Coimbatore is the 3rd largest city of Tamil Nadu. It is district headquarters and the most industrialized and commercialized city in Tamil Nadu. It is the textile capital of the south and called the Manchester of Tamil Nadu. It is on the banks of Noyyal, a tributary of the river Cauvery. The hinterland with black cotton soil and the ideal climate are suitable for the development of textile industry. It was in existence even before 2nd century as the capital of Kongu kings. It came under the reign of Karaikal Chola of the 2nd century AD., the Rastrakutas, Chalukyas, Pandyas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar rulers, and Mysore Wodeyars too held sway in this region. When it finally fell into the hands of the British, its name was perpetuated as Coimbatore. As it is located in the shadows of the Western Ghats, it enjoys a very pleasant climate throughout the year with the fresh breeze that blows through the 25km wide Palakkad gap which is the main link to the neighboring state Kerala. The first textile mills came up here as far back as 1888 but now there are over hundred mills in Coimbatore. Mettuppalayam (35km from Coimbatore) that borders the Nilgiris district, is the disembarking point to board the mountain train that goes to the 'Queen of Hill Station' - Ooty.
The city owes it fame to the rapid industrialization and business growth witnessed during the last few decades. It has been in existence even before 2-century as the capital of kings of Kongu and successively been ruled by Karikal Chola, the Rastrakutas, Chalukyas, Pandyas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar rulers and the Wodeyars of Mysore also controlled this region before it fell to the British.
The city known for the famous T.N.A.U. Agricultural College and Research Institute, supposedly the best in Southeast Asia also has a Botanical Garden spread over 300 hectares, located about 5km from the railway station. This university is an acclaimed centre for seed breeding experiments. The museums inside the university have collections of minerals, rocks, pests, insects and forest products. Built in 1906, the building is one of the best examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture in India with exposed brick façade, dome, stone pillars, cast iron balustrades, and timber staircase. Coimbatore is a popular overnight stop for visitors heading for Ooty.
Perur is about 7km west of the city centre, it has a temple of great sanctity dating from Kongu Chola period during 11-13 century. It is often called the Mecca of Art Lovers. The other name of this place is Mel-Chidambaram. The Perur temple was built by Karikal Chola of 2nd century AD. There are shrines to the presiding deity Patteeswarar and his consort Pachainayaki. The Kanaga Sabha pillars are chiseled with images of unsurpassing beauty. The images of Gajasamhara, Veerabadra, Bikshadana, Oorthuva Thandava, Veena Pani Saraswathi, all rival with one another in artistic perfection. Imposing corridors with numerous carvings is a feast to the eyes. The Panguni Uthiram festival in March-April attracts thousands of people every year. Nearby flows the Noyyal river with green lushy banks. One can also visit the Santhalinga Adigalar Mutt and Tamil College here.
There are shrines to the presiding deity Patteswarar and his consort Panchainayaki. Alagadri Nayak of Madurai built the famous Kanaka Sabha in the 17-century. The pillars chiseled with images depicting Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord killing the demon etc., are examples of its sculptural splendor. The richly carved pillars of the corridor leading to the main shrine rival with one another in artistic perfection. The town is at its colorful best during the temple car festival, Panguni Uthiram in March-April.
The most famous Agricultural University, the best in South East Asia, is located here. It was originally established as an agricultural farm in Saidapet, Chennai and later moved to Coimbatore in 1907. The name got changed first as Agricultural College and it developed into the Agricultural University. It is 5km from railway station.
G.D.Naidu Industrial Exhibition
G.D.Naidu the famous technocrat of yester-years was a legend in his own time. His contribution to automobile, electronics, mechanical and agricultural sectors are invaluable. He founded a technical institute and the Industrial Exhibition is located here. It is a splendid exposure to science, technology and modern industry.
Named after the eminent freedom fighter and patriot V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, this huge park is maintained by the Municipal Corporation. There is a mini zoo, and a joy train in this park amuses children as well as the grown-ups.
