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It is also one of the largest producers of milk and milk products in Tamil Nadu. Erode was part of Kongu Nadu, ruled by Cheras. The region was under Cholas when Erode was founded during the reign of Vijayalaya in 1054 CE as Poduke or Podakkai (meaning new town). It served as capital for Velan dynasty, Rashtrakutas and Gangas until 1311 CE when they were defeated by Malik Kafur, general to Alauddin Khalji. In 1559 CE, Erode fell into the hands of Viswanatha Nayakudu who later surrendered it to king Achyuta Deva Raya from Vijayanagara Empire after his defeat at Thirumalai Nayak Palace in Madurai on 6 October 1616.