COIMBATORE, a city and district of India, in the Madras presidency. The city is situated on the left bank of the Noyil river, 305 m. from Madras by the Madras railway. In 1901 it had a population of 53,080, showing an increase of 14% in the decade. The city stands 1437 ft. above sea-level, is well laid out and healthy, and is rendered additionally attractive to European residents by its picturesque position on the slopes of the Nilgiri hills. It is an important industrial centre, carrying on cotton weaving and spinning, tanning, distilling, and the manufacture of coffee, sugar, manure and saltpetre. It has two second-grade colleges, a college of agriculture, and a school of forestry.
The District of Coimbatore has an area of 7860 sq. m. It may be described as a flat, open country, hemmed in by mountains on the north, west and south, but opening eastwards on to the great plain of the Carnatic; the average height of the plain above sea-level is about 900 ft. The principal mountains are the Anamalai Hills, in the south of the district, rising at places to a height of between 8000 and 9000 ft. In the west the Palghat and Vallagiri Hills form a connecting link between the Anamalai range and the Nilgiris, with the exception of a remarkable gap known as the Palghat Pass. This gap, which completely intersects the Ghats, is about 20 m. wide. In the north is a range of primitive trap-hills known as the Cauvery chain, extending eastwards from the Nilgiris, and rising in places to a height of 4000 ft. The principal rivers are the Cauvery, Bhavani, Noyil, and Amravati. Numerous canals are cut from the rivers for the purpose of affording artificial irrigation, which has proved of immense benefit to the country. Well and tank water is also largely used for irrigation purposes. Coimbatore district was acquired by the British in 1799 at the close of the war which ended with the death of Tippoo. In 1901 the population was 2,201,782, showing an increase of 10% in the preceding decade. The principal crops are millet, rice, other food grains, pulse, oilseeds, cotton and tobacco, with a little coffee. Forests cover nearly 1 million acres, yielding valuable timber (teak, sandalwood, etc.), and affording grazing-ground for cattle. There are several factories for pressing cotton, and for cleaning coffee, oil-cake presses, tanneries and saltpetre refineries. Cereals, cotton, forest products, cattle and hides, and brass and copper vessels are the chief exports from the district. The south-west line of the Madras railway runs through the district, and the South Indian railway (of metre gauge) joins this at Erode.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)