The third largest city of the TamilNadu, state of India, Coimbatore, is one of the most industrialized cities in Tamil Nadu. It is known as the textile capital of South India or the Manchester of the South India. The city is situated on the banks of river Noyyal. Coimbatore existed even prior to the 2nd or 3rd century AD, ruled by Karikalan, the first of the early Cholas. Among its other great rulers were 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 rain shadow region of the Western ghats, Coimbatore enjoys a very pleasant climate all the year round, aided by the fresh breeze that flows 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 the cause for the successful growth of cotton that served as a foundation for the establishment of its famous textile industry. The first textile mill came up as far back as 1888 but 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 neighbouring Kerala and the ever popular hill station of Udhagamandalam (Ooty). It is the disembarking point for those who want to take the Mountain train that runs from Mettupalayam, just 35 kms from Coimbatore. There are also regular bus services from Coimbatore to Ooty.