Skip to content

Places and rivers in Tamil

November 5, 2010

Some important cities , towns, rivers which has Tamil words and their meanings.

Chennai: Chen-nai =Attraction+Having.

Chen+nai: (Attraction + Storing.)  Attractive place.we can also say, செல்பவரை அணைக்கும் சென்னை.

Madurai: This is the capital of the Pandiyan kingdom, their initial capital was Korkai a port city which was later shifted to Madurai.

There are sevaral claims,

Name Madhurai can be from the name Madhura = sweetness.

The name could be the modified version of the word “Moothoor” meaning “old city”, 3rd century BC, Megasthenes visited, the city being referred to as “Methora” in his accounts.

As per my sound meanings, ma=retain thu=keeping with inside rai=take to possession.

it means, the place one do not want to come out of, or the place one wants to be in.

Purananooru Texts refer to places like Moothur, meaning old Place, and Madurai could also be a modern version of that name.


ThiruNelveli: Thiru+Nel+Veli meaning “Paddy Giving  place” or Paddy field surrounding place.

ThiruchirapalliThiru+Cheera+Palli meaning Goodness Giving place. The word Palli in Tamil refers to a School.(Pal+li literally means, Place where many come and then Go. A resting place, a temporary place, a school can therefore be called as Palli. )

Thirupati: The Giving place, referring the temple here,

Literally  Thiru+Pathi = திரு வைத்திருக்கும் நிலை, the one who is rich, or the  Vadi->Pathi represents the foot steps of the God there.

VEngada : Another older name of the place Thirupathi, VEn+Kada = Inaccessible/Difficult + to Cross. It represents the mountain or hills there.

Thanjavoor: Than+jai+Oor means a either “The place everyone likes”. or the “The Place that anyone wants to reside.

Thoothukudi: Thoothu+Kudi , Thoothu means, to Sweep and Settlement referring to the Sandy surfaces.

Thiruppoor: Giving place, wealthy place, godly place.

Erode: Iru+Odai Two streams

Coimbathore: Ko+AmbaTh+Oor  The head chieftians place/ or Kings new place.

Poompukaar: the ancient sea port of the Cholas  should be splitted as Poom+Pu+Kaar  is  kept outside + Entry + Support, The word Poo refers to something thats “kept outside” in Tamil.

ThiruChendur: A Giving Good Attractive place.

Kadaloor: Place near the Sea.


Kaan+Cheer+Puram Means a place which cures/blesses/teaches when we visit/see them, a holy place.

Kaan+Chi+Puram Means a place which does not allow to go outside.

Chidambaram : Chith +Ambaram = Opening Up/Destroy + The open space/the vastness

Bengalooru: VenKalooru: White Rock Place. White Granite place. [ Someshwara temple edict says it is Vengalur!]

[ There are other place like “Venkal” near Bangalore, which also got its name because of the plenty of white rocks and these places are famous historically for buying granites for constructing temples, so the name V/Ben Kal oor]

KarNataka: Karnaadakam: Kar+Naadu+Akam  Karu in Tamil is dark, could refer to its forests.

Oor: This is also a common prefix and thousands of “Oors” are there in Tamil Naadu and also in India, Ooru n refers to outskirts or country side places.

Puram : Also a common Suffix for place refers to outskirts and small towns. The word puram itself means “outside” in Tamil, the opposite of  “Akam”, its also alternative for the word Oor which also means the same.

Patti: A suffix for place names very commonly used in Tamilnadu, Even through out India, places like Nagapattinam, Visakapattinam and Patna has this origin from the word Patti,The root word for this is Tamil word is Patti, meaning flat, flattened, leveled up, more used, place referring to the plain land surface.

Mahabalipuram:  Historic place in North Tamil Nadu, also called as Maamallapuram,  may be refers to the Pallavas kingdom, Ballava(Vallava) or Malla in Tamil means strong. If its Pali/Bali it means sacrifice.


Kaaraikudi: Helpfull/Protective  settlements. Kaaraikaal:

Paakkam: There are so many paakkams in Chennai,(Paakkam refers to a territory within a bigger place, Pakuthi/Paakam should be the origin). Pahu=split.area.

Bedu/Pedu: There are many place names in many South Indian languages that ends with pedu, this should have come from the Tamil word Medu(High raised place).  Even words that end in “Baad” used in languages like Urdu could have this origin of MEdu.

Maaldeevs: Islands of Garland.(Maalai+Theevu)

Kavery: Kaa+Viri means river that spreading(viri)  support(Kaa)

Vaigai: Vai+Kai  refers to வருவதை தன்னுடன் வைத்திருப்பது– It contains the one which is coming”

TamaraParani: Thamira could refer to Sanskrit Copper because of its color and and parani refers to the flowing water.

I will split this as Thaan+Mara+Para+Nir meaning  River that flows without ego or forgetting itself. Thaan means Self, Mara means to destroy or to forget, Para means flowing and  Nir means water.

Paalaaru: Milk river.

Coovam : Surrounding one, Encircled.

More to add….

From → Uncategorized

  1. krishna permalink

    Very nice.Waiting for more.”Azhaghiya Tamizh Annai”

  2. yuvaraj. t permalink

    can you suggest the meaning for “marakkudi” ?

    • kudi stands for settlement, this is one of ancient words that i think is the source for many other words like Kudumbam, House, Hut etc.. If the word you wanted is மரக்குடி then its Tree+Settlement, may be because people there used strong woods to build their houses.
      If its மறக்குடி then is maravar + Kudi , மறவர் here can be the caste name, literal meaning can be one who will not allow others to enter ie. a guardsman/ or a fighter.

  3. Mukundhan Kulur permalink

    how about Coimbatore or கோயம்புத்தூர் – i would like your opinion…

    • KO – is something higher, can be seen from the distance, so it refers a king or Government or God.
      Puthoor can refer to either Puthiya oor(new town) or the putru(termite hills)

      so it can be kings new town or it can be place with taller termite hills.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: