Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar from Chettinad was a single individual whose wisdom and objective saw foundation of Sri Meenakshi College based at Chidambaram the place known for pilgrimage values and its south Indian culture and traditional values in 1920. Later in 1928, under a special Act this Sir Meenakshi College was converted into Annamalai University and become centre of progressive education. Sr. Annamalai acted as pro-chancellor for more than 20 years and paid attention for appointments of vice-chancellor along with professors, scholars and scientists known for their contribution in their fields. Later his eldest son took over as pro-chancellorship and gave new directions and dimensions to the university.
The Directorate of Distance Education was his brainchild and become a point to be proud of by this university. Pharmacy and Nursing departments along with Faculty of medicine and Dental College were set up which helped in development and growth quality standards of this university to national level. Later under present pro-chancellor again his son this Annamalai University touched new heights of excellence. This university which was started only with six departments has now over 50 departments and 10 faculties. TO the credit of this university, it is the only university in India which has all Faculties situated in same campus with well equipped Central Library. Its Laboratories are not only having good facilities and ultra modern equipments for their research projects but also has eminent scholars to cope with latest training and educational programmes.
Today Annamalai University is known for its playgrounds in area of more than thousand acres, Colleges and Hostels with its hot courses in demand across the country. Its distant education programmes are also major sought after and are always in great demand. This university has turned into full fledged university and adorns the state of Chidambaram, the abode of Lord Shri Nataraja, which also forms the symbol of this university. Like Lord Nataraja this university is also dedicated to accomplish new heights and dimensions in the world of education.