Pilgrimage Tourism in Salem District
Temples in the district of Salem form the major attractions for the tourists from different parts of the state. Some of the notable Murugan temples in this district are at Ammapettai, Kanakagiri, Belukurichi, Thiruchengodu, Kandhasramam, Kapilamalai, Kanjamalai, Vaiyappa Malai and Kalipatti. Muniappan or 'Forefather' is an ancient and very popular village deity in the district of Salem. This deity is also called 'Aiyanar' or the 'Revered Father'. The common practices of blood sacrifices are performed in these shrines. The huge and terrifying images are accompanied by larger than life figures of attendants and animals. The Servarayan Kaveri Amman temple is a Malaiyalai tribal temple dedicated to Lord Servarayan also called Ramaswamy. This temple is situated in a dark and narrow cave on the tallest peak on the Servarayan Mountain. The Goddess Kaveri and God Servarayan representing the Kaveri River and Servarai Hills respectively are seated in the temple. One of the most beautiful temples in this district is the Kailasanathar temple which is located at Tharamangalam. Kailasanathar Kovil is a temple in the Salem district which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Parts of the temple existed as early as the tenth century.
Mariamman is the mother goddess and the Tamil word 'mari' means death but when the letter 'a' in it is accented, the word means rain. The goddess is the most ancient and popular deity among the village deities of this district and is worshipped under several other names like Amman, Ayam Ayee, Atthu, Dharmapuri, Magamayee and Vadivattha all indicating an ancient form of ancestral mother worship. Almost all the villages of Salem district have a shrine or temple dedicated to this goddess which is the focus of village festivals. Apart from the Hindu temples there is the oldest mosque in Salem, which is located on the southern bank of the Thirumanimuthu Aru. The mosque was constructed by the Mysore ruler, Tipu Sultan, who is said to have offered prayers here.
Nature Tourism in Salem District
The beautiful natural settings in the Salem district attracts tourists from different parts of the state and also from outside throughout the year. One of the famous attractions in this district is the Yercaud Lake. This is a picturesque pool surrounded by well-wooded areas and gardens. Facility for boating in the cold water of the lake gives an enchanting as well as a refreshing experience. Another attraction is the Lady's Seat. It is a Natural seat on a rock overlooking a steep drop of several hundred feet. It overlooks the winging ghat road and offers a breath-taking view. Tourists can have a panoramic view of the plains below through the telescope mounted at the Lady's seat. Pagoda Point or Pyramid Point is named after the ancient pyramidal cairns found at this place. Around the ridges of the crest are four cairn stones which resemble temple towers or Pagodas. In the centre of the open space is a shrine dedicated to two anionic stones held sacred by the local Malaiyalis. The Grange is a castle like building constructed by the then Collector of Salem Mr.M.D.Cockburn. This is also one of the major attractions in this district of Tamil Nadu.
Killiyur Falls is located amidst a very beautiful surrounding and here the water falls from a height of ninety feet. The Anna Park is a lovely garden, near the Yercaud Lake, maintained by the Horticulture Department. Another attraction of the Salem district is the Bear's Cave. It is located in close proximity to the Northern Bungalow on the way to the Servarayan temple. One of the most beautiful picnic spots in this district is Mettur, which is located at a distance of sixty kilometers from Salem. The Dam Park is a beautiful park situated opposite to the Mettur Dam was formed with lawns and fountains. This park draws a large number of tourists from the closely-located districts. Utthumalai is an important tourist destination from where tourists can enjoy a beautiful view of the Salem district.
Apart from a number of waterfalls, dams, temples, there are various other places of tourist interest in the district of Salem. One of the most prominent attractions of this district of Tamil Nadu is the Stanley Reservoir. This is an architectural marvel and an important land mark in the Mettur division of Salem. It supplies water to the farmers of the Kaveri River Basin who suffer the vagaries of Indian monsoons. The sixteen gates is an Engineering master-piece which regulates the flow of water released from the Mettur Dam to the lower reaches covering the paddy fields in the Salem district, Erode district, Thanjavur district, Namakkal district, Tiruchirapalli District, Thiruvarur district, Karur district and Nagapattinam district. Forts in Salem and Omalur were said to have been visited by Tipu Sultan. But today, not even the ruins of these monuments remain. However at Sankagiri an impressive fort is seen on a hillock, with its elaborate and massive ramparts running all the way up the hill. Some of the other tourist attractions of the district of Salem are ornamental plants at Green House, silk farm, Lake Park, orchard-cum-nursery of rose plants, Horticulture Research Station, orchidorium, Salem view, etc.
(Last Updated on : 05-11-2014)
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