Coimbatore (also known as Kovai) is the second largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the 15th largest urban agglomeration in India with a metropolitan population of over 2 million. It is a major commercial centre and has often been referred to as the "Manchester of South India".
The Coimbatore region has been ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, the later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire and the Madurai Nayaks and is believed to have been named after a chieftain called Koyan. In the 17th century, the city became a part of the Kingdom of Mysore and remained so until its conquest by the British East India Company in 1799. The history of modern Coimbatore, however, dates from the 1930s, when the city grew rapidly capitalizing on a textile boom. Since then, the city has witnessed steady growth fueled by its favourable soil, climate and political and economic conditions.
Coimbatore is administered by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation which comprises 100 wards grouped into five zones. It is situated on the banks of the Noyyal River in western Tamil Nadu and is surrounded by the Western Ghats on all sides. It is well connected by road, rail and air with major towns and cities in India.
Coimbatore is an important textile and manufacturing hub of Tamil Nadu. Other important industries include software services, education and healthcare. Coimbatore has been ranked 4th among Indian cities in investment climate by a survey done by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The city has been ranked at No. 17 among the top global outsourcing cities in a study by Tholons