Among the towns of Kerala, Kollam is second only to Kodungallore in historic antiquity and was a renowned international emporium of trade of the ancient world. It was the capital of the powerful kingdom called 'Venad' which came into prominence in the 9th century A.D. According to some historians, the Malayalam era called the 'Kollam era' was established by King Udaya Marthanda Varma, King of Kollam in 825 AD. In the earliest days, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and the Chinese used to frequent the port. The descriptions by famed travellers like Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta, Sulaiman of Siraf and others clearly highlighted the historical importance of Kollam as a commercial town. Kollam maintains this tradition even today and it is one of the major industrial and commercial centres of Kerala. It is the nerve-centre of Kerala's cashew industry.

The sheltered recess of the calm Arabian Sea 'Thirumullavaram' is an ideal place for swimming and bathing, and attracts domestic as well as international tourists. It is situated 5 km from the town. Five kilometres north of Kollam lies 'Thankassery' which was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British in succession. The remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts still exist. The place is also well known for its 45 metre high lighthouse. The centre of various tourism development activities is located in the 'Guest House Complex' Asramam, where the District Tourism Promotion Council functions. The Government Guest House which was built by the Dewan of erstwhile Travancore State Colonel Munroe in 1812, is even now a major attraction for its elegance and architectural beauty. This 48 acre complex on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake is a naturalist's delight with a variety of rare trees and shrubs. The Children's Traffic Park, designed by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre ( NATPAC) is located in this complex and is the largest Traffic park in Kerala. Adventure Park, which is also in this complex is a novel experiment. The young and the adventurous can try out their skills in various physical prowess.



Seventy kilometers from Kollam, on the Shencotta road is the pilgrim centre of Aryankavu. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Sastha, which has some fine sculptures and mural paintings.



Palaruvi- Meaning River of Milk is one of the well known waterfalls in south India and is situated 66 km from Kollam. The scenic beauty, complete with hills, valleys and cascades, covered with dense tropical forest is breathtaking.



Sasthamkotta, another beauty spot of Kerala is situated 29 km from Kollam. With the vast freshwater lake spreading over the valleys of several hills, Sasthamkotta lake can truly be called the 'Queen of Lakes'.



A unique pilgrim centre Oachira, 32 km from Kollam on the national highway, has a deep stamp of Advaita philosophy. The presiding deity here is the parabrahma, the absolute reality, the great source of all forms and phenomena, which cannot be symbolised by an idol or housed in a temple. Hence, there is no temple or idol for the presiding deity here. The temple festival oachira kali held in June is a crowd pulling festival



Jatayupara in Chadayamangalam on the M.C. Road is a huge rock where, Jatayu, the giant bird described in the epic Ramayana fell after failing in its attempt to stop Ravana from taking Sita away. It attracts adventure lovers and offers excellent prospects of an exhilarating hang-gliding experience.



The temple on the banks of Kulathupuzha river has a large number of fish considered as sacred by the local people. Thenmala Dam and Ecological Park which offers exciting opportunities for boating is 68 km east of Kollam. 


Backwater Cruise


A full day boat journey through the backwaters provides a unique opportunity to experience the natural life of Keralites and the scenic beauty of God's Own Country. A large number of foreign tourists arrive at Kollam during the season from November to March for this eight hour long backwater cruise. Luxury boats of Government as well as private parties are operated from the main boat jetty during the season. Usually the trip starts at 10.30 am. and reaches Alleppy at 6.00 p.m.. A tourist information centre of District Tourism Promotion Council is functioning at the boat jetty area from 9 am. to 6 pm on all days except Sundays, to assist the tourists who arrive at the bus station and boat jetty area. Another Tourist Information Counter is also functioning at the Kollam Railway Station from 8.30 am to 5 pm on all days except Sundays.


Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala