Cuddalore, derived from Koodalur, which means confluence in Tamil, is a town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The town is said to have been ruled by the Pallavas and Medieval Cholas. Thereafter, the control of the town passed through various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijyanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thajavur Marathas and Tipu Sultan.
The French and the British is said to have visited the town in 1600 with the intension of establishing a settlement at Ponidcherry and at Cuddalore respectively. However, during the Seven Year’s war, the Battle of Cuddalore took place near Cuddalore in between the British and the French in 1758. Though the battle was indecisive, Cuddalore surrendered to French troops on 29th April 1758. The War of American Independence and the Second Anglo-Mysore War culminated in the siege of Cuddalore, after which the town was returned to the British as part of a peace treaty.
The French then again won over the British in 1782, after which Cuddalore became a chief port against the French which the British decided to retake in 1783. A number of streets with British names, namely Clive Street, Wellington Street, Sloper Street, Canning Street, Rope Street – (Rope Street, Wellington Street, Sloper Street and Canning Street jointly known as Salangukara Village), Lawrence Road and Imperial Road in Cuddalore were retained and still exist.
The Cuddalore Central Prison, opened in 1865, is an historical landmark. Another prominent tourist attraction of Cuddalore is the famous Silver Beach, which is the second longest beach on the Coromandel Coast and one of the longest beaches in Asia. The Silver Beach is also the location of Fort St. David, one of the three important forts built by the British Empire. The beach was struck by the 2004 Asian Tsunami and was the second most heavily affected area, after Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. However, Fort St. David survived without damage.