|Kollam or Quilon is the most picturesque and
absorbing of the backwaters town. It is an old sea port town
on the Arabian coast, stands on the Ashtamudi lake. It is next
to paradise for nature lovers. Being on the Kerala's one of
the most historic ports, it was a stopover for Persians, Greeks,
Romans and Arabs. A date with this town without staying overnight
is like getting married but missing the honeymoon.
An old seaport on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake, Quilon, 72
km away from Thiruvananthapuram is also known as the gateway
The district is fairly important for the State's trade and
commerce and is the centre of the country's cashew trading
and processing industry.
Air: nearest airport thiruvananthapural (71 km).
Rail: kollam is an important railhead of the southern railways.
Road: an excellent roat network links kollam to all major
towns & cities.
Quilon is an old seaport town on the Arabian coast and a great
trade center of Kerala. It stands on the Ashtamudi Lake. The
city has changed its name frequently and known as Desinganadu,
Kollam, and Quilon at various points of time. It has sustained
commercial reputation from the days of Phoenicians and the
Romans. Ibn Batuta identified it as one of the five ports
he saw in the time span of 24 years during his travel in India.
The rulers of Quilon and China had diplomatic relations in
the 14th century and they exchanged embassies with each other.
There was a flourishing Chinese settlement at Quilon during
that period. Great Venetian traveler Marco Polo visited the
city in 1275 in his capacity as a Chinese Mandarin. From the
beginning of 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British
came in quick succession to establish trading centers at Quilon.
British stationed a garrison at Quilon in pursuance of a treaty
between Travancore and British in the 18th century.
The climate is of tropical humid type with an oppressive summer
and plenty of seasonal rainfall. The summer, lasting from
March to May, is followed by the southwest monsoon from June
to September. The northeast monsoon occurs from October to
November. The rest of the year is generally dry.
Shenduruni Wildlife Sanctuary (66 km from town on the Kollam-Shencotta
road): Main attractions: Elephatns, tigers, leopards, bears,
lion tailed macques.
Pilgrimage Centres :
For the religious, Kollam is the abode of several temples,
churches and mosques. Some of these places can be visited
while on the backwater cruise itself.
Fairs and Festivals :
The craft festival is held annually during December-January.
This festival features the work of craftsmen from all over
The Boat Race is conducted on 19th January every year to
coincide with the great elephant march which is held on 17-20
Kollam PooramA colourful 10 day Vishnu festival which takes
place in Ashram temple. It includes procession and fire works.
Vadayattukotta Temple celebrates 5 day Ashtami Rohini festival.
There are various amusements and festivities which are held
in connection with festivals in temples.
The mock swork-fight Oachirakkali is one of the most important
of such festivals. Oachira has been famous for long as one
of the sacred places of Kerala.In commemoration of this historic
battle Ochirakkali is conducted on the first and second of
Mithunam (June-July) every year.
In Kottamkulangara Temple in Chavara, there is a peculiar
custom of men dressing up as women and carry lighted lamps
(Thalappoli).The Kettukazhcha (exhibition of effigies) festival
held at Mahadevar Temple.
Places to visit :
Thangasseri: This seaside village of historic importance has
the ruins of an old portuguese fort and churches built in
the 18 century. The Thangasseri Lighthouse which is 144 feet
hight, is open to visitors from 1530 = 1730 hrs.
Thirumullavaram beach: 6 kms north of kollam this secluded
beach is a beautiful picnic centre.
Mayyand: 10 kms south of kollam mayyanad is noted for its
shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples
here is the subramanya temple at umayanallor.
Sasthamkotta: (29 km from Kollam town): This vast fresh water
lake surrounded by hills on three sides is the largest of
its kind in Kerala. The ancient Sastha Temple which lends
its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre.
Ochira: (34 km north of Kollam town): The unique feature
of this famous pilgrim centre is that there is no deity or
idol at the famous Parabrahma temple dedicated to the Universal
Kulathupuzha: (64 km from Kollam town): Situated on a forest
range on the Thiruvananthapuram - Shenkottai road, Kulathupuzha
is known for the Sastha temple. The Vishu Mahotsavam in April/May
is the most important festival.
Thenmala: ( 66 km east of Kollam): The area is covered by
dense forest, rubber and tea plantations. An Eco Tourism Development
Project is under implementation here. Thenmala is also a damsite.
Ariankavu: (70 km from Kollam town): 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. There are
frequent buses to Ariankavu from Kollam.
Palaruvi Waterfalls: (75 km from Kollam town): Palaruvi which
means stream of milk makes its way down the rocks, from a
height of 300 feet. The Palaruvi woods is a beautiful picnic
spot. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offer
The Thanagasseri Beach, The Tirumullavaram Beach, Allappuzha