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Municipal Town
Ambur Trade Center
Ambur Trade Center
Nickname(s): Leather City, Dollar City
Ambur is located in Tamil Nadu
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District Vellore
 • Total 17.97 km2 (6.94 sq mi)
Elevation 316 m (1,037 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 162,521
 • Density 9,000/km2 (23,000/sq mi)
 • Official Urdu,Vellore Urdu&Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 635 802
Telephone code 91 - 4174
Vehicle registration TN-83
Sex ratio 1031 /

Ambur (Tamil: ஆம்பூர்) Urdu: آمبور‎) is a town and state Assembly Constituency in the Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on the banks of the Palar River on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway.

Ambur is home to a major part of India's leather tanning industry, thus earning it the nickname Leather City of South India. A few of India's largest and finest tanneries are located here, making it one of the leading exporters of finished and unfinished leather goods (such as shoes, garments, and gloves) in the country. Due to this production, the leather industry occupies a pride of place in the industrial map of Tamil Nadu and places it high among the rankings of the nation's exports.

It is also known for Biryani, a tasty rice dish; varieties of chicken dishes; non-vegetarian curries, etc., sweet dishes like Gulab Jamun, Gajar ka halwa and Mutanjan, a dessert in Muslim weddings after the feast, have become popular since the reign of Nawabs of Arcot.


The words 'Amb' (our) and 'ur' (place) together became Ambur which means "Ourplace". There is also a belief that Am is derived from mangoes, Aam in Urdu.And its also told that Ambur is 'AA'ur which means the place where Cows seen more. Ambur is in existence since the period of Pallava's. However, there are no protected or notified monuments at present to reveal the past history and perhaps they might have been ruined due to successive wars held in the past. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the North Arcot District which included Ambur was under the control of rulers of the Vijaya Nagar which in 1687 was brought under the control of the Nawabs of the Carnatic. On 20 May 1740, the Nizam of Hyderabad incited the Marathas to invade Carnatic. Nawab Dost Ali Khan and Chanda Sahib met the Maratha army under Chattrapati Shahu at Ambur. The Marathas won the battle by killing Dost Ali Khan and capturing Chanda Sahib.

The Battle of Ambur on August 3, 1749 was the first major battle of the Second Carnatic War resulting as the decisive in the struggle between the English and the French for Supremacy. It marked the end of Mughal centralized power and the initiation of European influenced powers. During this battle Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan supported by the English, met the French army at Ambur and was killed by his rival Chanda Sahib.

In 1767 during the First Anglo-Mysore War to invade Carnatic, a combined force of Mysore and Hyderabadi troops under the command of Hyder Ali of Mysore conducted the Siege of Ambur. The town was successfully defended by a small force of British East India Company troops along with a garrison of local troops and at the beginning of 18th century, it came under the control of British.


Ambur is geographically located at . It has an average elevation of 316 metres (1036 feet).

It lies exactly between IT hubs Chennai and Bengaluru. It is at a distance of 180 km from these two cities both Ambur has a tropical wet-and-dry climate, reaching high temperatures during summer and experiences wet winters. The maximum rainfall occurs during October and November, with the northeast monsoon. The area experiences rainfall during the southwest monsoon as well.

Due to its tropical and sub-tropical climate, mangoes, groundnuts, coconut and jasmine have been cultivated in and around the town for hundreds of years. on roads via National Highway 46 and on rails. The district headquarters, Vellore is about 52 km from the town towards Chennai. The proposed development of "Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor of excellence" is expected to stimulate the industrial growth which will improve the socio economic condition of the town.

Extremely hot and dry during summer when temperature soars to as high as 43 degree C (110 F). Winter is cold and dry with temperature dipping to 10 degree C during the night.

Climate data for Ambur (2000–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.3
Average high °C (°F) 29.2
Average low °C (°F) 18.2
Record low °C (°F) 10.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 9.0
Avg. precipitation days 0.8 0.5 0.4 1.3 4.7 5.3 6.6 7.8 7.6 9.4 7.7 3.9 56
Source: India Meteorological Department,[1]

Municipal administration

Ambur is a selection grade municipality and headquarters of Ambur taluk which is an administrative division comprising 79 Revenue villages in the district of Vellore. The municipal council has 36 elected members. It represents Ambur assembly constituency.

