Coimbatore

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This article is about the city in Tamil Nadu, India. For its namesake district, see Coimbatore district.
Coimbatore
கோயம்புத்தூர்
Kovai
City
Clockwise from top: Avinashi Road, Perur Pateeswarar Temple, Victoria Town Hall, Sungam flyover, PSG College of Technology, Ukkadam Periyakulam Lake
Clockwise from top: Avinashi Road, Perur Pateeswarar Temple, Victoria Town Hall, Sungam flyover, PSG College of Technology, Ukkadam Periyakulam Lake
Nickname(s): Manchester of South India
Coimbatore is located in Tamil Nadu
Coimbatore
Coimbatore
Location of Coimbatore in India
Coordinates: 11°1′6″N 76°58′21″E / 11.01833°N 76.97250°E / 11.01833; 76.97250Coordinates: 11°1′6″N 76°58′21″E / 11.01833°N 76.97250°E / 11.01833; 76.97250
Country India India
State Tamil Nadu
Region Kongu Nadu
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body CCMC
 • Mayor Ganapathy P Rajkumar
 • Corporation Commissioner Dr K Vijay Karthikeyan, IAS
Area
 • City 246.75 km2 (95.27 sq mi)
 • Metro 642.12 km2 (247.92 sq mi)
Elevation 411.2 m (1,349.1 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City 1,601,438[1]
 • Metro 2,151,466[2]
Demonym(s) Coimbatorean
Languages
 • Official Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 641XXX
STD Code +91-422
Vehicle registration TN 37 (South), TN 38 (North), TN 66 (Central), TN 99 (West)
Website www.ccmc.gov.in

Area Note 1: The pre-expansion area of city limits was 105.6 sq.km. The 2010 expansion order added 12 local bodies and increased the total area to 265.36 sq.km. In 2011, three of the local bodies Vellalore (16.64 sq.km), Chinniampalayam (9.27 sq.km) and Perur (6.40 sq.km) were dropped from the expansion and Vellakinar (9.20 sq.km) and Chennavedampatti (4.5 sq.km) were added. The area post expansion is 246.75 sq.km.[3][4][5][6]

Population Note 1: The population as per official census 2011 calculated basis pre-expansion city limits was 1,050,721.[7] The population was 930,882 as per 2001 census.[4] After the 2010 Government Order, the population became 1,262,122.[4] After the changes mentioned in the previous note were made, the 2001 population figure was 1,250,446.[3][8] The 2011 census data for the urban agglomeration is available and has been provided.[7] The population including the new city limits was provided by Government of India for the smart city challenge as 1,601,438.[1]

Coimbatore, also known as Kovai [koːʋəj], is a major city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the second largest city and urban agglomeration in the state after Chennai[9] and the sixteenth largest urban agglomeration in India. It is administered by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation and is the administrative capital of Coimbatore district. It is one of the fastest growing tier-II cities in India and a major textile, industrial, commercial, educational, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing hub of Tamil Nadu.[10] It is often referred to as the "Manchester of South India" due to its cotton production and textile industries.[11][12] Coimbatore is also referred to as "Pump City" and it supplies two thirds of India's requirements of motors and pumps. The city is one of the largest exporters of jewellery, wet grinders, poultry and auto components with "Coimbatore Wet Grinder" and "Kovai Cora Cotton" recognized as Geographical Indications by the Government of India.[13][14][15][16] The city is located on the banks of Noyyal river surrounded by the Western Ghats.

Coimbatore was the capital city of the historical Kongu Nadu and was ruled by the Cheras as it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the west coast and Tamil Nadu.[17] Coimbatore was in the middle of the Roman trade route that extended from Muziris to Arikamedu in South India.[18][19] The medieval Cholas conquered the Kongu Nadu in the 10th century CE.[20][21] The region was ruled by Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century followed by the Nayaks who introduced the Palayakkarar system under which Kongu nadu region was divided into 24 Palayams.[22] In the later part of the 18th century, the Coimbatore region came under the Kingdom of Mysore and following the defeat of Tipu Sultan in the Anglo-Mysore Wars, the British East India Company annexed Coimbatore to the Madras Presidency in 1799. The Coimbatore region played a prominent role in the Second Poligar War (1801) when it was the area of operations of Dheeran Chinnamalai.[23]

In 1804, Coimbatore was established as the capital of the newly formed Coimbatore district and in 1866 it was accorded municipality status with Robert Stanes as its Chairman.[24][25][26] The city experienced a textile boom in the early 19th century due to the decline of the cotton industry in Mumbai.[27] Post independence, Coimbatore has seen rapid growth due to industrialisation. Coimbatore was ranked the best emerging city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey.[28] The city has been ranked 4th among Indian cities in investment climate by CII[29] and ranked 17th among the top global outsourcing cities by Tholons.[30] Coimbatore has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission.[31]


Etymology[edit]

