Tiruvallur (Tamil: ) is a temple town and Grade I municipality in Tiruvallur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the Cooum river about 42 km (26 mi) northwest of the city of Chennai (Madras), the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
It is the administrative headquarters of Tiruvallur district. This town consists of four revenue villages namely Thiruvallur, Periakuppam, Perumpakkam and Pungathur. The town is divided into 27 wards. It is well known because of the Veera Raghavar temple which is one of the 108 sacred shrines of Vaishnavites. There is a pond nearby this temple, where the tank festival is held. There is a Siva Temple near this shrine which is also quite popular among the locals. There is also a 40 feet tall Viswaroopa Panchamukha Hanuman temple, where the murti is made of a single green granite stone. Poondi reservoir from where drinking water is drawn to Chennai city is at about 9 km (5.6 mi) from this town. The word "Tiruvallur" is supposedly derived from the Tamil sentence "tiru evvull" meaning, "Tiru" - god (a common prefix in South India for temple towns), "evvull" - where do I sleep. So, Tiruvallur means, a place/town where, the god, Veera Raghavar asked a saint for a place to sleep for a night. In the far past, this region was under a chain of regimes commencing from the Pallavas during the 7th century ending with the Nawab of Arcot during the early part of 19th century when it came under the British rule. In 1687, the Golkonda rulers were defeated and the region came under the Moghul emperors of Delhi. The towns and villages of this region were the scene of Carnatic wars. Battles are said to have been fought in this region during the struggle for supremacy between the English and French. The town of Pulicat was the earliest Dutch possession in India founded in 1609 which was ceded to the British in 1825. With this, the region came under the British rule which ended on the 15th August, 1947 with India becoming independent. As of 2001[update] India census, Tiruvallur had a population of 45,517. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Tiruvallur has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 69%. In Tiruvallur, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.