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Kollam

3.4 /5 56 votes

Weather:

Best Time: Sep-Feb Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Nearest Airport: Trivandrum Check Flights

"Gateway to the Backwaters of Kerala"

Kollam Tourism

A treasure trove of natural wonders and historical edifices, Kollam is an enchanting town with backwaters and picturesque landscapes. Located 70kms away from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Kollam is a commercial centre and home to India’s cashew producing industry. Popularly known as Quilon, it is often regarded as the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala.

It sits on the bank of the Ashtamudi Lake, hence, cruising along the Alappuzha route is one of the main highlights of the region. With a history dating back to the 9th century, Kollam was a prominent spice trading centre. It is one of the oldest ports in the Arabian Sea that lies on the southwest coast which was frequented by iconic merchants, missionaries and explorers including Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Vasco da Gama, Henrique Henriques and many more. Venture the lesser-known path, and this beautiful city on India’s Malabar Coast is sure to enchant you.

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The Land of Ashtamudi Backwaters

The Ashtamudi lake is a famous attraction in Kollam. Ashta means eight and mudi means cone, thus referring to the unique shape of the lake like a palm tree or an octopus. It has a dense wetland ecosystem and has been included in the list of internationally important wetlands, as defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands. The lake many beautiful resorts along its banks, and is a famous backwaters tourist attraction. The scenic location - palms and coconut trees interspersed with houses, provides livelihood to many of the local populations and has also served as a muse to inspire many writers, included the renowned poet Thirunalloor Karunakaran.

The Spectacular Beaches of Kollam

Kollam is a city built on the banks of the Ashtamudi lake, and the other side lies the Lakshadweep Sea. It has been a vital seaport since ancient times and even today is a hub of trade. If you have just enough time to squeeze in a few vacation days and cannot spend too much time on travel, Kollam is the place for you.

The beautiful beaches like the Kollam Beach, Tangasseri Beach and Thirumullavaram beach are all located a few kilometres away from the city centre, and you can enjoy any activities like water sports, scuba diving, snorkelling as well as the food and famous Kerala massage on the sea shore. The Tangasseri beach also has a lighthouse and port built by the Portuguese and is a major tourist attraction today. The Ashtamudi lake, apart from supplying most of the fresh water the city needs is also a crowd puller and the day cruise on the backwaters in the city is an activity that must be on every tourist's list.

A Fascinating History of Centuries

Kollam or Quilon, as it was formerly known, has a rich history starting with its importance as a commercial centre and trading port since the Chera dynasty of the 3rd century. The Chera dynasty ruled this city for over 1000 years, and this was one of the major cities during that time. Later, it became the capital of Venad, and during this period, it was the hub of literary, artistic and spiritual activity. Kollam is a very ancient city that has been inhabited since the time of the Phoenicians. The Kingdom of Quilon was also known as Desiganandu and was established in 825 AD as the premier city of the Malabar region. It is believed that the city was founded by two East Syrian bishops Mar Sabor & Mar Proth, who also built the famous Kollam port. Quilon finds a mention in the tales of several famous travellers and traders including Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo. Quilon later also attracted the European forces. The Portuguese were the first to arrive, followed by the Dutch and the British.Following the Battle of Quilon in 1809, which lasted only 6 hours, the British East India Company defeated the Travancore kings who were then controlling the city and established their rule which lasted till India’s independence in 1947. Trade activities with China, the Middle East and South East Asia were thriving and remains of the commodities traded like coins, pottery and beads had been discovered from the seabed in 2014. Today the city has a mix of Ancient Hindu, Islamic, Portuguese and British architecture.

Culture of Kollam

Kollam is very diverse with people of different ethnicities, cultures and religions living in harmony. Due to this vast diversity, Kollam witnesses the celebration of all religious and cultural festivals in all its fullness. Kollam Fest, the city's own annual fest is celebrated at a very ancient, gigantic Ashramam Maidan. A signature event in the city, it witnesses people from all over the country and is a place where one can experience the rich culture and the heritage of Kollam.

Kollam Pooram is another annual fest held in the city during the month of April that is organised in the Asramam Sri Krishnaswamy Temple at the Ashramam Maidan and attracts large number of people from all over the world. In the kudamattom, one of the main events of the festival, one can see thirty elephants that are split two groups of fifteen representing the Thamarakulam Sri Mahaganapathy Temple and the Puthiyakavu Bhagawathy Temple respectively. The Pooram concludes with a huge show of fireworks at night.

The Presiden't Trophy Boat Race is an awaited event in Kollam. Held in the Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam on the 1st of November every year, the races take place in five categories: Chundan Vallam (snake boats), two gradsof Veppu Vallam and two grades of Iruttukuthi Vallam. The champion of the event receives a trophy and some cash prize from the President itself.

Restaurants and Local Food in Kollam

Kollam is a coastal town famous for its delicious and lip-smacking seafood. The town is flanked with plethora of good restaurants all offering the authentic traditional flavors of Kerala including that of crab, prawns, fish and squids. Tapioca and spicy fish curry are few of the popular dishes of the region. Also, make sure to try out different types of cashew nuts grown in the region.
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One Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kollam early in the morning, have breakfast and proceed to the Tangasseri Lighthouse, one of the oldest and tallest in India. Since this is located at a distance from the city, enjoy the traditional food in Tangasseri and return to the town in the evening. Visit Ashtamudi lake in the evening and watch it glisten in the evening sunshine.

Day 2: The next day, start early and proceed to the Thirumullavaram beach. Spend time lazing beside the sparking water and golden sand. In the evening, enjoy the vistas of the city and visit some of the famous temples Kollam has.

Day 3: If you want to see the real Kollam away from the hustle bustle of the usual tourist spots, Munroe Island is a perfect place. After reaching this island by boat, spend the day on the island interacting with the local people and witnessing the breathtaking avian and marine life around this island. You could also visit Kollam beach on any of the days when you have free time since this is very near to the city centre.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Unexplored tourist destination. Breathtaking beaches. Authentic Keralite food. Convenient and comfortable travel.

What's Not So Great?

Summer heat can be very oppressive. The more beautiful and untouched beaches are remote. Very few people speak Hindi and English and Malayalam are the commonly spoken languages.

For Whom?

If you are looking to sit back and relax while enjoying the rustic culture and food of Kerala, Kollam is the perfect place. It is a beach lover's paradise and is the ideal location for capturing that brilliant profile picture. It is also a very popular destination for family vacations.

Top Hotels In Kollam

How To Reach Kollam

Kollam is located in the extreme south of India along the Western coast and is close to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore. Kollam does not have an airport, and the Thiruvananthapuram airport is the nearest airport to this city. There are regular flights from Thiruvananthapuram to all the main cities in India as well as many cities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Road and train connections to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram as well as other major cities in Kerala are excellent.

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Kollam Reviews

Your rating
Arun Krishnan 1 year ago
Jadayu Earth centre,chadayamangalam, Ayoor
Shashwat Kant 1 year ago
- Make sure you carry a camera to capture the essence of charm oozing out of the city.
- Avoid travelling the city during summers owing to hot and dry weather and scorching heat.
- Take all the required precautions while indulging in any sport activity.
ahammadkabeer abm 1 year ago
Munroe is the beautiful and heart touching island i really like it etc.....Thank you all
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