Salem, Tamil Nadu
|Nickname(s): The Mango City , The Steel City of the South|
|• Body||Salem City Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||S. Soundappan (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)|
|• City||124 km2 (48 sq mi)|
|Elevation||278 m (912 ft)|
|• Density||8,036/km2 (20,810/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||TN-30,TN-54,TN-27(till 1999)|
Salem pronunciation (help·info) is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Salem district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Salem is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northwest of Coimbatore and about 340 kilometres (211 mi) southwest of the state capital, Chennai. Salem is the fifth largest city in Tamil Nadu in terms of population after Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchirappalli respectively and fourth in terms of urbanisation. The area of the city is 100 km2 (39 sq mi). It is the fifth Municipal Corporation and Urban agglomeration commissioned in Tamil Nadu after Madras (year 1919), Coimbatore (1981), Madurai (1971) and Tiruchirappalli (1994) respectively.
Cheralam , Shalya, Sayilam and Sailam are found in inscriptions referring to the country around the hills, Nagarmalai in the north, Jeragamalai in the south, Kanjanamalai on the west and Godumalai on the east. Local tradition claims Salem as the birthplace of Tamil poetess Avvaiyar. Salem and the hilly region around it were part of the Chera and the city was ruled by kings who were known as the Kurunila Mannargal of ancient Tamil Nadu. Later, it was ruled by Gatti Mudalis Poligars who built some temples and forts in and around the city. In the early 18th century, after the Mysore-Madurai war, it came under the rule of Hyder Ali . Subsequently, Salem was taken from Hyder Ali by Colonel Wood at the beginning of 1768. It was recaptured by Hyder Ali towards the end of the year 1772. Under Lord Clive in 1799, it was again occupied by a detachment of the regiment stationed at Sankagiri Durg and remained a military station until 1861 when the troops were withdrawn. During the times of Kongu Chieftain Dheeran Chinnamalai, places like Salem and Sankagiri were the scene of battle between Kongu forces and British allied forces. Dheeran Chinnamalai was hanged infamously in the Sankagiri fort which later became the army headquarters of the British.
Geography and climate
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Salem is located at  The average elevation is 278 m (912 ft). The city is surrounded by hills on all sides, namely, Nagaramalai in the north, Jarugumalai in the south, Kanjamalai in the west, Godumalai to the east and the Shevaroy Hills to the north east. The Kariyaperumal Hill is situated within the city to the southwest. Thirumanimuthar river flows through the city, dividing it into two parts. The fort area is the oldest part of the town. Salem local planning area extends up to 100 km2 (39 sq mi) within the city ..
Salem receives scanty rainfall and a dry climate. Salem has moderate-dry weather throughout except during the monsoon season. Generally the first two months of the year are pleasant, but summer onset begins in March. The highest temperature is normally recorded during May. The scanty showers during this period do not provide any relief from the oppressive heat. There is a light improvement in the climate during June–July period. During this pre-monsoon period, the mercury reverses its trend and by August, the sky gets overcast heavily but the rains are meagre. The north-east monsoon sets in vigorously only during September–November and by December, the rains disappear rendering the climate clear but pleasant.
As of the provisional population totals of 2011 census, Salem urban agglormeration had a population of 831,038. The sex ratio of the town was 987 females per 1,000 males. Salem had an average literacy rate of 84.8% with a male literacy of 89.72% and a female literacy of 79.48%. A total of 73,218 of the population of the city was under 6 years of age.
As of the census of India 2001, there were a total of 162,676 households. A total of 76,653 people constituting 12.36% of the total population belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC) and 1,345 people constituting 0.22% of the population belong to Scheduled tribes (ST). There were a total of 253,815 main workers: 2,001 cultivators, 4,358 agricultural labourers, 33,564 in house hold industries and 213,902 other workers. There were 9,219 marginal workers: 90 marginal cultivators, 708 marginal agricultural labourers, 708 in marginal workers in household industries and 6,783 other marginal workers.
Municipal administration and politics
|Municipal corporation officials|
|Deputy Mayor||M. Natesan|
|Member of Legislative Assembly|
|Salem North||R. Mohan Raj|
|Salem West||M. K. Selvaraju|
|Salem South||G. Venkatachalam|
|Member of Parliament|
|Salem MP||S. Semmalai|
Salem is the headquarters of the Salem District. The town was constituted as a municipality 1867, promoted to special-grade during 1966 and as a municipal corporation from 1 April 1994. The Salem municipal corporation has 60 wards and there is an elected councillor for each of those wards.  The functions of the municipal corporation are devolved into six departments: general administration/personnel, Engineering, Revenue, Public Health, city planning and Information Technology (IT). All these departments are under the control of a Municipal Commissioner who is the executive head. The legislative powers are vested in a body of 60 members, one each from the 60 wards. The legislative body is headed by an elected Chairperson assisted by a Deputy Chairperson.
