Coimbatore is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu after Chennai and Madurai. Called the 'Manchester of the East', Coimbatore’s a lot like the rest of industrial India in essence but without the grey smoke-urban sprawl flavour. Surprisingly, Coimbatore city a pleasant mix of busy bustle and small town ease despite being the business hub of textile and automobile industries in South India. At the foot of the Nilgiri Hills, Coimbatore is the nearest large city to Ooty, the Queen of Hill Stations, and a very pleasant place to spend a night in transit.
How to Reach Coimbatore?
By Air : Coimbatore Airport is 12 km from town. There are flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kozhikode. There are buses and auto-rickshaws from the airport into town or you could arrange for a rented car to meet you on arrival through a travel agent or your hotel.
By Rail : Coimbatore links up by rail to Mettupalayam, which is the point of departure for the Ooty- bound Blue Mountain Railway. Coimbatore is an important junction in the region with train services to Chennai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Kochi (Cochin), Kozhikode (Calicut) and Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
By Road : There are good road connections in all of the state of Tamil Nadu, so you could be driving in by car quite easily. Coimbatore is very well linked by bus services to the rest of the region. It has two major bus stations from where it is possible to catch buses to many places within the state, and to neighbouring Kerala, Bangalore (Karnataka) and to Pondicherry. There are also very frequent services to Mettupalam and Ooty.
Best Time to Visit Coimbatore
The best time to visit Coimbatore is from September to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing.
Summer season that stretches from March to May is not a suitable time to visit this place because the level of mercury reaches around 40 °C.
During the monsoon season, from June to August, Coimbatore experiences heavy showers thus making sightseeing difficult hence it is best avoided during monsoon season as well.
Things to do in Coimbatore
In Coimbatore itself there may not be too many things to do being an industrial town, but venture out a little and make forays into the nearby Nilgiri hills – go trekking, enjoy the environment and feel the cool air of the hills.
Buy some textiles to take home – after all this is the town of textiles!
Places Near Coimbatore
Coimbatore is at the foot of the Nilgiris and there are many places to visit in the nearby area. It is the point from which tourists take off to Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor in the surrounding hills.
There are quite a few waterfalls in the vicinity.
The Black Thunder Theme Park is supposed to be the best in Asia. It is 7 km up from Mettupalam towards Ooty.
Thirumurthy Temple and Dam (20 km) are being developed as a tourist excursion site. There is a Crocodile breeding center here and the stream has water through the year.
The Annamalai Park (Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary) (90 km) is spread out over 960 sq km and protects a large variety of wildlife: tiger, panther, sloth bear, the Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, wild boar are some. There are many varieties of bird and the reservoirs support a large population of crocodile. Though most of the park is closed to visitors you are allowed to trek around with a permit and a guide. It is even possible to stay in the forest rest house for a night.
Hotels in Coimbatore – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Coimbatore ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.