Ambur Municipality is situated in Vellore district under the control of Regional Director of Municipal Administration, Vellore. Manager is the head of Administration next to Commissioner in the branch of General Administration and he is responsible for general supervision and administration of Office. All Establishment matters are dealt with in the General Administration.

The leather town has been maintaining communal amity in the civic elections for over 60 years.[2] There is an unwritten agreement between the Hindu and the Muslim communities that is being meticulously followed. Accordingly, when a Muslim candidate gets elected for one term, the next term will be held by a Hindu candidate. The Vice-Chairperson would be a Hindu if the chairperson is a Muslim and vice versa.


According to 2011 census, Ambur had a population of 114,608 with a sex-ratio of 1,033 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[3] A total of 13,235 were under the age of six, constituting 6,716 males and 6,519 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 16.83% and .57% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 76.08%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[3] The city had a total of 25,009 households. There were a total of 40,654 workers, comprising 163 cultivators, 519 main agricultural labourers, 982 in house hold industries, 35,411 other workers, 3,579 marginal workers, 27 marginal cultivators, 174 marginal agricultural labourers, 306 marginal workers in household industries and 3,072 other marginal workers.[4]


Ambur is one of the most literate towns in Tamil Nadu. It has an average literacy rate of 76.69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%, with 80% of the males and 73% of females literate. The town does not have any Engineering or Medical college but the district of Vellore has several notable educational institutions. Most students after their schooling head to Chennai for higher education.

A few societies like AMES (Ambur Muslim Education Society), Anaikar Shukoor Trust and Hindu Education Society lead students from primary education to graduation by providing free education.

Notable Institutes

  • Bangi Hayath Basha Sahib school
  • Jalalia Aided Primary School
  • Shakespeare Ideal Nursery & Primary School
  • Concordia Higher Secondary School
  • TAW Matriculation & Higher Secondary School
  • Mazharul-uloom Higher Secondary School
  • Takshila School
  • Anaikar Rafeequl-Uloom (Islamic Madrassa)
  • Madrasa-e-Jamiul Uloom, Jamiya Mosque - A first one of the Islamic Madrasa which imparts Hifz to the College students.
  • Jamia Darussalam - One of the largest and renowned Arabic institution in south India located in Oomerabad at a distance of 7 km from Ambur.
  • Mazharul-uloom College (established in 1969) - Affiliated under Thiruvalluar University
  • KAR Polytechnic College
  • As-Shukoor Matriulation School
  • Anaikar Oriental (Arabic) Higher Secondary School
  • Bethel Matriculation & Higher Secondary School
  • Bethesda School of Nursing
  • Gracious Matriculation School
  • Habibia Girls Higher Secondary School
  • Hasnath-e-jaria Girls Higher Secondary School
  • Hindu Higher Secondary School
  • Seventh-Day Adventist Matriculation School
  • Vidhya Vihar Matriculation & Higher Secondary School
  • AMES B.Ed. College
  • Sri Vivekananda Matriculation School, A-Kaspa, Ambur
  • Blesso Matriculation, Ambur
  • Madrasa-e-Deeniyath


Ambur has a diversified population. People here most predominantly are Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jains and others forming the population; living in areas adjacent to one another. The vast diversity of religion doesn't hinder in the harmony of the place. The town is known for its Hindu-Muslim integrity. People invite each other to their special occasions and weddings.

Tamil is largely spoken by all community people ; Muslims speak Urdu. Telugu and Kannada are also spoken by a section of people who frequent neighboring states.

Ramzan[Eid ul Azha][Milad un Nab]i for Muslims, Diwali and Pongal are the festival for Hindus. Christians celebrate Easter and Christmas.

Muslims observe fasting in the month of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr and Bakrid are the most important festivals celebrated by them. People from both communities share and greet one another in their respective festivals.


