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.
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.).
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).
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”.