Introduction :- This historic coastline district known for its marine and cashew industries was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast and a major international trading point .30% of this town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala..The backwaters around Kollam, which extend from the Ashthamudi Lake, are exceedingly beautiful.The backwater tour from Kollam to Alappuzha is the longest cruise in Kerala. This boat ride from Kollam to Alappuzha takes 8 hours and is a delightful ride, with lotuses and water lilies growing in the water, water birds calling from the banks and otters splashing and playing in the water
Places To Visit :-
Rameshwara Temple :- This temple which shows Pandyan influence in its design has inscriptions in Tamil, dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The Vyala monster sculptures in this temple give one the impression that the creatures are animate and actually climbing up the stairs with their outstretched paws.
Thirumullavaram beach (6 km north of Kollam town): This secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre and has frequent bus connections to the town.
Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram, Vallikavu :-
The residence and headquarters of Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi, is situated at Amrithapuri near Vallikavu. The ashram is accessible both by road and boat.
Mayyanad (10 km south of Kollam town): Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya Temple at Umayanallor. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by the great Hindu philosopher
Sree Sankaracharya. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Mayyanad.
Sasthamkotta (29 km from Kollam town): This vast fresh water lake surrounded by hills on three sides is the largest of its kind in Kerala. The ancient Sastha Temple which lends its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre. There are frequent bus services from Kollam. Accommodation is available at the PWD Rest House.
Ochira (34 km north of Kollam town): The unique feature of this famous pilgrim centre is that there is no deity or idol at the famous Parabrahma temple dedicated to the Universal Consciousness. Ochira Kali in mid June and the twelve day Panthrandu Vilakku (twelve lamp festival) in November/December are the two main annual festivals. Ochira Kali is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors on the padanilam (battle field). They perform a martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords and shields, and splashing water in every direction. There are frequent buses from Kollam and Alappuzha.
Kulathupuzha (64 km from Kollam town): Situated on a forest range on the Thiruvananthapuram - Shenkottai road, Kulathupuzha is known for the Sastha temple. The Vishu Mahotsavam in April/May is the most important festival. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Kulathupuzha. The Thenmala railway station is just 10 km from here.
Thenmala ( 66 km east of Kollam): The area is covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations. An Eco Tourism Development Project is under implementation here. Thenmala is also a damsite.
Ariankavu (70 km from Kollam town): Situated on the Kollam - Shenkottai road, Ariankavu is famous for the shrine dedicated to Sree Sastha. Mandala Pooja and Trikalyanam celebrated in the month of December are the main festivals here. There are frequent buses to Ariankavu from Kollam.
Palaruvi waterfalls (75 km from Kollam town): Palaruvi which means stream of milk makes its way down the rocks, from a height of 300 feet. The Palaruvi woods is a beautiful picnic spot. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offer comfortable accommodation.
Picnic Village: This village located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre of recreational activities in Kollam. A 200 year old Government Guest House, an Adventure Park, a Tourist Boat Club, a Children's Traffic Park and a Yatri Nivas are all housed in this vast tourist complex.
Thangasseri (5 km from Kollam town): This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18th century. The Thangasseri lighthouse which is 144 feet high, is open to visitors from 1530 - 1730 hrs. There are buses at 15 minute intervals from Kollam town.
Jatayupara: A huge rock at Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird Jatayu in the epic Ramayana, who is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in his attempts to thwart Ravana's kidnapping of Sita.
Kottukal Rock Cut Cave Temple (11 km from Chadayamangalam): This temple situated on the Thiruvananthapuram - Kottayam MC Road is an idyllic example of rock cut temple architecture.
Parikshith Thampuram Museum :- The museum is situated near the famous Siva Temple, Ernakulam. It houses a treasure of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals.
St. Francis Church :- It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.
How to Reach :-
Nearest Airport- Thiruvananthapuram (71 km).Kollam is an important railhead of the Southern Railway.An excellent road network links Kollam to all major towns and cities in Kerala