Coimbatore - The Manchester of South India

Coimbatore is 498 kms from Chennai. The third largest city of the state, Coimbatore the headquarters of a district of the same name, is one of the most industrialized cities in Tamil Nadu. The city is situated on the banks of the river Noyyal and is known as the textile capital of South India or the Manchester of the South. Coimbatore existed even prior to the 2nd century AD as a small tribal village capital called Kongunad until it was brought under Chola control in the 2nd or 3rd century AD by Karikalan, the first of the early Cholas. Among its other great rulers were the 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 shadow of the Western Ghats, Coimbatore enjoys a very pleasant climate the year round, aided by the fresh breeze that flows in through the 25 kms long Palakkad gap. The rich black soil of the region has contributed to Coimbatore's flourishing agriculture industry and, it is in fact that the successful growth of cotton that served as a foundation for the establishment of its famous textile industry. The first textile mills came up around 1888 and 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 the neighbouring state of Kerala and the ever-popular hill station of Udagamandalam (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu. It is the disembarking point for those who want to take the Mountain train that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty that is just 35 kms from Coimbatore. There are also regular bus services from Coimbatore to Ooty.

Chidambaram General Information

  • Area: 23.5 sq kms.
  • Population: 9, 23,085
  • Altitude: 43.2 mts
  • Climate:
  • Summer 39.4 ºC to 23.3 ºC
  • Winter 32.8 ºC to 20.7 ºC
  • Rainfall -92.2 mm-Average
  • Season –Throughout the year

How to Get There

By Air

Coimbatore has an airport. Flights connect it to Chennai and other important cities. Peelamedu Airport is 10 kms from the City.

By Rail

Coimbatore is connected by rail to Chennai, Trivandrum, Delhi and other cities.

By Road

It is also connected to all the important cities and places of interest by road.

  • Chennai-532 kms
  • Kanyakumari-457 kms,
  • Ooty-98 kms,
  • Yarcard -259 kms,
  • Vellore-363kms,
  • Velankanni-350 kms,
  • Tuticorin-438 kms
  • Thiruvananthapuram-400 kms,
  • Tirupati-479 kms
  • Tiruchirappalli -204 kms
  • Thekkady-357 kms
  • Thanjavur-285 kms
  • Palani-108 kms.

Place to visit

Kutrallam It is 37 km. from Coimbatore and 5 km.away from Alandurai village. It is perennial waterfalls located in the Western Ghat forest. It is also known as Sengupathy waterfalls. It is surrounded by a thick forest and is full of flora and fauna.

Noyyal River It flows near the Perur temple. Many religious rituals are being performed here.

The Siruvani Waterfalls and Dam the waterfalls and the dam are about an hour's drive from Coimbatore. The water of the Siruvani is known as for its good taste. The panoramic views of the dam and the falls are enchanting.

Velliangiri Hills These Mountains are known as the kailash of the south. Located in the outskirts of Coimbatore, it is one of the sacred hills. Lakhs of people undertake the arduous 8 km trek during Maha Sivarathri and Chitra Pournami every year. Rare medicinal herbs can be found on these mountains. The exotic flora and fauna add to the mystical colors of the pilgrimage.

Tamil Nadu Agriculture University The University is situated about 5 km from Coimbatore railway junction.It is one of the sixteen major agricultural Universities in the country and one of the best in south Asia.

Forest College Coimbatore is an educational centre of importance, and the Forest College, the oldest forest institution in India is located here. The college is world famous and has an interesting museum.

G.D.Naidu Industrial Exhibition This industrial exhibition was organized and established by that visionary industrial, is it the late Sri.G.D.Naidu, a legend in his lifetime. He made valuable contributions to the field of electronics and in area of mechanization of agriculture. This permanent exhibition is a testimonial to his achievements.

Other Places of Interest The Botanical Gardens, The South India Textile Research Association

Parks V.O.C Parks, Uppilipalayam, Gandhi Park, R.S.puarm, Bharathi Park, and Thadagam Road.