There are multiple theories regarding the origin of the name. According to one theory, Coimbatore is a derivation of Kovanputhur (literally 'new town of Kovan'), after chieftain Kovan or Koyan, who ruled the region around the city. Kovanputhur evolved into Koyambatoor, which was anglicized as Coimbatore.[32] Another theory states that the name could have been derived from Koniamman. Koyamma, the goddess worshiped by Koyan evolved into Kovaiamma and later Koniamma.[33]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Coimbatore
The Sugarcane Breeding Institute at Coimbatore, 1928

The region around Coimbatore was ruled by the Cheras during Sangam period and it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the west coast and Tamil Nadu.[17] The Kossar tribe mentioned in the second century CE Tamil epic Silappathikaram and other poems in Sangam literature is associated with the Coimbatore region (Kongu Nadu).[34] The region was in the middle of a Roman trade route that extended from Muziris to Arikamedu.[18][19] The medieval Cholas conquered the Kongu Nadu in the 10th century CE. A Chola highway called Rajakesari Peruvazhi ran through the region.[20][21] Much of Tamil Nadu came under the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire by the 15th century. In the 1550s, Madurai Nayaks who were the military governors of the Vijaynagara Empire took control of the region. After the Vijayanagara Empire fell in the 17th century, the Madurai Nayaks established their state as an independent kingdom. The Nayaks introduced the Palayakkarar system under which Kongu nadu region was divided into 24 Palayams.[22]

In the later part of the 18th century, the region came under the Kingdom of Mysore, following a series of wars with the Madurai Nayak Dynasty. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan in the Anglo-Mysore Wars, the British East India Company annexed Coimbatore to the Madras Presidency in 1799. The Coimbatore region played a prominent role in the Second Poligar War (1801) when it was the area of operations of Dheeran Chinnamalai.[23] In 1804, Coimbatore was established as the capital of the newly formed Coimbatore district and in 1866 it was accorded municipality status.[24][25] Sir Robert Stanes became the first Chairman of the Coimbatore City Council.[26] The region was hard hit during the Great Famine of 1876–78 resulting in nearly 200,000 famine related fatalities. The city experienced an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale on February 8, 1900.[35] The first three decades of the 20th century saw nearly 20,000 plague-related deaths and an acute water shortage.[36][37]

The city experienced an economical boom in the 1920s and 1930s due to the decline of the cotton industry in Mumbai.[27] The region played a significant role in the Indian independence movement.[38] Post independence, Coimbatore has seen rapid growth due to industrialisation and in 1981, Coimbatore was constituted as a corporation.[39] On February 14, 1998, the radical Islamist group Al Ummah bombed 11 places across the city killing 58 people and injuring more than 200.[40]

Geography[edit]

Western Ghats along the Coimbatore-Palghat National Highway

Coimbatore lies at 11°1′6″N 76°58′21″E / 11.01833°N 76.97250°E / 11.01833; 76.97250 in South India at 411 metres (1349 ft) above sea level on the banks of the Noyyal river, in south-western Tamil Nadu. It covers an area of 642.12 km2 (247.92 sq mi).[2] It is surrounded by the Western Ghats mountain range to the West and the North, with reserve forests of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve on the northern side.[41] The Noyyal River forms the southern boundary of the city.[42][43] The city sits amidst Noyyal's basin area and has an extensive tank system fed by the river and rainwater.[44] The eight major tanks and wetland areas of Coimbatore are namely, Singanallur, Valankulam, Ukkadam Periyakulam, Selvampathy, Narasampathi, Krishnampathi, Selvachinthamani, and Kumaraswami.[45] Multiple streams drain the waste water from the city.[42][46]

The city is divided into two distinctive regions: the dry eastern side which includes majority of the urban area of the city and the western region which borders the Nilgiris, Anaimalai and Munnar ranges. Palghat Gap, a mountain pass which connects the neighboring state of Kerala to Tamil Nadu lies to the west of the city. Because of its location in biodiversity hotspot of the Western Ghats, it is rich in fauna and flora. The Coimbatore urban wetlands harbors around 116 species of birds of which, 66 are resident, 17 are migratory and 33 are local migrants.[47] The spot-billed pelican, painted stork, openbill stork, ibis, spot-billed duck, teal and black-winged stilt visit the Coimbatore wetlands on their migration.[41] Apart from the species common to the plains, various threatened and endangered species such as Indian elephants, wild boars, leopards, Bengal tigers, gaurs, Nilgiri tahr, sloth bear and black-headed oriole are found in the region.[48]

The northern part of the city has a rich tropical evergreen forest with commercially significant trees such as teak, sandalwood, rosewood and bamboo. The soil is predominantly black, which is suitable for cotton cultivation, but some red loamy soil is also found. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, Coimbatore falls under the Class III/IV Seismic Zone, having experienced a 6.0 Richter scale earthquake in 1900.[35]