Ambur houses hundreds of leather tanning and manufacturing facilities. It is a leading cluster for export of finished leather, shoe uppers, full shoes and is a major contributor to India's leather and leather-related products. Factories here manufacture shoes for world's leading footwear brand names like Effegi, Florsheim Shoe, Lumberjack, Cole Haan, Gabor, Primigi, Caterpillar,Lambhoraghini, Cl

Ambur Trade Center Conference Hall

arks, Sioux, Fretzmen, Hi-Line, Hugo Boss, Marc, NunnBush NXT and many more. Some of the prominent names that have set up manufacturing units here are Roshan NMA Carim Omer & Company, A. Abdul Shukoor & Company, Farida Group, Safura Group,SSC Group, Bonaventure Shoes, NMZ Group of Industries, TAW Group, KAR Group, NMH & Co., Florence, Irbaz Shoes, Mohib Shoes, ESAAR Group, Harmain Leather Exports, etc., and now FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments) have become very common, to name a few establishments ITARES (Italy Renzi Shoes) of Italy, Allen Solly of Switzerland etc. These companies provide a major chunk of employment to the local population which is skilled. Traders who supply shoe materials, chemicals to these companies have huge business opportunities over here.

Ambur has been recognized as 'Town of Export Excellence' for leather products by Government of India. "Ambur Trade Centre" has been constructed with financial contribution from Indian government and the leather industry which provides a platform for holding international exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and Leather Testing Services TUV has their Sample Collection office at this premises.

One of the problems that Ambur faces is polluted ground water which is not potable due to the chemicals released by the leather tanneries directly into the most-of-the-time-dry Palar River traversing across Ambur before the Common Effluent Treatment Plants that use Reverse Osmosis process were installed. However, with strict measures taken by the State Government in the interest of public and to preserve the water table pollution-free, most of the companies have now installed effluent treatment plants to treat the water from harsh chemicals such as hexavalent chromium, trivalent chromium, etc.

Ambur is also emerging as an IT Hub with many startups showing excellent growth in the field. ETrendz IT Solutions, for example, is famous for Web Designing, Web Application Development and search engine optimization.


Ambur was mostly forest surrounded by hills hundreds of years ago. It is only after the arrival of Muslims, development of the town started. Ambur has a renovated model Railway Station, Bus Terminus, Police Stations, combined court complex, all major banks, colleges, and several government and private schools. There is an old commercial market which helps in promoting economic activities of the town. Also, plenty of retail and wholesale stores are found here which sell genuine leather footwear, garments and other products.

Christian missionaries from U.S.A. offered a comprehensive medical care in Ambur as early as 1907. Bullock cart was used as a mobile clinic to provide medical services to the areas surrounding Ambur. Later in 1921, a hospital was started by the efforts of Dr. Doederlein, an eminent Chicago physician and two American nurses which in 1986 was envisaged as a multi-speciality hospital known as Bethesda hospital providing secondary level health care to majority of poor and middle class society in & around the town.

A Government of Tamil Nadu run hospital is set up here to provide free medical care to the people of the town and its surrounding villages. Today we could find a lot of private clinics across the town. The most prominent one being K.M Hospital, in the heart of town that provides high standard of medical care to the people of the town and the surrounding villages. Many doctors specialized in different department from reputed hospitals in Chennai visit Ambur during weekends for consultation.


Jamia Masjid
Chicken Dum Biryani

Rice is the staple food of the people in this region. This place is famous for its spicy non-vegetarian cuisine made with Chicken, Mutton or egg in the form of gravy or kebab. Biryani and sweet dishes are native to the people here.

Ambur Biryani is one of the famous food recipes of South India which emerged during the Nawab of Arcot's regime. This was served for the army of Carnatic as it was difficult to prepare Rotis or Parathas to cater to the need of lakhs of jawans. Today, it is served in all Muslim weddings along with Chicken Kebabs & sweet dishes.

