The Sugavaneshwarar Temple, located near Salem’s old bus stand, is one of the most important temples in the region. It is an important pilgrimage site in the city of Salem. The temple is a 13th century AD product and was constructed by Mamannan Sundara Poniyan.
Legends say that Sage Sugha Brahmarishi prayed in this temple. The Sage also performed his penance at this temple. The temple is also famous because Arunagiridhar sang a song dedicated to Lord Murugan in this temple.
The temple houses several historical monuments and a statue of the main deity within its vicinity. This ancient temple is definitely worth a visit during one’s travels to the city of Salem.
Salem is a city of religious harmony with people of all religions residing in and around the city. The city has around ten big and small churches.
The Reformist Baptist Church located on Yercud Road, Chinnakollapatti; the CSI Immanual Church located at Adaikala Nagar; the CSI Christ Church located at Fort; Michael Church located at Alagapuram; CSI Lechler Church located at Shevapet; St Mary’s Co Cathedral located at Shevapat; Salem New Life Church - NLCM located at Meyyanur; Infant Jesus Church which is located at Four Roads; the Church at Anayampatti which is located at Gangavalli and the Calvary Assembly of God Church which is located on the Bangalore Highway, Mamangam.
Out of these the last three are definitely worth a visit. The Calvary Assembly of God Church is the fastest growing church in the region.
Paravasa Ulagam Water Theme Park is located near Mallur, a place located 16 km away from Salem. The location is cool and soothing amidst hills and trees. The park is located on the NH7. Of the many games included in the park, the most exciting ones are the water pool, the rain dance, the activity pool, karting and biking, video games and baby toys.
The park also has several activities such as the Science Park, Waterfalls, Mist World and Jallikattu. The place is a good place to hang out or a good weekend getaway for one and all. The place is close to nature, and the scenic beauty is admirable. The Paravasa Ulagam Water Theme Park is definitely a place to relax and enjoy.
Kurumbapatti Zoological Park is located at about 6 km away from Salem city. The park is spread across an area of 11.5 hectares at the base of the Shevaroyan Hills. The area is a reserved forest and developing it into a park had cost about Rs 10 crore.
The park is inhabited by spotted deer, white peacocks, bonnet macaque, sambar deer, grey pelican, little egret, turtles, grey herons, marsh crocodile, plum headed parakeet, star tortoise, rose ringed parakeet, yellow footed green pigeons and a 58-year-old elephant. There is also a children’s park in the vicinity. The place is a wonderful site to spend time amidst the bed of nature.
The 1008 Lingam Temple is located in Ariyanoor, and it is one of the most famous temples of the city. The temple is under the control of a department of the Vinayaga Mission. There are 1008 Shiva Lingams present in the temple with the holy cow Nandi in front of them all over the hillock on which the temple has been built.
There is an enormous Ganesha statue at the foothills of the temple. The location around the area is picturesque, and the area is very serene. An idol of the presiding deity of the shrine Sri Umaiyambigai Samedha Sri Arunachala Sundareswara is positioned on top of the hillock. A sight of the idol is said to be worth visiting the temple.
The Panamarathupatti Lake is a natural lake which is located in a village by the same name. The village is in the suburbs of the city of Salem and is a source of water for parts of Salem. Earlier before the Mettur Dam was constructed, the lake was the main source of water for the people of Salem.
The lake is famous for its scenic beauty. Also known by the name of Vedanthangal, the lake is popular among bird watchers. Today the lake is a major boon to the farmers here as the water which overflows from the lake is used by them.
The Sankagiri Fort is located at a distance of about 30 km away from Salem. The fort is famous for its historical significance. Located on the Sankagiri hill, this fort is about 40 ft tall. The temple also houses 10 compound walls, several temples and mosques and platforms.
The temple has several historically significant items such as weapons, pistols and jewels of Tipu Sultan and Theeran Chinnamalai who occupied this fort. Theeran Chinnamalai was also hanged in this fort on the day of Aadi Padhinettu. After his death, the fort was occupied by the British, and it became their headquarters.
One can also visit the St Anthony’s Church on the way to this fort. The fort is a must-visit for people interested in the history and architecture of the region.
Tharamangalam Temple is located at a distance of 27 km from the city of Salem. Tharamangalam is a town famous for the Kailasanathar Temple. The temple is famous for its splendid architecture and stone carvings.