Climate[edit]

Coimbatore has a pleasant, salubrious climate due to its proximity to thickly forested mountain ranges and the cool breeze blowing through the Palghat gap which makes the consistently hot temperatures pleasant.[42] Under the Köppen climate classification, the city has a tropical wet and dry climate, with the wet season being from October to December due to the northeast monsoon. Coimbatore is located at an elevation of about 411 m (1,348 ft).[41] The mean maximum and minimum temperatures varies between 35 °C (95 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F).[49] The highest temperature ever recorded is 40.3 °C (105 °F) while the lowest is 11.7 °C (53 °F).[50]

Due to the presence of the mountain pass, more elevated parts of the district benefit from the south-west monsoon in the months from June to August. After a warm, humid September, the main monsoon starts from October lasting till early November. These monsoons are brought about by the retreating monsoon. The average annual rainfall is around 700 mm (27.6 in) with the North East and the South West monsoons contributing to 47% and 28% respectively to the total rainfall.[49] This rainfall is not enough to sustain the needs of the city for the entire year and the shortage is made up through water supply schemes like Siruvani, Pilloor and Athikadavu.[51][52]

Climate data for Coimbatore (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.6
(96.1)
37.6
(99.7)
39.7
(103.5)
40.3
(104.5)
40.4
(104.7)
38.6
(101.5)
35.6
(96.1)
35.7
(96.3)
36.2
(97.2)
36.1
(97)
34.4
(93.9)
35.0
(95)
40.3
(104.5)
Average high °C (°F) 30.5
(86.9)
33.3
(91.9)
35.9
(96.6)
36.7
(98.1)
35.2
(95.4)
32.2
(90)
31.6
(88.9)
31.6
(88.9)
32.5
(90.5)
31.6
(88.9)
30.1
(86.2)
29.3
(84.7)
32.5
(90.5)
Average low °C (°F) 18.2
(64.8)
19.5
(67.1)
21.3
(70.3)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
22.4
(72.3)
21.8
(71.2)
21.8
(71.2)
22.0
(71.6)
21.8
(71.2)
20.7
(69.3)
19.0
(66.2)
21.3
(70.3)
Record low °C (°F) 11.7
(53.1)
12.8
(55)
15.6
(60.1)
17.8
(64)
16.1
(61)
18.3
(64.9)
16.7
(62.1)
17.2
(63)
17.8
(64)
15.0
(59)
13.9
(57)
12.2
(54)
11.7
(53.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 5.4
(0.213)
13.0
(0.512)
15.1
(0.594)
48.0
(1.89)
71.2
(2.803)
27.4
(1.079)
35.5
(1.398)
35.5
(1.398)
74.3
(2.925)
123.1
(4.846)
122.2
(4.811)
46.0
(1.811)
606.0
(23.858)
Average rainy days 0.3 1.0 1.0 3.0 4.2 2.7 2.6 2.6 4.6 7.4 5.8 2.8 38.3
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[50][53]

Demographics[edit]

Coimbatore has a population of 1,601,438.[1] As per the 2011 census based on pre-expansion city limits, Coimbatore had a population of 1,050,721 with a sex-ratio of 997 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[57] A total of 102,069 were under the age of six, constituting 52,275 males and 49,794 females.The average literacy of the city was 82.43%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[57] There were a total of 425,115 workers, comprising 1,539 cultivators, 2,908 main agricultural labourers, 11,789 in house hold industries, 385,802 other workers, 23,077 marginal workers, 531 marginal cultivators, 500 marginal agricultural labourers, 1,169 marginal workers in household industries and 20,877 other marginal workers.[58]

As per the 2001 census,[56] Coimbatore had a population of 930,882 within Municipal Corporation limits.[3][4][8] The population of the urban agglomeration as per 2011 census is 2,151,466.[2] In the urban agglomeration, males constitute 50.08% of the population and females 49.92%. Coimbatore has an average literacy rate of 89.23%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 93.17% and female literacy is 85.3% with 8.9% of the population under 6 years of age. The Sex ratio was 964 females per 1000 males.[59] In 2005, the crime rate in the city was 265.9 per 100,000 people, accounting for 1.2% of all crimes reported in major cities in India. It ranked 21st among 35 major cities in India in the incidence of crimes.[60] In 2011, the population density in the city was 10,052 per km2 (26,035 per mi2).[7] According to the religious census of 2011, Coimbatore had 83.3% Hindus, 8.6% Muslims, 7.5% Christians and 0.6% others.[61] Around 8% of the city's population lives in slums.[62]

Administration and politics[edit]

Corporation officials
Mayor
Ganapathy P. Rajkumar
Deputy Mayor
S. Leelavathiunni[63]
Commissioner
Dr K Vijay Karthikeyan, IAS [64]

