NH 45A


Cuddalore (கடலூர்) is a fast growing industrial city and headquarters of Cuddalore district in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India. Located south of Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal, Cuddalore has a large number of industries which employ a great deal of the city's population. However, one industrial pocket -SIPCOT - has also secured it a place in the dubious club of global toxic hotspots owing to the area's high levels of pollution.

The word Cuddalore literally means "Sea Town" in Tamil. Cuddalore is known for its picturesque beaches, particularly Silver Beach, and, until the problems associated with its industrial development became known, had some ambitions an emerging tourism hub.

Cuddalore town

There are two large divisions in the town of Cuddalore: the Old Town, and the New Town (Thirupadirippuliyur). The Gedilam River flows through the town and separates the Old Town from Thirupadiripuliyur. The Old Town has been a seaport since ancient times; Cuddalore traded with the Roman Empire approximately 2000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of these ancient trade relationships can be found in the Cuddalore Government Museumin Manjakkuppam. Cuddalore was the first town in Southern India which came under direct European control. The Dutch were the first to conquer it, followed by Portugal, France and later Britain. The British built Fort St David in Cuddalore near Devanampattinam. Cuddalore also has some very well respected schools, the most popular among them being St. Josephs Higher Seconday School, Manjakkuppam which is one of the oldest school, with all facilities. St. Mary's. St. David school also the other schools. All these schools were founded by Europeans in the 17th century and the oldest surviving schools in India.

The town is well-known for its temples. This is one of the rarest town with both Saiva and Vaishnava temples. The most famous of these is the temple of Shiva(saiva), one of the three principal deities of Hinduism. The incarnation of Shiva at Cuddalore is called Padaleeshwarar. The temple itself is located in Thiruppadirippuliyur center of the town. The other one is "Perumal" Temple in Thiruvandhipuram(Vainava) 7 km from Thiruppadirippuliyur. Chidambaram, a city also known for dance and temples, is only 43 km away from Cuddalore. Cuddalore has famous vishnavate temples in and around the city. Tiruvaheendirapuram, the Sacred Abode of Lord DEVANATHA, is one of the ancient Vaishnavite temples and also one of the 108 Vaishnavite shrines sanctified by the visit of the great Alwars and Acharyas, held in great reverence by the devotees. This place is one of the two Nadunattu Tirupathis. It is situated 7 km west of Tirupapuliyur (Cuddalore New Town) Railway Station. Srimushnam located 31 km from Chidambaram(Cuddalore), Srimushnam, the famous Vaishnava temple of Bhuvaraha. This is one of the eight Vaishavas shrines. The image in the temple is self created (Swayam Vyakta) representing Varaha Avator. The original image in marble is said to have been taken away by Krishna Deva Wodeyar of Mysore and installed it at Srirengapattinam.

Cuddalore's magnificent beaches are becoming a tourist attraction, especially the well-known Silver Beach. The boat house near the beach is known for its beauty. The mangrove forest in Pichavaram is considered one among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world. Number of islands interpersing a vast expanse of water covered with green trees and boating facilities gives special attraction to this spot.

Pollution in the SIPCOT Area

Cuddalore's recent past has been overshadowed by the consequences of its industrial development.

As in many other towns in Tamil Nadu such as Kodaikanal, Mettur or Karaikal in Pundicherry, development in Cuddalore has taken a heavy toll among local communities who have struggled to be able to defend themselves.

Reports of the illegal dumping of toxic waste abound, although very little progress has been made through judicial channels.

On 22nd March 2008 a report for the Tamil Nadu Pollution Board by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute found that residents of the SIPCOT areea of Cuddalore were at least 2000 times more likely to contract cancer in their lifetimes due to their exposure to high levels of toxic gases from chemical industries in the region.


Cuddalore is located at . It has an average elevation of 1 metres (3 feet).


As of 2001 India census, Cuddalore had a population of 158,569. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Cuddalore has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81% and, female literacy is 70%. In Cuddalore, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


In the neighborhood are the ruins of Fort St David situated on the river Gadilam, which has a stirring history. As a small fort built by a Hindu merchant, it fell into the hands of the Marathas after the capture of Gingee by Sivaji in 1677. From them it was purchased by the English in 1690, the purchase including not only the fort but the adjacent towns and villages within "ye randome shott of a piece of ordnance." A great gun was fired to different points of the compass and all the country within its range, including the town of Cuddalore, passed into the possession of the English. The villages thus obtained are still spoken of as cannon ball villages.

From 1725 onwards the fortifications were greatly strengthened. In 1746 Fort St. David became the British headquarters for the south of India, and Dupleix' attack was successfully repulsed. Clive was appointed its governor in 1756; in 1758 the French captured it, but abandoned it two years later to Sir Eyre Coote. In 1782 the French captured it again, and restored it sufficiently to withstand a British attack in 1783 -- see Battle of Cuddalore (1783). In 1785 it finally passed into British possession.

