Among the dynamic dynasties that ruled over Tamil Nadu the Cholas held a place of esteem and used this ancient town as their port capital. Puhar in Tamil means the estuary of river in the sea.

This port town of Kaveripoompattinam has been mentioned and cited on the temple inscriptions, in ancient literature and travelogues, different names and it has been referred to as Kaganthi, Sampapathi, Palarpukar Moothur, Mannagathu Vanpathi, Cholapattinam, Kaberia Emporium, and Kolapattinam.

There are frequent references to this important port town in ancient Tamil literature. Books like the Akananooru, Purananooru, Pattinappalai, Pathirruppathu, Mutthollayiram, Silappathikaram, Manimekalai, Devaram, Thirutthondarpuranam and Nandhikkalampagamrefer to this town. Ancient Pali literature like Milindapan, Buuttha Jathakakathaikal Abithamma Avathar and Buddhavamsakatha and the travelogues of Periplus, and Merris Erithroy contain the references to Kaveripoompattinam. Ptolemy and Pliny also mention Poompuhar in their writings.

Somaya a Buddha Pikkuni from Poompuhar donated one of the beautifully sculptured pillars that were erected by the Sunga-Kings of North-India during the second century B.C. The pillars carry the inscription Kaganthia Somaya Pikkunia Thanam which means “This Pillar was donated by Somaya Pikkuni of Poompuhar.” Buddhism flourished in Poompuhar two thousands years ago.

With the rise of later Cholas in 850 A.D. the city regained its past glory. It is mentioned as Rajathiraja Valanaattu Nangoor Naattu Kaveripoompattinam in the Sayavanam temple inscription of Vikrama Cholan in the same temple. The town is called Puhar Nagaram. Later Kopperunchingan also contributed to the grandeur of the place.