The name Salem appears to have been derived from 'Sela' or 'Shalya', which are found inscriptions referring to the country around the hills. Local folklore believes Salem as the birth place of the Tamil poetess Avvaiyar. Inscriptions from the Ganga dynasty have been recovered from parts of the district.Salem along with Coimbatore remained under the Madurai Nayaks. Later, in the early 18th Century, it came under Hyder Ali after a long feud known as Mysore-Madurai war. Salem was then taken from Hyder Ali by Colonel Wood in the beginning of 1768. It was recaptured by Hyder towards the end of the year 1772. Under Lord Clive in 1799, it was again occupied by a detachment of the residents stationed at Sankari drug and remained a military station until 1861 when the troops were altogether withdrawn.
Salem is the central part ofTamil Nadu. The city is surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of hills formed by the Nagaramalai to the north, the Jeragamalai to the south, the Kanjanamalai to the west and Godumalai to the east. It is divided by the Thirumanimuthar in the main division. It is located at 11.669437° N latitude and 78.140865° E longitude. It has an average elevation of 278 metres. Salem's climate has maximum temperature is 37.9°C and minimum temperature is 20°C.
Salem is one of the largest producers of traditional silver anklets, which are popular among women.Salem boasts large textile, automotive, poultry and sago industries.Salem has one of the largest magnesite deposits in India. Companies like Dalmia and Tanmag have mines here. The Leigh Bazaar market is one of the largest regional markets for agro products. Salem had an active film production with former Modern Theatres Studios being the hub of Tamil film production.
Major corps of the city are Paddy, Cholam, Cumbu, Ragi, Redgram, Greengram, Blackgram, Hoarsegram, Turmeric, Sugarcane, Mango, Banana, Tapiaco, Groundnut, Gingelly. The commercial corps are Cotton, Castor Seed, Coffee and Fodder Corps.
The major export commodities os salem are Textiles, yarn, granites, readymade garments, mangoes, coir products and stainless steel.
By Air: Salem also has one airstrip at Kamalapuram, on NH 7 towards Dharmapuri.
By Rail: Salem is an important rail junction in the Southern Railway.
By Road: Three important National Highways NH 7 NH 47 and NH 68 intersect each other at Salem.
As of 2001 India census ,Salem had a population of 693,236. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Salem has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 76%, and female literacy is 65%. In Salem, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
There are several regious places and festivals in Salem.
Mariamman Temple:There are several mariamman temples in Salem. Mariamman is a Hindu goddess, an incarnation of Shakti. Every year around July the city celebrates Mariamman festival for a fortnight. During this festival, Goddess Mariamman is decorated with jewellery and flower chariots and taken around the city at midnight. On the first important day of the festival, people walk on fire The second day is colourful with parades of fancy dress. This is one of the best times to visit Salem. This festival is celebrated at temples at Fort, Shevapet, Ammapet, Gugai, Andheripati etc. Shevapet Mariamman temple caris the biggest one among the cars of Amman temples across the state. This festival is celebrated for a week. The Kottai Marriamman temple is very famous not only in Salem but throughout Tamil Nadu.
Alagirnathar Thirukoil Temple: This temple popularly known as "Kottai Perumal Koil", located at the heart of the city. The temple has been built centuries ago and has some beautiful sculptures. "Vaikunda Ekadasi" is the most famous festival in the temple and on that day, lakhs of devotees visit the temple.
The Sugavaneshwarar temple: This is also very important shrine of Salem. Mythology records that sage sugha brahmarishi worshipped the lord here. Arunagirinadhar has sung a song on Lord Muruga in Sugavaneshwarar temple.
Kandashramam temple: It is a small hill temple for Lord Muruga . It is situated 10 km from Salem City towards Chennai highway. Kandashramam houses statues of unique and vital gods. It has the statues of Panchamukha Anjaneya, Panchamukha Vinayagar, Swarna Bhairavar, Dhanvanthri, etc,. In Salem City, at Seelanaickenpatty there is another hill for Lord Murugan. Hill is named as Oothumalai.
