Salem is a city in Tamil Nadu. Nicknamed the Steel City, it is best known in modern times for its steel plant and manufacturing industry. It is also a short trip away from the hills of the Eastern Ghats, offering natural scenic beauty.
- Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, Hotel Tamil Nadu Complex, Ramakrishna Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Tamilnadu tourism board can be contacted for various tour packages and holiday ideas.
Salem Junction (Station code: SA) is well connected by a good railway network. In fact, it is a divisional headquarters in Southern Railway. It's connected to Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and other major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu and India. The much smaller Salem Town railway station (Station code: SXT) also connects you to Chennai and it is in the heart of the city.
Salem is well connected to Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and the rest of Tamil Nadu by TNSTC, SETC buses and also by private A/C Volvo buses like KPN travels. Buses are available as far as Hyderabad and Kollur Mookambike temple. KPN travels headquarters is in Salem and every KPN bus crossing Salem will get into the city and stop near New Bus Stand.
There are 2 major bus stations in Salem.
MGR Central Bus Terminus (New Bus Stand): Inter-state and Intra-State bus terminus. One of the busiest bus stations connecting all the places in Tamil Nadu, very much active for 24 hours and the most busiest bus stand in the state as per movements are considered.
Town Bus Stand (Old Bus Stand): Local bus services.
24 Hour bus services (No 13) from Salem Junction (Railway station) to both the Bus stations.
Salem has one airport (code SXV) at Kamalapuram near Omalur on NH7 towards Dharmapuri. However, the flights have been running on and off and is not reliable to do pre-booking.
One can hire a taxi (it's relatively cheap, compared to other cities) or use the public transportation (buses, which will usually be crowded). Other option is to hire an auto-rickshaw (three wheeled), but beware there's no standard price defined for a particular distance, it depends on the driver's mood, financial condition and time of the day.
Buses are very cheap in Salem. They charge only ₹12/- for a 30 km distance.
- Aanaimaduvu Dam, Belur.
- Attur Fort. A well preserved 300 year old famous Fort
- 1 Dreamland Theme Park, Neikkarapatti, Salem.
- 2 The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Salem.
- Kariyakoil Dam, Karumandurai.
- Kolli Hills.
- 3 Kurumbapatti Zoological Park, Chettichavadi, Salem.
- Mettur Dam. 52 km from Salem.
- Mettur hydroelectric project/thermal plant.
- Poiman Karadu, Panamarathupatty.
- Poolampatty. water place
- 4 Salem Steel Plant, Salem.
- Sankagiri Fort. An old famous fort in Sankari.
- Servarayan Hills, Yercaud..
- 1008 Siva Temple, Periya Seeragapadi.
- Appa Paithiyam Swamy Samadhi Temple.
- Arulmigi Alagirinathar Temple.
- Belur Siva Temple, Belur.
- 5 Jamma Masjid, Salem. Built by Tippu Sultan.
- 6 Kari Perumal Temple (Kariyaperumal Temple), Salem. Atop 863 steps.
- Kottai Mariyamman Temple, Salem.
- 7 Perumal Temple, Fort, Salem.
- Skandashasram, Udayapatti, Salem.
- Sree Raghavendra Mrithika Brindavanam, Kannankurichi.
- 8 Sri Kailasanathar Temple, Tharamangalam. A Siva temple, perhaps the most beautiful of its kind in Salem District. Parts of it existed as early as the tenth century: as it stands now, it is the product of the Gatti Mudhali dynasty of the 17th century. Reconstruction and elaboration of the old temple was begun by Mummudi, continued by Siyazhi, and was brought near completion by Vanangamudi.
This west facing temple is enclosed by a massive stone wall measuring 306' by 164' reportedly built in the thirteenth century. The main entrance tower (5 storeys, 90' high) is conceived as a chariot on wheels, drawn by elephants and horses. The huge entrance doors, made of vengai (pterocarpus marsupium) wood, are studied with untrusting iron knobs each of a different pattern. Their panels are decorated with wooden carvings depicting incarnations of Vishnu.
The entrance to the inner sanctum is through a portico supported by six sumptuously carved stone pillars. The scenes of tiger hunting by princes seated on horses and accompanied by footmen are depicted very realistically and with great sensitivity. A pillar of yazhi (a mythical animal combining features of the lion and the elephant) is so ingeniously carved that a stone ball (4' diameter) in its mouth can be freely rolled but cannot be rolled out. The wooden doors of the portico are adorned with twenty four panels of excellent carving, some of which have been vandalized. The motifs for these carvings are drawn from the divine exploits of Siva and scenes from the daily lives of ordinary people.
The great hall is a fine gallery of sculptures of men, women, and Gods among which the sculpture of the voluptuous rishi pathini (sage's wife) is notable.
The ceiling is supported by rows of stone pillars from whose capitals hang elegant chains carved out of solid stone. The ceiling in front of the main shrine is covered by a block of stone seven feet in diameter carved in the shape of an inverted open lotus with parrots. This carving is surrounded by the Gatti Mudhali insignia. The outer walls of the inner most sanctum are covered with inscriptions.