It is just 3.5km from the railway station. It is one of the oldest institutes of its kind in India. It trains forest rangers. The college museum has wonderful collections and demands a visit.
Mettupalayam is about 40km from Coimbatore on the main Ooty Road, at the foothills of the Nilgris, Mettupalayam is an exotic location for its scenic landscape. Visitors usually make a stop over here for its natural beauty and to abroad the hill train on the narrow gauge to Ooty.
Places around Coimbatore
Marudamalai is about 12km from Coimbatore this hill top temple, reached by a step of flights or a temple bus, is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. Devotees throng this temple as the Lord Dhandayuthapani of this temple has performed several miracles to devotees. The temple is reached by a flight of steps. There is also a motor able road and temple buses are available to reach the top. Marudhamalai is a mountain full of rare hers. One of the 18 siddhars, Pampatti Siddhar has resided in this place. The cave where he resided is now a shrine of worship. Thai Possam(January-February) and Thirukarthigai (November-December) festivals are very famous here. They are celebrated with pomp and gaiety. The greenery of this mountain is pleasing to the eyes and the chill breeze atop is quite refreshing. The presiding deity, Dhandayuthapani is revered as he has performed several miracles to please the devotees. One of the 18 siddhas, Pampatti Siddhar supposedly resided at this place. Many herbal plants also grow on this mountain.
The Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary
The Indira Gandhi Natural Park and Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary is at an altitude of 1400m in the western ghats near Pollachi about 90km from Coimbatore. The area of this vast sanctuary is 958sq km. The flora and fauna of this place is very unique and rare varieties which are fast disappearing could also be seen here. The fauna consists of elephant, gaur, tiger, anther, sloth-bear, deer, wild boar, wild dog, porcupine, flying squirrel, jackal, pangolin, civet cat, snakes and birds like rocket-tailed drango, red-whiskered bulbul, black headed oriole, tree pie, spotted dove and green pigeon. A large number of crocodiles are seen in the Amaravathi reservoir in Anaimalai. Places of scenic beauty are Karainshola, Anaikunthishola, grass hills, waterfalls, groves, teak forests, estates, dams and reservoirs. Rest houses and safari sightseeing are available at Topslip, Vanagaliar and Mount Stuart. The sanctuary can be visited any time of the year but the best time is to go in the very early morning or late evening. Transport through the sanctuary is arranged by the forest department. The reception centre is at Parambikulam dam.
Thirumoorthy Temple and Waterfalls
It is about 96km from Coimbatore and 20km from Udumalaipet at the foot of the Thirumoorty hills. The presiding deity is called Ammanalingeswarar. True to the name, the main deity is left nude (Ammanam) without any clothes on. It is an old temple with beautiful settting and some rare sculptures with a spacious front hall. There are some inscriptions too. A perennial stream flows by the side of the temple. Just a km from the temple on the hill is a beautiful waterfalls. There are bathing arrangements and one can hold the iron chain fastened to the walk beneath the waterfalls and enjoy the thrill of a chill water massage. Above, after a strenuous climb lies another waterfalls which is more vigorous and refreshing. It is an ideal place for trekking too. At the foot of the hills lie the Thirumoorthy dam with boating facilities. There is also a swimming pool and a well laid-out garden. Local buses ply from Udumalaipet to this place. There is rail link to Udumalaipet from Coimbatore.
Valparai is 102km from. Coimbatore in the western ghats of the Anaimalai range. A rid in ghat road that passes through the Indra Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is fantastic. The flora of this place is quite interesting and a paradise for botanists. All along the road one can see innumerable tea plantations. The Kadambarai power project is on the way and could be visited with permit. On the top is a Balaji temple built by the Birlas. a beautiful and neatly kept temple with an enchanting idol. One can also see plantation workers busily picking tealeaves and smoking the area to ward off insects and flies. It is a nice place and a developing hill station. The scenery and the murky sky with intermittent drizzle are quite enjoyable. Valparai is really the Princess of Hills as it is called. Valparai is about 102km from Coimbatore, near Pollachi and close to TopSlip, it is a small town dominated by tea estates. Though Valparai caters to the tea drinkers of the world, coffee is also a hot favorite from this place. The small roads that swirl around the estates provide a refreshing drive.