Famous people

  • Famous Indian Twins also known as "Arcot twins Brothers" Sir Arcot RamaSwamy Mudaliar & Sir Arcot Lakshmana Swamy Mudaliar were born & resided in this town.
  • Aswath Damodaran (famous, grandson of Sir Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar) Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York.
  • A. Subbarayalu Reddiar - the first Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is from Cuddalore
  • Many popular writers of Tamil literature, such as Jayakanthan and Pudhumaipithan, were born in Cuddalore.
  • In the year 203 AD, Kriya Babaji Nagaraj was born near Cuddalore.
  • Vethathiri Maharishi, a spiritual and social worker from Tamil Nadu who founded the World Community Service Center, started to preach to his disciples from Cuddalore.
  • Jothi Ramalinga Swamigal, also familiarly known as Vallalar (October 5, 1823 - January 23, 1873), was born, as Ramalingam, in a village near Chidambaram.
  • A.Iyyappan, Scientist, Proventus Life Sciences, Chennai.
  • Mr. K. Veeramani, President of Dravida Kazhagam was born in Cuddalore old town.
  • Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, who was collector of Cuddalore district when the 2004 Tsunami struck, did a fabulous job in getting the town back to normal.
  • One of the leading Indian consumer brands company Cavinkare's Chairman C.K. Ranganathan is from this city. And his first product was made from this town only.
  • Shri Kannayan Ramalingam, Chairman of Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • Sri Muralidhara Swamiji was born in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu, South India on 8th November 1961.
  • V.Vaithilingam (born October 5, 1950 in Cuddalore) was a Chief Minister of Pondicherry, serving from 1991 to 1996.
  • Justice K.Kannan, Judge, high court of Judicature at Madras. author of several leading law books including ones on injunction and insurance. Editor of the Oldest private Journal, Madras Law Journal [He also represented South Arcot District in Cricket (School and Seniors). Represented Combined Districts against the City].
  • Retired High Court Justice K.Sampath hails from Cuddalore
  • Retired High Court Justice R. Balasubramaniam hails from Cuddalore
  • Kurinjivelan @ A. Selvaraju, Writer (Translation) born in a village Meenakshipet near Kurinjipadi, Cuddalore Dt. He got Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation in 1994 (Vishakanyaka-Malayalam to Vishakanni-Tamil). Editor, Thisaiettum, Translation Quarterly Journal.
  • Andrilparavai: Nickname given by herself for vocal: The fourth child of the Thamizh Nadu literary figure Paavalareru-Perunchithiranar, the vocalist was born in Cuddalore, Thamizh Nadu, spent her early childhood in Cuddalore, and later in Chennai.
  • Kavizhar.Ka.po.Ilamvazuthi, Kavizhar. Rajkavi,SRC,Kadal Nagarajan are in cuddalore.
  • N. S. Ramaswami, journalist was born in Cuddalore (In the line of Cardus )
  • India's Under World Don "Haji Mastan" was born in Cuddalore.

Sportsmen/Sportswomen/Sports Accomplishments:

  • Abraham Rajan Asian Games Gold Medalist, trained in Cuddalore during the late 70s and early 80s
  • Balambal Balasubramaiyam (born and raised in Cuddalore) was a national athlete during the early 70s, represented Railways and participated in the World Masters championship held in Spain
  • R. Ramkumar
  • Krish Srikanth (Indian Captain and Cricket Commentator. Srikanth's family hails from Cuddalore)
  • S. Balaji (born in Cuddalore, cricketer, played for Railways in the Ranji Trophy and represented ICF in the Chennai League).
  • Cuddalore (Earlier South Arcot) won the Inter-District Cricket Championship in 1969 (SS Rajan Trophy), PR Thevar Trophy (U-19) in the year 1980 and Runners up in 1979.

Educational Institutions

Some of the major schools in the town are

  • PRS Memorial Matriculation School
  • Municipal Girls High School (Manjakuppam)
  • Baba Matric Higher Secondary School
  • Government Municipal Boys Hr. Sec. School
  • St. Mary's Matriculation Hr. Sec. School
  • A.R.L.M. Matriculation Higher Secondary School
  • St. Joseph's Girls Hr. Sec. School, Koothapakkam, Cuddalore -607002
  • Krishnasamy Memorial Matriculation School
  • St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School (NT - Manjakuppam, Cuddalore -607001
  • St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School (NT - Thirupadhiripuliyur)Cuddalore-607002
  • St. David's Matriculation school (Old Town area) - (old name-SPG SCHOOL)Cuddalore -607003
  • St. Annes Girls Higher Secondary School, Puddupalayam, cuddalore-607002
  • Lakshmi Chordia Memorial Matriculation School, Thirupadhiripuliyur

