The Kollam place is also known as “Desinganadu or Quilon”, takes the credit for being the hub of the countries processing industry and cashew trading. It has its own appeal and charm which is a quaint port- city in God’s Own Country. The main hub of cashew trading is Kollam. Among treasure trove of Kerala, considering as one of the greatest experiences is the ferry ride between Kollam and Alappuzha. Often referred to as the dreamland of Kerala is Kollam which is affording an impeccable blend of picturesque surrounding, hospitality and tradition. It is believed that the name of the place Kollam to have been derived from the Sanskrit word Kollam which means pepper. The place has long been drawing the attraction of international countries and considered as one of the oldest ports on the Malabar Coast is Kollam.
You can experience and feel the indigenous traditions and cultures in the most vivid way of Kerala while in Kollam. Yet another feature of Kollam tourism is Shasthamkotta which is the fresh water lake of Kerala. Among the visitors, this port- city holds a prominent place be it agriculture, tourism, fishing or cashew processing. They can revel around the Thirumullavaram Beach, Kollam Beach and Tangasseri Beach for the beach lovers. The place was sometimes called as the City of Palaces and in the bygone days was popular for its palaces. Since it has a moderate climate throughout the year, situates as a famous place to visit at any time of the year altogether Kollam. Chinese was the first foreign community to settle in Kollam. One of the best places to go cruising in the backwaters is Kollam since it is located on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake.
The Paravoor kayal and the Ashtamudi kayal are two other major lakes. Ithikkara and Kallada are two rivers which are flow through Kollam district. Kollam has a tropical humid climate with plentiful seasonal rainfall and an oppressive summer. The most pleasurable time to visit Kollam is the October to February months mark the winter season. This was the focal point of trade during the rule of the Travancre kingdom in Southern Kerala. This place is the moist and quite hot in the months from March to May are considered the summer months. After the August month, Kollam is an ideal place to visit.
PLACES TO VISIT
This waterfall is an amazing waterfall which is located on the Kollam to Shencottah Road at Palaruvi. It is translates to “milky streams”. One of the most wonderful waterfalls is Palaruvi Waterfalls which is located on Kollam at a distance of 86 km from Trivandrum, 81 km from Kollam and 29 km from Tenkasi. One of the most wonderful waterfalls in Kerala is Palaruvi Waterfalls which falling from a height of 300 feet. A splendid picnic spot is Palaruvi even if you visit Kollam place on a low- season. From June to January is an ideal time to visit Kollam. Also an ideal for swimming is the water falls into a small pool and Kollam place. Kollam is also known as the Ayurvedic properties. A wonderful picnic spot is the Palaruvi Waterfalls. This place has two famous trekking trails, Palaruvi is the one of the trail which leads to the top of the waterfalls and Kurishumala trail is the other which is famous among Christian pilgrims in Kerala.
A narrow skirt of land stretching in the backwaters to the sea is Paravur which is 20 km from Kollam. A famous place for houseboat trip in Kerala backwaters is Paravur which is one of the most wonderful places in Kerala. This place has the lake of largest natural Backwater in South Asia. The important activities at Paravur are Swimming, Boating, Surfing and Fishing. Also popular for handloom weaving is Paravur. A town and a municipality in the Kerala state of India is Paravur. From here, the popular Varkala beach is 15 km drive.
A town near the Border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala is Punalur. Meaning of Punalur “the place of water” is ‘Punal’ is the Tamil word which means water and ‘ooru’ is the Malayalam word which means place together making Punalur. The second largest town in Kollam is Punalur which is known as the gateway of the Western Ghats. It has exotic jungle experiences and exciting adventure sports in the Thenmala Ecotourism Park for those with an adventure heart not just for the peace lovers.
The deferment bridge is the must visit place in Punalur which is one of the oldest bridges in Indian history and was first motor able bridge of South India. A charming small town but not so small concerning significance is Punalur. Home to palm trees, a variety of endless flora and coconut is Punalur. The sole suspended- deck Type Bridge in India which is designed and built by Albert Henry is Punalur. It is also known as the lap of Western Ghats is Punalur since the town is situated in the middle of the Western Ghats.
A best place to hanker for in the district of Kollam is the scenic view of Ashtamudi Lake. After Vemband Lake and also among the great places to experience backwater of Kerala tourism this is the second largest lake in Kerala which is situated in the Kollam district. Kayal or Ashtamudi Lake is lined with coconut and palm trees. Meaning of Ashtamudi in Malayalam is “Eight Coned”. The perfect spot to escape the city with your friends and family is Ashtamudi Lake.
