Erode is an agricultural and textile hub. It is one of the largest producers of turmeric in India and is a major producer of hand-loom and knitwear. Erode is a part of the Erode Lok Sabha constituency that elects its member of parliament. The city is administered by a municipal corporation which was established in 2009.
The etymology of Erode is attributed to multiple theories. It might have its origin in the Tamil phrase Eru Odai meaning two streams based on the presence of two water courses, Perumpallam and Kalingarayan Canal. The name might have also been derived from Tamil phrase "Eera Odu" meaning wet skull. Dakshaprajapathi, who married his daughter to Hindu god Shiva, conducted a yajna for which Shiva was not invited. Shiva's wife Dakshyayini attended the ritual against the wish of her husband and she was not welcomed by her parents without her husband. Enraged at this, she threw herself in fire pot and burned to ashes. Shiva became agitated and threw everyone present at the ritual including Brahma, the Hindu god of creation into the sacrificial pot. The skulls and bones were later thrown in river Kaveri which remained wet.
Erode region formed a part of the historical Kongu Nadu region ruled by Cheras. After the Sangam age, most of present-day Tamil Nadu came under the rule of the Kalabhras who were ousted by the Pandyas around 590 CE. It was later captured by Rashtrakutas who were subsequently defeated by the Cholas around 10th century CE. The city remained under the control of the Cholas until the early 13th century, when the second Pandyan empire was established with Madurai as its capital. After the death of Kulasekara Pandian in 1308 CE, Erode briefly came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate until its annexation by the Vijayanagar Empire in 1378 CE. The region became independent from Vijayanagar in 1559 CE under the Madurai Nayaks who were defeated by Hyder Ali in 1736 CE. Consequent to the fall of Tipu Sultan of Mysore in 1799, the region came under the direct control of the British East India Company who restored the power to the Maharaja of Mysore.It remained under British rule until the Indian independence in 1947.
Erode is located at 11.21°N 77.44°E / 11.21; 77.44. The city has a semi-arid climate with moderate to high temperatures throughout the year, and relatively low rainfall. The city is located in Erode district of the South Indian state, Tamil Nadu, at a distance of 400 km (250 mi) from Chennai. Erode has a hilly terrain with undulating topography. Urugumalai, Athimalai, Chennimalai are the hills that surround the city. The rivers that flow in Erode are Amaravathy, Noyal, Bhavani, and Cavery. There are no notable mineral resources available in and around the city. Black loam soil is found in parts of Erode Taluk. The other type of soil in the city is chiefly gravelly, stony and sandy of the red variety. Lime stone is found in abundance in the form of modules, streaks and massive beds of grey and white colour inter branded with igneous rocks in the river beds.
Erode experiences hot and dry weather throughout the year. The temperature ranges from a maximum of 96 °F (36 °C) to a minimum of 80 °F (27 °C). Like the rest of the state, March to June are the hottest months and December to January are the coldest. Erode receives 800 mm of rainfall with an average of 812 mm (32.0 in). The South west monsoon, with an onset in June and lasting up to August, brings scanty rainfall. Bulk of the rainfall is received during the North East monsoon in the months of October, November and December. The municipality covers an area of 8.44 km2 (8,440,000 m2)
Erode has a population of 498,129. The population as per the 2011 census calculated according to pre-expansion city limits was 157,101 with a sex-ratio of 1,008 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. Although the population of the city is 157,101, the urban agglomeration population is 521,776. A total of 14,599 were under the age of six, constituting 7,412 males and 7,187 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 11.04% and .15% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 80.08%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 43184 households. There were a total of 66,135 workers, comprising 220 cultivators, 380 main agricultural labourers, 1,693 in house hold industries, 61,382 other workers, 2,460 marginal workers, 34 marginal cultivators, 34 marginal agricultural labourers, 128 marginal workers in household industries and 2,264 other marginal workers. As of the census of India 2001, there were a total of 37,505 households. A total of 12,642 people constituting 9.31% of the total population belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC) and 74 people constituting 0.05% of the population belong to Scheduled tribes (ST).
