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Salem

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Tamil Nadu  /  Salem
(3.5/5 based on 460+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: wildlife areas, religious sites, sightseeing
Salem is a city in Salem district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located about 160km northeast of Coimbatore, 186km southeast of Bangalore and about 340km southwest of the state capital, Chennai. Salem is the sixth largest city in Tamil Nadu by population and covers 100km2.HistoryCheralam, Shalya, Kurukshetra, Sayilam and Sailam are found on inscriptions referring to the country around the hills: Nagarmalai in the north, Jeragamalai in the south, Kanjamalai in the west and Godumalai in the east. Salem is claimed as the birthplace of the Tamil Avvaiyar poets. It and the surrounding hilly regions were part of the Chera dynasty, and the city was ruled by kings known as the Kurunila Mannargal. Salem was later ruled by Gatti Mudalis, Poligars who built temples and forts in and around the city.During the early 18th century, after the Mysore-Madurai war, the region was ruled by Hyder Ali. Salem was taken from Hyder Ali by a Colonel Wood at the beginning of 1768, and recaptured by Ali in late 1772. Under Robert Clive it was occupied by a detachment of a regiment stationed at Sankagiri Durg, remaining a military station until 1861. Salem and Sankagiri were the sites of battles between Kongu Nadu soldiers led by Dheeran Chinnamalai and the British. Chinnamalai was hanged in the Sankagiri fort, which became the British army headquarters. According to volume five of Edgar Thurston's Castes and Tribes of Southern India, the Chola Nadu region was ruled by a series of twenty-eight kings before being conquered by the Cholas of Tanjore.
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