The stone carving of the Yali with a stone ball in the mouth is one of the most exquisite in the temple. There are also carvings of Manmatham looking at Siva and Parvati and scenes from the Ramayana. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and parts of the temple have existed since the 10th century.
The temple was built in the 17th century by Gatti Mudhali dynasty. The temple also has a huge hall and tank which have been appreciated for their sculptural beauty. There are also several huge monolithic pillars outside the temple. It is said that more such pillars are underground.
Kottai Mariamman Temple is an ancient temple located in the heart of Salem. It is one of the oldest temples of the city. The temple is located on the banks of the river Tirumanimuthar. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kottai Mariamman who is considered to be the guardian of the Salem Fort.
The Goddess is also said to bring rain and the devotees worship during the times when the rains fail. The temple was constructed by Chara Kings during their rule in the region. The place where the temple was built was known as a fort as it was built near the Salem Fort.
The Shevapat Mariamman Temple Car Festival which is celebrated every year for a week during the months of July and August draws hundreds of devotees to the temple.
The Arulmigi Alagirinathar Temple located at the heart of the city is also known by the names of Thirukoil Kottai Perumal and Kottai Perumal Koil. Constructed several centuries ago, this ancient temple is well known for its sculptures.
The temple is flanked by two other temples dedicated to Azhagiri Perumal and Mariamman. There are several important festivals celebrated in this temple. The most important of them is the Vaikunta Ekadasi. During this time, thousands of devotees throng to the place to worship the Goddess.
Other important festivals celebrated in this temple include the Brahmotsavam, Navrathri, Pavithrotsavam, Puratasi and Aandaal Thirukalayanam. The Aandaal Thirukalayanam is a celebration in which the deity is honoured by a special garland from Sir Villi Puttur.
Devotees from the places close to the city come to this temple to offer their prayers during these celebrations.
The EllaiPedari Amman Temple is located at Maravaneri in Salem city close by a famous college, the Government Arts and Science College. The EllaiPedari Amman Temple is located on the road side.
The most significant feature of this temple is the festival of the temple. The festival is celebrated for a week in the months of March and April. The uniqueness of the festival is that devotees walk on fire and Alagu Kuthudhal. The fire is considered as flowers by the devotees.
Skandhasramam is located 2 km away from the city of Salem. It is a complex of temples which houses shrines of several deities including Skanda. The temple complex came into existence in the 20th century, and Skandasramam was the founder. The temple was inaugurated in the year 1971.
The presiding deities of the temple are Skanda and Ashtadasabhuja Mahalakshmi. An idol of Shri Ashta Dasapuja Mahalakshmi Durga Parameswar is installed in the Maha Mandapam of the temple. The temple has a Yaga Sala where Yagnas take place on festivals such as the Navarathri, Panguni Uthram and Vaikasi Visakam.
Every morning at 8 am the abhisekam takes place and at 11 am the daily puja is performed. After the puja, the devotees seek blessings from Skanda and mother Skanda Matha.
Raja Ganapathy Temple, which is located at a distance of 2 km from the heart of the city is about 400 years old. It is a small temple located on the busy streets of the city. The main deity of the temple, Ganesh is seen with King Alankaram and hence the temple gets its name.
One of the most popular temples of the city, the temple is always crowded with devotees. The Lord of the temple is said to fulfil the wishes of all his devotees. The temple is glorified for the blessing that the Lord bestows upon his devotees.
Shopping in Salem can be an entertainment in itself. Salem can be a shopper’s paradise. Salem produces traditional silver anklets which are very popular among women of the city as well as all over the nation.
Salem is also a famous producer of fabrics. Salem produces and exports silk and cotton fabrics. The most popular market in the city is the Leigh Bazaar which is always crowded with shoppers. A visit to Salem is incomplete without a visit to the market place.
The city of Salem is home to four important mosques. These religious places contribute to the harmonious existence of all religions in the region. The Jama Masjid is the first mosque in the city. It is located in the centre of the city to the south of the river Thirumanimuthu Aru.
Constructed by the then ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, the mosque is a must-visit. Tipu Sultan offered his prayers at this mosque, and it was later given the Masjid Inam by the British. The Meltheru Mosque and the Keeltheru Mosque are two famous mosques located close to the Fort. The fourth mosque is the Al Amin Masjid which is located in Mohammed Pura near the old market.