States Tamil Nadu Salem

Salem Travel Guide

Just like its other travel places in south India, the district of Salem is as dynamic as it is steeped in traditions. Idyllic and graceful, Salem is where you need to be prepared to lose yourself in the bustling streets as you get to soak the aura of divinity clubbed with nature's bounty. The district is dotted with temples, pilgrims can have probably the best time exploring the same. However, the must-visit places in Salem range from temples to hills and even forts. Located almost at the foothills of the Yercaud Hills, Salem is a major commercial centre of Tamil Nadu. One of the most popular districts in Tamil Nadu, over time, Salem has emerged as a popular tourist destination in South India. The beautiful urban body is enveloped by four mountain ranges comprising Jeragamalai, Nagaramalai, Godumalai and Kanjanamalai Hills. Existence of human civilization in Salem can be traced back to the stone age. Touches of dung ash heap found are testimonial to the existence of the district since the Paleolithic Age. Later Salem went on to witness the rise and rule of dynasties such as the Cholas, Pandayas, Pallavas, Chalukayas and Hoysalas that were responsible for the construction of several architectural wonders that are still existent. Several temples with amazing architecture are nothing but examples of fine works of the ruling kings of the dynasties.

Salem is much famous for its coffee plantations, orange groves and orchidarium. One of the most notable tourist attractions in Salem happens to be Yercaud followed by the Mettur Dam. Situated at an altitude of 1515 metres above sea level, Yercaud happens to be the most visited place in the district of Salem. The natural beauty of the region is further enhanced owing to the presence of dense forests surrounding the Yercaud Lake. Travellers can opt either for boating in the lake or hitch-hiking in the dense forests of Yercaud. Other than Yercaud, travellers can explore a bunch of attractions in Salem that comprise the Mettur Dam, Sankagiri Fort and a number of religious shrines that include the Kottai Mariamman Temple, Siddhar Temple and the famous ISKCON Temple. Admire the natural beauty of the hills and verdure valleys at Yercaud or offer prayers at the numerous temples dotted all over the place - a trip of Salem is bound to make your feel more rejuvenated. Our Salem travel guide provides an extensive insight into the multiple points of interest that travellers can visit. The guide also gives an idea about all the possible things to do in Salem as well as best time and means of transport to visit.

Best Time to Visit Salem

Unlike most of its southern counterparts, Salem's weather can be termed as somewhat salubrious with undercurrents of warmth during the peak summer months. Despite all this, it can be said that the best time to visit Salem is during the winter months - from November to February. However, some enthusiastic travellers do visit Salem during the summer months as well as during monsoons.

  • Summer


    Salem enjoys its summer season from mid-March till early June. While majority of the region experiences hot and dry summers, areas near Yercaud remain somewhat cool. Temperature during these months range between 23° Celsius and 35° Celsius. During peak summers, that is the month of May, it might get somewhat difficult to explore Salem, early and late summers do attract substantial tourists.

  • Monsoon


    Monsoons in Salem spans from mid-June to early September and the region experiences moderate to occasional heavy splashes of rain. Even the month of October also records moderate rainfall. During monsoons, while the temperature falls considerably, owing to rainfall, it might become somewhat uncomfortable for the tourists to explore the region.

  • Winter


    Spanning from October to February, winters are the best time to visit Salem when the weather is cool and pleasant. Temperature in Salem during winters range from 20°Celsius to a highest of 26°Celsius making it comfortable for the tourists to go around the region. Needless to say, that, Salem attracts substantial tourists during winters.

Best Places to Visit and Things to Do in & around Salem

As a city, Salem is a unique blend of nature, culture and pilgrimage at the same time. As a traveller you would be spoilt for choice in terms of the places to explore in Salem as much as the things to do in the city. From spending some quiet time at the Yercaud Hills with your significant other to opting for a boat ride at the neighbouring lake; from offering prayers at the numerous temples generously sprinkled all over to reliving days of the yore at the remnants of the fort - a trip of Salem is a must-include in your travel itinerary.

  • Yercaud

    Needless to say, the mountainous region of Yercaud attracts several tourists the year-round. There's a huge lake surrounded by dense forests and hills that end up adding to the place's natural beauty. The Servarayan Temple is the highest point of Yercaud where several pilgrims flock on a regular basis. This enchanting and picturesque hill station also home to a multitude plantation including coffee, oranges, bananas and jackfruit. Read more

  • 1008 Lingam Temple

    A prominent religious shrine in Salem, the 1008 Lingam Temple is flocked by thousands of pilgrims round the year. Situated atop a small mountain, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are 1008 Shiva Lingams inside the shrine along with a statue of Nandi the Bull positioned right the centre of the temple referred to as the moolsthanam. What sets apart the shrine is its serene location and the view of the Sangagiri mountain at a distance.

  • Mettur Dam

    One of the popular places to visit in Salem, the Mettur Dam is the largest dam in the state of Tamil Nadu. Constructed along the Kaveri River, the dam was built in 1934 to provide irrigation facilities to Salem and its neighbouring regions. The Stanley Reservoir right behind the dam is equally popular in terms of tourist attraction. Surrounded by hills almost on all the sides, the Mettur Dam's beauty is further enhanced.

