Salem is an important rail junction in South India, because of its strategic location. Trains from Chennai to Coimbatore/Kerala (East-West) and trains from Bangalore to Southern districts[North-South] pass through the city, making it an important transit hub.
There are several relgious places and festivals in Salem
Mariamman Temple - There are several mariamman temples in Salem. Mariamman is a Hindu goddess, an incarnation of Shakti. Every year around July the city celebrates Mariamman festival for a fortnight. During this festival, Goddess Mariamman is decorated with jewellery and flower chariots and taken around the city at midnight. On the first important day of the festival, people walk on fire The second day is colourful with parades of fancy dress. This is one of the best times to visit Salem. This festival is celebrated at temples at Fort, Shevapet, Ammapet, Gugai, Andheripati etc. Shevapet Mariamman temple caris the biggest one among the cars of Amman temples across the state. This festival is celebrated for a week. The Kottai Marriamman temple is very famous not only in Salem but throughout Tamil Nadu.
Alagirnathar Thirukoil Temple - This temple popularly known as “Kottai Perumal Koil”, located at the heart of the city. The temple has been built centuries ago and has some beautiful sculptures. “Vaikunda Ekadasi” is the most famous festival in the temple and on that day, lakhs of devotees visit the temple.
The Sugavaneshwarar temple - This is also very important shrine of Salem. Mythology records that sage sugha brahmarishi worshipped the lord here. Arunagirinadhar has sung a song on Lord Muruga in Sugavaneshwarar temple.
Kandashramam temple - It is a small hill temple for Lord Muruga . It is situated 10 km from Salem City towards Chennai highway. Kandashramam houses statues of unique and vital gods. It has the statues of Panchamukha Anjaneya, Panchamukha Vinayagar, Swarna Bhairavar, Dhanvanthri, etc,. In Salem City, at Seelanaickenpatty there is another hill for Lord Murugan. Hill is named as Oothumalai.
Kumaragiri Temple - This is a small temple for Lord Muruga. It is situated 5km from Salem city.Two more mountain temples are there in Salem for Lord Vishnu.Salem also has Heritage Temple called Sitthar Koil, which is located about 10 km from Salem. This is a Shiva Temple, which is located on the foot hills of Kanja Malai. Some believers say that, this temple was built by Sitthar`s which is believed that they still survive in the Mount of Kanja Malai. The famous Tamil Poetess Avvayar is believed to be living in this hills.Aragaluris located approximately 21 km from Attur that boast of 2 old temples and a large Buddha statue. The one day Temple car festival in summer invites lots of people in the region.
The Kailasanatha Temple - This temple situated at Tharamangalam is very famous for its architectural beauty. The Tharamangalam temple has many beautiful sculptures, note worthy amongst them are the sculptures of Arjuna`s penace, Shiva-Parvati & Manmadha, Rama killing Vaali, etc.