Nagapattinam is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District. The town came to prominence during the period of Medieval Cholas (9th −12th century CE) and served as their important port for commerce and east bound naval expeditions. The Chudamani Vihara in Nagapattinam constructed by the Sri Lankan emperor with the help of Chola kingdom is an important Buddhist structure of the times. Nagapattinam was settled by the Portuguese and, later, the Dutch under whom it served as the capital of Dutch Coromandel from 1660 to 1781 CE. In November 1781, the town was conquered by the British East India Company. It served as the capital of Tanjore district from 1799 to 1845 CE under Madras Presidency of the British. It continued to be a part of Thanjavur district in Independent India. In 1991, it was made the headquarters of the newly created Nagapattinam District. Nagapattinam is administered by a Selection-grade municipality covering an area of 14.92 km (5.76 sq mi). As of 2001, the town had a population of 93,148.
Majority of the people of Nagapattinam are employed in sea-borne trading, fishing, agriculture and tourism. The major pilgrimage site in Nagapattinam is Nagore Durgah, a 16th-century site. The major festival of Nagapattinam is the 14-day Kanduri festival celebrated in the Durgah, which is seen as a sacred exchange between Hindus and Muslims expressing solidarity of mixed faith in the region. Kayarohanaswami Temple and Soundararajaperumal Temple, Nagapattinam are the other major Hindu pilgrimage sites located in the town. Nagapattinam is the base for tourism for Sikkal, Velankanni, Poompuhar, Kodikkarai, Vedaranyam, Mannargudi and Tharangambadi. Roadways is the major mode of transport to Nagapattinam, while the city also has rail and sea transport. The town along with the district was severely damaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004