Salem, Tamil Nadu
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (February 2014)|
|Nickname(s): The Mango City , The Steel City|
|• Body||Salem City Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||S. Soundappan (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)|
|• City||5,249 km2 (2,027 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-90,TN-27(till 1999)|
Salem pronunciation (help·info) (Tamil: சேலம்) 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) northeast 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. As of 2011, the city had a population of 829,267.
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detachment of the regiment stationed at Sankagiri Durg and remained a military station until 1861 when the troops were withdrawn.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.
According to Edgar Thurston  (Castes and Tribes of India Volume 5) the Kongu region was ruled by a series of twenty eight kings before being conquered by the Cholas of Tanjore, citing the earliest portion of the Kongu Chronicle - Kongu Desa Rajakkal (a manuscript in The Mackenzie Collection) which gives a series of short notices of the reigns of all the kings who ruled the country from the start of the Christian era till its conquest by the Cholas. These kings belonged to two distinct dynasties: the earlier line of the Solar race which had a succession of seven kings of the Ratti or Reddi tribe, and the later line of the Ganga race.
According to 2011 census, Salem(05740) had a population of 829,267 with a sex-ratio of 987 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 79,067 were under the age of six, constituting 40,570 males and 38,497 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 12.82% and .15% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 76.37%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 215,747 households. There were a total of 332,147 workers, comprising 1,599 cultivators, 3,040 main agricultural labourers, 32,597 in house hold industries, 278,892 other workers, 16,019 marginal workers, 165 marginal cultivators, 544 marginal agricultural labourers, 1,937 marginal workers in household industries and 13,373 other marginal workers.
Geography and Climate
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.
|Climate data for Salem, India|
|Average high °C (°F)||29
|Average low °C (°F)||19
|Precipitation mm (inches)||14.0
|Source: Indian Meteorological Department|
|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.
With more than 125 spinning mills, with modern weaving units and garment units Salem established itself as one of the major textile center in Tamil Nadu .The history of handloom and spinning mills dates back to pre-independence period in Salem. But till 1960’s there were only less than 5 spinning mills. Private handloom weaving started thriving in the region along with the large scale cooperative sector handloom weaving and marketing units. Small scale hand dying units were started around the region to support the industry. Around 1980’s the textile industry saw a massive growth. Many major spinning mills and waste spinning units came up into existence. Many Handloom societies and dying houses were established. New and increased number of Power Loom units were mushroomed in the places like Gugai, Ammapet, Attayampatti, Vennandur, Magudanchavadi, Rasipuram, Komarapalayam Pallipalayam, Jalakandapuram and Ellampillai.
The Salem region also houses the Tamil Nadu largest number of Sago industries which are engaged in the production Sago Foods and Starch.In Salem District alone, 34000 hectares of land is under tapioca cultivation which is the raw material for the sago industries and there are 650 units engaged in tapioca processing.In 1981, Salem Starch and Sago Manufacturers Service Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd(popularly called as SAGOSERVE) was established to promote the growth of sago industries. Nearly 80% of the national demand for Sago and Starch is being met by the Sagoserv. In and around Salem the yield of tapioca is about 25-30 t/ha, highest in the World. National average is 19 t/ha and World average production stands at 10 t/ha.
Salem Steel Plant, a special steel unit of Steel Authority of India Ltd have their plant located in Salem which produces Cold rolled stainless steel and Hot rolled stainless steel/carbon steel.Expansion and modernisation of Salem Steel Plant is presently on. The plan envisages installation of Steel Melting and Continuous Casting facilities. Southern Iron & Steel Company Ltd (JSW Steel) have their first integrated steel plant located Salem for the production of TMT corrosion resistant bars / alloy steels. 
The region around Salem is rich in mineral ores.Salem has one of the largest magnesite and bauxite deposits in India. It has many magnesite factories operated by private and public sectors such as Burn Standard & Co, Dalmia Magnesites and Tata Refractories  The Leigh Bazaar market in Salem is the biggest regional market for agro products. Narasus coffee one of the famous coffee in Tamil Nadu, Nandhi Dall Mills the oldest flour mill company, BSP refineries (Usha Refined Sunflower Oil) are other few companies have their presence in Salem.
Being one of the fastest growing tier II cities, the Tamil Nadu government and ELCOT are planning to establish an IT park in Salem covering about 160 acres (0.65 km2). SAIL is planning a Steel SEZ inside the Salem Steel plant covering about 250 acres (1.0 km2) There is an exclusive Electrical and Electronics Industrial Estate in the Suramangalam area of Salem city. Coimbatore-Erode-Salem stretch was well known for Industries and Textile processings and it is announced as Coimbatore-Salem Industrial Corridor and further development works are carried by SIPCOT Linking Scheme.
