Erode District (previously known as Periyar District) is a district in the Kongu Nadu region (western part) of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It was the largest district by area in the state before the Formation of Tirupur District and the headquarters of the district is Erode. It is divided into two revenue divisions namely Erode and Gobichettipalayam and further subdivided into 9 taluks. Periyar district was a part of Coimbatore District before its division into two on September 17, 1979 and was renamed as Erode District in 1996. As of 2011, the district had a population of 2,251,744 with a sex-ratio of 993 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.
Erode District History
The region belonging to the present day districts were ruled successively by several dynasties of South India including the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. It was under the rule of Cheras in the first millennium and various rulers. During the 10th to 12th centuries the region was part of the larger Chola Empire.
The region became part of Vijayanagara empire in 1300’s, later under Nayaks of Madurai until 17th century. Under the Madurai Nayaks, the Polygar system of administration was established, who were the Governors of the region. Since mid 17th century the region was part of Kingdom of Mysore but continuing the Polygar system of administration.
The Polygar chieftain Dheeran Chinnamalai was one of the governors of the region, who played a major part in the early struggle for Indian Independence in the Polygar Wars against the British East India Company. After the Polygar and Mysore wars in the late 18th century, the area came under control of the British until the Indian Independence in 1947. It was a part of the erstwhile Coimbatore district until its bifurcation in 1979.
Erode District Demographics
According to 2011 census, Erode district had a population of 2,251,744 with a sex-ratio of 993 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 195,213 were under the age of six, constituting 99,943 males and 95,270 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 16.41% and .97% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 66.29%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The district had a total of 658,071 households. There were a total of 1,195,773 workers, comprising 173,376 cultivators, 331,414 main agricultural labors, 48,960 in house hold industries, 557,301 other workers, 84,722 marginal workers, 4,794 marginal cultivators, 38,798 marginal agricultural labors, 5,362 marginal workers in household industries and 35,768 other marginal workers.
Erode District Geography
The district is bounded by Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka to the north, and by Kaveri River to the east. Across the river lies Salem, Namakkal and Karur districts. Tirupur District lies immediately to the south, and Coimbatore and the Nilgiris district lie to the west. Erode District is landlocked and is situated at between 10 36” and 11 58” north latitude and between 76 49” and 77 58” east longitude. The district forms the meeting point of Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats separated by Bhavani River.
The district comprises a long undulating plain, sloping gently towards the Kaveri River in the south-east. Three major tributaries of river Kaveri, the Bhavani, Noyyal and Amaravati, run across the long stretch of mountains in the north. Palar River constitutes the boundary between Erode district and Karnataka in the north. The Bhavanisagar Dam and Kodiveri Dam provide storage facilities and numerous canals along with these rivers provide proper drainage and facilities for irrigation in the district.
Bhavani rises in the Western Ghats of Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad District of Kerala. It receives the Siruvani River which has the second tastiest water in the world, a perennial stream of Coimbatore District, and gets reinforced by the Kundah river before entering Erode District in Sathyamangalam. Bhavani is more or less a perennial river fed mostly by the southwest monsoon. The northeast monsoon also supplements its water resources. This river runs for over hundred miles through Erode District, traversing Bhavani and Gobichettipalayam taluks. It feeds the Bhavanisagar reservoir, which takes an easterly course after Sathyamangalam taluk. Near Gobichettipalayam lies the Kodiveri Dam, a mini dam constructed for agricultural purposes. It ultimately joins Kaveri in the island of Bhavani, Tamil Nadu, near Erode, with a holistic tributary river of Amutha Nathi, hence called Tiriveni Sangamam. The place where Bhavani joins with Kaveri River is famous for Sri Sangameshwara Temple of Lord Shiva, where according to the Hindu customs people perform the last rights for deceased near and dears.
Kaveri rises in the Western Ghats of Kodagu (Coorg) District, in Karnataka, and is joined by many small tributaries. It runs eastward through Karnataka, and at Hogenakal fall takes a sharp turn, east to south. Before reaching this point, it is joined by its main tributary, the Kabini River. From here it runs towards the southeast, forming the boundary between Bhavani Taluk of Erode District and Tiruchengode Taluk of the neighbouring Namakkal District. The Bhavani River joins the Kaveri at the town of Bhavani.
Erode District Climate
The climate is mostly dry and characterized by good rainfall. Unlike nearby Coimbatore district, Erode District has dry weather throughout the year except during the monsoons. The Palghat Gap in Western Ghats, which has a moderating effect on the climate of Coimbatore district, does not help in bringing down the dry climate in this area. The cool moist wind that gushes out of the west coast through Palghat gap loses its coolness and becomes dry by the time it crosses Coimbatore district and reaches Erode.
Generally the first two months of the year are pleasant, but in March the temperature begins to rise, which persists till the end of May. The highest temperatures are normally recorded during May. The scanty showers during this period do not provide much relief from the oppressive heat. However, there is an improvement in the climate during the June–August period. During the pre-monsoon period, the temperature reverses its trend. By September the sky gets heavily overcast, although the rains pour down. The northeast monsoon sets in vigorously only during October–November, and by December the rains disappear, rendering the climate clear and cold.
