Chengalpattu district came into existence on 29.11.2019, when it was carved out of the erstwhile Kancheepuram district. Chengalpattu district being part of the Kancheepuram district until recently and being in close geographical proximity to the city of Kancheepuram which is a cultural hub for the region, has undergone through almost all the phases of history which Kancheepuram has witnessed. From 600 AD to 900 AD the region was under the Pallava rule. It was during the Pallava reign that the Chengalpattu region attained the maximum height of prosperity and cultural glory. The temple architecture, as illustrated by the rock cut temple of Mamallapuram and other temples belonging to the contemporary period along the east coast, was at its excellence during the Pallava period.
Following the decline of the Pallava Empire, the Chengalpattu region came under the Imperial Cholas from 900 AD to 1300 AD. Another important phase of the history of Chengalpattu district is the one when the region was reigned by the Vijaynagara Empire from 1336 AD to 1675 AD. The town of Chengalpattu was formerly a capital of the kings of Vijayanagar after they were defeated by the Deccan sultanate in the battle of Talikota in 1565. The fortress at Chengalpattu, built by the Vijayanagara kings in the 16th century was of much strategic importance owing to the swamp surrounding it and the lake situated beside it. Chengalpattu was taken by the French in 1751 and was retaken in 1752 by the British Governor Robert Clive. After that incident the fortress proved to be of great strategic advantage to the British. During the wars of the British with Hyder Ali of Mysore, the fortress withstood the latter’s assault and afforded refuge to the nearby residents. By 1900, the town was noted for its manufacture of pottery and was a local market centre, especially of rice trade. The district was home to cotton and silk weaving, indigo dyeing and tanneries. Extensive salt manufacturing also took place along the coast. Coming to the post-independence era, the town of Chengalpattu served as the head quarters of combined Kancheepuram district until the year 1969 when the head quarters was shifted to Kancheepuram town.
Chengalpattu district is situated on the north east coast of Tamilnadu with a total geographical area of 2945 Sq.Kms. The district is bounded on the north by the Chennai district, West by the Kancheepuram district and Thiruvanamalai districts and on the south by the Vilupuram district. With a coastal length of 57 Kms, the district is bounded in the east by the Bay of Bengal. Chengalpattu features a tropical wet and dry climate. The fact that the district is close to the thermal equator and is also coastal prevents extreme variations in the seasonal temperature. The month of January with 25°C average temperature is the coldest month of the year. Average annual rainfall of the district is about 1400 mm. The district gets most of its annual seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon winds during the months of October and November.
The river Palar is one of the major rivers in the state of Tamil Nadu traversing through Chengalpattu district for a length of 54 Kms. The river Palar enters the district at Palur village and confluxes with Bay of Bengal between Vayalur and Kadalur village. Moreover, the district is bounded by the river Adayar in the north and the Ongur river in the south. Besides the aforesaid rivers, Neenjal Maduvu, Pukkadurai Odai, and Kiliyar are other minor rivers flowing through Chengalpattu district. The district is home to 528 major irrigation tanks having ayacut of more than 100 Acres (or) 40 Hectares each.
Agriculture is the main occupation of majority of people in this district. Even though the district is very close to Chennai, agriculture is the inevitable occupation of the people living in this district. Rice is the major crop grown throughout all over the district. Madurantakam, cheyyur and Thirukkazhukkundram taluks are major producers of rice in this district. Sugarcane also grown in some parts of the district. Tamil Nadu Government has a cooperative sugar mills in Padalam village of Madurantakam taluk. Groundnuts also grown as major crop in areas where/when there is scarcity of water or shortage of rainfall. Cheyyur and Thirupporur taluks are well known for money crops such as groundnuts, Urid dhal, Moong dhal, Karamani, Seasame, etc.
Vegetables such as brinjal, ladies finger also grown in Thirupporur, Thirukkazhukkundram and Madurantakam regions.
Watermelons are cultivated in Kodur, Cheyyur and its surrounding areas during summer.
