Quickie Guide: Three Things to do in Coimbatore

Finding small joys in the south Indian city.  
oimbatore is called the Manchester of South India because of its thriving textile industry. It rose to prominence in the 1920s after Bombay’s textile mills suffered a dramatic decline, and still retains that lustre. Photo: Dinodia

Coimbatore is a convenient halt en route to holiday spots like Ooty, Coonoor, Kodaikanal, or Palakkad. It often features on itineraries but rarely as a final destination. Glimpses of the city caught from its main roads are hardly encouraging, with traffic-logged flyovers and daunting commercial buildings. But Coimbatore has its charms. The next time you find yourself there on a longish layover, here are some suggestions for things to do.

Flower Power

The wholesale flower market receives produce from the region and sends it out as far as the Middle East. It’s a riot of colour in the morning, and the air is thick with the fragrance of roses, marigold, jasmine, lotus, chrysanthemum, and lilies (M.T.P. Road, R.S. Puram; open 6 a.m.).

Photo: Zvonmir Atletic/Alamy/Indiapicture

Photo: Zvonmir Atletic/Alamy/Indiapicture

Photo: Dave Stamboulis/Age Fotostock

Photo: Dave Stamboulis/Age Fotostock

Palate Play

Try the lavish breakfast thali at Sree Annapoorna Sree Gowrishakar (0422- 4522333; dishes from ₹25). At Valarmathi Mess, taste traditional Kongu cuisine: spicy naati mutton pepper fry, kothu parota, minced chicken dosa, and Dindugal biryani (0422- 4271190; dishes from ₹140).

Hangout Central

A 2.5-km-long walkway is all that remains of Coimbatore’s erstwhile race course. The tree-lined walkway has kitschy replicas of famous landmarks, such as the Red Fort and Eiffel Tower, at regular intervals. A number of clubs, funky restaurants, and boutique shops have made it a popular evening spot.

Appeared in the July 2015 issue as “Coimbatore Calling”.

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    Anita Rao Kashi is a freelance travel and food writer based in Bengaluru.

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