In the 19th century, Coimbatore was the center of India's industrial revolution, and it has retained a prosperous, outward-looking atmosphere. Hospitable and full of interesting sights, Coimbatore is also a great base to explore the tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.
Temples are everywhere in Coimbatore; don't miss the 1,000-year-old sculptures of the Perur Pateeswarar Temple and the hilltop Marudhamalai Murugan complex.
When the heat of southern India becomes too much, Coimbatore offers the perfect solution: the Maharaja Water Park, where everyone can cool off.
Few places in India have as many textile sellers as Coimbatore's Cross Cut Road, where gorgeous saris are easy to find. Boutiques like D.A.R. Jewellery also offer stunning rings and necklaces.
Tamil Nadu is one of the best places in the world to be a vegetarian, and Coimbatore's restaurants are some of the finest in the state.
It's also very easy to get out of Coimbatore to local attractions like Ooty, the hub of a beautiful region of tea plantations and valleys.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself visiting this reserve's 365,683 acres of lush, deep jungle, pure, unfiltered breezes, cool summer evenings and raging monsoon seasons more than once. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is home to incredible views of the sloping Jambu Malai, the wild and craggy ridges of Akka Malai, gurgling streams like the Athioda and stunning teak and tea plantations. Its flora and natural beauty will captivate you, to say nothing of it's biodiversity: the park is home to over 250 species of birds alone, including parakeets, hornbills, falcons and kingfishers, while its reserves include areas for endangered Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, lion-tailed macaquea, and an elephant camp.
The wild waters of this adventure-filled theme park are not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for an adrenaline-filled joyride through its fun water rides and scream your way through its water-coasters. Dive headfirst in to the clean waters with over 49 rides like Surf Hill and the Wild River. There are plenty of eating and snack options, a nearby hotel and shuttle service. Whether you stay for a day or more, this is one family-fun spot you don't want to miss.
When you dip yourself into the Siruvani River, you'll see that the upper cascades of the falls tumble down into the sweetest water. Spend a relaxing afternoon here, beached on the rocks, or take a dip for a while and let your worries wash away in the water's mineral-enriched caress. When you're ready, wrap up your blanket and head to the nearby dam for beautiful top-down views of the falls as well as the city.
Even though it's a bustling city, there's something oddly mystical about Coimbatore. You'll especially want to say, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto", when you witness the massive 112-foot-tall gleaming obsidian statue of a beatific Indian deity, Shiva, beaming placidly as his thousands of devotees and numerous visitors mill about his base in utter awe. Since Shiva was the "first" practitioner of yoga, the Isha Yoga complex built the massive sculpture in commemoration of the practice.
What would you say to a massive granite boulder teetering precariously on the edge of an incline? How about, "get out of the way"? Well, don't be too afraid but do approach with caution. "Krishna's Butterball" is actually a massive, 250 tons, 20 foot tall, 16 foot wide boulder that has remained motionless for the last 1200 years. It's a natural sight to wonder at, whether from the front, where it looks like it could roll you over in an instant, or from the side, which is less daunting. Apparently, gravity is no match for the mighty Hindu gods.
Sightseers will probably prefer to travel to Coimbatore during the winter, from November through March. Summers are baking hot, but with hill stations and water parks nearby, respite is available.
Coimbatore Airport (CJB) has connections to most major Indian cities. There's no airport bus, so taxis are the best route into town. Expect to pay around ₹60 for the trip.
Coimbatore Junction has links with Chennai, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Trains from Mumbai will cost about ₹600 and take 10 hours or so.
Highway 209 runs from Bangalore to Coimbatore, Highway 83 runs from Madurai, while those driving from Mumbai will need to take the coastal Highway 66, then change to Highway 544 at Thrissur.
Regional intercity buses are operated by KSRTC and provide an affordable way to reach Coimbatore from cities like Madurai or Chennai.
There some excellent high-end accommodation options in the city, including Le Méridien Coimbatore, which specializes in dining facilities, and the Vivanta by Taj - Surya, which has a popular spa center.
Race Course - the home of local attractions like the Gedee Car Museum and plenty of luxury hotels, Race Course is a comfortable, upmarket part of town.
Cross Cut Road - the city's shopping hub, Cross Cut Road is the place to head for beautiful fabrics, craft products, and jewelry.
Town Hall - the business and administrative center of Coimbatore, Town Hall has some great places to eat, including the Hotel Saravana and Murali.
TNSTC runs Volvo bus routes all over Coimbatore (as well as a few air-conditioned "deluxe" services too). Prices vary depending on the type of bus you choose and how far you travel.
Taxi rates vary by provider, but you can expect to pay ₹50 for the meter drop, followed by around ₹20 per mile.
Car rental options in Coimbatore include Zoomcar and Speetek Rent A Car and prices start at about ₹350-400 per day.
Cross Cut Road is the main shopping street, and you'll find everything from electronics stores to some of the most colorful textile outlets you will ever see.
Local supermarkets include Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar. Expect to pay around ₹150-160 for a gallon of milk.
If you want to gorge on southern Indian seafood, chicken, and - most importantly - vegetarian delights, try restaurants like Junior Kuppanna or Jalpaan Coimbatore. For a broader Asian fusion menu, Bird on Tree is a good alternative. Meals should cost no more than ₹200-300 per person.