Erode – General Information
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 6 taluks. Periyar district was a part of Coimbatore District before its bifurcation 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.
Modern historians contend that Erode has its origin in the Tamil phrase Eru Odai meaning two streams. The claim is based on the presence of two water courses, Perumpallam in Surampatti and Kalingarayan Canal in Brahmana Periya Agraharam andKasipalayam. As per another local belief, the name is derived from the words "Eera Odu" which means wet skull. Dakshaprajapathi, who married his daughter to Hindu god Shiva, conducted a yajna. For the ritual, Shiva was not invited. However, Dakshyayini, the wife of Shiva, attended the ritual, much against the wish of her husband. During the function, Dakshyayini was not welcomed by her parents or other attendees. She was vexed and threw herself in the fire pot and burned to ashes. On hearing this, Shiva got highly enraged, proceeded to the sacrificial pot and threw everyone present including Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. The skulls and bones were thrown in river Cauvery and remained as a wet skull.
The region belonging to the present day districts were ruled successively by several dynasties of South India including theCheras, Cholas and Pandyas. It was under the rule of Cheras in the first millennium and various Karnataka 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.
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 labourers, 48,960 in house hold industries, 557,301 other workers, 84,722 marginal workers, 4,794 marginal cultivators, 38,798 marginal agricultural labourers, 5,362 marginal workers in household industries and 35,768 other marginal workers.
The district is bounded by Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka to the north & Kaveri River to the east.
Across the river lies Salem, Namakkal & 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.
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 is divided into two revenue divisions namely: Erode and Gobichettipalayam. The district presently contains six taluks namely: Anthiyur, Bhavani, Erode, Gobichettipalayam, Perundurai, and Satyamangalam. (Five as of the 2011 census, with the sixth taluk created in 2012 out of parts of Bhavani and Gobichettipalayam) Erode District consists of the municipal corporation of Erode and four other municipalities:
· Selection Grade: Gobichettipalayam
· Grade I: Sathyamangalam
Erode District is divided between 3 Parliamentary Constituencies namely: Erode, Nilgiris and Tirupur. The district consists of 8 assembly constituencies namely Anthiyur, Bhavani, Bhavani Sagar, Erode East, Erode West, Gobichettipalayam, Modakurichi and Perundurai.
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, power loom textile products and ready-made garments. In 2005, Bhavani Jamakkalam (Bhavani Bed sheets) was registered as a Geographical Indication by the Government of India. It is also famous for textiles. Anthiyur and Modachur (Gobichettipalayam) shandy are famous for cattle.
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 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.