Coimbatore is a Municipal corporation administered by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation and is the administrative headquarters of Coimbatore District. Coimbatore was established as the capital of Coimbatore district in 1804 and in 1866 it was accorded municipality status.[24][25] In 1981, Coimbatore was elevated as a municipal corporation.[39] The city is divided into five administrative zones – East, West, North, South and Central, each further subdivided into 20 wards.[65] Each ward is represented by a councilor who is elected by direct election and the Mayor of Coimbatore is elected by Councillors. The executive wing of the corporation is headed by a Corporation Commissioner and maintains basic services like water supply, sewage and roads.[66][67] The district itself is administered by the District Collector and the district court in Coimbatore is the highest court of appeal in the district. The Coimbatore City Police is headed by a Commissioner and there are 18 police stations in the city.[68]

Race Course Road, Coimbatore

A large part of the Coimbatore urban agglomeration falls outside the Municipal corporation limits.[69] These suburbs are governed by local bodies called Village Panchayats and Town Panchayats.[70] Besides the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation, the Coimbatore UA comprises the town panchayats of Vellalur, Irugur, Sulur, Pallapalayam, Kannampalayam, Veerapandi, Periyanaickenpalayam, Narasimhanaickenpalayam, Idikarai, Vedapatti, Perur, Madukkarai, Ettimadai, Thondamuthur, Uliyampalayam, Thirumalayampalayam, Othakalmandapam, Chettipalayam, Alanthurai, Pooluvapatti, Thenkarai, Karumathampatti, Sarcarsamakulam, Mopperipalayam and Gudalur and census towns of Ashokapuram, Kurudampalayam, Malumichampatti, Selvapuram, Chettipalayam, Sulur, Chinniampalayam, Somayampalayam, Muthugoundan Pudur, Arasur, Kaniyur and Neelambur.[71] These local bodies are in turn split into wards each electing a councillor through direct election. The head of the local body known as president[72] is elected by the councilors from among their number.[67]

Coimbatore elects ten members to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and one member to the Indian Parliament. The five legislative assembly constituencies in the city are Coimbatore North, Coimbatore South, Kaundampalayam, Singanallur and Sulur. All five are part of the Coimbatore Parliamentary Constituency. Till 2009, there were only four assembly constituencies in Coimbatore – Coimbatore East, Coimbatore West, Singanallur, and Perur. Also about 20% of the urban agglomeration came under the Nilgiris constituency which runs into the northern part of the city and about 10% came under the Pollachi constituency. In the Indian general election held in 2014, AIADMK candidate A.P. Nagarajan defeated C. P. Radhakrishnan of the BJP in the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency.[73] In the last legislative assembly election held in 2011, the AIADMK led front won in all five assembly constituencies.[74]

Economy[edit]

Main article: Economy of Coimbatore
Lakshmi Mills was one of the earliest textile mills in Coimbatore
Tidel Park, one of the largest IT parks in India
CODISSIA Trade Centre, Coimbatore

Coimbatore houses more than 25,000 small, medium and large industries with the city's primary industries being engineering and textiles. Coimbatore is called the "Manchester of South India" due to its extensive textile industry, fed by the surrounding cotton fields.[75][76] TIDEL Park was the first special economic zone (SEZ) set up in 2006.[77][78] In 2010, Coimbatore ranked 15th in the list of most competitive (by business environment) Indian cities.[79] Coimbatore also has a 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2) trade fair ground, built in 1999 and is owned by CODISSIA (Coimbatore District Small Industries Association).[80] It is also the country's largest pillar-free hall, according to the Limca Book of Records.[81]

Coimbatore region experienced a textile boom in the 1920s and 1930s.[27] Though, Robert Stanes had established Coimbatore's first textile mills as early as the late 19th century, it was during this period that Coimbatore emerged as a prominent industrial center. Coimbatore is home to more than 17% of the fiber textile mills in India.[82] Coimbatore has trade associations such as CODISSIA, COINDIA and COJEWEL representing the industries in the city. Coimbatore houses a number of textile mills and is the base of textile research institutes like the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Sardar Vallabhai Patel International School of Textiles and Management and the South Indian Textiles Research Association (SITRA). The city also houses two of the Centers of Excellence (COE) for technical textiles proposed by Government of India, namely Meditech, a medical textile research center based at SITRA and InduTech based in PSG College of Engineering and Technology.[83] Kovai Cora Cotton saree is a recognized Geographical Indication.[84]

The city is the second largest software producer in Tamil Nadu, next only to Chennai. IT and BPO industry in the city has grown greatly with the launch of TIDEL park and other planned IT parks in and around the city. It is ranked at 17th among the global outsourcing cities.[30] Coimbatore is the second largest hub in India for Cognizant Technology Solutions employing 5000 people and is planning to double its capacity here.[85] Software exports stood at 710.66 Crores (7.1 billion) for the financial year 2009–10 up 90% from the previous year.[86] Coimbatore has a large and a diversified manufacturing sector facilitated by the presence of research institutes like Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, SITRA and large number of engineering colleges producing about 50,000 engineers annually.[87]

