Located in the Western Ghats, Coimbatore may have the tag of being an industrial city but its history and culture make for several interesting sights earning it the moniker Manchester of the South. With an eclectic mix of spirituality, heritage, culture and nature, Coimbatore has several places that are waiting to be discovered. We tell you about five such places that must be on your itinerary on your next visit to Coimbatore.
Located about 35 km west of the city, the Siruvani Waterfalls is formed by the Siruvani river and cascades down majestically especially in the monsoons. This waterfall can be accessed by trekking for about 4 kilometers within the forest and its water is known for its mineral properties and sweetness as well. The Siruvani dam located close by is the source of drinking water to the city of Coimbatore. Since the falls are in a forest zone you will need to visit this place before 5:00 p.m. and it is famed for its beautiful natural views. However do ensure that you take the right permissions and trek with precaution as the forest is home to several wild animals.
Perur Pateeswarar Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Perur Pateeswarar Temple has a history that dates back to over 1500 years and has a beautiful idol of Lord Shiva and his consort. Built by the Chola king Karikala Cholan, the pillars and intricate carvings will certainly amaze you. The temple built in Dravidian style of architecture has a golden hall with ten pillars and the externa spire is a stunning riot of colour. This is where you will experience a nice old world charm and the temple itself is breathtakingly beautiful. The temple has an elephant as well who will bless you in return for some money. An annual dance festival is a key highlight of the temple as an ode to the presiding deity known to be a dance connoisseur himself.
Coimbatore Corporation Flower Market
The local flower market may be an unusual place to be on a list of things to see, but when you are here, you will be treated to a symphony of aroma and colour like no other. This local market is full of flowers of varying hues and the vendors here are quite friendly and will also pose for pictures. Locally called Poo Market (poo means flower in Tamil), it is best to visit the place in the early hours of the morning when you will see most of the action. With mounds of jasmine, roses in various colours, marigold, the intoxicating aroma of the flowers here is unmissable. The garland makers here come up with unique garlands that are customised per client needs! This is where most people shop for flowers for weddings and other functions too.
When in Coimbatore it is a must that you try having a meal at the local eateries. For a traditional Tamil meal, the best place to head to is Sree Annapoorna Sree Gowrishankar, a well-known vegetarian chain that dates back to many decades. Do sample the local South Indian delicacies like Idli, Dosa, Vada and Upma when you are here. The best way is to choose a combination thaali that will allow you taste everything in smaller portions. And yes wash it all down with a fresh cup of piping hot coffee. This apart there are several new age restaurants that dot the city. Do stop at Barbeque Nation that dishes up some delectable grills in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and is popular among locals and tourists alike. Another popular dessert that you must try is the ice cream and you can try a range of delectable flavours at Pabrai’s Fresh and Naturelle Ice Creams as well as in Cornerstone ice creams.
When in Coimbatore, do keep some time aside to explore the local markets and malls. Silk sarees are a favourite here and in fact the saree stores here have an array of different kinds of sarees. Large format stores like Pothy’s have an extensive choice that includes sarees at various price points. Also head to Oppanakara Street and explore the many showrooms here that retail the famed silks of Tamil Nadu. This is where you can find many traditional sweet stores and local confectioners, as well. For something more urbane head to Avinashi Road known for its array of international branded showrooms. This is where you can also do a spot of jewellery shopping. At Cross-Cut Road in Coimbatore you will find many stores selling cotton and silk clothing as well as spices and local produce. The local R S Puram market is the place for local food supplies and its central location makes it a good place to observe the life of the locals here.