Beetel leaves were produced in Karunguzhi.
Siruseri SIPCOT IT Park which is the largest IT parks in Asia is situated in Thirupporur taluk.
Madras Export Processing Zone has large number of IT and BPO based companies in Tambaram.
Maraimalai Nagar is Detroit of Chengalpattu district having various automobile manufacturing units such as Ford motors, Hyundai, Rane TRW etc.
Mahindra World City has large number of companies in IT SEZ,Auto Ancillary SEZ, Apparel & Fashion SEZ and DTA.
Madras Atomic power station is present in Kalpakkam.
Marg Swarnabhoomi SEZ present in Kodur.
Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) is about to be setup in Cheyyur by government of India.
Distilleries are present in Chengalpattu and Madurantakam areas.
Chengalpattu district is well connected with all means of transport such as roadways, railways etc.
This district has well developed roads interconnecting all major towns, villages to the district capital. Below are the major road systems present in this district.
- NH45 passing through Meenambakkam, Pallavaram, Chromepet, Tambaram, Perungalathur, Vandalur, Guduvancheri, Maraimalai Nagar, Chengalpattu, Karunguzhi, Madurantakam, Melmaruvathur, Acharapakkam and Thozhuppedu connecting Chennai and southern parts of Tamilnadu.
- Outer ring road starting from Vandalur connecting Mannivakkam, Thirumudivakkam to places in Thiruvallur districts such as Poonamalle, Thirunindravur, Minjur and Ennore port.
- East Coast road connecting East part of Chennai running through Kovalam, Vadanemmeli, Mamallapuram, Kalpakkam, Koovathur and Kadapakkam to Puducherry and other coastal districts of Tamilnadu.
- Old Mahabalipuram Road called with other names as Rajiv Gandhi Salai or IT Expressway connecting Madhya Kailash of Chennai to Mamallapuram through Navalur, Kelambakkam, Thirupporur, paiyanoor.
Other major roads are Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road, Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road,Pallavaram-Kundrathur-Poonamallee Road connecting Kundrathur of Kanchipuram District and Poonamallee of Thiruvallur District, Tambaram-Velachery road, Tambaram- Mudichur road connecting oragadam of Kanchipuram district, Guduvancheri-Nellikuppam road, Urapakkam-Adhanur road, Singaperumal koil-Shriperumbudur road, Chengalpattu- Thirupporur Highway, Chengalpattu-Mamallapuram road, Bukkathurai-Uthiramerur road, Padalam-Cheyyur road, Padalam-Vedanthangal road, Karunguzhi-Thirukkazhukundram road, Madurantakam-Vennagupattu road, Cheyyur-Sothupakkam-Vandavasi road, Thozhuppedu-Orathy-Thindivanam road.
Apart from these major roads, this district has many PWD roads which helps in connecting small villages to taluk or district headquarters.
Chengalpattu district is the one of the best districts in tamilnadu having good railway network. Major stations in this district are Tambaram (TBM),Perungalathur (PRGL) Chengalpattu (CGL), Melmaruvathur (MLMR), Madurantakam (MMK).
Chennai suburban trains which starts from Chennai beach (MSB) towards Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Tirumalpur and Arakkonam covers major towns of this district.
Chennai Metro rail limited (CMRL) has proposed extension of Metro line from Airport Metro till Kilambakkam near Urapakkam touching Pallavaram, Chromepet, Mepz, Tambaram, Perungalathur, Vandalur to ease passenger commute in suburbs.
Southern Railways are in planning to build Rail tracks parallel to East Coast Road.
The Chennai International Airport is located here opposite the Tirusulam Railway station, with the cargo terminal located at the adjacent Meenambakkam. Chennai International Airport (IATA: MAA, ICAO: VOMM) is the primary airport serving the city of Chennai. The airport is the regional headquarters of the Airports Authority of India for South India comprising the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala and the union territories of Puducherry and Lakshadweep.