Every year on February 21, and the consequent 3 days, a great solar and architectural wonder can be seen in the temple. During sunset, the rays of the sun travel down through the front Gopura at the temple's entrance gate and through a small hole in the and travels across the front plane to fall directly onto the statue of Siva. The movement of the sun beam can be witnessed as it progresses across the front of the temple, making the lingam appear to glow.
Several gigantic monolithic pillars of pink granite carved, polished, and ready for erection in the proposed Thousand Pillar Hall lie outside the temple. More are said to be under the ground. Before this project could be completed, Vanangamudi was killed in 1667, leaving the foreground of the temple littered with ruins of a noble dream.
A temple tank (about (180' x 180') is one of the finest of its kind in South India. Thirty Six Nandhi Sculptures (2' high) of black stone sit at intervals on top of the parapet wall whose inside holds 365 lamp niches. One for every day of the year. Only once in 1873 the pool was cleaned by the Salem Local Fund Board.
- Sri Kameswara & Kalivaradha Perumal Temple, Aragalur.
- 9 Sri Kumaragiri Temple, Salem.
- Sri Rajaganapathy Temple, Agraharam.
- Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, Salem.
- 10 Sugavaneshwarar Temple, Salem.
- Anna park is a nice lively place to spend an leisure evening. There are lots of movies playing Tamil, English and Hindi movies. A new multiplex (ARRS) has been built, which hosts 5 screens.
- 1 Rakkipatti (senapalayam), rakkipatti (NH47). Lord Balamurugaa temple; suyambhu form is not to be missed.
Salem is very good place for buying dresses and also mangoes.
Check out men's shirts, saris and beautiful dresses for women, all for ridiculously cheap prices.
- Shevapet area. Famous for silver anklets, traditional jewel worn around the ankle with small bells attached and chimes as you walk. Most of India purchases from this area as the workmanship involved in fixing the bells to the chain is done manually in this place. Prices are perhaps much cheaper compared to rest of India.
- Tuesday street market (near shevapet auto stand). Famous for textiles like bed sheets, towels, table spreads, lungis, and sarees. If you know how to bargain you may strike good deals.
- Ajmeer Biriyani Hotel, Kitchipalayam Rd, Salem. Very famous among middle class people especially private employees. Their specialty is biriyani & kuska (Same biriyani but without NV pieces). Mouth lickering biriyani and chicken varuval are so tastiest among the varieties. The very lowest price is the important point to mention here.
- Baar B Queen, 5 roads, Cherry Road & New Bus Stand. Another good hotel is Baar B Queen. Typical Non Veg restaurant and specialty is Chinese & Tandoori items exclusively Tandoori chicken and grill chicken at reasonable price.
- Delhi Darbar (near 5 roads in salem.). A North Indian restaurant. Tandoori chicken and mutton biryani is said to be very good.
- Hotel Sri Parasakthi, 56/37, Venkatappa Rd, Shevapet (Salem Government Hospital, down the road), ☏ . noon-4PM, 6:30PM-10PM. Typical south Indian non-veg family restaurant.
- Saravana Bhavan (near the bus stand), ☏ . A major food chain in TamilNadu is a good restaurant in a prime location. Offers South Indian (Tamil), North Indian and Chinese food. If you go by 5:15AM, the holy cow comes and blesses you.
- Selvi Mess, Maravaneri & New Bus Stand, ☏ . Selvi Mess, a group of hotels, one of the famous restaurants, is typically non veg restaurant. Taste is very good at their Maravaneri branch. A fine & good place to have dinner with family.
- Vivekananda Hotel, Old Bus Stand & New Bus Stand. Vivekananda Hotel, one of the famous restaurants for Non-Veg. A fine & good place to have dinner with family.
7Up seems to be more commonly drunk than water, but isn't so great in the intense heat. Try the local mango juice, although it seems a tad sweet for some.
You will find any number of Wine shops around the city.
Coffee shops and juice junctions are everywhere.
- 24 Hours Coffee shop near Salem Bus stand and Junction.
- Iyengar bakeries open 24 hours.
- Siva Coffee Bar is a chain of coffee shop around the city.
- Hotel Laila Palace, Vasantham Hotel Road LIC Colony New Bus Stand Salem..
- Hotel Priyaa Towers, LIC Colony, Near Hotel Vasantham, New Bus Stand Salem, ☏ . TV, attached bath, lift. ₹300.
- Hotel Travellers Inn, Near Shanmugha Hospital, Polytechnic Road. Good rooms at cheap rate.
- Railway Retirement Room, Inside the Salem Junction Railway Station. Check-in: 8PM, check-out: 8AM. ₹150 for 12 hours.
- Vasantham Hotel, LIC Colony New Bus Stand Salem. Upmarket hotel.
- Male Mahadeshwara Betta (MM Hills)
- Sankagiri old fort which was built in Tippu Sultan Period.
- Thammampatti Sculptural Centre (Hindu, Muslim, Christian temples in one hill) (60 km from Salem)
- Tharamangalam is famous also for its beautiful and historic Kailasanathar temple. It is 24 km from Salem bus terminus
- Yercaud is a hill station which is easily commutable from Salem. It is 30 km from Salem bus terminus. It is an ideal weekend getaway especially during summer time.