Erode District Administration
Erode District is divided into nine taluks under two revenue divisions for Administrative purpose.
Erode division :
- Erode Taluk
- Kodumudi Taluk
- Modakurichi Taluk
- Perundurai Taluk
Gobi division :
- Anthiyur Taluk
- Bhavani Taluk
- Gobi Taluk
- Sathy Taluk
- Thalavadi Taluk
Erode District consists of one municipal corporation and four other municipalities:
- Erode Municipal Corporation
Gobichettipalayam selection grade municipality
Sathyamangalam Grade-I municipality
Bhavani Grade-II municipality
Punjai Puliampatti Grade-II municipality
Erode District Politics
Erode District is divided between 3 Parliamentary Constituencies namely:
The district consists of 8 assembly constituencies namely
- Bhavani Sagar
- Erode East
- Erode West
Erode District Economy
Agriculture is the most important income source of the district. Paddy, plantain, silk, cotton, turmeric, coconut and sugarcane are some of the major products from agriculture and allied industries. With 43% share, the district is the top turmeric producer in Tamil Nadu. Erode is also known as Turmeric city as it is an important market center for turmeric. Erode district is also the leading producer of plantain, coconuts and white silk in Tamil Nadu.
Gobichettipalayam is well known for its white silk, cotton, plantain and coconut production. The country’s first automated silk reeling unit is located near Gobichettipalayam. Erode, Bhavani and Chennimalai are well known for handloom, powerloom textile products and ready-made garments. In 2005, Bhavani Jamakkalam (Bhavani Bedsheets) was registered as a Geographical Indication by the Government of India. is also famous for textiles. Anthiyur and Modachur (Gobichettipalayam) shandy are famous for cattle.
Erode District Transport
The transportation system in the district is already well developed. Erode, being one of the prominent trading centers in the state, is well connected with all modern means of transport except air transport. The district is accessible by both road and rail from the state capital Chennai and other major cities.
Regional Transport Office (RTO)
The district is divided into four RTO sub-divisions namely
- Erode East (TN 33)
- Gobichettipalayam (TN 36)
- Perundurai (TN 56)
- Erode West (TN 86).
Gobichettipalayam RTO has two sub offices namely
- Bhavani (TN 36W)
- Sathyamangalam (TN 36Z)
Erode District Transports
The district has one major railway station namely, Erode Junction. It was built by the British to connect the west coast of India to the east coast of India. There are state of art ISO certified diesel and electric locomotive sheds at Erode Junction. Erode Junction, which has the distinction of being the third cleanest railway junction in India serves as the hub for water filling facilities and food provisions.
The district is well connected by road. The following is the list of major arterial roads:
- NH-544 connecting Salem – Coimbatore – Cochin – Kanyakumari passes via Bhavani, Chithode and Perundurai
- NH-948 connecting Bangalore – Coimbatore – Dindigul passes via Sathyamangalam
Erode District State Highways
- SH-15 connecting Erode – Gobichettipalayam – Sathyamangalam – Mettupalayam – Ooty
- SH-15A connecting Gobichettipalayam – Nambiyur – Avinashi
- SH-20 connecting Erode – Bhavani – Mettur Dam – Mecheri – Thoppur
- SH-37 connecting Mettur – Erode – Arachalur – Kangeyam – Dharapuram – Palani
- SH-79 connecting Erode – Tiruchengode – Rasipuram – Attur
- SH-81 connecting Gobichettipalayam – Uthukuli – Kangeyam – Dharapuram
- SH-82 connecting Sathyamangalam – Athani – Bhavani
- SH-84 connecting Erode – Kodumudi – Karur
- SH-84A connecting Erode – Modakurichi – Vellakoil – Moolanur
- SH-96 connecting Erode – Perundurai – Chennimalai – Kangeyam
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Coimbatore division-II headquartered at Erode (originally called as Jeeva Transport Corporation) services the inter and intra city routes. The State Express Bus Corporation (SETC) operates express services from Erode and Gobichettipalayam to major cities across the state. Erode Central Bus Terminus, which serves as a major hub is one of the largest in the state. Due to its proximity to states of Karnataka and Kerala, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses also ply in the district.
The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport located in the nearby Coimbatore district.
Navigable waterways are available at five places in the district.
Erode District Communication
The district is also served by an extensive postal, telegraph and telephone networks. The district is divided into two postal divisions namely Erode and Gobichettipalayam. There are 3 head post offices at Erode, Bhavani and Gobichettipalayam apart from 319 post offices. The district is serviced by almost all the leading mobile phone operators in India.
Erode District Education
Erode district has several facilities for higher education including a Medical College at Perundurai and many engineering, arts and science colleges.The district is divided into two educational districts, Gobichettipalayam and Erode. Massachusetts Institute of Technology center of research and laboratory for rapid urbanization and architecture is located at Erode.