Location: Salem District, Tamil Nadu
Well Known: For Cotton And Silk Handloom Weaving
Main Attractions: Picturesque Hill Ranges And Rocks And The Temples
Ruled By: Chola, Vijayanagar And Muslim Rulers And The British
Salem district is bounded on the north by Dharmapuri district, on the east by Villupuram and Perambalur districts, on the south by Namakkal district and on the west by Erode district. The district headquarters is located at Salem.
Location And Name: Salem is on the Tirumanimuttar River near Attur Gap between the Kalrayan and Pachamalai hills. Situated at the junction of the Bangalore, Tiruchirappalli, and Cuddalore roads, 332-km southwest of Chennai (formerly Madras), the city's name derives from "Sela Nad" (a corruption of "Chera Nad"), a term denoting the visit of an early Chera king.
The area around Salem is composed of a series of hills ('Shevaroy', 'Kalrayan', 'Kollaimalai', and 'Pachaimalai') in the east and a section of the Cauvery (also spelt Kaveri) River valley in the west.
The City Of Salem: Well-known for cotton and silk handloom weaving, Salem has developed as a large-scale industrial center, with electrical and chemical factories, tool workshops, and brass rolling mills. The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, the second of its kind in India, is located here.
Archaeological remains show that the region was occupied during the Neolithic period. In historic times the land formed part of independent Kongu NAD, but was later conquered by Chola, Vijayanagar, and Muslim rulers. It was ceded to the British in 1797.
Salem district has a good number of picturesque hill ranges and rocks and is dotted with more than 750 temples, big and small, some of them dating back to the Chera, Chola and Pandya days. Quite a few of these temples are more than 1000 years old. Many of these temples are located in the hill ranges and rocks. Saivite saints like Appar, Manickavachagar, Tirugnanasambandar and Arunagirinathar have sung in praise of some of these temples.
Yercaud: 30-km north of Salem is Yercaud, a lesser-known hill station when compared to Ooty and Kodaikanal. Yercaud is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters (4,920 feet), on the Shevaroy hills of the Eastern Ghats. The lofty hills are of extraordinary scenic beauty endowed with a salubrious climate. Yercaud is also called "Ooty of the Poor " and is known for Coffee Plantations and Orange Groves. The highest point in Yercaud is the Shevaroy temple, which is situated at a height of 5326.
Mettur Dam: The Mettur Dam across the River Cauvery (also spelt as Kaveri) as it enters Salem district is one of the biggest reservoirs with a water spread of 15,540 hectares. This reservoir is not only a source of irrigation essentially in Trichy and Thanjavur districts but also a hydroelectric project besides being a big fish producing water source.
Government Museum: The government museum at Salem contains valuable collections of terracotta's and sculptures.
Attur: Located at a distance of 13-km from Salem is Attur with a well-preserved old fort.
Aragalur: Aragalur, 74-km from Salem has tow imposing temples; one is dedicated to Sri Kameswara and the other to Karivaradaperumal. There is a big Buddha statue at Thiyaganur village at the outskirts of Aragalur Village.
Sankagiri: At a distance of 35-km from Salem is Sankagiri famous for its fort, the origin of which is traced back to the 13th century AD.
Taramangalam: Taramangalam, 33-km from Salem is famous for Sri Kailasanathar Temple. Figures of tortoise, fish, monkey, crocodile are carved out on the walls and granite roofs. The Gopuram is bedecked with stucco figures. Statues of Rathi-Manmatha, Vali-Sugriva of the epic Ramayana and Yali with rotating stone ball in its mouth - the rotating lotus flowers in the ceiling are some of the beautiful sculptures.
Tiruchengodu: Tiruchengodu, 45-km from Salem is one of the seven Shivasthalams in Kongunadu. The Arthanareeswarar Temple is located on a hillock here. The presiding deity of the temple is represented in half male and half-female form i.e. Shiva and Sakthi worshipped as one.
Poiman Karadu: Poiman Karadu is situated on the Salem-Namakkal National Highway. Seen from the plains to the east of the hill from a particular spot, the likeness of a deer with two horns is visible in a cave between rocks on the hill. The mysterious vision disappears when one gets, nearer hence the name Poiman Karadu.
Kolli Hills: Located at a distance of 100-km from Salem and at an altitude of 1,190 meters are the Kolli Hills, another famous hill station in Salem district, next to Yercaud. Sri Arappaleeswarar Temple on top of Chathuragiri hills is one of the oldest. The terrace type 70 hairpin bent Ghat road, the fruits cultivated here, honey and the unchanged tribal cultures are unique memories.
The wonderful Agasakangai waterfall flowing from a height over 200 ft is a unique scene. Valvil Ori Festival and Tourism Festivals are celebrated during August every year.
Hogenakkal Waterfalls: Hogenakkal Waterfalls is one of the wonderful waterfalls in Tamil Nadu. It is located at a distance of 114-km from Salem and 133-km from Bangalore. It is a part of the River Cauvery (also spelt as Kaveri) and is about 250 meters above sea level. The main attraction of the falls is its vertical drop from a height of 20 meters with a thundering sound. Surrounded by mountains, Hogenakkal offers a quite holiday in comfort.
Dharmapuri: About 53-km from Salem is Dharmapuri, the district headquarters of the district of the same name. It has an ancient temple. The famous Adiyamankottai fort is 8 km from Dharmapuri.
Hosur: Hosur is known for its cattle farm. It is about 90-km from Dharmapuri and is now becoming an important industrial center. Thali known as "Little England" for its climate is 25-km from Hosur.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is at Trichy.
Rail: Salem has its railway station and trains run from it to all the major cities in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Road: Salem is well connected by road to all major cities in Tamil Nadu. For local transportation taxis, auto rickshaws and city buses are available.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS: The Salem district mainly adores the village Goddesses. Thus, Mariamman festivals are unique in the district. Masi Magham, which takes place at Mecheri, is the biggest festival in the district. It is a 7-day car festival celebrated in honour of Bhadrakali Amman.
Festivals of longest duration are observed in Attur Taluk (also spelt as Taluka) of Salem district. The Agni Festival and The Car Festival are celebrated in veneration of Goddess Mariamman. These festivals last nothing short of 30 days.
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Attur - 13-km
Dharmapuri - 53-km
Erode - 58-km
Mettur - 119-km
Namakkal - 48-km