Erode district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Erode town. The district got its name from its headquarters town, Erode. There are several interesting stories associated with the name of the district. Probably, the name of the district is derived from the Tamil phrase Eru Odai meaning two streams based on the presence of two water courses, Perumpallam and Kalingarayan Canal. On the other hand some people believe that the name of the district is possibly taken from another Tamil phrase "Eera Odu" meaning wet skull and a very famous mythological story is related to this phrase. Earlier, the district of Erode was popularly known as Periyar district, a district under the Kongu Nadu region which was located at the western part of the Tamil Nadu state. The history of the district explains that in its early days, this area was occupied by tribes and most of the prominent among them was the "Kosars". These tribes were overpowered by the Rashtrakutas from whom the region directly went into the hands of the Cholas who ruled supreme during the time of Raja Chola. In this way the place was ruled by different rulers during different periods of time. In terms of geographical area it was the largest district in the state till the formation of Tirupur district and the headquarters of the district, Erode. The district came into existence on 31st August, 1979. Prior to the bifurcation of the Periyar district on 17th September, 1979, it was a part of the Coimbatore district. In the year 1996 the former Periyar district was renamed as Erode district.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar, an illustrious Indian mathematician and autodidact who made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions without having any formal training in pure mathematics was born on 22nd December, 1887 at Erode town.
Geographically, the district lies at 11°34'N latitude, 77°73'E longitude and 186 altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 39.86% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,760 sq. km. and it is bounded by Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka on the North, Tirupur district on the South, Kaveri River and districts of Salem, Namakkal and Karur on the East and Nilgiris district on the West. The climate of the district is characterised by mostly dry and good rainfall. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 943.2 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 9 taluks namely Anthiyur, Bhavani, Erode, Gobichettipalayam, Perundurai, Satyamangalam, Modakurichi, Kodumudi and Thalavadi. It comprises 59 towns and 306 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 22,51,744 out of which 11,29,868 are males and 11,21,876 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 993 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was -12.77% including -13.70% were males and -11.82% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.95% of the total population. The population density in the district is 391 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Tamil and Telugu with 81.76% and 10.32%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 28,345 out of which 14,525 were males and 13,820 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 23,336 out of which 13,872 were males and 9,464 were females.
The economy of the district is equally dependent on the both agricultural and industrial sectors. Industrially, the district is well developed. Textile, turmeric and oil industries are the core industries of the district. More than half of its population are directly or indirectly engaged in these industries in order to earn their livelihood. Now-a-days some hand-loom weaving and carpet manufacturing industries are also flourishing in the Erode town. The district of Erode is popularly known as "Turmeric City" or "Yellow City" since it is one of the main producers of turmeric in the Tamil Nadu state. Agriculture is as well counted as an important income source of the district. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, plantain, silk, cotton, turmeric, coconut, sugarcane, tobacco, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 28,98,945 lakhs at current price and Rs. 17,47,825 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 65,69,944 lakh at current price and Rs. 50,23,805 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 1,99,272 at current price and Rs. 1,58,952 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. One of the most vital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a centre of research and laboratory for rapid urbanization and architecture is established at Erode. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 72.58% including 80.42% are males and 64.71% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 14,92,662 including 8,28,300 are males and 6,64,362 are females.
Erode Venkata Ramasamy, an eminent Indian social activist and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement or the Dravidian Movement was born on 17th September, 1879 at Erode town. He was the one who founded the Dravidar Kazhagam political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bhavani Sangameshwarar temple, located at a distance of 12 Km. from the Erode town is a sacred place where the three prominent rivers Cauvery, Bhavani and invisible Amudha are merging. Bannari Amman Temple, situated about 75 Km. away from the Erode town is the famous temple where the Kundam festival celebrates in the Tamil Month of Panguni i.e. March-April. People from far off places come to this temple to offer their prayers. Bhavanisagar Dam and Reservoir, located on the Bhavani River in the Erode district is the second largest dam in the state of Tamil Nadu. Vellode Birds Sanctuary, covers a geographical area of 200-acre is located in the Erode district. From different countries of the world some rare species of birds include cormorants, teals, pintail ducks, pelicans, and darters are easily found in it. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Chennimalai Murugan temple, Kodiveri dam, Pachaimalai Subramanya Swamy temple, Pariyur Kondathu Kaliamman temple, Sathyamangalam Tiger reserve, Thindal Murugan temple, Magudeshwarar temple, etc.