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A beautiful city surrounded by hills on all sides, Salem is at the base of a major tourist destination, the Yercaud hills. A large number of tourists flock to the city every year to visit the many attractions of Salem. To cater to them, the city has developed a good and expansive traffic infrastructure.
As the fifth largest city within the state of Tamil Nadu, Salem has very efficient transportation system. The public transport in Salem includes state government buses, taxis, private buses and auto rickshaws for plying short distances. Salem also has an important transit system in its railways services. The Salem Airport is the nearest domestic airport while the Trichy Airport caters to international travel.
The city of Salem has a very efficient network of roads. There are two national highways which originates from Salem, the NH47 and NH68. Salem itself is on NH7 which is noted as the main transit hub to the Coimbatore city, while through NH 47 one can reach Kanyakumari from Salem via Coimbatore. Salem is also adequately connected to its state capital, Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
Bus Services in Salem
Salem being an important city within Tamil Nadu is served by its state owned bus network in the form of State Express Transport Corporation (SETC). This transport corporation is responsible for connecting all towns and districts within Tamil Nadu and even linking it with the adjoining states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The headquarters of TNSTC Salem is in Salem running buses from Salem to all other cities.
They run long distance express services which exceed 300 km and make the Salem tourist familiar with all significant historical places, capital cities, religious and commercial places and other landmarks within the state and neighbouring states. These tours are given in ultra deluxe fleets as well as AC buses and thus offer you a comfortable Salem tour and beyond.
The city of Salem has essentially two bus terminals, namely the Town Bus terminus and the Central Bus terminus. The Town Bus terminus runs intra-city and inter-city town buses. The Central Bus terminus of Salem, on the other hand caters to outstation destinations like Coimbatore, Madurai, Bangalore and Chennai. Most of the buses to Bangalore from all parts of Tamil Nadu transit through Salem.
Railway Services in Salem
Situated in the suburbs of Suramangalam, the Salem Junction Railway Station is 5km towards the west of Salem. The Salem Junction is a very significant railway station, since it is also the divisional headquarters of the Salem Railway division, the largest division within Southern Railways. A major transit point in the state of Tamil Nadu, Salem is well connected by rail to all the important cities in the country.
It is also efficiently linked by bus services to other parts of the Salem city which helps the Salem traveller round the clock. In May 2013, the Salem-Karur railway line was first established for rail traffic along that route. Some of the important stations along this route are Rasipuram, Mallur, Namakkal, Kalangani and Mohanur.
The Salem Railway Junction has numerous facilities to facilitate smooth Salem travel. Some of these include unreserved ticket counters, satellite bus stations, car parking, auto stand, restaurants, ATM counters, AC and non-AC retiring rooms, book stalls, tea stalls and others which help the passengers and railway staff in their daily operations.
Situated in Kamalapuram near Omalur, the airport in Salem (IATA: SXV, ICAO:VOSM) is on the Salem-Bangalore Highway or NNH 7. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is responsible for the upkeep and sprucing up the Salem airport and it was made ready for operation in the year 1993. Low patronage however, has led to shortage of flights by commercial airlines.
The major airline which serviced the Salem Airport was Kingfisher Airlines which however terminated service after facing financial problems in 2012. Recently, SpiceJet has showed willingness to operate from the Salem Airport.
The nearest operational airports from Salem are Trichy International Airport (TRZ) and the Coimbatore Airport (CJB), at a respective distance of 135 km and 152 km from Salem.
Other Means of Transport in Salem
One can also use the auto-rickshaws in the city, which are a familiar presence in many areas like Trichy Main Road, Old Bus Stand, Nanjampatti, Hasthampatti and other places. They can be taken for a quick ride where bus frequency is limited and for travelling smaller distances in Salem.
Apart from this, there are cab hire or car rental facilities providing budget and luxury vehicles to passengers to travel within the city like hotels, railway station, airport or one's residence.