Nagapattinam is 320 Kms from the State Capital Chennai and 145 Kms from Trichirapalli. It is the District Head Quarters of Nagapattinam District. Nagapattinam was a part of the Cholamandalam and called as Cholakula Vallipattinam during the Chola period. Nagapattinam was a part of Thanjavur District till it was created as separate District in the year 1991. It has twin importance as a Historically and Culturally significant area. This area finds prominent presence in the Burmese History of 3rd Bc and also says a Buddha Viharam was built by Emperor Ashoka here. The same viharam finds a place in Chinese Traveller Hieun Tsang's book too. This is mentioned as Padarithitha in Buddhist literature. Portuguese established a Commercial centre here in 1554 and it led the way for development of Christianity in this region. Then came the rule of the Dutch and the British during the pre-independence period.
Nagapattinam Chornam and Nagapattinam Varagan were legal tender during the Thanjavur Maratha Kings period.
Sea-Borne Trading, Fishing, Agriculture and Tourism are the important economic activity for most of the people of this region. Nagore Dargah, a 16th-century site show cases the Hindu and Muslim unity. Kayarohanaswami Temple and Soundararajaperumal Temple, Nagapattinam are the major Hindu pilgrimage sites. Nagapattinam is the base for visiting Sikkal, Poompuhar, Kodikkarai, Vedaranyam, Mannargudi and Tharangambadi. The town along with the district was severely damaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami
of 2004 and is still in the process of total rebuilding. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) located at Nagapattinam was established in 1993 and a major contributor to the economy of the town. The District Population is 16,16,450 [2011 census] and the City’s Population is 1,02,838 [2011 census].