Kollam District

Kollam; the great Illom

One who has seen Kollam doesen't need his Illam" (Namboodiri Brahmin mansions are called Illoms in Malayalam).  This old Malayalam saying gives ample proof of the tempting beauty of this old sea port town, on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake.  Kollam district, in reality, is a miniature Kerala.  The region is gifted with the unique features of ' God's Own Country'  Kerala - sea, lakes, plains, hills, rivers, streams, backwaters, forests, vast green fields and tropical crops  of every variety, both food and cash crops. Truly, 'God's Own Place'. So, it's least surprising  if one seemingly  forgets his house or mansion  on seeing Kollam !

One of the leading trade capitals since ancient times, Kollam is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. Extolled by Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta in glowing terms, this was once a famous port of international spice trade.

Kollam or Quilon, the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Battuta, as one of the five greatest ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels, over a period of 24 years, in the 14th century.

Kollam was also formerly a renowned spice trading centre.  It was once a flourishing port where the Arabs, Greeks, Romans and later the Portuguese, Dutch and British, came to trade. Today, Kollam is a busy, friendly city where cashew and pepper are still transported in little country boats through its cool and placid backwaters.

The district is also a leading centre for fishing in Kerala and is home to the largest fresh water lake in the state  Sasthamkotta.  Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala.  The momentous decision to introduce a new Malayalam era was also convened at Kollam and hence the Malayalam calendar came to be known as 'Kollavarsham'.

How to Reach

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Nearby Tourist Destinations

Picnic Village
This village, located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre for recreational activities in Kollam.  A 200 year old Government Guest House campus where Lord Munroe once stayed

Police Museum
Police Museum at Kollam is the only such establishment in the country that traces the history and development of the police force. On display are police arms of the 18th and 19th centuries and various other exhibits.

Neendakara
Located 8 km. from Kollam, Neendakara is a famous fishing harbour. You can see the Ashtamudi lake joining the sea from the Neendakara Bridge and also the Chinese fishing nets silhouetted against the sky

Ashtamudi Lake
The Ashtamudi lake is a large and deep wetland ecosystem in our state. It has the shape of a palm and is large, next only to the Vembanad lake. The word meaning of Ashtamudi is "eight coned ", ashta meaning 'eight' and mudi meaning 'cone'. It has got its name due to the topography of the lake, which has several branches.

 

Ashtamudi Lake

The Ashtamudi Lake (in native language - Ashtamudi Kayal) is the second largest wetland ecosystem in Kerala. The term Ashtamudi, deriving from two Sanskrit words - 'Ashta' and 'Mudi' with meaning 'eight' and 'cone' respectively, gets the literal meaning "Eight Coned." For its name, the palm-shaped Ashtamudi Lake, however, owes a… read more

Thenmala

Covered by dense forests, rubber and tea plantations, Thenmala is India's first planned eco-tourism destination. It is gaining popularity due to its unique vistas, bio-diversity and functioning.  Situated about 72km. from Thiruvananthapuram, the Thenmala Eco-Tourism project shares its resources with the famous Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary at the foothills of the… read more

Shenduruney

Cheer up ! You can have a wild time in Kollam too. Come on, have a bash in a tropical semi-evergreen forest!  For company, you may have some die-hard party animals - elephants, tigers, leopards, bisons, sambar deer, wild boar, lion-tailed macaques, nilgiri langur, deer and many of the other… read more

Alumkadavu

Alumkadavu, a small village famous for coir-waft and wood-made kettuvallams, is located in northern parts of Kollam district in Kerala, the paradise-like land renowned for its beauty and charm owing to which it is rightly called 'God's own country'. Tourists who visit Alumkadavu is attracted to the coir ropes and… read more

Ariankavu Shree Shastha Temple

Situated on the Kollam - Shenkottai Road,  Ariankavu is famous for the shrine dedicated to Sree Sastha. Mandala Pooja and Trikalyanam celebrated in the month of December are the main festivals here. Everyone knows that Swami Ayyappan is a bachelor. But the puranas also say that during one of his… read more

Jatayu Para Tourism

A huge, curiously shaped rock in Chadayamangalam village,  Jatayu Para is 30 km. away from Kollam.  It takes its name from the mythical bird, Jatayu, in the epic Ramayana, which is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in its attempts to thwart Ravana from kidnapping Sita.  The… read more

Vallikavu

The residence and headquarters of the renowned Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi is situated at Amrithapuri, near Vallikavu in Kollam district. The ashram, about 110 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 120 km. south of Kochi, is accessible both by road and boat,. Amritapuri is situated at Vallikavu in Karunagappally. Once a tiny… read more

Sasthamkotta Lake

Sasthamkotta Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Kerala, is beautified by green valleys and chilly hills that surround from three sides. The lake located about 29-km away from Kollam, can be reached easily with an hour's drive from Kollam town or one and a half hours from Thiruvananthapuram international airport. The lake, set… read more

Picnic Village

This village, located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre for recreational activities in Kollam.  A 200 year old Government Guest House campus where Lord Munroe once stayed, an adventure park, a tourist boat club, a children's traffic park and a Yatri Nivas are all housed in… read more

Police Museum

Police Museum at Kollam is the only such establishment in the country that traces the history and development of the police force. On display are police arms of the 18th and 19th centuries and various other exhibits. The star attraction of the museum is the Martyr's Gallery. Visiting Hours: Open… read more

Neendakara

Neendakara, one of the top fishing harbors in Kerala, is one among the top tourist destinations in the State. Located at a short-drive-distance away from Kollam town railway station (8.5 km), the beach is easily accessible. It makes it easy for the tourists to reach the site.  This makes Neendakara… read more

Kochu Kuttalam Waterfalls

Kochu Kuttalam Waterfalls, a 50-feet tall waterfall located in Vazhappara village in Pathanapuram, now attracts thousands of tourists every day. The waterfall though not very popular, could be a nice place to roam around in free time. But before you visit make sure that the waterfalls is alive and not… read more

Ochira Parabrahma Temple

Is this a modern concept for a temple or is it the way it was since its origin? Either way, one would be surprised as soon as one may enter the premises of the Ochira Temple, situated on the route from Kollam to Alappuzha. A striking feature of this temple… read more

Palaruvi Waterfalls

Located about 75 km. from Kollam, in Thenmala on the Kollam - Shenkottah road and near the Tamil Nadu border, Palaruvi Waterfalls lies in the Thenmala ranges between dense forests and is across the Kallada river.  Palaruvi  literally means stream of milk - is one of Kerala's most picturesque waterfalls,… read more

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