Kumaragiri Temple:This is a small temple for Lord Muruga. It is situated 5km from Salem city.Two more mountain temples are there in Salem for Lord Vishnu.Salem also has Heritage Temple called Sitthar Koil, which is located about 10 km from Salem. This is a Shiva Temple, which is located on the foot hills of Kanja Malai. Some believers say that, this temple was built by Sitthar's which is believed that they still survive in the Mount of Kanja Malai. The famous Tamil Poetess Avvayar is believed to be living in this hills.Aragaluris located approximately 21 km from Attur that boast of 2 old temples and a large Buddha statue. The one day Temple car festival in summer invites lots of people in the region.
The Kailasanatha Temple: This temple situated at Tharamangalam is very famous for its architectural beauty. The Tharamangalam temple has many beautiful sculptures, note worthy amongst them are the sculptures of Arjuna's penace, Shiva-Parvati & Manmadha, Rama killing Vaali, etc.
There are ancient Shiva temples at Belur(Thanthondreeshwarar) and Uttamacholapuram(Karaburanathar).
Ayothiappattanam: It is located 7 km away from city houses a beautiful Kothandaramar temple.A Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama is located in Salem. It is was started in 1928 and made a branch of the mission in 1941.
Mettur Dam:This is a major dam built across the river cauvery. Besides providing irrigation facilities to Erode, Trichy and Thanjavur Districts, Mettur dam also serves as a picnic spot. There is a beautiful park opposite to dam formed with Lawns, Parks and children play materials.
Yercaud: It is located in the Servarayan Hills of Salem District. It is a quite pleasant hill resort in Tamil Nadu. The name is derived from the Picturesque Yeri (Lake) once surrounded by Kadu (forest). Yercaud is a Beautiful hill station with a pleasant cool climate. Yercaud can be visited round the year. It is 30 Km from Salem and is the least expensive hill station in India. There are several visiting places in Yercaud and they are-
Yercaud Lake:The Yercaud Lake, a picturesque pool surrounded by gardens and trees, is one of the main attractions of Yercaud. You can enjoy boating at the Yercaud Lake. If you like to paddle the boat yourself then the paddling boats are a good option otherwise you also have the option of the boatman rowing it for you as you relax in the calm waters of the Lake.
Lady's Seat:Lady's seat is name given to a cluster of rocks on the south west side of Yercaud. There is a steep drop of about 200 feet below from this point. One gets a panoramic view of distant Salem and the winding road up.
Killiyur Falls:The Killiyur waterfall is located at a distance of about 3 km from the Yercaud Lake. The ideal time to visit the waterfall is immediately after the monsoons. You can see the surplus water from the Yercaud Lake and other points of the Shevaroy Hills fall deep into the Killiyur Valley below, making a 300 feet waterfall.
The Grange:The Grange is one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud, built in 1820's by the then District Collector of Salem, M D Cockburn.
Bear's Cave:The Bear's cave is situated near the Norton Bungalow on the way to Servarayan temple. It is an important tourist spot as it is considered one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
The Servarayan Temple:The Servarayan temple is situated at top of the Servarayan hill. The temple is a narrow and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside, which is believed as the Shevaroy Hills and the Cauvery River. The local tribes celebrate their annual festival in the Servarayan temple during the month of May.
Salem, which was once considered the most educationally backward district in Tamil Nadu, now has a few good educational institutions. New schools and colleges have come up recently. Government College of Engineering was started during the Third Five Year plan in the year 1966 and is located on a beautiful 162 hectares site surrounded by hills. This was then the third government engineering institution in Tamil Nadu. The first batch of students was selected for the academic year 1966-67 for courses in Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. In the year 1973-74, the Metallurgical Engineering branch was started. Electronics and Communication branch was introduced in the year 1985-86. Computer Science engineering course was introduced in the year 2001. The Government Arts and Science College situated in Salem is one of the oldest colleges in the country. It is more than 100 years old. In the year 1997, Periyar University was started. The colleges in Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Namakkal districts come under the control of Periyar University.
Now Salem region has several Engineering colleges(even then most of then prefer Coimbatore or Chennai for engineering), 2 medical colleges, 79 other colleges and two universities. Salem also has a ladies special college called Sri Saradha College for Women.
Sun TV, Raj TVand Vijay TV are the most popular channels in Salem. Salem also has 2 local TV channels- CTN and Polimer Channel. They provide good entertainment to Salem residents.
For complete business listing of Salem visit Salem Yellowpages
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Salem, Tamil Nadu