Laden with brushes and greenery are the banks of the lake, makes it a pretty sight for sore eyes. Main River flowing into Ashtamudi Lake is the Kallada River. The most famous tourist spot in the state are Ashtamudi Lake. There is no better place to begin exploring Kollam lush green waterways lined with coconut and palm trees. This lake offers boating services in a variety of crafts which is known as the gateway to Kerala backwaters. Sayanthanam Sunset Cruise and Kayal Pradakshine are the famous cruises one can avail at the place.
A rock- themed park is the Jatayu Nature Park which got opened on 25 November 2017. The tourism centre boasts of 6D theatre, cable car, ayurvedic cave resort and a digital audios- visual room which is built to promote mythology and adventure tourism. At Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird a huge rock Jatayu character was in the epic Ramayana who is believed that after falling in his attempts to thwart Ravanas kidnapping of Sita to have collapsed on the rock. The largest bird sculpture in the world is Jatayupara. It redefines haven of Kerala being the first of its kind destination tourism initiative. First of its kind with public- private partnership under model of BOT (Built- Operate- Transfer) is the project of Jatayu Rock themed park. The park also sets to give renewable energy sources and rainwater harvesting to the localities alongside being the major tourist attraction. The main attraction of the Jatayupara is a massive sculpture of Jatayu which is also a famous picnic spot for friends and families. At the site, also being constructed an 18 ft high statue of Lord Rama.
A best place to spend time with your family is the Mahatma Gandhi Beach which is popularly known as Kollam Beach. This beach needs no introduction which voted as the first “Beach Wedding Destination”. Kollam picturesque and scenic natural wonder is also known as the Beach of Mahatma Gandhi and boasts of pristine blue waters which seem to unite with the bright sky at a distance of infinite at the sheer magnificence of the mesmerize scene while tourists marvel.
An ideal for swimming is the Kollam Beach which offers wonderful views of sunset. A major landmark of Kollam Beach is the Tengasseri lighthouse. Indeed contagious and fills the visitors with renewed energy and passions is the spiritual and cultural aura of the beech. Here, the traces of Chinese commerce can still be seen and the area was formerly a port city and was also the harbor for ship of Chinese. An added attraction is the Mahatma Gandhi Park which is situated at the southern end of the beach.
Munroe is a small island lying at the confluence of the Kallada River and Ashtamudi Lake which named after Col. Munroe who was the British resident of erstwhile Travancore state. Munroe Island is renowned for its picturesque views and majestic beauty and adds to the charm and sheer beauty of the already intriguing “own country of God”. The Munroe Island offers its visitors with quiet and peace and soothes the eye of the onlooker with its lush greenery which is far away from the hustle bustle and pandemonium of everyday life.
Being one of the great ways to experience first- hand the life of the reverie population and see the natural vegetation which is the island has to offer Canoe tours to the island through the backwaters is very famous. The Dutch Church is another attraction of this island which is located on the picturesque banks of the Ashtamudi Lake. During the Onam festival, also particularly popular for the Kallada Boat Race which takes place here is Munroe Island.
Kottukkal, Rock Cut Cave Temple
An idyllic example of rock cut temple architecture is Kottukal which is situated on the Thiruvananthapuram- Kottayam MC Road. It has sculptures of Hanuman & Nandi and also has a Shivalinga. A wonderful and serene rock cut shrine is the Kottukkal Cave Temple which is also known as Kaltrikkovil in the language of Malayalam, is located in the Kotthukkal Village in Kollam near Anchal in the Kerala state. One can see the idol of Lord Ganapathy in between these caves. The smaller one with Lord Hanuman and the bigger of which is enshrined by monolithic Nandi Bull are two caves of this temple. Indeed unique is the combination of Hanuman, Shivalinga and Nandi which is found nowhere in India and other than in Kollam of Kerala state. It appears to be a sleeping elephant and this adds to the beauty of the temple of cave when viewed from a distance.
The largest fresh water lake and a wonderful lake in Kerala is Sasthamkotta Lake at a distance of 26 km from Kollam. An important pilgrim centre is the ancient Sastha temple which lends its name to the town. The biggest source for drinking water for the residents of Kollam town is the Sasthamcotla Lake. One can see abundance of monkeys at these temples. Being developed as attractive tourism destination are the surroundings of the lake. After the ancient Sastha temple named is Sasthamcotta Lake which is located on its bank. A designated wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention is Sasthamcotta Lake or Sasthamkotta Lake. This lake houses a large population of larva cavborus that responsible of consuming bacteria from the water lake and makes it healthy for drinking which is located 19 km from Kollam town. By country boats, boating facilities are available in this lake.
