Salem, one of the major commercial centres of South India, is located in the north-central part of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated at a distance of 340 km from the state capital, Chennai. The district is enveloped in Nagaramalai, Jeragamalai, Kanjanamalai and Godumalai hills. The word Salem is believed to have originated from Cheram (Keralam or Seram), indicating the region as a Cheram land. During the days of yore, the region was a chief weaving centre with inhabitants engaged in producing Saeylai, a garment worn by women.
People and Culture of Salem
Human civilisation in Salem can be dated back to the Stone Age. The stone implements and dung ash heaps found in and around Salem are testimonies of the Paleolithic and Neolithic age. Salem also witnessed the rise of various dynasties such as Pandiyan, Pallava, Chozha, Hoysala and Chalukya. Earlier a part of Kongu Nadu, the first habitation in the region is believed to be of the Ganga Dynasty. The inscriptions dating back to the era of Ganga Dynasty refer the region as ?country around hills?. The region was ruled by Gangakulam rulers of the Ganga Dynasty for a long period. After the arrival of Vijayanagar kings, the region came under the governance of Madurai Nayaks. In the early 18th century before the colonial rule, Hyder Ali took over Salem after the Mysore-Madurai war. Salem was annexed by a well known British Governor, Lord Clive, in 1799 and remained a military base for the British till 1861.
Things To Do in Salem
The location is the base for reaching popular tourist destinations such as Yercaud Hills and Kiliyur Falls. Yercaud, a famous hill station of South India, lies in proximity to Salem. Lying on the Servarayan range of the Eastern Ghats at an altitude of 1,515 metres above sea level, the region is famous for coffee plantations, orchidarium and orange groves. Some other notable tourist attractions of the destination are Tharamangalam and Mettur Dam. Salem is well connected by air, rail and road. The airport nearest to the destination is Salem Airport, which is served by domestic airlines. Tourists travelling from international destinations can board flights to Chennai International Airport. Salem Junction is the nearest railhead, which is connected with various parts of the country. Travelling by roadways is also convenient with the availability of buses from nearby places including Chennai. The destination experiences tropical climatic conditions round the year. The period between the months of November and March is the best time to visit Salem.
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