Salem is a city in Tamil Nadu.
Salem Junction (Station code: SA) is well connected by a good railway network. In fact, it is a divisional headquarters in Southern Railway. It's connected to Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and other major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu and India.
Salem is well connected to Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and the rest of Tamil Nadu by TNSTC, SETC buses and also by private A/C Volvo buses like KPN travels. Buses are available as far as Hyderabad and Kollur Mookambike temple.
There are 2 major bus stations in Salem.
MGR Central Bus Terminus (New Bus Stand): Inter-state and Intra-State bus terminus. One of the busiest bus stations connecting all the places in tamil nadu, very much active for 24 hours and the most busiest bus stand in the state as per movemnets are considered.
Town Bus Stand (Old Bus Stand): Local bus services.
24 Hour bus services(No 13)from Salem Junction (Railway station ) to both the Bus stations.
Salem has one airport (code FR3241) at Kamalapuram near Omalur on NH7 towards Dharmapuri, Recently (2009) it has started it's commercial air transport from Salem to Chennai through Kingfisher Air.
One can hire a taxi (it's relatively cheap, compared to other cities) or use the public transportation (buses, which will usually be crowded). Other option is to hire an auto-rickshaw (three wheeled), but beware there's no standard price defined for a particular distance, it depends on the driver's mood and financial condition.
A Siva temple, perhaps the most beautiful of its kind in Salem District. Parts of it existed as early as the tenth century: as it stands now, it is the product of the Gatti Mudhali dynasty of the seventeenth century. Reconstruction and elaboration of the old temple was begun by Mummudi, continued by Siyazhi, and was brought near completion by Vanangamudi.
This west facing temple is enclosed by a massive stone wall measuring 306' by 164' reportedly built in the thirteenth century. The main entrance tower ( 5 storeys 90'high) is conceived as a chariot on wheels, drawn by elephants and horses. The huge entrance doors, made of vengai ( pterocarpus marsupium) wood, are studied with untrusting iron knobs each of a different pattern. Their panels are decorated with wooden carvings depicting incarnations of Vishnu.
The entrance to the inner sanctum is through a portico supported by six sumptuously carved stone pillars. The scenes of tiger hunting by princes seated on horses and accompanied by footmen are depicted very realistically and with great sensitivity. A pillar of yazhi ( a mythical animal combining features of the lion and the elephant) is so ingeniously carved that a stone ball ( 4 ' diameter) in its mouth can be freely rolled but cannot be rolled out. The wooden doors of the portico are adorned with twenty four panels of excellent carving, some of which have been vandalized. The motifs for these carvings are drawn from the divine exploits of Siva and scenes from the daily lives of ordinary people.
The great hall is a fine gallery of sculptures of men, women, and Gods among which the sculpture of the voluptuous rishi pathini ( sages wife) is notable .
The ceiling is supported by rows of stone pillars from whose capitals hang elegant chains carved out of solid stone. The ceiling in front of the main shrine is covered by a block of stone seven feet in diameter carved in the shape of an inverted open lotus with parrots. This carving is surrounded by the Gatti Mudhali insignia. The outer walls of the inner most sanctum are covered with inscriptions.
Every year on February 21, and the consequent 3 days, a great solar and architectural wonder can be seen in the temple. During sunset, the rays of the sun travel down through the front Gopura at the temple's entrance gate and through a small hole in the and travels across the front plane to fall directly onto the statue of Siva. The movement of the sun beam can be witnessed as it progresses across the front of the temple, making the lingam appear to glow.
Several gigantic monolithic pillars of pink granite carved, polished, and ready for erection in the proposed Thousand Pillar Hall lie outside the temple. More are said to be under the ground. Before this project could be completed, Vanangamudi was killed in 1667, leaving the foreground of the temple littered with ruins of a noble dream.
A temple tank (about (180' 180') is one of the finest of its kind in South India. Thirty Six Nandhi Sculptures (2' high) of black stone sit at intervals on top of the parapet wall whose inside holds 365 lamp niches. One for every day of the year. Only once in 1873 the pool was cleaned by the Salem Local Fund Board.
Salem is very good place for buying dresses and also mangoes.
Check out Men's shirts, saris and beautiful dresses for women, all for ridiculously cheap prices.
7UP seems to be more commonly drunk than water, but isn't so great in the intense heat. Try the local mango juice, although it seems a tad sweet for some.
You will find any number of Wine shops around the city.
Coffee shops and juice junctions are everywhere.
There are lot of hotels and budgeted lodges near and around new/old bus stand.
We can find hotels almost in every street. They open up very early and close very late. Nearly all are targeted at the working class and middle class diner and drinker.
Chenney's gateway, Salem Castle, Ganesh Mahal, LRN Hotel, Hotel Selvam, GRT GRAND etc. are three star hotels in the city and don't forget Park Plaza, located off the Bangalore Road on the same side of GRT but to the left of the Steel Plant Road.