Coimbatore is one of major manufacturers of automotive components in India with car manufacturers Maruti Udyog and Tata Motors sourcing up to 30% of their automotive components from the city. G.D. Naidu developed India's first indigenous motor in 1937.[88][89] India's first indigenously developed diesel engines for cars was manufactured in the city in 1972.[16] The city also has a number of tier-I, II and III suppliers catering to the needs of the entire gamut of the automobile industry, ranging from two-wheelers and four-wheelers to commercial vehicles and tractors.[90] Coimbatore has more than 700 wet grinder manufacturers with a monthly output 75,000 units as of March, 2005 [91] and the term "Coimbatore Wet Grinder" has been given a Geographical indication.[16][92]

Coimbatore is also referred to as "the Pump City" as it supplies two thirds of India's requirements of motors and pumps.[16] The city is one of the largest exporters of jewellery[14] renowned for making cast jewellery and machine made jewellery . It is also a major diamond cutting center in South India.[93][94][95][96] The city is home to about 3000 jewellery manufacturing companies and to over 40,000 goldsmiths.[97][98][99]

Coimbatore has a large number of poultry farms and is one of the major producers of chicken eggs and processed meat amounting to nearly 95% of the chicken meat exports from the country.[15] Coimbatore has some of the oldest flour mills in India. The large scale flour mills, which cater to all the southern states, have a combined grinding capacity of more than 50,000 MT per month. In the recent years, the city has seen growth in the hospitality industry with more upscale hotels being set up.[100][101][102][103][104] Coimbatore is the largest non-metro city for e-commerce in South India.[105]

Culture[edit]

Main article: Culture of Coimbatore

Coimbatore and its people have a reputation for entrepreneurship.[106][107] Though it is generally considered a traditional city, Coimbatore is more diverse and cosmopolitan than other cities in Tamil Nadu.[108][106] The city conducts its own music festival every year.[109] Art, dance and music concerts are held annually during the months of September and December (Tamil calendar month – Margazhi).[110] The World Classical Tamil Conference 2010 was held in Coimbatore.[111][112] The heavy industrialisation of the city has also resulted in the growth of trade unions.[113]

Language[edit]

Tamil is the official language and Kongu Tamil (also called Kangee or Kongalam), a dialect is predominantly spoken.[114][115] Coimbatore also has a significant number of Kannadigas, Telugus,[116] Malayalis[117][118][119] and North Indians,[108] mainly Gujaratis,[120] who are engaged in trade and commerce. As per 2001 census, the number of speakers mother tongue wise are as follows : Tamils 7,07,263 followed by Telugus 1,25,616, Malayalis 46,645, Kannadigas 30,195 speakers.[121] During the 1970s the city witnessed a population explosion as a result of migration fueled by increased economic growth and job opportunities.[55][122]

Religion[edit]

Religion[61]
Religion Percent(%)
Hindu
  
83.3%
Muslim
  
8.6%
Christian
  
7.5%
Other
  
0.6%

The city's population is predominantly Hindu with minor Muslim and Christian population.[123] Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists are also present in small numbers.[8][124][125] According to the religious census of 2011, Coimbatore has 83.31% Hindus, 8.63% Muslims, 7.53% Christians, 0.28% Jains, 0.05% Sikhs, 0.02% Buddhists and 0.01% Others. 0.17% of the respondents did not state their religion.[61]

The Mariamman festivals at the city’s numerous Amman temples, are major events in summer.[126] Major Hindu temples in the city include the Perur Patteeswarar Temple, Naga Sai Mandir, Konniamman temple, Thandu Mariamman temple, Vazhai Thottathu Ayyan temple, ISKCON Temple, Eachanari Vinayagar Temple, Karamadai Ranganathar Temple, Marudamalai Murugan Temple, Loga Nayaga Shani Eswaran shrine, Ashtamsa Varadha Anjaneyar Temple and Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple.[127] The mosques on Oppanakara Street and Big Bazaar Street date back to the period of Hyder Ali.[128] Christian missions date back to 17th century when permission was granted by the Nayak rulers to set up churches in the region.[129] Sikh Gurudwaras and Jain Temples are also present in Coimbatore.[130]

Cuisine[edit]

See also: Tamil cuisine

Coimbatore cuisine is predominantly south Indian with rice as its base. Most local restaurants still retain their rural flavor, with many restaurants serving food over a banana leaf.[131] Eating on banana leaves is a custom that dates back thousands of years, imparts a unique flavor to the food and is considered healthy.[132] North Indian, Chinese and continental cuisines are also available. Idly, dosa, paniyaram and appam are popular dishes.[133][134][135] Sree Annapoorna Gowrishankar Hotels are known for its unique taste of Sambar.[136] Coimbatore has an very active street food culture and various cuisine options for dining.[137] Kaalaan is a dish that originated in Coimbatore and is prepared by simmering deep fried mushrooms (usually chopped mushroom) in a spicy broth, until it reaches a porridge like consistency and served sprinkled with chopped onions and coriander leaves.[138]

