Coimbatore: Built on Cotton
The Indian city of Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, is one of the biggest centers of textile manufacturing in India. A fast growing metropolis today, it is home to over 25,000 textile and manufacturing companies and has spawned many new centers of textiles around it. What is amazing is that the whirring hosiery mills supplying material to the largest brands in the world, are probably housed on land that once produced priceless cotton that the Senators in ancient Rome wore!
At the centre of the ancient trade route between Rome and peninsular India, Coimbatore in the Kongunaadu area of Western Tamil Nadu was home to the cotton textiles that made India famous through the ancient world. Surrounded by the western ghats and blessed with rich black soil, ideal for growing cotton, this region emerged as a textile center in those ancient times. In fact, Coimbatore region, was so important that the Romans even had a settlement in the outskirts of the old town 2000 years ago. Unfortunately, even traces of it have disappeared due to the vagaries of time.