The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. 5
North Arcot was a former district in Madras Presidency, acquired by the annexation of the Arcot State in 1855 when its Nawab died without issue. It had Chittoor as its headquarters (currently in Andhra pradesh). On 1 April 1911, the Chittoor district was separated from North Arcot. The remaining district, with Vellore as its headquarters, passed intact into the Madras State of independent India. On 30 September 1989 the district was split into Tiruvannamalai-Sambuvarayar district (present-day Tiruvannamalai district) and North Arcot Ambedkar district (present-day Vellore district). It contained the present day districts of Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Tirupattur and Ranipet.
Historically, the name "Arcot" is said to be derived from a linguistic corruption of the original Tamil word "Aaru Kaadu", meaning "Six Forests". The region is described in common folklore as lush region flanked by six forests in which is said to have resided a myriad of sages and seers.
The district was also famous for its missionary, the Arcot Mission of the Reformed Church.
Under the British Raj
During the British Raj, the North Arcot district formed a key province in the then Madras Presidency, under the control of the Nawabs of Arcot. The region of Arcot under the control of the Mughal regime in India was under the jagir or fiefdom of the Subah of Arcot. The famous Palar river intersects the region and the portion of Arcot to the north of the Palar came to be known as North Arcot. It is described as an inland district on the eastern side of the Madras Presidency, lying between 12 degrees 20 mins and 13 degrees and 55 mins North and 78 degrees and 14 mins and 79 degrees and 59 minutes E, with an area of 7,386 square miles (19,130:km2).
On the north the district is separated from Cuddapah by a portion of the Eastern Ghats and locally known as the Tirupati Hills, form the town of that name which lies at their foot. The range is broken by a long valley running northwards into the Cuddapah District. Advantage has been taken of this gap by the north-west line of the Southern Railway which passes up in through the ghats on its way to Mumbai. On the west of the District runs up to the Mysore plateau... ...read more