It is 30km from Coimbatore via Narusipuram village. A beautiful picnic spot and a heaven for trekkers. A perennial waterfalls is the chief attraction of this place.
The Sengupathi waterfalls are located 35km from Coimbatore on the Coimbatore-Siruvani main road. It is a nice picnic spot and people come in large number to bathe in the falls.
The Siruvani Waterfalls and Dam
The dam and waterfalls are at a distance of 37km from Coimbatore on the western side. The water of Siruvani river is known for its taste and mineral properties. The panoramic view from the dam and the falls enchant the visitors.
Parambikulam Aliyar Dam
This dam is a multi-purpose project. It consists of a series of dams interconnected by tunnels and canals for harnessing waters of Parambikulam, Aliyar, Nirar, Sholaiar, Thunnakadavu, Thakkadi and Palar rivers, lying at various elevations, for irrigation and power generation. The scheme is an outstanding example of engineering skill and inter-state relationship. It is in the Anaimalai range at the foot of the entrance to Valparai. It is about 64km from Coimbatore. There is a park and boating can also be done. The early morning mist that hangs over the Aliyar Dam is an enchanting dreamy sight.
This falls is ideal even for children to bathe. It is located on the Pollachi-Valparai High Road just on entering the ghat section after passing the Aliyar Parambikulam multi-purpose project.
Mazani Amman Temple
This is near the highway to Anamalai Topslip from Pollachi. It stands on the banks of river Amaravathi. It is a renowned local temple. The main feature in this temple is the grinding of red Chilies by devotees. It is said that the deity here is Goddess of revenge and would punish severly the enemies of her devotees if they grind the chilly on a stone grinder kept here for that purpose. The devote dvotee chants the name of the deity and prays of the ruin of his enemy while grinding the chilies. The chilies to be ground are available in the temple.
It is a picturesque spot in the Anaimalai Hills about 37km from Polachi. There is a waterfalls on the top, an ideal picnic location. Arrangements are made at Topslip to take tourists around he sanctuary on elephant's back or in a van.
The steep Amaravathi dam across the river Amaravathi is just 25km from Thirumoorthy Dam. Buses from here and Udumalaipet ply to this place. There is a well laid-out park ad on climbing the steep dam on steps, one can have a picturesque view. There is a crocodile farm nearby and umpteen crocodiles of all sizes basking in the sun and suddenly making a stride or piled upon one another could be seen.
A water theme park named Black Thunder is located at 8km from Mettupalayam (35km from Coimbatore) - Ooty ghat road at the foot of the Nilgiris. It is a fine amusement park and said to be Asia's number one theme park. Numerous tourist visit daily.
Tiruppur is 50km from Coimbatore and is associated with the illustrious freedom fighter Kumar called 'Kodi Katha Kumaran' (Kumaran who saved the honor of the flag). A statue is erected for him in this place. It is an important textile centre and famous the world over the hosiery products.
How to get there?
Air: The airport at Coimbatore is 10km east of the town centre and connected to Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kozhikode, and Sharjah in UAE. Airport Enquiry: Phone: 0422-2574100
Rail: Coimbatore is a major junction connected by daily express trains to Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Madurai, Rameswaram, Delhi, Mumbai and Trivandrum Railway Enquiry: 139.
Bus/Road: Coimbatore is on the NH47 and well connected to Madurai, Ooty, Thiruvananthapuram, Kanyakumari, Chennai, Kodaikanal Bengaluru and Kochi.
Interstate and State buses leave from Tiruvallur Bus Stand, Enquiry Phone: 0422-2524969.
Buses for the nearby northern destinations like Coonoor and Ooty start from Central Bus Stand enquiry: 0422-2237965.
Local buses ply within the city and to the places of tourist interest. Auto rickshaws, Call Taxi, and tourist taxis are also available.
Coimbatore Distance Guide
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