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Sunset view
Sunset view
Pallavaramபல்லாவரம் is located in Chennai
Coordinates: 12°59′N 80°11′E / 12.98°N 80.18°E / 12.98; 80.18Coordinates: 12°59′N 80°11′E / 12.98°N 80.18°E / 12.98; 80.18
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Kancheepuram
Metro Chennai
 • Municipal Chairman K. M. R. Nissar Ahamed[1]
 • Total 18 km2 (7 sq mi)
Elevation 16 m (52 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 215,417
 • Density 12,000/km2 (31,000/sq mi)
 • Official Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Vehicle registration TN-22

Pallavaram ('originally Pallava Puram) is a town and a second-grade municipality located in the suburbs of Chennai. It forms a part of the Tambaram taluk of Kanchipuram district and is located 17 kilometres from Chennai city. Pallavaram is known for its cantonment and bustling residential colonies. The suburb is served by Pallavaram railway station of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network.

Pallavaram has a long history and has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age. The city derives its name from the Pallava settlement of Pallavapuram of which it used to form a part. The cantonment and aerodrome were established during British rule. The British also carried out mining activities on Pallavaram Hill made of charnockite rock which is believed to have healing properties. As of 2011, the town had a population of 215,417.


Pallavaram is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited places in South India. A major archaeological find was made in the year 1864 when the British archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote discovered a stone implement from the Paleolithic Age inside a ballast pit.[2] Since then, a number of stone age artifacts have been uncovered.[2] Most of these artifacts are currently lodged in the Egmore museum.[2]

The present-day town of Pallavaram has its origins in the setllement of Pallavapuram which existed during the time of the 7th century Pallava king Mahendravarman I.[3] The Pallavas have left titles in early Pallava script at the cave temple in Pallavaram which date back to 600 A.D.[4] The remains of a cave shrine constructed by the Pallava ruler have been found at the spot where an Islamic dargah now stands.[3]

Both the Mughal Empire and the British East India Company had their cantonments in Pallavaram. During the 17th century, Pallavaram remained dependent for sometime, upon the Portuguese colony of San Thome. During the 18th century, the British established a cantonment at Pallavaram, supplementary to the one at St. Thomas Mount. A wireless station was established in the early years of the 20th century. The Madras aerodrome was opened at Pallavaram in 1929. From the late 1930s onwards, Pallavaram formed one of the chief areas of Greater Madras.


Pallavaram hill[edit]

The Pallavaram hill is actually located in Tirusulam and it is quite close to tirusulam railway station (opposite to the airport). The hill served as stone quarry in the past but the quarrying works have been stopped since the airport was built. But the Hill is named after Pallavaram since Tirusulam was less known to people in those days. The Hill is mainly used as shooting spot for Tamil Movies and Television dramas. Some of the movies that have been filmed here include Bhairavi, Oor Kaavalan and Indru Poi Naalai Vaa, Gentleman, Theeradha Vilayattu pillai etc. The central government has also set up a research centre on the hill.

Pallavaram Market[edit]

Pallavaram has a very big market which has hundreds of shops and roadside vendors which is in operation for more than 75 years. It has also a fish market housed in a dilapidated building. Few years ago, the government vacated the road side vendors of the market with brute force, but since then, few vendors sell their vegetables. It is possible to find almost all the food items in the market.

Uzhavar Sandhai[edit]

Pallavaram boasts to have got the 100th Uzhavar Sandhai(Market for farmers), which was inaugurated by then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr.M.Karunanidhi. It was inaugurated on Nov-14th 2001. It serves as a place to buy vegetables at a cheaper price. Though it has lost its sheen, it still functions as supplement to the main market.

Periya Eri[edit]

The Pallavaram periya eri (literally 'big lake'), once a sprawling water body covering about 189 acres, has shrunk to a small patch on the lines of a pond on one side and a hillock of garbage on the other. The dumping of garbage from all the 42 wards of the Pallavaram Municipality for nearly a decade is the main reason for the shrinkage of the water body. Nearly 25 acres had been lost to encroachments alone. The construction of Pallavaram–Thoraipakkam Road, a project initiated to connect Chennai Airport and Rajiv Gandhi Salai, had split the lake into two halves. The portion of the lake on the southern side of the road has completely been covered by garbage. On the northern side of the road, the discharge of sewage from commercial establishments and homes and also effluents from some of the leather manufacturing units in Nagalakeni has affected the quality of the water.[5]

Play Grounds[edit]

There were lot of vacant grounds in the locality which served as playground for the local children. The famous grounds include Cantonment Ground (Behind Cantonment high school), Ground surrounding Bhajanai kovil (An old temple which was located opposite the Francis Xavier Church and next to Cantonment Ground. The temple was left unused for many years and was ultimately demolished to prevent illegal activities that took place during the late hours), Zeal ground (was located next to GST road and was close to Army camp) and Aduthotti Ground (Slaughter House). Out of all these only Aduthotti ground is left for the children and other three were taken up by government and high compound walls were built and left unused and also not allowing people to use it. There is a cricket ground with well laid cricket pitch behind Areva factory.

