as a port for trade with the Romans and Greco-Romans. An ancient Chola coin dating back to 1 B.C. suggests involvement of Cholas in various port related activities. Some names on seals that were found here have been mentioned in the Sangam literature as well. Besides maritime commerce there seems to be evidence of inland trade with other 'megalithic' sites like Kaveripattinam, Alagankulam, Musiri and Suttukeni along river valley routes. Jouveau-Dubreail identified Arikamedu as Poduke in the Periplus Maris Erythraei. Later the site was divided into two sectors northern and southern as they were perceived to have been inhabited by different ethnic groups. It is also known as 'Yavanas' in Tamil literature
Wine seems to have been a major import as traces of Amphora jars suggest.'Yavanas' and wine have been mentioned in the same breath in Tamil literature- "having increased the joy by giving to the girls of shining bangles, who every day have taken in hands, vessels beautified by gold, to drink the cool, fragrant wine brought by the Yavanas in beautiful bowls".