  • Kottai Mariamman Temple

    One of the oldest pilgrimage spots in Salem, the Kottai Mariamman Temple attracts thousands of devotees round the year. Located near the banks of the River Tirumanimuthar, the presiding deity of the temple happens to be Kottai Mariamman, a form of Shakti. The temple is probably the only shrine in Tamil Nadu where devotees need to bow down to pay homage to the Goddess.

  • Siddhar Temple

    Yet another prominent religious shrine in Salem, the Siddhar Temple is also a favourite among devotees. One of the 18 Tamil Siddha Temples, the shrine is situated at the foothills of the Kanja Malai Hills. The temple is surrounded by a number of water bodies that are said to have healing powers. Built in the traditional Dravidian style of architecture, the temple has a colourful gopuram and the presiding deity happens to be Lord Shiva.

  • Skandasraman Temple

    Located roughly at a distance of 10 kilometres from main Salem town, the Skandasraman Temple is a popular religious shrine that was constructed in the 1970s and the presiding deity happens to be Lord Murugan. Skandasraman Temple was founded by Swami Shantananda after Lord Murugan appeared in his dream and asked to be installed in this particular place. Swami Shantananda obliged this temple in Salem.

  • Linga Bharavi Temple

    One of the historic points in Salem, the Linga Bhairavi Temple is a popular shrine. The presiding deities of the temple happen to be Lord Shiva and his consort Shakti. It is one of the prominent temples in Salem that was recently constructed and within a very short span has emerged as one of the most popular places of worship in Salem.

  • ISKCON Salem, Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple

    The ISKCON Temple of Salem is calm and peaceful. The temple's presiding deities happen to be Lord Krishna and his consort Radha who are worshipped by devotees religiously. The temple is constructed in the south-Indian style of architecture.

  • Kailashnathar Temple

    Dating back to the 13th century, the Kailasnathar Temple is an extremely popular religious shrine in Salem. The temple's architecture is almost an exact replica of that of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. The entrance of the temple is nearly 90 feet tall with an exquisitely designed Gopuram. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva along with few others, including a huge statue of Nandi the Bull. The temple attracts thousands of devotees year-round from all over the country.

  • Sri Ramar Temple

    A prominent religious shrine in Salem, Sri Ramar Temple has the presiding deity of Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Just like any other south Indian temples, this shrine also constructed in the typical Dravidian style of architecture. A unique aspect of the temple happens to be its numerous musical pillars.

  • Sankagiri Fort

    Even in this place famous for its temples, travellers can still choose to relive the days of the yore at the Sankagiri Fort. The fort was built in the 15th century by the famous Vijaynagar Empire and later became the army base for Tipu Sultan. Today, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the fort is a popular tourist attraction in Salem.

  • Bathrakaliamman Temple

    Located in Mecheri, the Bathrakaliamman Temple is a popular Hindu religious shrine in Salem. The presiding deity of the temple happens to be Bhadrakali Amman, an avatar of Goddess Kali. Built in the typical Dravidian style of architecture, the Rajagopuram of the temple is carved with thousands of miniature idols.

Where to Stay in Salem?

Salem's growing popularity as a tourist destination ensures that there's no dearth of accommodation options in the region. Ample accommodation options are available in Salem that caters to all kinds of travellers and their pockets. Backpackers looking for budget-friendly hotels at prime locations can choose from ample options. Similarly, family vacationers looking for a high-end family suite can also find the same easily in Salem.

How to Reach Salem?

Salem's popularity as a tourist destination makes it easily accessible from all over India. While Coimbatore is the nearest major city with an airport to Salem, it has its own airport and railway junction that are well-connected with all major Indian cities.

  • By Air

    Salem has its own domestic airport which is very well-connected to the rest of the country. Several domestic airlines ply to Salem on a regular basis. Alternately, travellers can choose to fly to Coimbatore and from there travel to Salem by road. Other options include taking a flight either to Bengaluru or Chennai and thereupon travelling to Salem by Road.

  • By Rail

    Just like its airport, Salem has its own railway station. Three main railheads to Salem include Salem Town, Salem Junction and Pedanayakanpalayam. All these stations are very well-connected with major cities in India including Mumbai and Kolkata. Long-distance express trains and local trains ply on a daily basis to all the stations.

  • By Road

    Salem's strategic location makes it possible for everyone to reach the destination by road as well. Since road condition in the region is extremely good, a road trip can actually be a great experience. NH 68 connects Chennai to Salem and recently a new Chennai-Salem expressway project has been approved that will reduce travel time between Chennai and Salem by three hours. On the other hand, if you are travelling from Bengaluru to Salem, you need to take NH 44.

Tamil Nadu Travel Information at a Glance

There's an abundance of culture, tradition, art, craft, nature, and wildlife experiences awaiting in Tamil Nadu. Choose from our wide array of Tamil Nadu travel packages and get that incredible holiday experience at this colour palette kind of a destination. We design the finest tour packages keeping your likes and dislikes in mind so that you are guaranteed a holistic travelling experience that too in a budget of your choice.