Erode was under the regimes of Cara kings in 850 A.D. Thereafter (in 1000 A.D. - 1275 A.D.) this place came under the rule of Cholas with Dharapuram as their Headquarters. Subsequently it came under the control of Padiars (from 1276 A.D.). Only during this period, a ruler by name Veerapandian caused the digging of Kalingarayan Channel. Then the Muslims (Modeen Sulthans) took over the rule after which Nayaks of Madurai ruled. Then Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan had their sway. In 1799 when Tippu fell to the British, the East Indian Company took over the administration.
During Hyder Ali's regime, this town flourished with 300 houses. A population of 1500, a mud fort, with a garrison of 4000 soldiers surrounded by coconut groves and fertile lands bounded on the north by River Cauvery and east by Kalingarayan channel (By Bucchanan 7th and 8th November 1800). But owing to the successive wars of Marathas, Mysore and British invasions, it become almost deserted and ruined. However, as peace was restored by the British, the people returned and settled here. Within a year it began to grow with 400 houses, and a population of 2000. The garrison withdrew in 1807, and the ruined fort was levelled as a relief work during the famine in 1877. The place enclosed within the rampart was occupied by the houses. About a mile and half east of the town, there is an old bridge which spans River Cauvery. The wall at "Pechiparai" situated at the present V.O.C.Park was once celebrated for its "wholesome and milky water". There are two old temples - one dedicated to Lord Siva and the other to Lord Vishnu.
The root for the name of the Town "ERODE" may be because of the existence of the two water courses viz., Perumpalayam and Kalingarayan Canal, (hence Eru Odai, meaning two rivers in Tamil). But there is also a legend which says that the place apparently derives its name from the words "Eera Odu" which means "well skulls". According to the story, Dakshaprajapathi, who had given his daughter in marriage to Lord Siva, conducted a Yaga. For this Yaga, Lord Siva was not invited. However, Dakshyayini came to take part in this Yaga much against the wish of her husband Lord Siva. On coming to Yagakundam, Dakshyayini was not welcomed by her parents or anyone. She was vexed and threw herself in the Yagakundam and burned to ashes. On hearing this, Lord Siva got highly enraged, proceeded to the sacrificial spot and threw every one present including Brahma. The skulls and bones were thrown in River Cauvery and remained wet always. Hence the name "Eera Odu" (wet skull) - Erode.