Arts[edit]

Swamikannu Vincent, who had built the first cinema of South India in Coimbatore, introduced the concept of Tent Cinema in which a tent was erected on a stretch of open land close to a town or village to screen the films.[139][140] Rangaswamy Naidu established the Central Studios in 1935 while S. M. Sriramulu Naidu set up the Pakshiraja Studios in 1945.[141] The city conducts its own music festival every year.[142] Art, dance and music concerts are held annually during the months of September and December.[143]

Transport[edit]

Mettupalayam Road Bus Station, all north bound buses towards Nilgiris district start from here
A intra city bus operated by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation
Sungam bypass flyover above Ukkadam-Valankulam Lake

Air[edit]

The city is served by the Coimbatore International Airport at Peelamedu 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city center. The airport commenced operations in 1940 as a civil aerodrome with Indian Airlines operating Fokker F27, Douglas DC-3 and later Hawker Siddeley HS 748 aircraft.[144] The Prime Minister of India declared the government's intention to upgrade Coimbatore Airport to International status in a meeting with senior ministers on 6 June 2012[145] and the Union Cabinet granted it the status of international airport on 2 October 2012.[146] The airport is operated by Airports Authority of India and caters to domestic flights to major Indian cities and international flights to Sharjah and Singapore.[147] As of 2014-15, the airport was the 15th largest airport in India in terms of total aircraft movement, 18th largest in terms of passengers handled and 13th largest in terms of cargo handled.[148][149][150][151] It has a single runway which is 9,760 feet (2,970 m) in length and is capable of handling wide-bodied and fat-bellied aircraft.[152] Air Carnival, a proposed airline promoted by the CMC group is expected to commence operations in 2016 with the Coimbatore International Airport as the hub.[153]

Sulur Air Force Station located at Kangayampalayam is an air base operated by the Indian Air Force and accommodates Antonov An-32 heavy air lifter aircraft, Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters and the HAL Dhruv helicopters of the Sarang helicopter display team.[154] The first squadron of ingeniously built HAL Tejas will be inducted at Sulur AFS and Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft will be stationed at the base by 2016.[155][156]

Rail[edit]

Train service in Coimbatore started in 1861, upon construction of the PodanurMadras line connecting Kerala and the west coast with the rest of India.[157] Coimbatore lies on the Coimbatore - Shoranur Broad gauge railway line and the city falls under the Salem Division of the Southern Railway zone of Indian Railways. The major railway station is the Coimbatore Junction which is the second largest income generating station in the Southern Railway zone after Chennai Central and is amongst the top hundred booking stations of Indian Railways.[158][159][160] Other major railway stations catering to the city include Coimbatore North Junction, Podanur Junction and minor stations at Peelamedu, Singanallur, Irugur Junction, Perianaikanpalayam, Madukkarai, Somanur and Sulur.[161][162][163]

Monorail[edit]

Main article: Coimbatore Monorail

In 2012, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation proposed three monorail routes. Two circular routes, in the northern and southern sections of the city and a dual linear line connecting the Eastern and Western section. The northern route circular route will connect Gandhipuram with Ganapathy, Sivananda Colony, Sai Baba colony, RS Puram, Townhall and City Railway Station. The second circular route will connect Podanur with Trichy Road, Sungam, Redfields, Race Course, City Railway Station and Ukkadam. A linear line was proposed from Chinniampalayam to TNAU via Coimbatore International Airport, CODISSIA, PSG Tech, Lakshmi Mills, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore North Junction and Cowley Brown Road.[164] Vadavalli and Thondamuthur were included in the linear line as part of the phase extension.[165]

Road[edit]

There are six major arterial roads in the city: Avinashi road, Trichy road, Sathy road, Mettupalayam road, Palakkad road and Pollachi road.[166] Coimbatore bypass is a series of bypasses connecting the various National Highways and State Highways passing through and originating from Coimbatore. The first section of the bypass, a 28-kilometre (17 mi) stretch from Neelambur to Madukkarai on National Highway 544 opened for traffic in 2000.[167][168] It was the first road privatization project to be implemented on a build-operate-transfer model in South India.[169][170] In 2008, the State Highways Department came up with a proposal to create a Ring Road to help de-congest the main arterial roads and the 12 km road would extend from Peelamedu to Mettupalayam road.[171] In 2011, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced the construction of two new flyovers at Ukkadam and Athupalam to help de-congest the Palakkad Road.[172] In 2012, the Government of Tamil Nadu decided in favor of an eastern road that connected Mettupalayam Road with Avinashi Road and the existing bypass.[173] The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation is undertaking the construction of six rail-over-bridges in the city.[174] There are five National Highways passing through the city:[175][176]

