Salem is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu; it is on the Thirumanimuthar River – a river originating at Yercaud hills in the state and joining the majestic river Cauvery at Nanjai Edayar place.
Salem has many religious spots (especially temples) and the top attractions to see in Salem include the following:
- 1008 lingam temple – A popular temple that houses 1008 Lingams (a devotional and aniconic representation of the Hindu God Shiva; in the form of a moulded stone, which is worshipped by devotees of Lord Shiva)
- Skandasramam Temple
- Kottai Mariamman Temple – A temple dedicated to a goddess Mariamman
- Linga Bhairavi Temple
- Bagawath Ramanujar Manimandapam – A beautiful white temple dedicated to Ramanujar, a philosopher of Hindu religion and Vaishnavism. It houses a huge 30 feet tall statue of Ramanujar
- ISKCON Temple Salem
Most South Indian festivals are celebrated in Salem. Some major festivals here are:
- Pongal – A harvest festival celebrated in the month of January.
- Aadi Perukku – A festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi (mid-July to mid-August).
- Varsha Pirappu (or Tamil New Year’s Day) – Beginning of a new year according to Tamil Calendar; this is celebrated in April.
- Navarathri – A 9-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga; where people organize plays etc and display dolls in the form of Golu (in steps); and pray for destruction of evil.
- Deepawali – The festival of lights (celebrated between Sep to Nov).
Salem has many shopping spots which sell handicrafts, hardware items, clothes, accessories, jewelry (at affordable prices) – especially silver jewelry and artefacts. Some of the best shopping spots to check out in Salem include:
- Bazaar Street
- Pookoodai Shopping Complex
- Empire Arcade
- Ramani Shopping Complex
- Ideal Garden Complex
- Monty Plaza
- Sixer Complex
- VSA Commercial Complex
- Kandaswarna Mega Mall
- Reliance Mall
- Nirmal Skywin Mall
The city has good public transport options to get around such as local buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis. Currently, Salem does not have any public local train or metro transportation system. But a monorail system is proposed for the city as a part of a major expansion of public transport in the city. The work on it hasn’t yet begun but the government of Tamil Nadu has reportedly earmarked a sum of about ₹60,000 crore (US$8.4 billion) for the purpose.
Tamil Nadu’s cuisine is predominant in Salem, and the city has various vegetarian and non-vegetarian local delicacies. Some of the best restaurants in Salem to try are as listed:
- Junior Kuppanna
- Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant
- Selvi Mess
- Saravanas Parottas
- Kevi Restaurant
- Salem RR Briyani
- Rasikas Restaurants
- Superstar Pizza
- Sukh Sagar Restaurant (for North-Indian foods, snacks like Chaat)
- Tandooriwala (special Tandoor dishes)
When it comes to the best hotels in Salem there are many enticing options available, that includes:
- Grand Estancia
- ZIBE Salem by GRT Hotels
- CJ Palazzio Hotel
- Hotel Ashwa Park
- Radisson Salem
- Raj Residency Salem
- Hotel Windsor Castle
- Hotel Shrie Shanth
Salem also has some good bars and pubs such as:
- Escapee Bar
- Urban Dhaba – The Pub
- Cine Bar
- Attitude Kitchen & Bar
Salem city STD Code – 04324 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police control room – 100
- Accident Helpline (injuries, fatal accidents) – 108
- Fire and Rescue – 101
- Child Helpline – 1098
- Disaster helpline – 1077
- Women helpline (Sexual Harassment report) – 1091
Tamil is the official language of Salem.
- What's your name? - Unga peranna?
- My name is - En peru
- Where are you from? - Nienga engirundhu varrienga?
- Congratulations! - Paaraattukkal
- Good night and sweet dreams! - Nalla thoungunga!
- What Is This? - Idhu enna?