Coimbatore, also known as Kovai is a major city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of the Noyyal River surrounded by the Western Ghats, it is the second largest city in the state after Chennai and 16th largest urban agglomeration in India. It is administered by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation and is the administrative capital of Coimbatore district. It is one of the fastest growing tier-II cities in India and a major hub for textiles, industries, commerce, education, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing in Tamil Nadu. It is often referred to as the “Manchester of South India” due to its cotton production and textile industries. Coimbatore is also referred to as the “Pump City” and it supplies nearly half of India’s requirements of motors and pumps. The city is one of the largest exporters of jewellery, wet grinders, poultry and auto components with “Coimbatore Wet Grinder” and “Kovai Cora Cotton” recognised as Geographical Indications by the Government of India.
The region around Coimbatore was ruled by the Cheras during Sangam period between c. 1st and the 4th centuries CE and it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the west coast and Tamil Nadu. The Kosar tribe mentioned in the second century CE Tamil epic Silappathikaram and other poems in Sangam literature is associated with the Coimbatore region. The region was located along an ancient Roman trade route that extended from Muziris to Arikamedu.The medieval Cholas conquered the Kongu Nadu in the 10th century CE. A Chola highway called Rajakesari Peruvazhi ran through the region. Much of Tamil Nadu came under the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire by the 15th century. In the 1550s, Madurai Nayaks, who were the military governors of the Vijaynagara Empire, took control of the region. After the Vijayanagara Empire fell in the 17th century, the Madurai Nayaks established their state as an independent kingdom. They introduced the Palayakkarar system under which Kongu Nadu region was divided into 24 Palayams.
Coimbatore has a pleasant climate due to the presence of forests to the north and the cool winds blowing through the Palghat gap in the Western Ghats. Under the Köppen climate classification, the city has a tropical wet and dry climate, with the wet season lasting from October to December due to the northeast monsoon. The mean maximum temperature ranges from 35.9 °C (97 °F) to 29.2 °C (85 °F) and the mean minimum temperature ranges from 24.5 °C (76 °F) to 19.8 °C (68 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded is 40.4 °C (105 °F) on May 5, 1983 while the lowest is 11.7 °C (53 °F) on January 8, 1912.
Coimbatore is amongst the fastest growing tier-II cities in India and a major hub for textiles, industries, commerce, education, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing in Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore houses more than 25,000 small, medium and large industries with the city’s primary industries being engineering and textiles. Coimbatore is called the “Manchester of South India” due to its extensive textile industry, fed by the surrounding cotton fields. TIDEL Park Coimbatore in ELCOT SEZ was the first special economic zone (SEZ) set up in 2006.In 2010, Coimbatore ranked 15th in the list of most competitive (by business environment) Indian cities.Coimbatore also has a 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2) trade fair ground, built in 1999 and is owned by CODISSIA.It is also the country’s largest pillar-free hall, according to the Limca Book of Records.
Coimbatore and its people have a reputation for entrepreneurship. Though it is generally considered a traditional city, Coimbatore is diverse and cosmopolitan. The World Classical Tamil Conference 2010 was held in Coimbatore.
Tamil is the official language and Kongu Tamil (also called Kangee or Kongalam), a dialect, is predominantly spoken.Coimbatore also has a significant number of Kannadigas, Telugus,Malayalis and North Indians, mainly Gujaratis.
The city’s population is predominantly Hindu with minor Muslim and Christian population. Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists are also present in small numbers.
Coimbatore cuisine is predominantly south Indian with rice as its base. Most local restaurants still retain their rural flavor, with many restaurants serving food over a banana leaf. Eating on a banana leaf is an old custom and imparts a unique flavor to the food and is considered healthy.
Coimbatore also houses a number of museums and art galleries like G.D. Naidu Museum & Industrial Exhibition, H A Gass Forest Museum, Government Museum, Kadhi Gandhi Gallery and Kasthuri Srinivasan Art Gallery and Textile Museum.