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 industrialised 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.