An ancient temple is Rameshwaram Temple which is believed to be established in architecture’s Pandian style. The sculpture of Vyala (the mythological monster) is one fascinating feature of Rameshwaram Temple and is included in the 108 Shivalayams which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple has inscriptions dating between 12th and 16th centuries which are built in the Pandian style of architecture. It has very attractive and interesting sculpture work. Rameshwaram Temple gives the ambience of energy and tranquility. Rameshwaram Temple has many inscriptions of Tamil dating to the same time. One among the four Lord Siva temples is Rameshwaram Temple which is built by the Legend Natukotta Chettiar.
A village is Mayyanad in Kollam of the Kerala district. This place is a hub of various famous shrines for Muslims and Hindus which is situated about 10 km from Kollam town. One can also visit several old churches and an old mosque in the area which is the major attraction of the place being Lord Subramaniam Temple. A perfect place for people of all age to make their mind to regain their tranquil and freshness is the Mayyanad Beach. From all across the country, the village has some of the oldest temples of Kollam visited my pilgrims. At Umayanallor, the Subramanya temple is the most important of the nine temples here. Said to have been that is this shrine consecrated by the great philosopher Sree Sankaracharya of Hindu.
Ochira, Parabrahma Temple
There is no idol or deity at the popular Parabrahma temple is the unique feature of famous Ochira pilgrim centre. The temple has no idol of any god and is dedicated to Parabrahma who was the universal consciousness. From traditional temples, also not different is the structure of the temple. “Land of Parambrahmam” is the meaning of ‘Om Chira’, one of them which are ‘Om’ the representative of Parambrahma who was the god of all gods and the ‘Chira’ word means piece of land.
The two main annual festivals are the twelve day Panthrandu Vilakku in November/ December and Ochira Kali in mid June. One of the sacred places and most popular which can be found in Kerala is the Oachira Temple is splendid temple according to the Puranas. Many versions about the origin of the Ochira named are there. Om Chira became Ochira during the course of time.
At the Asramam Maidan, the annual Kollam Pooram organized in connection with festival of the Asramam Sri Krishnaswami temple which takes place every year in April. This festival is organized each April in Kollam City in the Kerala State of India. Performed on all days of the festival is Kathakali and commence of the festival with the traditional flag hoisting. Celebrated in a grand manner on the last day of festival is Kudamattam ceremony. From the Thamarakulam Sri Mahaganapathy Temple and the Puthiyakavu Bhagawathy Temple being the most popular among them which is a grand procession of an elephants arrives from different temples. On this day, around 58 well decorated elephants participate in the procession. On the festival’s last day Kudamattam ceremony is celebrated in a grand manner.
Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, Thenmala
The Deer Park is the other attraction of Thenmala. One can find many deers as well as tress at the Deer Park. A paradise for wildlife lovers is the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary which is a part of the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. One can also see Parappara Dam in the forest constructed across the Kulathupuzha and Shenduruny River which is declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. There is also a park of children and a tree house as well which you can explore which is apart from that. This place has witnessed one of the India’s oldest river valley civilizations according to recent archaeological findings.
A wonderful beach with full of coconut palms is the Thirumullavaram secluded Beach. One of the famous beach destinations is Thirumullavaram Beach of Kerala. It is popular for the yearly ritual of Karkidaka Vavubali. A calm and tranquil beach is Thirumullavaram which is considered suitable for swimming and sunbathing. About a kilometer and half into the sea, you can also see the “Njayarazhcha Para”. This beach is un- spoilt with sun- soaked sand, lush green palms and crystal clear water which attracts tourists from whole world. Near the beach, also a Maha Vishnu Temple is there. Also among the twin beaches in the world’s Cashew capital is Thirumullavaram Beach which is also a best place for Kollam sightseeing.
One of the popular Ayyappa temples in Kollam district is this which is located in Kulathupuzha at a distance of 60 km from Kollam. The most important festival is the Vishnu Mahotsavam in April/ May. This place has dense and rich forests and rubber plantation and home to countless species of fishes is the village river which is River of Kulathupuzha. The main attraction of this village is an ancient Sastha temple on the banks of the River of Kulathupuzha. During the April and May month, at this temple, an annual Vishnu Mahotsavam festival is celebrated which is the most important festival. The temple is dedicated to Bala Sastha, considered an avatar of Lord Hariharaputra.
HOW TO REACH
By Road: Kollam is the most important mode of transport for both locals and tourists which have majestic road connectivity.
By Train: Connects to most major cities in India and very good is the Kollam which is rail connectivity. The main railway station in this city is Kollam Junction and fall of this city in the Southern division of the railway of India.
By Air: The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram. This place does not have own airport. From the airport, regular taxi and bus services connect to Kollam.