Salem is a part of Salem North, Salem West and Salem South assembly constituencies that were newly after the constituency delimitations 2008. The city elects the three members to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years. The current MLAs are R. Mohan Raj (Salem North) from Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam party, M.K.Selavaraju (Salem West) from All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam party (ADMK) and G.Venkatachalam (Salem South) from the ADMK party 
Till 2008, the city was part of Salem I and Salem II assembly constituencies. From the 1977 elections, All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) won the Salem I assembly seat five times (in 1977, 1980, 1984, 2001 and 2006 elections), two times by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (in 1989 and 1996 elections) and once by Indian National Congress (INC) (in 1991 elections). From the 1977 elections, All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) won the Salem II assembly seat three times (in 1980, 1984 and 1991 elections), three times by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (in 1989, 1996 and 2006 elections) and once each by Janata Party (JP) (in 1977 elections) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) (in 2001 elections).
Salem is a part of the Salem (Lok Sabha constituency) – it has the following six assembly constituencies - Omalur, Salem North, Salem South, Salem West, Veerapandi and Edappadi. The current Member of Parliament from the constituency is S. Semmalai from the ADMK party. From the 1952 elections, the Salem parliament seat was held by the Indian National Congress for eight times (during 1952, 1957, 1962, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 2004 elections), ADMK three times (during 1977, 1991 and 2009 elections), DMK three times (during 1967, 1971 and 1980 elections), and an once each by an independent (during 1998 elections) and Tamil Maanila Congress (during 1996 elections). The current Member of Parliament from the constituency is P. Kumar from the ADMK party.
Law and order in the city in maintained by the Salem sub division of the Tamil Nadu Police headed by a Deputy Superintendent. There are four police stations in the town, with one of them being an all women police station. There are special units like prohibition enforcement, district crime, social justice and human rights, district crime records and special branch that operate at the district level police division headed by a Superintendent of Police.
Salem is one of the most major producers of traditional silver anklets, which are popular among women. The town houses a set of textile, steel, automotive, poultry and sago industries. Salem also has one of the largest magnesite deposits in India. Companies like Dalmia and TANMAG have mines here. It has also got rich bauxite & mineral reserves. The Leigh Bazaar market is a large regional market for agro products. It also has rich industrial base with the Salem steel plant, SISCOL, MALCO, CHEMPLAST and the Thermal & Hydel power plant at Mettur contribute towards power supply to the state.
Silk and cotton fabrics from Salem are sold throughout Tamil Nadu and are a big buy. The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, the second of its kind in India, is found here.The Department of Sericulture in Tamil Nadu has its headquarters in Salem. Salem is one of the major producers of customary silver anklets, which are a rage with the women-folk here. Fabric exporting has been the oldest business in Salem, going back to the 1930s. The region of Salem city and Salem district are very rich in mineral resources. Minerals such as Iron, bauxite and Aluminium are found in this region. There is an exclusive Electrical and Electronics Industrial Estate in the Suramangalam area of Salem town.
Major National Highways origins from Salem are NH47 and NH68. Salem city is on NH 7 which is the main transit hub to the city of Coimbatore, NH 47 from Kanyakumari-Salem via Coimbatore making it a transit hub. It is also well connected with the state capital Chennai.
Salem has two bus terminals. The Town Bus terminus which is a terminal for the town buses which is both inter-city and intra-city. The Central Bus terminus is the terminal for buses from outstations like Madurai,Bangalore,Coimbatore and Chennai. Salem is main transit hub for buses to Bangalore from most parts of Tamil Nadu. TNSTC Salem has its headquarters in Salem which operates buses to cities from Salem.
Salem Junction Railway station is located in the suburb of Suramangalam, 5 km to the west of Salem. Salem is a divisional headquarters in the Southern Railway which was carved out of the existing Palakkad and Tiruchchirapalli divisions in the year 2007. Salem Junction is a very important railway station in the Southern Railway. Salem is connected by rail to all important cities and towns in the rest of the country. The station is well connected by buses to other parts of the city around the clock. Salem-Karur railway line was opened for rail traffic in May 2013 with that Salem-Karur Passenger train was also introduced. The important stations in this line are Mallur, Rasipuram, Kalangani, Namakkal and Mohanur.
Salem Airport (IATA: SXV, ICAO: VOSM) is located on Salem-Bangalore Highway (NH-7) in a place called Kaamalapuram near Omalur, which is about 20 km from the city. Though the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had spruced up the airport and made it ready for operation in 1993, airlines did not show interest to fly fearing low patronage. Kingfisher Airlines did provide a service from Chennai, Initially it was daily service but due to low patronage it was reduced to five days a week, but terminated the service in 2012 owing to its financial problems. In recent times however, SpiceJet has shown some interest in starting flights to Salem.
Salem has several reputed educational institutions. Periyar University setup in 1997 is in charge of the Arts and Science colleges of the district. Large number of students come to Salem for higher education.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salem, Tamil Nadu.|
- NIC website for Salem, Tamil Nadu
- Police and prisons
- Department of Geology & Mining, Govt. of Tamilnadu