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Cuddalore is derived from the Tamil word "Koodalur". The town was referred to as "Kudalur" in Sangam literature. In the early historic period, Cuddalore was called "Chaturveda Palli", meaning a place where four Vedas are recited. It has been variously known as 'Sapadalaksha', 'Saptagiri' and 'Chaturvedhapura'. The Cholas of Uraiyur (now Tiruchirappalli) were probably among the first to build a fort here; they held sway over this region between 200 BCE and 500 CE. According to some accounts, it may have been ruled by Kalinga kings in ancient times too; but there are no records available yet on that score.