Coimbatore, the other name of which is Kovai, is the second biggest city in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at a distance of about 500 km from Chennai, on the banks of the Noyyal River because of which, it is also known as Koneyammanputhhur, signifying the ‘birth place of the Goddess’.
It is one of the major centres for the textile and engineering industry not only in the state, but throughout south India. Coimbatore is also known as the ‘Manchester of South India’ because of its large number of textile industries. The education and health care industries are also growing here at a steady rate. The administrative headquarters of the Coimbatore District is also located at this place.
The history of the city dates back to the Sangam Age, when it was a part of the Kongu country and was inhabited by tribal people. Later the Rashtra Kutas seized the city, followed by the Cholas, Chalukyas, Pandayas and the Cysalas. Finally, it came under the rule of the Madurai Sultanets.
In the wars that were fought between 1377 and 1378, the kingdom was destroyed because of the battle between Muthu Veerappa Nayak and Tirumal nayak. In 1799, Hyder Ali of Mysore took over the place.
After the downfall of Tipu Sultan towards the end of the 18th century, the city came under the control of the British and remained under them till India’s independence. Coimbatore was earlier known as Kongunad and its present name was given by the British. Coimbatore played a major role in India’s struggle for independence.
Kongu Tamil, which is a unique dialect of the Tamil language, is the main language spoken in this city. People belonging to the Gounder and Kamma Naidu communities form the majority of the population. Keralites, mostly from Palakkad and Gujaratis also live in considerable numbers. The city also has a substantial Muslim population, while Christians and Sikhs live in small numbers.
Since some of the popular hill stations in India, including Ooty, Coonoor and Valparai, are at a close proximity from Coimbatore, it is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination. The Siruvani Waterfalls is also not very far away.
There are several attractions in Coimbatore, but the temples and the shrines are the most popular ones. Some of the most popular religious places in this city include Marudhamalai Hill Temple, Ayyappan Temple, Islam Safia Jamath Mosque, Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple, St Antony’s Church, Lord Ganesha Temple, Infant Jesus Church, Ramar Temple, Anubhavi Subramaniar Temple, etc.
Some other interesting places to visit include Bhavani Sagar Dam, Black Thunder, Kovai Kondattam, Siruvani Falls and Dam, Thirumoorthi Dam, Aazhiyaar Dam (Aaleeyaar Dam), Amaravathi Dam, Sozhaiyaar (Solaiyaar) Dam, Monkey Falls, Kodiveri Dam, Vydehi Falls and Kovai Kutralam Falls.