Virudhunagar is a city and the administrative headquarter of the Virudhunagar district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 506 km (314 mi) southwest of the state capital Chennai and 53 km (33 mi) south of Madurai. Virudhunagar emerged as an important trade centre during the British rule. Located to the east of Kowsika River, Virudhunagar has an average elevation of 102 m (335 ft) above sea level and is largely flat with no major geological formations. The town has a humid climate and receives 780 mm (31 in) rainfall annually. It has been ruled at various times by Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom and the British. It was formerly known as Virudhupatti.