Salem District is a district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. Salem is the district headquarters and other major towns in the district include Mettur, Omalur and Attur. Salem is surrounded by hills and the landscape dotted with hillocks. Salem has a vibrant culture dating back to the ancient Salem Nadu ruled by Mazhavar kings. As a district, Salem has its significance in various aspects; it is known for mango cultivation, silver ornaments, textile, sago industries and steel production. As of 2011, the district had a population of 3,482,056 with a sex-ratio of 954 females for every 1,000 males. Salem is one of the biggest cities in Tamil Nadu.
The Date of human civilization in this district reaches far back to the stone ages. The existence of prehistoric culture in Salem is evident from the discovery of Paleolithic and Neolithic stone implements and dung ash heaps in and around Salem. The culture of this region including dates back to 3rd century B.C. and the ancient Chola Nadu. Around the beginning of the Chris in Salem two thousand years ago is evident from the discovery of silver coins of the Roman Emperor Tiberices Claudices Nero (37-68 A.D.) in Koneripatti of Salem in 1987. Salem was the largest district of Tamil Nadu, it was bifurcated into Salem – Dharmapuri districts in 1965 and Namakkal district in 1997.
According to 2011 census, Salem district had a population of 3,482,056 with a sex-ratio of 954 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 344,960 were under the age of six, constituting 180,002 males and 164,958 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 16.67% and 3.43% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 65.64%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The district had a total of 915,967 households. There were a total of 1,694,160 workers, comprising 247,011 cultivators, 396,158 main agricultural labourers, 132,700 in house hold industries, 785,161 other workers, 133,130 marginal workers, 9,993 marginal cultivators, 58,052 marginal agricultural labourers, 8,803 marginal workers in household industries and 56,282 other marginal workers.
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Salem has a number of Hindu temples. The Kottai Mariamman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, has an annual five-day festival during the Tamizh month of Aadi (mid-July to mid-August). The temple’s gopuram is made up of seven tiers.
Sugavaneshwarar Temple is dedicated to Shiva, and according to mythology the sage Sugha Brahmarishi worshiped here. Arunagirinadhar sang a song about Muruga in the temple, which was built during the 13th century by Mamannan Sundara Pandiyan.
Kottai Perumal Temple, Skandhashram, Kothandaramar Temple and Sithar Koil are also in Salem. Oothumali Murugan Temple, Pandurangan Hill Temple, Kumaragiri Hill Murugan Temple and Kariperumal Karadu Hill Temple are in the hills in Salem. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has built a temple in Karuppur, near the city.
Jama Masjid, on the southern bank of the Thirumanimutharu River in the heart of the city, is Salem’s oldest mosque. It was reportedly built by the Mysore ruler Tippu Sulthan, who is said to have prayed here. The masjid inam granted to the mosque in 1862 was confirmed by the British with a special resolution in 1880.
Christ Church is located on Fort Road, near the District Collectorate, in the heart of Salem City, Tamil Nadu, India. The church has been serving the community for the last 140 years, since its consecration in 1875. The church services at Christ Church are conducted both in English and Tamil. The church was designed by architect Robert Fellowes Chisholm, who was a pioneer of the Indo-Saracenic architecture, and also designed the Senate House buildings of the University of Madras and the Madras Presidency College
The other popular churches in and around the city includes Lechler Memorial Church, the oldest church in Salem, was built in 1856 by a German missionary in Fort Salem. Infant Jesus Church,one of the most popular churches in the city situated near Four Roads,the Calvary Assembly of God Church is on the Bangalore highway in Mamangam and Reformed Baptist Church is in the Yercaud foothills.