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The second largest city in India's Tamil Nadu state, Coimbatore, is backed by the Western Ghats mountain range and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. A river runs across its southern border, and its surrounding wetlands and plains are home to a stunning array of wildlife including Indian elephants, wild boars and 116 species of birds.
Located in the south of India close to the Kerala region, Coimbatore is a bustling city with a population of over one million. It's known for its textile and engineering industries, among others, and for its friendly residents. Not only that, the water here is said to be some of the sweetest in the world. Some say this is because during its journey from the Western Gats mountains to the city, it acquires its taste from herbal plants native to the region.
There are no direct flights form the UK to Coimbatore, but you can fly there indirect from the UK with several airlines. These include Jet Airways, British Airways and Oman Air. Prepare yourself for a long journey, though - it averages at about 14 hours and 45 minutes, and often includes a layover in the Middle East or another Indian city, and sometimes more than one stop.
Choose from departure airports including Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool. No matter what part of the UK you are departing from, you'll find an airport nearby offering routes into the city.
Coimbatore boasts a pleasant climate throughout the year, with highs rarely falling below 25°C. October is the month most likely to see rain, and even then the chances are below 50%, and foggy days are practically unheard of. The hottest months are April and May, so if you want to avoid 30°C heat, travel outside these times. For the coolest temperatures, visit in December, where temperatures hover around the 25°C mark.
If you're interested in music and dance, visit in September and December to see some of the concerts held here. In January, the city's most important festival, Thai Pongal, takes place, and Tamil New Year falls in April. Both are great times to visit if you're interested in learning about Coimbatore's culture.