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Quilon (Kollam) Tourism - Is Meant For Exciting Kerala Vacation

Kollam's ancient name is Thondis and it is the headquarters of the Kollam District. It also known as Quilon is the fourth largest city of Kerala. This popular tourist destination is the capital of erstwhile Venad and forms the southern gateway of the Kerala backwaters. It is situated 71 km from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, and lies on the shores of Ashtamudi Lake. The city has been a focal trading point since the Chera Monarchy in southern Kerala and today it is world renowned for the occupations of cashew processing and coir manufacturing. The name of the city has been derived from the Sanskrit word Kollam that means pepper. It is also a major business and commercial centre in the region of central Travancore, Kerala. The Kollam Port also known as the Thankasseri Port, which is the second largest port of Kerala is situated here. Along with this, there are also two fishing harbours present in the city namely Neendakara and Shakthikulangara, out of which the Neendakara is one of the busiest fishing harbours of South Kerala. Kollam is a major sea trading destination since ancient times due to the presence of the Kodungallur Seaport on the Malabar Coast. It obtained its reputation of a commercial hub since the days of the Phoenicians and Ancient Rome.

'Pliny the Elder' mentions that Greek ships imbedded at Muziris and Nelcynda. Along with these ports, a land route also led from the Western Ghats of the city that together with the ports was used for trading spices, pearls, diamonds and silk. The city is also a centre of learning and culture and has been a home to several scholars from different parts of Sothern India. The famous literary works namely Leelathilakam and Unnuneeli Sandesam are a contribution of the literary work of Kollam, of the 14th century. The Kathakali dance as well as its new version, the Ramanattam is also the creation of Kottarakkara Thampuran that has been translated from Sanskrit to Malayalam. The famous poet and playwright, K.C. Kesava Pillai also composed a musical play in Malayalam through his work Sadarma.

In the present times, Kollam is linked to names of literary historians and poets like O.N.V. Kurup, Punalur Balan, and Lalithambika Antharjanam. The boat rides through the backwaters of Kollam are the most popular attraction. The Ashtamudi Lake surrounds the Kollam town. Another popular attraction is the Thangassery Light House, which is 144 feet high and was built in 1902. Ananda Valleswaram Temple, Mahatma Gandhi at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram Beach and Ashramam Picnic Village are other popular places. There are numerous churches and mosques in Kollam including Pullichira Church built in 1700 AD and Chinnakkada Palli. Meenmutty Falls are also located in the vicinity of this hill station, though tourists need to seek permission from the Forest Department for exploring it. Apart from sightseeing, Ponmudi is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatment. The nearest airport to Ponmudi is Trivandrum International Airport, which is situated 61 km away. Trivandrum Central railway station is the nearest station and connects this hill station to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Buses that run every 2 hours also ply from Thambanoor Bus Stand to Ponmudi.

What to See....

Amritapuri It is the main headquarters of the Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram, is a major pilgrimage centre of the district. The Sastha temple at Achencoil, Aryankavu Sastha temple, Rameshwara temple, Subramanya temple at Mayyanad and Mahavishnu temple are other major pilgrimage sites.

Kulathupuzha on the main Thiruvananthapuram-Shencottah Road is also famous for an ancient Sastha temple.

Vishnu Mahotsavam celebrations during the months of April and May, is very popular at the temple. Another attraction in the district is the Thangassery, a seaside village with an Old Portuguese Fort and ancient churches constructed in the 18th century.

How to reach....

Nearest Airport - The nearest airport from Kollam is Trivandrum International Airport, situated about 71 km from the town of Kollam.

Road Connectivity - Kollam is on the well serviced Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam-Alappuzha-Ernakulam bus route. You can also take the KSRTC service.

Boat - There are public services across Ashtamudi Lake to the villages of Guhanadapuram, Muthiraparam or Peruman. The daily ATDC and DTPC tourist boats to Alappuzha can be booked at various hotels around town.

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