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Introducing Kollam

Best time to visit : August-March
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Kollam city located in Kerala has been a famous trading port for many centuries and its name can be traced to as early as the first century inscriptions in Greek literature. Kollam town still retains traces of colonial relics and European edifices including ancient forts and ruins of churches. Ashtamudi Lake that occupies over 30% of Kollam district makes Kollam the hub of backwater tourism.

Facts

Kollam is connected with an intricate network of canals and waterways and makes an important point in the backwater tourism in Kerala. Sasthamkotta Lake, which provides drinking water to the city of Kollam, is another popular attraction. The most interesting way to explore the charm of village life and the diversities of Kollam and its surroundings would be to set out on a backwater cruise. You can choose from a luxurious houseboat cruise to a casual country boat ride and take a peek into the sleepy hamlets, lagoons and villages where life still goes on in an enviably slow pace. Kollam attracts lots of tourists mostly in the festival months i.e. in December and January for the Crafts festival in which the unique craftsmanship is displayed and in March when Thiruvathira festival is being celebrated in Kadakkaldevi temple.

Kollam has a cache of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian hotels to cater to every palate. Make sure to savour the sea food delicacies and fresh fish menu that Kollam is famous for. Most hotels offer traditional Kerala cuisines along with continental dishes. Quilon Beach Hotel is a good choice. Meat eaters can find quite a few good eateries on the road west of the main bus stand.

No trip to Kollam would be complete without shopping for cashew nuts as it is the centre of cashew processing industry in India. Shops sell both roasted and raw nuts and are quite a rage among tourists and local folks alike. Other items to shop for include South Indian sarees, antiques and gold or silver jewellery. Joy Alukkas and KMall are famous shopping malls.

Nearby Places:
Kollam offers something special for everyone in the form of diverse options for Sightseeing in Kollam.  Some of the important tourist attractions around Kollam include:

  • Thangasseri: Situated at a distance of 8 km. from Kollam, Thangasseri is famous for its colonial vestiges and the ruins of the majestic Portuguese fort and a few churches that date back to the 18th century. The 144 feet high lighthouse is another attraction. Visitors can climb up to enjoy a bird’s view of the surroundings.
  • Alumkadavu: Situated at a distance of 32 km. from Kollam is Alumkadavu, the starting point of house boat cruises. This place is famous for its vast stretches of backwaters dotted with coconut palms. It is a great place to enjoy a quiet holiday or to indulge in an Ayurveda rejuvenation therapy.
  • Thirumullavaram Beach: Only 8 km. from Kollam, this beach is an ideal hang out spot where you can relax and unwind yourself from the hectic pace of the city living.
  • Amritapuri Asramam: This is a world famous Hindu pilgrim centre for the followers of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. 
  • Thenmala: This well acclaimed eco tourist spot, which is also the first planned eco tourist destination in India, is located at a distance of 66 km. east of Kollam. Here visitors can enjoy nature trails, adventure activities like mountain biking, river crossing and trekking among others. A boat ride to the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is another attraction.  Forest trails, eco parks and tree top huts are some other choices that await you.
  • Aryankavu: At a distance of 80 km. east of Kollam, Aryankavu is well known for its shrine of Lord Sastha that stands out for its fine sculptures and mural paintings. Aryankavu was the old trade route for those who come from either side of the Western ghats for selling their produce.




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