There were a total of 58,342 main workers: 232 cultivators, 318 agricultural labourers, 1,154 in house hold industries and 54,669 other workers. There were 1,969 marginal workers: 12 marginal cultivators, 100 marginal agricultural labourers, 191 in marginal workers in household industries and 1,666 other marginal workers. As per the religious census of 2011, Erode had 83.15% Hindus, 12.37% Muslims, 3.94% Christians, 0.06% Sikhs, 0.02% Buddhists, 0.36% Jains, 0.11% following other religions and 0.01% following no religion or did not indicate any religious preference. As of 2001, 52 slums were identified in the town and approximately 33,000 people resided in the slums. The population of the town increased 11 times during the 20th century without any physical expansion of the city area. Tamil is the main language spoken in the city, but the use of English is relatively common; English is the medium of instruction in most educational institutions and offices in the service sector.
Erode is the headquarters of the Erode District, which was bifurcated from Coimbatore District in 1979. The town was constituted as a municipality in 1871 and was promoted to special-grade during 1980 and upgraded as a corporation with effect from 1 January 2008. The Erode municipality has 60 wards and there is an elected councillor for each of those wards. The functions of the municipality are devolved into six departments: general administration/personnel, Engineering, Revenue, Public Health, city planning and Information Technology (IT). All these departments are under the control of a Municipal Commissioner who is the executive head. The legislative powers are vested in a body of 60 members, one each from the 60 wards. The legislative body is headed by an elected Chairperson assisted by a Deputy Chairperson.
Erode has two state assembly constituencies namely Erode East and Erode West and it elects members to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years. The City Corporation area covers a part of Bhavani, Modakurichi, Perundurai and Komarapalayam constituencies. Until the 2004 elections, Erode had only one constituency. From the 1977 elections, All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) won the assembly seat five times (in 1977, 1980, 1984, 1991 and 2001 elections) and four times by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK, 1989, 1996 and 2006). The current MLA of Erode (East) constituency is K.S.Thennarasu from the AIADMK party and Erode (West) is K.V. Ramalingam from AIADMK. During the 1951 and 1962 elections, Erode was a part of Erode constituency and was held by the Indian National Congress. The current Member of Parliament from the constituency is Selvakumara Chinnayan from the AIADMK party.
Law and order in the city in maintained by the Erode sub division of the Tamil Nadu Police headed by a Deputy Superintendent. There are seven law & order police stations in the city corporation area, located at Karungalpalayam, Bazaar, Surampatti, Veerappan Chatram, Rangampalayam and Chithode, including a newly upgraded Periyar GH Police Station; one all-women police station; two traffic Police stations. There are special units like Armed Reserve, prohibition enforcement, district crime, social justice and human rights, district crime records and special branch that operate at the district level police division headed by a Superintendent of Police.
The Erode municipality maintains 102.071 km (63.424 mi) of roads. The city has 5.34 km (3.32 mi) concrete road and 96.73 km (60.11 mi) bituminous road. A total of 16.597 km (10.313 mi) of state highways is maintained by the State Highways Department.
The main arterial roads include:SH-15 connecting Erode – Gobichettipalayam – Sathy – Mettupalayam – Kotagiri – Ooty
SH-37 connecting Erode – Arachalur – Kangeyam - Dharapuram – Palani
SH-79 connecting Erode – Tiruchengode – Rasipuram – Attur
SH-79A connecting Erode – Pallipalayam – Sankagiri
SH-84 connecting Erode – Kodumudi – Karur
SH-84A connecting Erode – Modakurichi – Kandasamypalayam – Vellakoil – Mulanur
SH-96 connecting Erode – Perundurai – Chennimalai
NH 47 connecting Salem – Coimbatore – Kanyakumari, bypasses the city via Bhavani, Chithode and Perundurai. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) which provides major connectivity has a sub-divisional headquarters at Erode falling under the Coimbatore division. Originally called as Jeeva Transport Corporation (JTC), it started functioning from 1 April 1983, with the principal area of operation in Erode district. Erode Central Bus Terminus, located near the Swastik Circle at the junction of State Highway 15 and Mettur Road is the main bus station complex in the city. Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation, neighbouring state bus corporations and private carriers operate long distance buses connecting the city to major cities like Chennai, Bangalore etc.
Erode Junction railway station is a major rail junction in Salem division of Southern Railway. There is a diesel locomotive shed and an electric locomotive shed attached to Erode Junction. It also serves as the hub for water filling facilities, food provisions and cleaning services for long-distance trains that run via Erode. The following are the lines running from Erode junction:
The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport located at a distance of 90 km. which has regular flights from/to various domestic destinations like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Pune and international destinations like Sharjah and Singapore.
As of 2006, there were 46 public and private schools in Erode. There were four technical institutes in the city, with the Government Technical Institute being the prominent among them. There are four school playgrounds in the city.
