Salem (Tamil Nadu)
Salem is a prosperous town and has been developed as a modern industrial town with the steel plant on the outskirts. The township has expanded to a considerable extent during the recent years. Very strangely, the name Salem is associated with America and United Kingdom as there are a few places there bearing the same name. The word originated from the ancient name Sailam, which means an area surrounded by mountains. The place is rich in mineral wealth. Handloom textile industry has developed extensively around Salem. It can serve as a base for tourists who desire to visit some of the places around the region.
There are many places of tourist interest in and around Salem.
Mettur Dam: Situated amidst excellent natural surroundings and 45 kms from Salem, Mettur reservoir built across the river Cauvery is one of the largest multipurpose project in the country. It is nearly 2 kms in length and 74 metres high. Two sets of irrigational channels have been provided. The power house at the dam is said to be one of the largest in the state. While serving as an effective check against floods in Cauvery, the reservoir ensures regular supply of water to Thanjavur delta. A beautiful garden has been developed below the dam which serves as a picnic spot. There are facilities for boating in the lake.
Taramangalam: Situated about 25 kms away from Salem, the town is famous for the Shiva temple dedicated to Kailasanathar. The rotating stone lotus flower carving and the statues of Rati, Manmatha, Bali and Sugriva are the chief attractions of the place.
Kolli Hills: A famous hill station in rich wooded area, it is situated at an altitude of 1190 metres and 98 kms away from Salem, Tamil Nadu. This is the second hill station in the Salem district. The Shiva temple dedicated to Arappatheeshwarar is in Chathrangi Hill. There is a beautiful waterfalls near Agasakangai amidst natural surroundings, which is a popular picnic spot.
Tiruchengode: 37 kms away from Salem, Tiruchengode is famous for the temple dedicated to Ardhanareeshwara, a composite form of Shiva and Shakti. One portion of the deity is represented by Shiva while the other is represented as Parvati. The temple is situated on a hillock which can be approached by a flight of well cut stone steps. There is a monument of a five hooded serpent 12 metres in height carved out of a single block of rock. The halls of the temple are full of excellent pieces of sculpture. Being a place of Shiva-Shakti combination, it is a unique feature in this part of the State.
Namakkal: The town of Namakkal, 50 kms from Salem, is famous for the temples of Namagiri Amman, Narsimha and Ranganathar. These famous and revered temples are built at the base of the Namakkal rock, a great mass of granite crowned by a hill fortress. The battlements of the fort are built of well cut blocks of stone. In front of the Namagiri Amman temple is the shrine of Hanuman. The idol is one of the tallest is the state, which is about 14 metres in height. The idol is in a standing posture with folded hands.
How to reach Salem:
Salem, 160 kms from Coimbatore, is connected by rail and road with many important places in South India. There is a good net work of buses operating to this place from various parts of the state. The town has very good lodging and rest houses to provide accommodation to visitors.