It is noteworthy that an airport, a railway station, a police station and a post office fall within Peelamedu

Around this time of the year 300 years ago, heavy rain lashed Coimbatore. It led to the flooding of the Sanganur Canal and inhabitants of a low-lying village called Krishnarayapuram on its banks had to abandon their homes after the deluge in 1710.

As spokespersons of the distressed villagers, Chinnapapa Naidu, Ganga Naidu, Muthu Naidu and Yelappa Naidu approached Maadhe Raaja, the regal representative of the Wodeyar king, requesting that their village be relocated. Not too far from here was an elevated area that got its name (Poolaimedu) from the profusion of Poolai flowers that blossomed there. In about a year since then, the Krishnarayapuram residents moved over to this place and made it their new home. Thus, on November 11 in 1711, began the history of Peelamedu, as we know it today.

A temple came up in a thatched shed to the Karivaradaraja Perumal that still stands. The village grew around it. A well was dug at the south-east corner of the village. It is still there. It is said that people were reluctant to give their daughters in marriage to the families here because of the brackish water and the deep wells!

It was a far cry from the Peelamedu of today with its hallowed educational institutions, hospitals, foundries and of course, the city's airport. The PSG and the GRG groups of educational institutions and the Coimbatore Institute of Technology are some of the eminent ones in Peelamedu.

It is noteworthy that an airport, a railway station, a police station and a post office all fall within Peelamedu. The first account to be opened at the post office was by the PSG Sons and Charities for the grand amount of Rs. 7. This was in the July of 1947. There are nuggets of history strewn in Peelamedu, nowhere more than at the PSG Sarvajana Higher Secondary School set up in 1924. A heritage structure, the wood for its staircases was got from Burma (now Myanmar) while steel girders were imported from Birmingham.

But more than the brick and mortar of the school, it is a simple, bound visitors' notebook, yellowed with age that is kept there, that is priceless. It has handwritten messages from many luminaries including Periyar. He wrote on December 16, 1925 that he prayed to God for the well-being of the school and the trust that sustained it! And in September 1926, Rabindranath Tagore visited the school and sang Jana Gana Mana . It became Sarvajana's school song long before it was declared the National Anthem. Mahadev Desai, the personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi, visited the school. And when Bhaskar Iyer, a teacher from here, met Gandhiji in Chennai and told him the name of the school, the Mahatma is supposed to have exclaimed, ‘Sarvajana Sukhino Bhavantu'. He was delighted at the name of the school and what it signified. Those days, there were just two schools in Coimbatore and Sarvajana became the first of its kind to admit students from all communities and the first one to introduce Tamil medium education in the State. It also boasted the first woman Physical Education Training instructor.

Peelamedu saw the setting up of the first spinning mill, The Rangavilas Spinning Mills in 1922. Bus stops in Peelamedu today stand where stalwart institutions held sway. The Nava India bus stop stands in the area where the fiery Tamil newspaper Nava India was published. It was a mouthpiece for the nationalists and fanned patriotic sentiments in this part of the world. The Arthur Hope College was established here in 1945.

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