Tirukazhukundram's name is derived from kazhughu, meaning eagle. At one time, two eagles soared above the Shiva temple above the nearby hill every day at lunch time, and the priest at the temple gave them food as a ritual. According to legend, these eagles were not ordinary eagles, but two rishis whom a curse had transformed into birds. The legend also said that the eagles would stop coming to the temple during the Kali Yuga. The eagles have not been sighted in recent years, which is regarded as a sign that the Kali Yuga has begun.
In the 2001 India census, Tirukalukundram had a population of 23,677. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Tirukalukundram has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 65%. In Tirukalukundram, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.