Rajapalayam is a city and a special grade municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest municipality in the Virudhunagar district. It is located 600 km south to the state capital Chennai in the foothills of Western Ghats. Rajapalayam is located in the Madurai to Quilon Highway.economy is based on textile manufacture: the town has several mills for spinning and weaving cotton, as well as a large cotton market.
The name Rajapalayam derives from Raja and Palayam, which in the Tamil language means a cantonment or fort. The town was previously called Raju Palayam, and finally Rajapalayam.
The town of Rajapalayam was later expanded by purchasing lands from Vijayarenga Chokkanatha Nayak (1706 -1732). Rajapalayam was constituted as a united board in the year 1885. It became a panchayat board in the year 1930. The railway reached Rajapalayam in the year 1927 and the town was electrified in 1937.
The mountains of the Western ghats are to the west of the city (12 km from the city), and the Sanjeevi hills are to the east. These moderate the climate, and several water catchment areas in the hills provide water for the city. Water is stored in the 6th mile water reservoir. There are several major lakes around the city, including Kondaneri, Karungulam, Pirandaikulam, and Sengulam. The soil in the area is classified by the government as red loam.
The principal industry was initially agriculture. In 1936, Shri P. A. C. Ramasamy Raja started the first cotton spinning mill, called Rajapalayam Mills Ltd. Later, more textile mills were started including Sree Karpagambal Mills Ltd. Today, Rajapalayam is a major hub of the textile industry, famous for bandages, woven fabric, nightwear, and other products. The neighboring town of Chatrapatti (Virudhunagar Dist) is a large player in producing surgical cotton gauze, and nearby Dhalavaipuram and Muhavoor produce women’s nightwear.