The name of the city of Salem has been derived from the word 'sailam', which means an area surrounded by mountains. Salem is one of the major hubs of steel, magnesite and handloom industries in India. The Kottai Mariamman Temple and Sugavaneswarar Temple are two important places of worship here. Another popular attraction is Mettur Dam, which is also called Stanley’s Dam. It is around 1,700 m long and has been built on River Cauvery to irrigate the region. To learn more about the treasures and history of the region, one can visit the Government museum.

Salem has been in existence since the prehistoric times as is evident from the discovery of Paleolithic and Neolithic stone implements and heaps of dung ash in the region. The 12th century witnessed the Hoysala rulers rise in parts of Salem and by the next century they had established their rule. However, some regions of Salem remained under the rule of the Pandiyan dynasty. Salem was also a part of the trade route with the Roman empire but was later governed by the Poligars, who constructed a number of temples and forts in the region. Before it was captured by Tipu Sultan’s father, Hyder Ali, Salem was a part of the famous Vijayanagara empire. After the Mysore-Madurai war, it was ceded to the British in 1768. Today, as Salem is one of the fastest growing tier II cities in Tamil Nadu, the state government is planning to establish an IT park and a steel SEZ (Steel Special Economic Zone) within the Salem steel plant. There already is an exclusive electrical and electronic industrial estate in Salem city’s Suramangalam area.

Other Attractions in Yercaud