Salem is a city in Tamil Nadu, located about 340 kilometres southwest of the state capital, Chennai.
Salem is the preferred location for many people because it a beautiful city covered by hills and the pollution levels are quite low. There are many good lakes in Salem. The Kumaragiri lake at Ammapet, is one of the important lakes of Salem.
The city is surrounded by hills: Nagaramalai on the north, Jarugumalai on the south, Kanjamalai on the west, Godumalai on the east and the Shevaroy Hills on the northeast. Kariyaperumal Hill is in southwestern Salem. The Thirumanimutharu River flows through the city, dividing it in two. The fort area is the oldest part of Salem.
Salem has a number of Hindu temples. The Kottai Mariamman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Mariamman. The temple's gopuram is made up of seven tiers. Sugavaneshwarar Temple is dedicated to Shiva. Kottai Perumal Temple, Skandhashram, Kothandaramar Temple and Sithar Koil are also in Salem. Oothumali Murugan Temple, Pandurangan Hill Temple, Kumaragiri Hill Murugan Temple and Kariperumal Karadu Hill Temple are in the hills in Salem.
Jama Masjid, on the southern bank of the Thirumanimutharu River in the heart of the city, is Salem's oldest mosque. Christ Church is located on Fort Road and the church was consecrated in 1875.
Salem has its significance in various aspects; it is known for mango cultivation, silver ornaments, textile, sago industries and steel production. The region around Salem is rich in mineral ores. Salem has one of the largest magnesite, and bauxite and also iron ore deposits in India.
Among the popular hill stations of Tamil Nadu is Yercaud, situated at a distance of 22 kilometers from the city of Salem. Rising to an altitude of 1515 degrees above the sea level, these hills constitute a part of the Servarayan Range in the Eastern Ghats. Among the sites to see include orange groves, coffee plantations and an orchidarium which is run by the Botanical Survey of India. The hills are home to the Murugar group of temples and the highest point of the hills is the site of the Servarayan Temple. There is also a nearby lake famous for boating and also for its scenic gardens.
The city's climate is dry, except during the monsoon season. December to February are generally pleasant.