Coimbatore, also known as Kovai or sometimes spelt as Covai, is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the banks of the Noyyal River and surrounded by the Western Ghats. Coimbatore is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu after Chennai and the 16th largest urban agglomeration in India. It is administered by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation and is the administrative capital of Coimbatore district.
The city is one of the largest exporters of jewellery, wet grinders, poultry and auto components; the "Coimbatore Wet Grinder" and the "Kovai Cora Cotton" are recognised as Geographical Indications by the Government of India.
Coimbatore was part of Kongu Nadu during the Sangam period between c. 1st and the 4th centuries CE 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 (Kerala) and (Tamil Nadu). Coimbatore was located along the ancient trade route that extended from Muziris to Arikamedu in South India. The medieval Chozhas conquered the Kongu Nadu in the 10th century CE. 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. 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.
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 November used to be Coimbatore Day, say those familiar with the history of Coimbatore. The city experienced a textile boom in the early 19th century due to the decline of the cotton industry in Mumbai. Post - Independence, Coimbatore has seen rapid growth due to industrialisation including the introduction of 3 malls in major locations. Coimbatore was ranked the best emerging city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. The city was ranked fourth among Indian cities in investment climate by Confederation of Indian Industry and 17th among the top global outsourcing cities by Tholons. Coimbatore has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission. Coimbatore was rated as one of the safest cities in India for women according to National Crime Records Bureau report in 2015. In a nationwide annual cleanliness survey, 'Swachh Survekshan 2020,' conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development, as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign, Coimbatore was ranked first in the list of cleanest cities in Tamil Nadu.