Coimbatore is not just a mere province in the Kongu area but also the birth place of the Cholas. The history of the city dates back to the 12th century, when the region was ruled by the aboriginal Irula tribe, before the place was seized by the Chola Empire. The Kongu area served as the parliament of the Chola kings until the 9th century. Durng the later years, the place became the hub for many cultural activities in the region. With its stunning shrines, amazing architecture and literary feats, the city soon became a popular attraction for the royalties. By the medieval period, the city underwent a power struggle. The Cheras, the Pandyas and the Cholas did their best to dominate the region. When the Pandya kings lost their power to the Vijayanagar kings, the lost fame and glory of the city was restored. However, the stronghold of the Vijayanagar Empire was short lived. Soon Coimbatore was yet again amidst a political war between the Mysore Kings and the British Raj. To know a detail account on the interesting tale of Coimbatore's history, scroll down.
Coimbatore has an early history that still remains a mystery to the historians and the epigraphist. Although there is not much information available on the prior history of the original settlers, it's assumed that Coimbatore was once home to the Irula tribe, who dominated this part of the territory during the 12th century. Soon the Irula clan lost its independence to the powerful Chola Empire. Coimbatore was ruled by Kulothunga Chola. His kingdom comprised of parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. During his reign, the place was commonly referred to as Kongu Nadu or Chola Nadu. Under the rule of the Chola kings, the city reached great heights.
During the medieval period, the Kongu province was dominated by several dynasties like the Cheras and the Pandyas. By the 9th and the 10th century, Kongu had reached the pinnacle in the field of art and culture with beautiful temples being built in the Chola style of architecture. Popular literary works were also composed during this time such as 'Perumkatai', 'Purap-porul' and 'Venbamalai'. In the medieval period, the Chola kings lost their control over the region. They were overthrown by the Chera monarchs who governed the place for almost 300 years, after which the dynasty declined. Soon the Pandya rulers annexed the city of Kongu. However, their rule was short lived as the Vijayanagar rulers started to extend their boundaries and eventually captured the Kongu region. By the 15thcentury, major sections of the city slipped into the hands of the Viyayanagar kings. In 1550, under the rule of Vijayanagar kings, the Kongu town was populated to a large extent by large groups of settlers from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Once the power of the Vijayanagar dynasty began to weaken in the region, the city saw a shift in the local governance. The Madurai Nayaks took over the administration and introduced the 'Palaiyakkarar system'. The Palaiyakkarar system introduced feudal system in the territory. From 1623 to 1672, the city staged the internal political differences between the Thanjavur and Madurai Nayaks.
Soon after the decline of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 17th century, Coimbatore came under the dominance of the Kings of Mysore. Hyder Ali and his son Tipu took over Coimbatore and ruled the territory until the 18th century. With the advent of the 18th century, the East Indian Company became the undisputed lord of this region. Tipu Sultan was overthrown by the British in the fourth Anglo-Mysore War and the city soon amalgamated under the Madras Presidency. During this time, Coimbatore had already started its very own Quit India movement when Dheeran Chinnamalai started a campaign against the British India. The Polygar War was fought between Polyars and the British Raj. The war began on March 1799 but did not end soon as the Polyar warriors refused to give up their on going protest against the British. In May 1802, the British army took control of the region by seizing all anti-British activities in the area. During freedom struggle the city took active part in the country's independence.