Coimbatore is the second largest city of the Tamilnadu state of India. As one of the most industrialized cities in Tamilnadu, Coimbatore is known as the textile capital of South India or the Manchester of the South India.
Situated on the banks of river Noyyal, Coimbatore existed even prior to
the 2nd or 3rd century AD, ruled by Karikalan, the first of the early
Cholas. Among its other great rulers were Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas,
Pandyas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara kings.
When Kongunad fell to the British along with the rest of the state, its
name was changed to Coimbatore and it is by this name that it is known
today, except in Tamil, in which it is called Kovai.
Located in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, Coimbatore
enjoys a very pleasant climate all the year round swept by the fresh
breeze that flows through the 25 km long Palakkad gap. The rich black
soil of the region has contributed to Coimbatore's flourishing
agriculture industry and, it is in fact the cause for the successful
growth of cotton that served as a foundation for the establishment of
its famous textile industry. The first textile mill came up as far back
as 1888 but there are now over a hundred mills. The result has been a
strong economy and a reputation as one of the greatest industrial cities
in South India.
Coimbatore serves as an entry and exit point to neighboring Kerala and
the ever-popular hill station of Udhagamandalam (Ooty). It is the
disembarking point for those who want to take the Mountain train that
runs from Mettupalayam, just 35 km from Coimbatore. There are also
regular bus services from Coimbatore to Ooty.