Tam: கடலூர் kaṭalūr
‘Junction Town’ City/District, Tamil Nadu
From Tam: kūṭal, ‘junction’, ‘confluence’; and ūr, ‘village’, ‘town’.
This is the place where the Indian Ocean and the Pennaiyar, Kedilam, Paravanar and Uppanaar rivers meet.
This is the most likely derivation but ‘Sea Town’ [from Tam: kaṭal, ‘sea’, ‘ocean’] has also been suggested.
Cuddalore was the setting for a series of colonial-era confrontations between the English and the French: two sieges (1746, 1783) and two battles (1758, 1783).
Current battles revolve around its status as a ‘global toxic hotspot’ following its rapid development as a centre for chemical and petrochemical industries:
From the outset, industrialisation in coastal Cuddalore has been plagued with controversy. Controversy over land acquisition, adverse environmental impacts and the lack of developmental benefits to local communities. Many rightfully questioned why the government would set up a chemical and petrochemical industrial hub so close to human habitations and on the coast. And why were adequate environmental safeguards not put in place? [Industrialisation gone wrong in coastal Cuddalore]