Coimbatore is the second largest city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of the Coimbatore District and a major textile and engineering hub of South India. It is referred to as "the Manchester of South India" due to the presence of a flourishing textile industry. It is a heavily industrialised city with textile factories, engineering firms, automobile parts manufacturers, health care facilities and technical educational institutions. The hill stations of Ooty, Coonoor and Valparai are close to the city making it a good tourist attraction throughout the year. The city is situated on the banks of the Noyyal River and is close to the Siruvani Waterfalls.
Coimbatore is situated in the extreme west of Tamil Nadu, near the state of Kerala. It is surrounded by mountains on the west, with reserve forests and the (Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve) on the northern side. The eastern side of the district, including the city is predominantly dry. The entire western and northern part of the district borders the Western Ghats with the Nilgiri biosphere as well as the Anaimalai and Munnar ranges. A western pass to Kerala, popularly referred to as the Palghat Gap provides its boundary. Because of its close proximity to the Western Ghats, the district is rich in fauna.
Many lakes and ponds were constructed near the river in ancient times. The city of Coimbatore has nine lakes (wetlands). Singanallur Lake, Kuruchi Lake, Valankulam Lake, Krishnampatti Lake, Muthannan Lake and Seevagasintamani Lake are some of them. In most of the urban ecosystems, these wetlands are the major life-supporting component with high concentrations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrate species. The Coimbatore urban wetlands harbours more than 125 species of resident and migratory birds, with August – October being the peak season. Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Open Billed Stork, Ibis, Spot-billed Duck, Teal, Black Winged Stilt are some of the migratory birds that visit Coimbatore wetlands regularly.
Apart from the species common to the plains, wild elephants, wild boars leopards, tigers, bison, various species of deer, Nilgiri Tahr, sloth bear and black-headed Oriole can also be found. The Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary 88 km (55 mi) in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 1,400 meters covers an area of 958 km². Among the region’s livestock animals are Kangeyam breed bulls (cross-bred by Mandradiar family in 17th century to suit the terrain). This breed, which helped the region gain a foothold in the dairy industry, are found only in Coimbatore and neighbouring districts. More than 20% of the district is classified as forest, lying in the west and north. The forests here are abundant in commercially significant trees such as teak, sandalwood, rosewood and bamboo. The Nilgiris slope of the Mettupalayam range is rich in sandalwood trees and bamboo. They vary from rich tropical evergreen forests of Punachi range to jungles of shrubs in southern ranges. Kovai Kuttralam, a water fall and a popular tourist destination, is situated about 30 km (19 mi) from the city.
Apart from the high altitude regions of Western Ghats, most of the forest area has come under Lantana invasion. The locals refer to it as Siriki Chedi. The city also has a number of parks including the VOC park (named after V. O. Chidambaram Pillai), the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University park, Race Course children's park and Bharathi park.