Temples

Perur Temple This temple is situated 7 kms from Coimbatore Railway station and was constructed by Karikala Cholan. There are shrines to the presiding deity Patteeswarar and his consort Panchainayaki. Elegantly carved sculptures are in the Kanagasabai hall. Devotees flock to the temples during Panguni Uthiram festival that is celebrated in the month of March.

Maruthamalai Temple Dedicated to Lord Subramanya this hilltop temple is one of the most visited temples in this region. The reason being that the presiding deity Dhandayuthapani is believed to have performed several miracles here. Thai poosam and Thirukarthigai festivals are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety in this temple. Maruthamalai is 12 kms. from the railway station.

Eachanari Vinayakar Temple It is dedicated to Lord Vinayaka and is situated about 13 kms. from the heart of Coimbatore city. People travelling further south usually pray to this God to prevent obstacles or hurdles on their journey, as he is considered the remover of obstacles.

Karamadai Ranganathar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, this is the second oldest temple in Coimbatore. The Vijayanagara Kings built it.

Masaniyamman Kovil Situated between Pollachi and Palakkad, this temple is about 45 to 50 k.m. from the hub of Coimbatore. Devotees believe that if they grind red chilly paste and apply it on the presiding deity their lost valuables will be restored to them.

Puliakulam Temple Asia’s largest idol of Ganesha stands imposingly in the Puliakulam temple in Coimbatore. This temple was built in 1996 and the statue weighs about 14 tonnes.

Chemmedu Muthumariyamman temple This temple is situated near Perur. The local legend states long ago the main town was located around this temple only. But today one can see only the ruins.

Ammanalingeshwarar Kovil This temple is in the Udumalpet district on the hillock of Thirumaurthimalai, 21 kms south of the Udumalpet.

Avanashillingeshwarar Kovil 40 kms from Coimbatore, legend has it that a priest named Sundaramurthi Nayanar through his rendering of the “Thevaram” restored a young boy who was killed by a crocodile to life. The temple is also known by another name, Thirupukoligur.

Dhyanalinga This is the largest lingam in the world and it is located in the foothhills of the Velliangiri Mountain about 30 kms from Coimbatore. The lingam is a single black granite stone 13 ft.9 inches in height and it has with seven copper rings embedded in it, corresponding to the seven charkas that is believed to govern the human body. The Avudaiyar or its base is made from a single white granite stone 9 ft in diameter and is in the form of a seven headed coiled snake.

The Dhyanalinga does not ascribe to any particular religion or faith, but is the distilled essence of yogic science. The dome has been built with traditional material like burnt bricks, mud and mortar and additional herbal additional herbal additives.

Excursions

Thirumoorthy Temple It is situated at the foot of Thirumoorthy Hills adjoining the Thirumoorthy Dam. This is about 20 kms from Udumalpet on the Highway from Palani to Coimbatore. A perennial stream flows by the side of the Sri Amalingeswarar temple and nearby there is a waterfall.

The Crocodile Farm at Amaravathi Dam is just 25 kms. from here. This place is being developed as a District Excursion Centre.

Bhavani The Sangameshwarar temple at Bhavani is situated at the confluence of the rivers Bhavani and the Kaveri. This place is called as Thriveni of South India. It is an important pilgrim centre. Lord Sangameshwarer with his consort Vedanayaki is the presiding deity. It is said that during the British rule, the then Collector of Coimbatore and Salem Districts, William Garrow, who had his headquarters at Bhavani, worshipped the Goddess Vedanayaki at this temple. One night the Goddess directed him in his dream to vacate his bungalow immediately. Just after he vacated, the entire bungalow collapsed. As thanksgiving for this miracle, he presented to the temple an ivory cradle with his signature can be seen in the temple.

Vaidehi Waterfall: It is located 30 kms from Coimbatore through the Narasipuram village. It is a fine picnic spot for trekkers. The perrennial waterfall is a major attraction

Tiruppur: It is an important textile centre in Coimbatore district; it is also famous for hosiery products. Tiruppur is also closely associated with Thiruppur Kumaran a valiant freedom fighter. It is 50 kms from Coimbatore.

