Certain early Vaisnav religious texts formulate a fascinating story about the origin of the name of Tamralipta. Once, when Lord Krishna had indulged in enacting the role of Maharaas in Vraj at Vrindavan as and when Surya (Sun God) Dev rose from the east and accidentally saw Lord Krishna in intimate situation with his Gopis and Sri Radhika. Immediately Surya Dev had felt ashamed, became embarrassed and blush a reddish copper colour like Tamra. And then Surya Dev again returned to the same corner of the east coast of Bharata and did hide (Lipta) himself in the Bay of Bengal. Where Surya Dev went back and hid himself is the place called Tamralipta.
This ancient port city and kingdom was bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the south, river Rupnarayan River in the east and Subarnarekha River in the west. The Rupnarayan is the conglomeration of the river Dwarkeshwar and the river Shilai. The Bay of Bengal and these great rivers and their numerous branches created a prosperous and easy water navigational system fostering commerce, culture and early contacts with the people outside the region. At the same time, these rivers helped to develop the agriculture in this region. Archaeological remains show continuous settlement from about 3rd century BC. It was known as Tramralipti (in the Indian Puranas and the Mahabharata) or Tamralipta (in Mahabharata) or Tamalika (in historical documents) or Tamalitti (in foreigners' descriptions) or Tamluk (in the British Raj). It was a seaport, now buried under river silt. For this reason, Tamluk has many ponds and lakes remaining today.
In the Mahabharata (Bhishma Parba/Nabam Adhyay) while describing the names of the holiest rivers and kingdoms of India, Sanjay took the name of "Tramralipta" to King Dhritarastra. Tamluk was also known as Bhivas (in religious texts) and Madhya Desh (as the Middle State of Utkal/Kalinga and Banga). According to Jain sources, Tamralipti was the capital of the kingdom of Venga and was long known as a port.