Many well Known temples are located in vicnity of Salem. Kottai Mariamman Temple is located in town area is the historic Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Mariamman. Yearly festival during the Tamizh month of Aadi is being celebrated for five days. The main Raja Gopuram of this temple is made up of seven tiers.
Sugavaneshwarar temple is another important temple located in Salem City. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mythology records that sage Sugha Brahmarishi worshiped the lord here. Arunagirinadhar has sung a song on Lord Muruga in Sugavaneshwarar temple. It was constructed during 13th Century by Mamannan Sundara Pandiyan.
Kottai perumal temple, Skandhashram, Kothandaramar temple, Sithar Koil are other important temples located in Salem. OOthumali Murugan temple, Pandurangan Hill temple, Kumaragiri Hill Murugan temple, Kariperumal Karadu Hill temple are the other temples located in the small hill rocks in Salem. ISKON has built new temple in Karuppur near Salem.
Jama Masjid is the oldest mosque in Salem, situated on the southern bank of the Thirumanimutharu River in the heart of the city. It was reportedly built by the Mysore ruler, Tippu Sulthan, who is said to have offered prayers here. The Masjid Inam granted to this mosque was confirmed by the British in 1862 by a special resolution in 1880.
Infant Jesus Church a famous church is situated at Four Roads and The Calvary Assembly of God Church is situated at Bangalore high way, Mamangam, Reformed Baptist Church is situated in the Foothills of Yercaud.
Shopping and Recreation
The traditional shopping areas of Salem City are located in the Town area. Many big retailers have their shops located in Bazaar Street,Car Street, First Agraharam and Chinna Kadai Street of the Town.Shevapet and Fort area are famous for hardware and furniture products. Leigh Bazaar in Shevapet is the main wholesale market dealing with commodities in Salem. In recent times many retailers have their showrooms opening in Swarnapuri area of the City. All major brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Puma, Lee, Pepe Jeans, Levi's, Basics, John Players have their outlets located in the Saradha College Road.
Many shopping malls located in Salem City are relatively small in size .Few of them are Maruthi Plaza,Ramani Shopping Plaza, Pookoodai Shopping Complex,V V Shopping Plaza,Kandaswarna Shopping Mall and Chamundi Super Market. The Reliance Greenfield Mall is being constructed and expected to open by end of 2012 is the biggest mall and first of its kind in the City with total area of 4 lakhs sq ft.<fact>
There are very few sources of entertainment in the City. Kurumbapatti Zoological Park and Anna Park are the two main parks run by Government.Anna Park is an entertainment centre focused on children.Panamarathupatti lake is an another recreation spot located near the City. Paravasa Ulagam and Dream Land are the two Amusement parks located around City which attracts fair amount of visitors.
In Salem City, there are six major arterial roads : Omalur Road, Cherry Road, Saradha College Road, Junction Main Road, Gugai Main Road and Attur Road. Three important National Highways pass through/originate from Salem. NH 7 (Varanasi - Kanyakumari), NH 47 (Salem - Kanyakumari via Coimbatore, Kochi, Kollam), NH 68 (Salem - Ulundurpet). NH68 is the preferred route to travel from Salem to Chennai. All National Highways in four directions of the City are fourlaned. Other important roads that originated from the City are State Highways : SH168 (Yercaud Road) and SH18 (Tirupattur Road). Salem is the headquarters of the TNSTC Division 1, Salem (SLM-DIV-I) and Division 2, Dharmapuri (SLM-DIV-II).Salem has the maximum number of buses plying to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Tirupati in Tamil Nadu only after Chennai. There are two major bus stations in Salem : MGR Integrated Bus Terminus (Central Bus Stand) located in the Meyyanoor area and Town Bus Station (Old Bus Stand) which is located in the Town Area in the heart of Salem. All mofussil, intercity and interstate routes originate from Central Bus Stand and Town Buses are originates from town bus stand. Anna Flyover situated near GH is oldest flyover in the City.Trumpet Interchange was constructed in the new alignment of NH 47 to ease the traffic movement towards Coimbatore and Cochin.
Salem Junction is located in Suramangalam, 5 km to the west of Salem Town. The Salem Junction is well connected to major Indian cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kollam, Rajkot, Indore, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Kanpur and Patna . Salem Town is the another important station located in town area in Virduchalam line. For better administrative control and improved development and operational reasons, the Railway Board approved the creation of a new Railway Division with Salem as headquarters in 2005 to improve railway infrastructure, facilities (lacking since several decades) and introduce better train services, thus satisfying the long felt needs of railway passengers in and around surrounding areas and thereby providing better conveniences to rail travelers.It is now the fourth largest of all the six divisions of the Southern Railway and was carved out of the Palakkad and Tiruchirapalli divisions.
Salem Airport (India) (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, but terminated the service in 2012 owing to its financial problems. In recent times however, SpiceJet has shown some interest in staring 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