Viluppuram district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Viluppuram city. It is believe that Viluppuram got its name from a class of people known as "Vizhupparaiyar". One of the famous Tamil poet called Jayamkondar wrote a book titled "Karanai Vizhupparaiyan madal" (also popularly known as Aadhinatha Valmadal) on the praise of Aadhinathan Vizhupparaiyan who served as a commander in the army of Kulottunga Chola I. The town came to known after the "Vizhupparaiyan" sect named after him. They are also known as "Vizhupaadharaiyar". Affectionately in Tamil, Vilupurram is well known as "Vizhimaa Nagaram" meaning a town with wide eyed people. Earlier, the district was a part of Cuddalore district. After sometime it was separated from Cuddalore and emerged as a distinct district in the map of Tamil Nadu on 30th September, 1993. At the very beginning the district was ruled by the Chola dynasty but its supremacy came to an end with the rise of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya-1 (1251 A.D). Vijayanagar Kingdom also started to rule this region from 1378. Ginjee area in the district was captured by Shivaji in 1677 which would not be possible for him without the help of Golkonda forces. The Mughals entered into the district and ruled the area for a period. Finally, the British arrived at this place and gradually the complete area came under the authority of East India Company. When India got its independence in 1947, at that point of time the place also became free from the British rule.
Geographically, the district lies at 11°94'N latitude, 79°50'E longitude and 48 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 11.60% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,194 sq. km. and it is bounded by Thiruvannamalai district and Kanchipuram district on the north, Cuddalore district on the south, Bay of Bengal on the east, Dharmapuri district on the northwest and Salem district on the southwest. The climate of the district remains hot and humid most of the time. Mainly its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1837.0 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 10 talukas namely Gingee, Kallakurichi, Sankarapuram, Thindivanam, Thirukoilur, Ulundurpet, Vanur, Villupuram, Chinnasalem and Vikravandi. There are 16 assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 19 towns and 1,486 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 34,58,873 out of which 17,40,819 are males and 17,18,054 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1138 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 census the population growth rate in the district was 16.84% including 16.64% were males and 17.04% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 91.79% of the total population. The population density in the district is 481 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 96.65%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 38,636 out of which 20,083 were males and 18,553 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 28,227 out of which 16,997 were males and 11,230 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of its economy. Most of its population earns their livelihood by cultivating different agricultural products. Some of its chief agricultural products are paddy, cholam, red gram, black gram, horse gram, sugarcane, groundnut, cotton, casuarinas, and coconut. The district has abundant mineral resources which contribute in its economy to a great extent. Industrially, the district is not so well developed. In 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Viluppuram as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 17,86,407 lakhs at current price and Rs. 10,87,535 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 39,16,968 lakh at current price and Rs. 27,85,873 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 81,775 at current price and Rs. 62,546 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 71.88% out of which 80.55% are males and 63.15% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 21,95,776 including 12,34,479 are males and 9,61,297 are females. The district has different types of schools like government schools, private schools and schools run by some religious organisations.
M. Anandan, an eminent Indian politician and the member of the 15th Lok Sabha from Villupuram constituency was born on 12th December, 1951 at Nathamur village in the district. He was also served as a cabinet minister in the Tamil Nadu government from 1991 to 1996. He is a member of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) political party. C.V. Shanmugam, a distinguished Indian politician and current member of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Villupuram constituency was born in the Viluppuram district. At present, he is a member of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The district is full of ancient temples and some wonderful historical structures which allures numerous travellers from different parts of the country. The majestic Gingee Fort located in the district is called it was called as “the Troy of the East” by the British. The fort represents the glorious history of the district. Ranganatha temple built in typical Indo-Islamic style attracts many people from the far distance place. Mailam, a place in the district is well known for the Lord Murugan temple which is situated on small hillock at Mailam. Pilgrims from across the country come to this place to offer their prayers. Sathanur Dam in the Villupuram district provides waters to a large amount of land in the district. The water coverage area in the dam is around 17 km. Kalvarayan Hills is a very nice hill station in the Villupuram district. It is a perfect location for family picnic and nature’s lovers. Some notable temples in the district are Lakshmi Narasimar temple, Angalamman temple, Sivan temple, Nagamman temple, Panayapuram Panagaateswan temple, etc.