Nagapattinam district was carved out by bifurcating the composite Thanjavur district on 18.10.1991. Nagappatinam is a unique District with all its historical and cultural significance. Nagappattinam is one of the constituents of chola mandalam, acclaimed as the Most prominent among the ancient Tamil Kingdoms. Its salient features more than anything else have contributed to the glory of the cholamandalam.
Costal town Nagappattinam was the Headquarters of a region during the period This region has been named after Kshathiriya sigamani. One of the titles of Raja Raja Cholan. Nagappattinam was also known as ‘Cholakula Vallippatinam’. The Heritage of the town is found in the Burmese historical text of 3rd century B.C. The same text gives evidences of a Budha Vihar built by the great Ashoka. The chineseTraveler Hiuen Tsang. Also mentioned the Budha vihar in his book. Nagappattinam is mentioned as Padarithitha in ancient Buddhist literature According to scholars avurithidal the name of the part of Nagappattinam might have been derived from the word ‘’Padarithitha” is the name of the fruit tree “Bhirtree” very common in this region.
In ancient times, “NagaNadu”, “Nagappattinam” referred only to Sri Langa. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka had close links with this town Nagappattinam. “Animangalam Copperplate” of Kulothungachola notes that “Kasiba Thera” [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple in 6th century AD with the the help of Buddhist monks of ‘Naganadu’ This ‘nagar annam vihar’ later came to be known as ‘Nagananavihar’.
Pallava King Rajasimha [690-728A D] permitted a chinese king to build Buddha vihar in Nagappattinam. Hence there existed a chinese built budha vihar inNagappattinam. According to Anaimangalam copper plate of Kulothunga I , sriVijayathunga Varman of sri Vijaya kingdam built Raja Raja Perumpalli in the name of Raja Raja Cholanand [Rajendra Chola Perumpalli] in the name of Rajendra Chola in1090A D. This budha vihar also called Sudamani vihar’.Excavations were conducted by the Archaeological department at Vellipalayam in Nagappattinam and more than 300. Budha statues were unearthed and kept at the Museum in Chennai. This dilapidated Budist tower was razed down 200years ago.
Nagore was called so because it was inhabited by the Nagars. TheNagappatinam Kayaroganam Shiva temple existed even in the 6th century ApparSambandar and Sundarar were associated with this temple ;Kayaroganam Shivatemple is based on the “Laguleesa Pusuptha Cult” .Soundaraja Perumal ViashnavaTemple is one of the notable features of Nagappattinam. This favorite town of Chola Kings was also celebrated latter;by Vijaya Nagara Kings. Portuguese had a commercial contact with this town during the Tanjore Nayakkas rule [Sevvppa Nayakkar] and [Acchuthappa Nayakkar] Portguese commercial centure was eastablished in 1554;’ Since then christianity began to take root under the commercial contact, 10 -villages are taken control of by Portugese traders With the advent of Portugese Velankanni Church came into existence.
In 1658, the Dutch tried to evict the Portugese town Nagappattinam to establish the commercial centre there under the agreement reached between King Vijaya Nayakkarof Thanjavoorand the Dutch on 05-01-1662. The following ten villages namely Nagappattinam Port;Puthur;Muttam, Poruvalancheri, Anthonippettai, Karureppankadu, AzhingiMangalam, Sangamangalam, Thiruthinamangalam, Manjakollai, Nariyankudi were transferred from the Portugese to the Dutch.
Ten Christian churches and a hosptial were built by the Dutch. They also released coins with the name Nagappattinam; engraved in Tamil letters. Accordingto the agreement between the first Maratta King ‘Egoji’ of Tanjore and the Dutch. Naagappattinam and surrounding villages were handed over to the Dutch.on 30.12.1676. Latter this town fell into the hands of the British in 1781after the prolonged struggles 277 villages with Nagur as the Headquarters were handed over to the East India companyin1779 Gold coins bearing the names ‘Nagappattinam Varagan’ and ‘Nagappattinam chornam’ were in circulation during Tanjore Maratha Kings period. Thus the Nagappattinam has the history of over 2000 years for its credit. Today Nagappattinam remains the Head quarters of Nagappattinam District.
Nagapattinam district, the land of communal harmony, was carved out by bifurcating the composite Thanjavur district on 18.10.1991. This district hastraditionally been referred to as East Thanjavur and Paddy granary of South India Nagapattinam District lies on the shores of the Bay of Bengal between Northern Latitude 10.10' and 11.20' East Longtitute 79.15' and 79.50' This is peninsular delta District surrounded by Bay of Bengal on the East, Palk Straint on the South and land on the West and Northern Side. This District is predominantly, A Coastal District having a large coast line of 141 kilometres. This District has a numerous places of historical importance. Nagapattinam is an old Port Town.
This District is having an area of 2715.83 Sq. Kms in its fold. The DistrictHeadquaters is Nagapattinam. This district is enveloping 11 Panchayat Unions, 4 Municipalties, 8 Town Panchayats on its Development Side. On the Revenue Side,it is housing 2 Revenue divisions with 4 and 3 Taluks respectively and 523 revenueVillages. Decades back to Sangam-age, NAGAPATTINAM district was ruled over by Chola Kings and by Pandiyas for a short while.
Among the Chola kings, King Karikalan renovated and built the renowned port of Poompuhar (located in Nagapattinam district).
Kosagan - the brilliant and illustrious king of Chola age built numerous shiva temples including the famous Singaravelar temple at Sikkal.
Nagapattinam is one of the oldest port cities of Chola empire. It was called as "Naval Pattinam"- The city of ships. During 1620 AD, a Danish settlement was established at Tharangambadi in this district.