Coimbatore was part of the Chera Kingdom during the Sangam Age. The excavation of Roman coins and artifacts claim the region’s involvement in the trade with Rome, which is part of the Roman Trail that extended from Muziri to Arkamedu.

During the 3rd century AD, it was part of the Chola dynasty under the control of Karikala Chola. During the 10th Century, the Cholas constructed “Rajakesari Peruvazhi” – the Kongu Highway. The proof for this stands to till date in Aiyyasamy Hills, 20 kms from Coimbatore, in the form of a rock inscription dating back to 10 A.D. The Highway passed through Palghat Pass, Perur, Vellalur and Sulur, which was once used by the Roman traders. The inscription is in Venbha ( a Tamil Poetic form) talks about the Chola King Adhitan who maintained the Highway.

In the 18th century, it was under the control of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. In 1799, it was annexed to the Madras Presidency by the British East India Company.

Coimbatore was part of the important Second Polygar (Palayakkarar) War in 1800. The British barracks in Coimbatore was bombed by the Palayakkarar armies which lead to the Second Palayakkarar War. In this war, Oomaithurai, Maruthu Pandiyar, Dheeran Chinnamalai and Varma Pazhassi Raja of Malabar were the allies against the British.

In 1865, Coimbatore district was formed and Coimbatore became the capital and given a municipality status. In 1981, Coimbatore became a corporation.