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.
Chengalpattu, is the district headquarters. For administrative purpose, the district has been divided into 3 revenue divisions consisting of 8 Taluks with 636 revenue villages. For development purpose, it is divided into 8 development blocks with 359 Village Panchayats.