Bethesda: The Bethesda Prayer Centre is set amidst the scenic splendour of Siruvani hills, 2 km away from the industrial city of Coimbatore. The landscape surrounding the prayer centre is beautiful with hills, water falls green pastures and rivulets, providing the most peaceful atmosphere for prayer and meditation. The prayer dome is a lovely artistically designed with all facilities, which will enable one to be lost in the Lord's presence.

Palani This temple of Lord Muruga is located on the Palani Hills. The presiding deity is Dandayuthapani. The idol is made of medicinal herbs.It is believed to be one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga and one of the major pilgrim centres in South India. It is next only to Thirupathi. An electrically operated winch carries the pilgrims to the top. It is 105 kms From Coimbatore.

Bannari Located in the Periyar district, it is about 83 kms. From Coimbatore and 10 kms.from Bhavanisagar .The Mariamman temple here is very famous and attracts thousands of pilgrims.

Kodumudi It is 40 kms. from Erode and 105 kms. from Coimbatore. Special to this place are the shrines for Siva, Vishnu and Brahma that are located in one temple complex. Siva is known as Muchukundeswarar, Vishnu as Veera Narayana Perumal. The temple is one of the important temples in Periyar district.

Pollachi This town is about 40 km from Coimbatore. It is next important town in the district after Coimbatore, and an important commercial centre. A temple dedicated to Mariamman and another to Subramanya is located here. There are beautiful stone carvings of a five-hooded serpent, a sculpture of a yali with a chain hanging from its mouth and zodiac signs, in the Subramanya temple.

Avinashi The Lingeswarar temple located here is about 40 km from Coimbatore. Avinashi is also known as the Banaras of the South. The place dates back to the 12th century A.D. This is the biggest temple in Coimbatore district, and the Chola rulers built it. There are some fine stone carvings in this temple. The old name of this place was Pikkoigul.

Valparai It is 102 kms from Coimbatore in Western Ghats in the Anamalai range. It has many tea plantations and is a picnic spot.

The Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary This sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 1,400 mtrs. in the Western Ghats near Pollachi. The area of the sanctuary is 958 Sq.Km. It has various kinds of exotic fauna like the elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sloth bear, pangolin, black-headed oriole, green pigeon and the civet cat. The Amaravathy reservoir in the Anamalais has a large number of crocodiles. There are also many places of scenic beauty such as the Karain shola, grassy hills, waterfalls, groves, teak forests, estates and dams.Arrangements are available at Topslip to take tourists around the sanctuary on elephant back or by van.

Solaiyar Dam It is 15 km from Valparai. The Solaiyar Dam is the second largest rock dam in Asia. Its length is about 20 km.

Parambukulam-Aliyar Dam Project This project consists of a series of dams interconnected by tunnels and canals for harnessing the waters of the Parambikulam, Aliyar, Sholiyar, Thunakadavu, Thekkadi and Palar rivers, flowing at various elevations, for irrigation and power generation. The scheme is an outstanding example of engineering skill. It is located in Anamalai range and is ideal as a picnic spot. Overnight stay is possible in the forest rest house. A treetop house provides accommodation for the adventurous.

Nirar Dam It is 15 km from Valparai. It has very high rainfall in the months of June and July.

Monkey Falls It is 65 km from Coimbatore and 27 km from Pollachi on Coimbatore-Pollachi-Valparai Highways.

Top Slip A picturesque locale in the Anamalai Hills. It is about 37 kms from Pollachi and about 90 km from Coimbatore. Bungalows are available within the sanctuary. For thrill seekers, accommodation is also available in a tree house.

Sidhi Vinayagar Temple It is 5 km from Solaiyar. A statue of Vinayagar weighing about 3.5 kg is located in this temple. It is constructed with a single rock.

Balaji Temple This temple is in Valparai. On Saturday and Sunday each week, a large number of tourists arrive to worship. Bus, taxi and van facilities are available to visit this temple.

Shopping in Coimbatore

There is an array of options for shopping in Coimbatore. One of the most important industrial cities in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore is an ancient city that existed even before 2nd century AD as the capital of a small tribal village. Coimbatore is situated in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, on the banks of the River Noyyal. Coimbatore enjoys a very pleasant climate round the year, thus making it an ideal destination on a tour to Tamil Nadu.