Highway Number Destination Via
544 Salem Perundurai, Chithode
Kochi Palakkad, Thrissur
948 Bangalore Kollegal, Chamrajnagar
81 Chidambaram Karur, Tiruchirapalli
181 Gundlupet Mettupalayam, Udagamandalam
83 Nagapattinam Pollachi, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur

Apart from state and National Highways, the city corporation maintains a 635.32 kilometres (394.77 miles) long road network.[42] Town buses started operating in 1921 and serve most parts of the city, as well as other towns and villages in the district. The number of inter-city routes operated by Coimbatore division is 119 with a fleet of more than 500 buses.[177] It also operates town buses on 257 intra-city routes.[178] The intra-city buses operate from major bus stations in Gandhipuram, Singanallur and Ukkadam to other parts across the city. Inter-city and intra-city buses that connect Coimbatore operate from different bus stands:[179][180][181]

Location Bus Station Destinations
Gandhipuram Central Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam, Mettur dam
SETC Chennai, Ernakulam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram
Omni Bus Stand[182] Private mofussil buses
Singanallur Singanallur Madurai, Tirunelveli, Trichy, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam
Ukkadam Ukkadam Palakkad, Palani, Pollachi, Udumalpet
Mettupalayam Road Coimbatore North Mettupalayam, Ooty, Mysore

Coimbatore BRTS is a proposed bus rapid transit project under the JNNURM scheme of the Government of India. It is planned along a 27.6 kilometres (17.1 mi) stretch connecting Avinashi road and Mettupalayam road.[183] The city is also served by auto rickshaws and radio taxi services.[184] Coimbatore has four Regional Transport Offices viz. TN 37 (South), TN 38 (North), TN 66 (Central), TN 99 (West).[185]

Education[edit]

PSG College of Technology in Peelamedu, Coimbatore

Coimbatore is a major educational hub.[186] The first college opened in Coimbatore was the Government Arts College in 1875.[187] The forest college and research institute was opened in 1916.[188] The first engineering college in the city was started by G.D. Naidu as the Arthur Hope College of Technology in 1945 which later became the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore.[188] The Air Force Administrative College was established in 1949 to train Indian Air Force personnel.[188] The earliest private engineering colleges in the state, PSG College of Technology and Coimbatore Institute of Technology were established later in in the 1950s.[188] Coimbatore Medical College was opened in 1966 and the Government law college started functioning from 1978.[188] The agricultural school established in 1868 was converted into a full-fledged agricultural university Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 1971 and the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History was opened in 1990.[188]

As of 2010, the district is home to 7 universities, 78 engineering colleges, 3 medical colleges, 2 dental colleges, 35 polytechnics and 150 arts and science colleges.[189][190] The city has 3 government run universities Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (1971), Bharathiar University (1982), Anna University Coimbatore (2007) and 4 private universities Karunya University (1986), Avinashilingam university (1987), Amrita University (2003) and Karpagam University (2005).[188][191] The city houses Government research institutes including the Central Institute for Cotton Research, Sugarcane Breeding Research Institute, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and Tamil Nadu Institute of Urban Studies.[192] In 2008, Government of India announced a plan to establish a world class university in the region.[193][194]

In 1867, the first group of students appeared for the SSLC examinations in Coimbatore.[188] Three types of schools operate in Coimbatore: government run schools, schools funded by the government but run by private trusts (aided schools) and schools funded completely by private trusts.[188] Schools may follow Tamil Nadu Anglo Indian School Board, Tamil Nadu State Board, Matriculation or CBSE syllabus for teaching.[188] The city falls under the purview of Coimbatore Education District. In 2013, 45,863 students appeared for SSLC exams and the pass percentage was 94.12%.[195][196] The literacy rate in the city is 80%.[42]

Utility services[edit]

Media[edit]

Main article: Media in Coimbatore

Four major English newspapers The Hindu,The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle and The New Indian Express bring out editions from the city. Business Line, a business newspaper also brings out a Coimbatore edition. Tamil newspapers which have Coimbatore editions include Dina Malar, Dina Thanthi, Dina Mani, Dinakaran, Tamil Murasu and Malai Malar (both evening newspapers). Two Malayalam newspapers – Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi also have considerable circulation in the city.

A Medium wave radio station is operated by All India Radio, with most programs in Tamil, English and Hindi. Five FM radio stations operate from Coimbatore – Rainbow FM from All India Radio, Suryan FM[197] from Sun Network,[198] Radio Mirchi,[199] Radio City, and Hello FM.[200][201] All these private radio stations air exclusively Tamil based programs, including film music. Television relay started in 1985 from Delhi Doordarshan and in 1986, after inception of a repeater tower at Kodaikanal, telecast from Madras commenced. In 2005, Doordarshan opened its studio in Coimbatore.[202] Television reception is through DTH or by cable, while Doordarshan reception is still available using an external antenna.

