Salem town is 6 kms from Salem junction. The name "Salem" is enchanting perhaps because of the association of Jerusalem with that Apostle of Love, Jesus Christ. The name derived from the word "Sailam" - meaning an area surrounded by mountains. It is rich in mineral wealth. Salem is known for it's gold, silver and steel products. Salem is called The Steel City of the South. The river Manimutheru flows through the city. To the East is the old city consisting of shops and establishments.
Places to visit
The various places of interest are, Shree Sukbaneshwar or Lord Shiva temple, Mariyamman Temple, Ramkrishna Math, Juma Masjid of Tipu, London Missionary Society, a fort in dilapitated condition and Salem Steel Plant. The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology is located here. The Government Museum at Omalur contains valuable collections of terracottas and sculptures.
9 kms from Salem is this particular spot, the likeness of a deer with 2 horns, seen from the plains to the east. The mysterious vision disappears when you get nearer. Hence the name.
On the banks of the Vasistanadhi is located Belur with a ruined Siva temple. The roofing of the portico is a good specimen of the square within a square type.
One of the largest of its kind in the world, it was completed in 1934. The total length of the dam is 1700 m. The quantity of water stored is 93,500 million cubic ft, and the height of the dam above the riverbed is 176 ft. The dam provides irrigation facilities to Salem, Trichy and Thanjavur districts for 2,71,000 acres. The Mettur Hydro Electrical project is also quite large. A thermal plant is also coming up. The dam, the park, the major hydroelectric stations and hills on all sides make Mettur a good tourist's attraction.
24kms from Salem, this town is famous for the Kailashnatha Temple. The rotating lotus flowers made of stone, statues of Rathi-Manmatha, Vali-Sugriva and the Yali with rotating stone ball in its mouth are some of the beautiful sculptures.
This is the second hill station in the district at an altitude of 1190 mts. the Arappateeswarar temple on Chathuragiri Hills is quite famous. This place is at a distance of 48 kms and 100 kms from Namakkal and Salem respectively and can be reached by bus. The Agasakangai waterfall is unique scenery.
It is one of the 7 'Sirasthalams' in Kongunadu. The presiding deity is 'Arthanarishwarar' half male and half female form i.e. Siva and Sakti and is worshipped as one. This type of worship at the sanctum is the unique feature in Tiruchengode.
50 kms south of Salem is the town of Namakkal famous for its Vishnu temple, the fort and the massive Hanuman. The town lies at the foot of the rock, 200 mts. high and ½ mile in circumference. There is a fort on the rock. There are 2 rock cut cave temples dedicated to Narasimhaswamy and Ranganathaswamy. The huge Hanuman statue is carved out of a single stone.
Yercaud in the Shevaroy range of Salem district is a quiet and lovely hill station with a pleasant cool climate and attracts tourists throughout the year.
It is on the way to Servaroyan temple and is an important tourist spot.
The Servaroyan Temple
It is on the top of the hill of the same name. The annual festival in the month of May is a colorful event in which hundreds of tribal people take part.
Yercaud and the entire Shevaroy Hills are known for thriving coffee plantations, pears, oranges and bananas. The nearest airport is Trichy. It is also connected by buses to various places. Nearest railhead is Salem.
Hogenakkal (114 kms)
This obscure village on the Tamilnadu side of the Karnataka border is the point where the stream Sanatha-kumaranadhi meets the swift flowing Cauvery. Situated about 250 m above sea level, Hogenakkal is connected by good motorable roads from Salem via Dharampuri. The main attraction is the bath in the falls, dropping vertically from a height of 20 m with a thundering sound.
Hogenakkal in Kannada means 'Smoking Rock', a name derived from the cloud of mist and spray that envelops the chasm. A sacred bathing place, Hogenakkal is well known for the curative powers of the water. It is located 46 kms from Dharampuri, 114 kms from Salem and 133 kms from Bangalore. Hotel reservations can be made through the TTDC.
How to get there:
By Air: Trichi is the nearest airport. Flights connect to Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore.
By Road/Rail: Salem has its railway staion and trains run from it all the major cities in tamil Nadu, Keral and Karnataka.By bus also Salem is connected to all major cities in Tamilnadu.