Electricity supply to Erode is regulated and distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The city along with its suburbs forms the Erode Electricity Distribution Circle. A Chief Distribution engineer is stationed at the regional headquarters. Water supply is provided by the Erode Municipality from the river Kaveri through eight reservoirs located in various parts of the city. In the period 2000–2001, a total of 14 million litres of water was supplied everyday for households in the city. As per the municipal data for 2011, about 110-125 metric tonnes of solid waste were collected from Erode every day by door-to-door collection and subsequently the source segregation and dumping was carried out by the sanitary department of the Erode municipality. The coverage of solid waste management in the city by the municipality had an efficiency of 100% as of 2001.
There is no underground drainage system in the city and the sewerage system for disposal of sullage is through septic tanks, open drains and public conveniences. The municipality maintained a total of 192.36 km (119.53 mi) of storm water drains in 2011, comprising 190 km (120 mi) of open drains and 2.36 km (1.47 mi) of underground drains. Thandhai Periyar Government General Hospital serves as the primary centre of healthcare. There are many private hospitals such as Lotus Hospitals, Kumarasamy hospital, Idhayam Apollo Specialty Hospital, C.K Hospital, Maruthi Medical Center Hospital (MMCH), Kovai Medical Center Hospital (KMCH), Erode Trust Hospital, National Hospital (formerly known as Savitha Hospital) that take care of the health care needs of the citizens. As of 2011, the municipality maintained a total of 4,678 street lamps: 1,351 sodium lamps, 224 mercury vapour lamps, 3,028 tube lights and four high mast beam lamp. The municipality operates two markets, namely the Nethaji market and Silambarasan kuttai market that cater to the needs of the city and the rural areas around it. The municipality also maintains a textile market named EKM Abdul Gani Market in Brough road.
According to Indian Census of 2001, the urban workforce participation rate of Erode is 35%. Erode, being the headquarters of the district, has registered growth in the secondary and tertiary sectors, with a corresponding decrease in the primary sector. Major employment is provided by textile industry, turmeric industry and oil industry. Approximately 68.83% of the workforce is employed in tertiary sector. The district at large has only two industrial estates, with one of them in the city. As of 2001, there were approximately 60 tanneries, 165 lock manufacturing units and large number of cotton spinning mills. Products are traded in the city during Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Industries that flourished in early days in and around Erode area were hand-loom weaving and carpet manufacturing. The advent of modern era has resulted in the emergence of power-loom industries. There are 24189 registered SSI units as on 31 December 2000 in the district besides 59 large scale units. Erode district's gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at 15.5% in 2008 and was ahead of the state's GDP growth by 4%. The major industries in and around the city include oil and rice mills, engineering works, automobiles and power looms. Within the city, the industrial units occupy 16.69% of the city area whereas the industrial belt as a whole covers 136 hectares and accounts for 4.80% of the Erode LPA.
Erode is known as "Turmeric City" or "Yellow City" on account of production of turmeric in the state. It has one of the largest markets for coconut. There are a lot of dall mills, cotton textiles, vanaspathy manufacturing, wax and screen printing power loom, sizing, warping and printing press located in the city. It is one of the largest coconut oil producers in south India. Erode stands second in leather processing in the state, next to Ambur. Paper industry also thrives around the city with some of the largest paper companies like TNPL and Seshasayee paper boards on the banks of river Kaveri. Sugarcane processing extracts juice from the cane to make sugar, and the remains are used for paper manufacturing.
The city is built around a demolished fort, which includes a temple for Arudra Kabaleeswar (Shiva) praising the Saiva concept and another for Kasthuri Ranganatha Perumal (Vishnu) praising the Vaishnava concept of Hinduism. Thindal Murugan Temple, situated 6 km (3.7 mi) from the city is the most prominent temple in the city. Periya Mariamman Temple, Natadreeswarar Temple, the hillock temple is situated in the centre of the Kaveri river between Kudagu (origin) and Poompuhar, Sangameswarar Temple, CSI Brough Church, Thowheeth mosque, Ravlathul Janna mosque, Bazaar Mosque and Jamia Pallivasal are some of the prominent religious destinations in the city.
E.V.R Corporation Museum and Thanthai Periyar Memorial House, a sociological museum, which depicts the life history of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy are the prominent museums in the city. Sankagiri Fort and Vellode Birds Sanctuary are other visitor attractions around the city.