Tam: ஆற்காடு āṟkāṭu
‘Forest Way’ [Arkkadu] Town, Tamil Nadu
Tam: āṟu, ’river’, ‘way’, ‘road’; and Tam: kāṭu ‘forest’, ‘wood’
Arcot was the HQ of the Nawab of the Carnatic (also Nawab of Arcot), a dependency of the Nizam of Hyderabad and a centre for controlling southern India.
The position was established by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
From the mid-18thC it became a battleground for the Marathas, Mughals, French, English (Robert Clive famously held it against the French with only 500 men in the Siege of Arcot in 1851).
North and South Arcot Districts were inherited from the former Madras Presidency. They were gradually replaced by Cuddalore, Ranipet, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore,and Villupuram Districts from 1989 onwards.