With an area of over 5,205 sq km, Salem District is bordered by the districts of
Dharmapuri in the north,
Erode in the west,
Namakkal in the south,
Perambalur in the south and south-east and
Viluppuram in the east. It has a population of about 2.9 million. The common languages spoken are
Salem District experiences low rainfall and the climate is semiarid. It receives an annual rainfall of 925 mm. The temperature often exceeds 20° C. Paddy, jowar,
tapioca, sugarcane, groundnut and cotton are the major commercial crops. Horticultural crops like pineapples, mangoes, citrus fruits and brinjal are also cultivated.
Salem District has 125,682 hectare of forest area. Magnesite, bauxite, quartz, limestone, soapstone, roughstone and granite are the minerals found. Rope making is the major cottage industry.
Stanley Reservoir, Salem Steel Plant, Fort at Omalur,
Taramangalam Sri Kailasanathar Temple and Poiman Karadu are the main tourist centers. The important pilgrim centers are Sri Sugavaneshwara Temple, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Sithar Koil, Sri Thandontrieswara Temple and Infant Jesus Church.