Legend has it that the biryani business here was started in 1890. Prepared mainly using Basmati a variety of rice, biryanis are non-vegetarian as they are mostly made with Chicken, Mutton, Beaf or Fish. However, Egg and Veg biryani are also prepared here. A full plate of Biryani with Brinjal curry (Khatta Baigan or Yennai Kathrika) and Onion Raitha (Cachumber or Vengayam Pachidi) makes the feast a delightful one. Its delicious taste makes hundreds of highway travellers on this Golden Quadrilateral track of Chennai-Bengaluru highway to stop and taste it. Apart from this, Pakaathees (Biriyani cooks, as known in this region), the people who indulge in large scale biryani preparation are hired to many places of South India for Biryani preparation. Of late, it has become a popular fast-food in hundreds of eateries in Chennai, Bengaluru and few other cities under the name "Ambur Biryani".

Yelagiri is a hill-station at a distance of 30 km from Ambur by road towards Tiruppattur, midway between Chennai and Bengaluru. Located at an altitude of 1,410 metres above sea level and spread across 30 km2, the Yelagiri village (also spelt Elagiri at times) is surrounded by lakes, orchards, rose-gardens and green valleys. Though this is not as developed as other hill stations but the road to Yelagiri is well constructed.

The Javadi Hills are located about 17 km from Ambur. The "Seven Falls" lies near by. In the middle of this hill, lies the Kavalur Observatory, which has several optical and reflective telescopes run and governed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

Oottal Devasthanam is the Temple of Saraswathi devi which is located in Mittalam panchayath. The UN dried pond water which is cure the many of diseases. Vishnu, Nandi, Navagraha and other temples are there. It is a week end pooja and as well as Chithra pournami and Aadi perukku is famous in this temple.


NH46: Bengaluru-Chennai section of India's 6-lane Golden Quadrilateral highway

Major National Highways passing through Ambur is NH46 which connects Bengaluru and Chennai. The Golden Quadrilateral (the largest express highway project in India) makes the town easy to reach from Bengaluru and Chennai (on average, 3 hours).

Ambur is well connected by road to most of important cities of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. Regular bus service is available to Chennai, Coimbatore, Ooty, Bengaluru, Tirupathi, Salem, Chittoor, Hosur, Thiruvannamalai, Arani, Madurai, Kanchipuram, Kalpakkam, Gudiyatham, Dharmapuri, Erode, Tirupur, Palakkad, Krishnagiri, Tiruppattur and other major towns and cities in South India.

Ambur being a commercial center has a major railway station on the Chennai-Jolarpettai line with a number of express / superfast trains to Chennai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, etc.,

Several Superfast Express trains namely Lalbagh Express, Chennai - Bangalore AC Double Decker Express, Brindavan Express, Kovai Express, Chennai - Bangalore Express, Chennai - Coimbatore Intercity Express, Yercaud Express, Tirupati Express, Yelagiri express, Chennai - Bangalore mail, etc., run regularly via Ambur between Chennai and Bengaluru / Coimbatore / Mysore.

The nearest international airports are Chennai International Airport (190 km) and Bengaluru International Airport (180 km);

Notable Personalities

  • Mecca Rafeeque Ahmed Saheb, Businessman and entrepreneur, an icon of simplicity and humility. The person who put Ambur on the world map as a destination for leather and shoes and modernized the infrastructure. He is a recipient of 2011 Padma Shri Award.
  • Jalal Hajee Abdul Carim Saheb, Businessman & Philanthropist, Leather King. The person who gave a fillip to the Leather Industry in the region.
  • Anaikar Abdul Shukoor Saheb, Businessman & Philanthropist, Founder of many eminent institutions like the Mazhar Ul Uloom College Ambur. A leader of the industry in his time.
  • T.Abdul Wahid Saheb, Businessman & Member of Parliament. The person who adopted a modern approach towards the leather industry far beyond time.


  1. ^ "Climatological Information for Tirupattur,India". India Meteorological Department. 
  2. ^ V., Narayana Murthy (12 October 2011). "Hindus, Muslims to rule Ambur Municipality". IBNLive. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Ambur". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
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