Parangipettai historically called Porto Novo ("New Port" in Portuguese), is a panchayat town in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Due to its strategic location on the Coromandel Coast, Parangipettai has long been a major trading centre. In particular, it was an important trading destination for the Arabs, especially the Yemenis. During the colonial era the Portuguese, Dutch and English successively colonized the area.
The first iron and steel industry in India was constructed in Porto Novo in the year 1830. Till today the iron pillars in The Egmore railway station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu have the imprint ' Made in Porto Novo'. arangipettai literally translates to the pettah or abode of the parangis or Europeans in Tamil.
Muslims living in Parangipettai have a unique ancestry. Tamil is their mother tongue but it has been heavily influenced by Urdu and Arabic. Previously, especially during the Tamil Chola rule of Tamil Nadu, Arab traders used to heavily trade around the Coromandel coast in which Parangipettai is located in. Some traders, throughout time decided to settle down here. And hence, Muslims of Parangipettai tend to resemble Arab features. During the Muslim rule of India under the Mughal Empire, Muslims from Hyderabad also started settling down in Parangipettai. Thus the Islamic culture in Parangipettai was influenced by Urdu and Mughal practices.