The district's history dates from the early period of the Cholas i.e. the period of Aditya I and Parantaka I (during A.D. 871 to A.D. 955) when the Chola Dynasty stretched northwards to include about the whole of Tondaimandalam. After Parantaka I till the reign of Rajendra I, Chola rule over this area is not attested by the Tiruvannamalai inscriptions, possibly on account of the Rashtrakuta invasions and occupation of this area by Krishna III. This is however indicated by a single inscription of Kannaradeva (Krishna III) found in this temple. The recovery of this region by the Cholas was a gradual and slow process and reached its successful conclusion only towards the end of the reign of Rajaraja I, i.e. AD 1014, for even Rajaraja Chola I is prominently absent in the inscriptions found in Tiruvannamalai district.
While the rule of Rajendra I and Rajadhiraja I over this district is attested by their inscriptions, a fairly long gap of over a hundred years is indicated by the absence of any Chola inscriptions till the beginning of the reign of Kulottunga III in A.D. 1183. Large scales activities in the period of Kulottunga III and Rajaraja III are showed by a number of records in the temple. Further, the regular references to a number of Chola feudatories of this period would also show a gradual ascendancy in their importance and power till the final establishment of independence by the Kadavaraya chieftains in the second quarter of the thirteenth century A.D. There are also interesting inscription at Tiruvannamalai which records the agreement entered into by a number of feudatory chieftains to support one another and swearing allegiance to the ruling Chola king, Kulottunga III during A.D. 1210, pointing to a period of great political tension under the later Cholas. The inscriptions of Kopperunjinga show that by the second quarter of the thirteenth century, the Kadavarayas had founded a complete mastery over this region leading to the final decline of Chola power.
A brief period of Pandya rule over Tiruvannamalai is indicated by the inscriptions of the Pandyas of the second empire like Jatavaraman Srivallabha and Tribhuvanachakravartin Kulasekhara in the thirteenth century A.D. The Hoysalas under Vira Vallaladeva (Ballala III) also ruled over it around A.D. 1340, which indicates that the Hoysala power continued to influence Tamil politics even after the Muslim invasions of Malik Kafur. After the Hoysalas rule, Tiruvannamalai went into the hands of the Vijayanagar rulers, whose southern invasions under Kampana are famous and led to the foundation of Vijayanagar Empire over practically the entire Tamil Nadu. Vijayanagar inscriptions in this temple are large in number and range from the period of Harihara II to the late Vijayanagar ruler Venkatapatideva Maharaya i.e. the late 14th to the 17th centuries A.D. Following them, their Nayak feudatories of Tanjur, established their independent sway over this region and under the famous Sevvappa Nayaka, carried out large scale renovation and building activities in the temple.
Mr. Dupleix succeeded Dumas as Governor of Pondicherry. In 1748, British reinforcements, intended for the recovery of Chennai (Madras), arrived with a new fleet under Boscawin. Puducherry (Pondicherry) was besieged, but once more French enterprise was aided by British ineptitude in securing a French success. Due to the war between Dupleix and La Bourdannais in 1748, Madras was restored to the English and maintained the statuesque. But the restoration revealed a profound change in the politics of South India. Three taluks adjoining Puducherry viz., Valudavur, Bahur and Villianur were handed over to Dupleix as reward for his kind assistance, during the Ambur battle in the year 1749.
Mr. Dupleix refused to accept defeat and with infinite resource carried on the struggle. He even besieged Trichinopoly a second time in the year 1753. The triumph of Arcot was followed by more victories at Arni, Valikandapuram and Kaveripakkam over the forces of Chanda Sahib and the French. So the campaigns continued throughout the year 1753 but in early 1754, Dupleix was compelled to open negotiations with the British. Meanwhile the French company had decided upon his recall. Due to the hostilities between the French and the English in 1756, neither Madras nor Pondicherry was properly garrisoned.
D' Auteuil, one of the officers of Dupleix captured Elavanasur. The French then took Tiruvannamalai and other forts, threatened Thyaga Drug, and attacked Fort David, in spite of the fact that their fleet was defeated by the English fleet in an action off Nagapattinam. After Nayak rule, this region seems to have gradually passed into the hands of the British East India Company except for a brief period of subordination to the Mysore Odeyars in A.D. 1816. After the Indian independence in the year 1947, the district of Tiruvannamalai was under North Arcot District. The district of North Arcot was divided into the Vellore district and the district of Tiruvannamalai in the month of October 1989.