Pallavaram has a long history and has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age. The city derives its name from the Pallava settlement of Pallavapuram of which it used to form a part. The cantonment and aerodrome were established during British rule. The British also carried out mining activities on Pallavaram Hill made of charnockite rock which is believed to have healing properties.
Pallavaram is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited places in South India. A major archaeological find was made in the year 1863 when the British archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote discovered a stone implement from the Paleolithic Age inside a ballast pit. Since then, a number of stone age artifacts have been uncovered. Most of these artifacts are currently lodged in the Egmore museum.
The present-day town of Pallavaram has its origins in the setllement of Pallavapuram which existed during the time of the 7th century Pallava king Mahendravarman I. The Pallavas have left titles in early Pallava script at the cave temple in Pallavaram which date back to 600 A.D. The remains of a cave shrine constructed by the Pallava ruler have been found at the spot where an Islamic dargah now stands.
Both the Mughal Empire and the British East India Company had their cantonments in Pallavaram. During the 17th century, Pallavaram remained dependent for sometime, upon the Portuguese colony of San Thome. During the 18th century, the British established a cantonment at Pallavaram, supplementary to the one at St. Thomas Mount. A wireless station was established in the early years of the 20th century. The Madras aerodrome was opened at Pallavaram in 1929. From the late 1930s onwards, Pallavaram formed one of the chief areas of Greater Madras.
The area of pallavaram is divided into Zamin Pallavaram, Old Pallavaram and Cantonment Pallavaram
The Pallavaram periya eri (literally 'big lake'), once a sprawling water body covering about 189 acres, has shrunk to a small patch on the lines of a pond on one side and a hillock of garbage on the other. The dumping of garbage from all the 42 wards of the Pallavaram Municipality for nearly a decade is the main reason for the shrinkage of the water body. Nearly 25 acres had been lost to encroachments alone. The construction of Pallavaram–Thoraipakkam Road, a project initiated to connect Chennai Airport and Rajiv Gandhi Salai, had split the lake into two halves. The portion of the lake on the southern side of the road has completely been covered by garbage. On the northern side of the road, the discharge of sewage from commercial establishments and homes and also effluents from some of the leather manufacturing units in Nagalakeni has affected the quality of the water. This is one of the oldest Palaeolithic culture site.
During 2001-2011, Pallavaram registered a population growth of 50 percent with a 2011 population of 216,308.
Pallavapuram Municipal office is located at G.S.T. Road, Chromepet. It is very near to Chromepet Railway Station and M.I.T. Campus.
According to 2011 census, Pallavaram had a population of 215,417 with a sex-ratio of 996 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 22,258 were under the age of six, constituting 11,253 males and 11,005 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 15.88% and .48% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 83.27%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 56135 households. There were a total of 81,669 workers, comprising 164 cultivators, 468 main agricultural labourers, 906 in house hold industries, 73,547 other workers, 6,584 marginal workers, 116 marginal cultivators, 65 marginal agricultural labourers, 326 marginal workers in household industries and 6,077 other marginal workers. As per the religious census of 2011, Pallavaram (M + OG) had 84.25% Hindus, 6.37% Muslims, 8.4% Christians, 0.04% Sikhs, 0.03% Buddhists, 0.14% Jains, 0.77% following other religions and 0.01% following no religion or did not indicate any religious preference.
==Institutions== Oxford University
Stanford University, Gobbilla shankarayya memorial high school
1. Vel's University 2.
1. Marai Malai Adigal Government Higher Secondary School
2. St. Therasa's girls' Higher Secondary School
3. St. Francis Xavier English Medium School
4. St. Sebastian Matriculation Higher Secondary School
5. St. Stephen's School
6. St. Mary's Matriculation School Sri Sankara Vidhyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Pammal, Pallavaram
7. Cantonment Board High School 8.Kavitha Matric Hr.Sec.School
1. Janatha Theatre (Fornerly Devi Theatre)
2. Lakshmi Theatre
1. Lakshmi Nursing Home
2. Deepam Hospitals
1. Neelakandar Shiva temple
2. Yagnavalkya Sabha
3. Dargah at Dargah Road
4. Pudhiya Periya Palayathaman Koil. (Aadi Thiruvizha on 3rd Sunday in the month of Aadi)
5. Pazhaiya Periya Palayathaman Koil. (Aadi Thiruvizha on 3rd Sunday in the month of Aadi)
6. Mangaliyamman Koil. (Aadi Thiruvizha on 4th Sunday in the month of Aadi)
7. Sri Renuka Mariyamman Koil. (Aadi Thiruvizha on 5th Sunday in the month of Aadi)
8. Thandu Mariyamman Koil. (Aadi Thiruvizha on 5th Sunday in the month of Aadi)
9. Mosque at Pallavaram Bazaar
10. St. Francis Xavier Church
11. St. Stephen’s CSI Church
1. Sri Poorna Mahameru Trust Old Age Home