Pariaman is a coastal city in West Sumatra. Pariaman has 72,089
inhabitants (based on 2002) census and has 73.36-km2 areas. According
to the limited early sources available, by the sixteenth century
Pariaman was an important port city serving the Minangkabau settlements
in the interior highlands of central west Sumatra. Traders from
western India and later from Europe visited the port, trading
in pepper, gold, and other products of the interior. In the early
seventeenth century the port came under control of the Sultanate
of Aceh, to the north; an Acehnese governor was stationed in the
town. The port formally came under Dutch control in 1663 by treaty
with Aceh. By the early twentieth century the port was less prominent
on the coast, as Padang, just to the south, was the focus of Dutch
activities in western Sumatra and had a railroad link to the interior.
The city is administratively divided into three districts: Pariaman
Selatan, Pariaman Tengah, and Pariaman Utara.