The colleges in and around the town are

  • Periyar Government College of Arts and Science (Devanampattinam)
  • St. Josephs College of Science and Arts (NT - Manjakuppam)
  • Kandhaswami Naidu College of Arts & Science for Women (NT - Manjakuppam) aka KNC
  • Krishnaswamy College of Engineering & Technology (S. Kumarapuram Cuddalore -607109)
  • Sri jayaram Engineering college(jayaram nagar,cuddalore)
  • J.S.J.V Teacher Training Institute(jayaram nagar,Cuddalore)
  • jayavignesh Teacher Training Institute(NT-Cuddalore)


Cuddalore is connected to other parts of Tamil Nadu through a very good rail and road network. Frequent buses run to nearby towns like Pondicherry,Chidambaram, Panruti and Villupuram. Buses to major cities of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Salem are also available from Cuddalore.


Cuddalore has two railway stations, Thirupadirippuliyur and Cuddalore Port Junction, with station codes TDPR and CUPJ respectively. The station code for Cuddalore Port Junction was previously COT, as the station is located in Cuddalore OT. Thirupadirippuliyur railway station is located in the Cuddalore new town and is at a walkable distance to Cuddalore bus stand.

Cuddalore is served by the railway line Chennai - Villupuram - Mayiladuthurai - Tiruchirapalli, popularly known as the Main Line. This line is currently closed for traffic as part of Villupuram - Mayiladuthurai Unigauge gauge conversion. This line is expected to open for traffic in Mid-2008.

Cuddalore Port Junction(CUPJ) has a second railway line going to Salem via Vridhachalam Junction. Currently there are daily passenger trains going to Tiruchirappalli and Vridhachalam at 6:00 AM and 08:40 PM respectively.


* SH-9, (the Cuddalore-Nellikuppam-Panruti-Madapattu-Thirukovilur-Thiruvannamalai-Polur-Vellore-Katpadi-Chittoor Road)
* SH-10, (the Cuddalore-Vadalur-Neyveli-Vriddhachalam-Veppur-Salem Road)
* SH-68, (the Cuddalore-Thiruvandipuram-Palur-Panruti-Arasur-Thirukovilur-Sankarapuram Road)

Investor Information

Recent Head Lines:-

Property Market boom in Cuddalore as the land selling and buying was prohibited by law (new law) in Pondicherry - nearby Union Territory.


There are 100's of private clinics and bunches of private nursing homes in Cuddalore. Almost all the surrounding towns and small towns are heavily relying on Cuddalore's Government Hospitals, doctors & private clinics for minor treatment and sickness consultations.


Even though now Cuddalore have a bunch of industries, the main business of Cuddalore was fisheries. The original Cuddalore town is called OT (Old Town), it was once an anchor point for imports and Exports, but after Government started accumulating and organising imports and exports to the nearest Metro (Chennai) , Cuddalore's labor force was diluted to Factories and Industries.

Currently the governments are concentrating on small to medium sized industries in and around Cuddalore. Such projects are SIDCO, SIPCOT, Regional Palm Products Manufacturing Society, Regional Sugarcane Research Foundation and more.

But currently what is in the news is the Proposed Harbor. Which is an eye of focus for the governments are this is going to attract Ship Building industry also. Government's future plan is that its going to be No 2 metro next to Chennai. Reasons are very strong :-

  • Next biggest City with bunch of organised facilities
  • Best geography for a good Sea Port
  • Have a good history of Business and inland traders through sea.
  • There is a nearest source of power (Electricity - from Neyveli - Power Plants)
  • Richest source of Thorium
  • Abundant fishermen community (Suitable for handling port operations in tough conditions)
  • Good rail links
  • Good road links
  • Every Facility is a future proof
  • Good sea routes
  • A brand new proposal is in the table for an International Airport in Pondycherry (Pudhucheri), which is 35 minutes drive from Cuddalore.


The Neyveli Lignite Corporation, a public sector company operating out of Neyveli, is located near Cuddalore. Of the thermal electricity generated in Tamil Nadu, a large percentage -- more than 2500 megawatts -- comes from the power plants in Neyveli.

The 2004 tsunami

Tsunami waves that followed the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake near Sumatra hit the eastern coast of India on December 26 2004 by 08:32 in the morning. Cuddalore was heavily affected by the waves. 572 bodies were recovered and many are still missing. Several fishing hamlets have simply disappeared. Silver Beach and the historically important Cuddalore Port were devastated. Fort St. David survived without damage. District

Cuddalore, being accessible from major cities like Chennai and Bangalore, received relief supplies relatively early. The management of relief operations in the district was handled by the local authorities and villagers themselves. Some more remote villages became inaccessible due to a bridge breaking apart, leaving rescued villagers very anxious about their homes.


Cuddalore assembly constituency is part of Cuddalore (Lok Sabha constituency).


External links

See also

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