The city of Salem is Tamil Nadu’s 4th largest city surrounded by a natural range of hills starting by the Jeragamalai to the south, the Nagaramalai to the north, the Godumalai to the east and the Kanjanamalai to the west. Popularly known as the geologist’s treasure trove, the location is richly blessed with large mineral reserves. Claimed to be the birth place of the famed Tamil poetess Avaiyaar, Salem has a rich traditional past as a center for culture and literature.
The current city has been transformed into a center for stainless steel and textile industry. Enveloped by hill ranges, Salem is also a part of Kongu Nadu (Erode and Coimbatore). Salem is situated at the foothills of the popular tourist destination, Yercaud hills which offers a spectacular view through the ride uphill and from its peak.
Top Tourist Places In Salem:
1. Yercaud Hills:
Yercaud is one of the renowned hill stations in Tamil Nadu and also the most preferred tourist place in Salem, which is located around 20 kilometers from the city. These hills are an extension of the Shervarayan range on the Eastern Ghats located at a height of 1500 meters or close to 4900 feet above mean sea level. The hill scape is also known for its orange groves and coffee plantations in addition to a orchidarium operated by Botanical Survey of India.
The highest vantage point on these hills is the Shervarayan Temple which is situated at a height of 5326 feet, on account of which these hills are sometimes referred to as the Shevaroy Hills. Yercaud hills is also famous for its lake, a very popular tourist boating site along with its lush landscape and gorgeous gardens. Yercaud gets its name from the lake located at its center, in Tamil Yeri refers to lake and Kaadu refers to forest.
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2. Kiliyur Falls:
Kiliyur Falls is an untouched water fall situated on the Shervarayan range, Eastern Ghats. Kiliyur Falls is a pristine and popular tourist spot visited by nature enthusiasts and tourists who throng the location during the peak season period every year. The waters over flowing the Yercaud Lake drop 300 feet or 90 metres in to the Kiliyur valley region.
The falls is situated at a distance of 2.5 kilometres or around 1.6 miles from the Yercaud Lake. The last stretch of around 500 metres or roughly 1600 feet or so consists only of an unpaved rough steep path way. It is a spectacular sight during the monsoons when the water level is the highest.
3. Kolli Hills:
Located in Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills is an imposing natural formation towering some 1300 metres above mean sea level. It takes around 70 odd hair pin bends to ascend to the highest vantage point of Kolli Hills. Popular sightseeing spots of interest for tourists are Selur Nadu and Sekkuparai, places which should not be missed when you visit Kolli Hills.
These spots are currently being widely promoted as tourist destinations and offer you the chance of exploring the un-explored. Have you ever heard about hybrid pineapples? This place has a pine-apple research farm which grows a variety of never before seen pine-apple varieties.
For adventure lovers and the dare devils out there, Kolli Hills is an adventurer’s paradise and has become the favorite hotspot for hikers, trekkers and adventure seekers. The local government is on full throttle to develop this location as a preferred tourist spot and begun the job of giving it a face lift to attract tourists.
If the notion of exploring an untouched Eastern Ghat location thrills you, then Kolli Hills is definitely worth a visit. If someone wishes to explore this pristine destination at its best then they can visit during the post-monsoon or the monsoon period.
4. Hogenakkal Falls:
Hogenakkal is a location in Dharmapuri District where the river, Kaveri enters Tamil Nadu. It is regarded as one of the most popular picnic spots in Dharmapuri with a lush and picturesque landscape attracting local as well as regional tourists across the state as well as all over India and even abroad.
At this point in Hogenakkal, the wide stream of the Kaveri River forks out. It forms an island from where one stream continues and drops down into a deep gorge to create a fantastic water fall. From the water spray of this fall rises a droplet cloud resembling a screen of smoke hence the name, Hogenakkal (Hoge denotes smoke and Kal denotes rock), smoking rock.
The river Kaveri flows in a specific gorge so narrow that it could be easily leapt across by a goat. Thus that location in Hogenakkal is termed as Meka Dhattu or goat’s leap. Bathing in the waters of the Hogenakkal falls is generally considered to have a therapeutic effect on your body as the waters of the Kaveri flows through an herbal jungle before it reaches Hogenakkal. So people throng the falls to take a bath with a stimulating oil massage for rest and relaxation.
The parisal is a round basket type of boat which is used by tourists to feel the thrill of a boat ride on the river here at Hogenakkal. It is a perfect holiday destination for families and for people who wish to take a break and relax.
5. Mettur Dam:
The name Mettur denotes a town with troughs and crests. The place got its name on account of the undulating rocky nature of the landscape. This makes the town an ideal location for the dam constructed on the Kaveri River, the lifeline of Central and North Tamil Nadu. The Mettur dam is a large and the oldest dam in India built-in the year 1934.
It was constructed in a gorge where the Kaveri River enters the plain. It is a source of irrigation to farm lands situated in other districts surrounding it. The length of the dam is around 1700 meters. The Mettur hydro-electrical power project station is situated there. Surrounded by hills, Mettur is a very popular tourist attraction. On the upstream of the dam is the Hogenekkal falls.
6. Panamarathupatti Lake:
This is a natural lake located near a village called Panamarathupatti situated very close to the suburbs of Salem City. This lake is used to meet the water needs of some parts of the southern suburbs of Salem City as well as for the agricultural farm lands around the lake. The total area covered by this lake is around 500 acres.
Tourists are drawn by the scenic beauty of the lake. This lake is even called as the Vedanthangal of Salem district as the lake attracts different species of many birds during the peak season. Panamarathupatti has frequent bus services from Salem bus stop. A drive is also a good idea to reach the place. It takes around 25 to 30 minutes to reach the Panamarathupatti Lake from Salem city.
So, the next time you are planning to spend time out in Salem, visit these tourist places and have fun!