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KOLLAM
Explore the boundless wonders of kollam
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.


Location:

An old seaport on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake, Quilon, 72 km away from Thiruvananthapuram is also known as the gateway to Kerala.
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.


Access:

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.


History:

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.


Climate:

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.


Wildlife Sancturies:

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 country.

The Boat Race is conducted on 19th January every year to coincide with the great elephant march which is held on 17-20 January.

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.


Excursions :

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 Consciousness.

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 comfortable accommodation.


Beaches :

The Thanagasseri Beach, The Tirumullavaram Beach, Allappuzha Beach

 
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