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 1864 when the British archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote discovered a stone implement from the Paleolithic Age inside a ballast pit.Muthiah, Pg 129