Army Camp[edit]

Army camp in Pallavaram is perhaps the most famous of all the establishments in the locality. It is situated next to Cantonment Pallavaram and covers a huge area in the locality. The army camp has lot of Soldiers and officers serving Indian Army. Most parts of the camp is inaccessible to the civilians. There are also lot of housing apartments for the families of Jawans and their officers. Pallavaram got its Cantonment status only because of the army camp.


Pallavaram has lots of temples, mosques and churches. Pallavaram Perumal temple is the famous temple in the locality, which was re-built recently. St.Francis Xavier church is the biggest church in the locality. There are also many masjids of which Pallvaram Jamia Masjid in market road is the biggest of them all. There are also places of worship for Jains.


By Train[edit]

Pallavaram is well connected to the city of Chennai by public transportation services including the famous electric train service that was built during British rule. Pallavaram is located in the Beach - Tambaram-Chengalpattu suburban railway network. The railway station has four platforms and serves thousands of passengers everyday. Train service is one of the important transport source for the residents here.

By Road[edit]

The Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST) that connects various south Indian cities to Chennai passes through this township. Buses to Tambaram, Chennai Beach, T Nagar, High Court, Avadi etc. are available at regular intervals from Pallavaram. Pallavaram bus stop is was reconstructed recently and serves thousands of residents in and around this area. Pallavaram is around 1.5 km away from the Chennai Airport. The Perungudi bypass road connects Adambakkam, Madipakkam, Medavakkam, velacheri, perungudi and Thoraipakkam (OMR).

In the 1960s and 1970s taking a walk along the GST road was a common activity of elderly residents of Pallavaram. However, this has become uncommon today as the road now has heavy traffic at most times of the day.


There are many educational institutions in the locality. St.Theresa Girls Higher Secondary School is the biggest of them all, in terms of number of students. Top performing schools include Vel's Vidhyashram, St.Sebastian's Matriculation Higher secondary school. Other schools include Kavitha Matriculation Hr.Sec. School, Cantonment high school, and Govt. Board High school are also present. Vel's University is also situated in the locality.

Pallavapuram Municipality[edit]

During 2001-2011, Pallavaram registered a population growth of 50 percent with a 2011 population of 216,308.[6] Pallavapuram Municipality was constituted as a III Grade Municipality on 17.01.1970 vide G.o.No. 55 R.D. & L.A. Department dated 12.01.1970, by Combining the following Town Panchayats and Panchayats.

  • old Pallavaram
  • Issa Pallavaram Town Panchayat
  • Hasthinapuram Town Panchayat
  • Kilkattalai Panchayat
  • Nemilichery Panchayat

It has been upgraded to 2nd Grade Municipality vide G.O. No. 200 R.D. & L.A. dated 10.02.1975, and to 1st Grade on 09.02.1983 as per R.D.& L.A. G.O. No. 651 dated 08.05.1983.

Pallavapuram Municipal office is located at G.S.T. Road, Chromepet. It is very near to Chromepet Railway Station and M.I.T. Campus.[7]


Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1901 6,416 —    
1911 7,059 +10.0%
1941 9,879 +39.9%
1951 11,941 +20.9%
1961 16,253 +36.1%
1971 51,374 +216.1%
1981 83,901 +63.3%
1991 111,866 +33.3%
2001 143,984 +28.7%
2011 215,417 +49.6%

According to 2011 census, Pallavaram had a population of 215,417 with a sex-ratio of 996 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[8] A total of 22,258 were under the age of six, constituting 11,253 males and 11,005 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 15.88% and .48% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 83.27%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[8] The city had a total of 56135 households. There were a total of 81,669 workers, comprising 164 cultivators, 468 main agricultural labourers, 906 in house hold industries, 73,547 other workers, 6,584 marginal workers, 116 marginal cultivators, 65 marginal agricultural labourers, 326 marginal workers in household industries and 6,077 other marginal workers.[9]


  1. ^ The Hindu dated 22 October 2011
  2. ^ a b c Muthiah, Pg 129
  3. ^ a b Muthiah, Pg 128
  4. ^ "A vantage point-of-view". The Hindu. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 16 Oct 2012. 
  5. ^ Manikandan, K. (2 July 2012). "The slow death of Pallavaram periya eri". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 14 Jul 2012. 
  6. ^ Kalyanaraman, M. (25 October 2011). "Migration Spurs Suburban Sprawl". The Times of India epaper (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 25 Oct 2011. 
  7. ^ "|| Welcome to Pallavapuram Municipality ||". 1970-01-17. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  8. ^ a b "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Pallavaram". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 

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