Telecommunication[edit]

Coimbatore has a well connected communications infrastructure. Till the 1990s the state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was the only telecommunication service provider in the city. In the 1990s, private telecom companies too started offering their services. As of 2010, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices offer broadband service and fixed line services. MTS offers mobile broadband services.[203] Cellular telephony was first introduced in 1997 and mobile telephone services available.[204] Coimbatore is the headquarters of the Tamil Nadu circle of cellular service providers.[205]

Healthcare[edit]

The size of the Coimbatore health care industry has been estimated as 1500 Crore (150 million) in 2010.[206] There are nearly 750 hospitals in and around Coimbatore with a capacity of 5000 beds.[207] The first health care center in the city was started in 1909. In 1969, it was upgraded to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, a government run tertiary care hospital with 1020 beds and provides free health care.[208] The city corporation maintains 16 dispensaries and 2 maternity homes.[42] Coimbatore has a large number of private hospitals which makes it a major center for medical tourism and a preferred healthcare destination for people from nearby districts and from the neighboring state of Kerala.[209][210][211][212]

Sports and recreation[edit]

A typical raceday scene at Kari Motor Speedway
Cross-cut road in Gandhipuram, one of the largest shopping hubs in Coimbatore

Motor sports plays a large part in the city, with Coimbatore often referred to as the Motor sports Capital of India and the Backyard of Indian Motorsports.[213] S.Karivardhan designed and built entry level race cars and the Kari Motor Speedway, a Formula 3 Category circuit is named after him.[214] Tyre manufacturer MRF assembles Formula Ford cars in Coimbatore in association with former F3 Champion J.Anand and racing company Super Speeds designs Formula cars.[215] Rallying is another major event with rallies conducted in closed roads around Coimbatore. Narain Karthikeyan, India's first Formula One driver hails from the city and other motorsport drivers from Coimbatore include J. Anand and V. R. Naren Kumar.[216][217]

Nehru Stadium, built originally for football also hosts athletic meets. The stadium has been renovated with Korean grass for the field and a synthetic track around it for athletics.[218] Apart from the stadium, other sporting venues include the Coimbatore Golf Course, a 18-hole golf course[219] and Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club, which is more than 100 years old.[220] Coimbatore Flying Club is located in the Coimbatore airport premises.[221] The city hosts its own annual marathon called Coimbatore Marathon as an event to raise cancer awareness.[222] Retired tennis player Nirupama Vaidyanathan, who became the first Indian woman in the modern era to feature and win a round at a main draw Grand Slam in 1998 Australian Open hails from Coimbatore.[223]

Recreation[edit]

Swamikannu Vincent built the first cinema of South India in Coimbatore and introduced the concept of "Tent Cinema" in which a tent was erected on a stretch of open land close to a town or village to screen the films.[139] Coimbatore also houses a number of museums and art galleries like G.D. Naidu Museum & Industrial Exhibition, H A Gass Forest Museum, Government Museum, Kadhi Gandhi Gallery and Kasthuri Srinivasan Art Gallery and Textile Museum.[224][225][226][227]

There are several amusement parks in and around the city namely, Black Thunder water theme park near Mettupalayam, Kovai Kondattam amusement park at Perur and Maharaja Theme Park at Nillambur. [228] Since the 1980s, the city has had a few small shopping complexes.[229] Lately, malls have come up including Brookefields Mall and Fun Republic Mall.[230] The city also has a number of parks including VOC park, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University park, Race Course children's park, Bharathi park in Saibaba Colony and many more parks. Coimbatore Zoo houses a number of animals and birds and is located near VOC park.[231] Singanallur lake is a popular tourist place and bird watcher destination.[232] Though there are a lot of entertainment centres mushrooming in the city, visiting the cinema still remains the city's most popular recreational activity.[233]

Environmental issues[edit]

Air pollution, lack of proper waste management infrastructure and degradation of water bodies are the major environmental issues in Coimbatore. There is a sewage treatment plant at Ukkadam with the capacity to process 70 million liters of sewage water per day.[234][235] Garbage is collected by the Corporation[236] and by systems developed by the local residents. Sewage is pumped into the water tanks and the Noyyal river through streams. This along with garbage dumping and encroachments has led to degradation of the water bodies and depletion in the groundwater table.[237][238][239] The tanks are renovated by the city's environmental groups with their own fund-raising and the corporation.[240][241] Siruthuli,[242] an environmental organisation founded by the city's industrial houses, undertakes de-silting of tanks and cleaning of the Noyyal river.[243] The corporation is also taking efforts to clear encroachment of the tanks.[244][245]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Coimbatore has sister city relationships with the following cities of the world.

Country City State / Region Since
United States United States Toledo[246][247] Flag of Ohio.svg Ohio 2010

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