Known as the entry and exit point of the backwaters of Kerala, Kollam
is situated 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram. It is one of the
oldest ports of the Malabar coast and was once the center of international
spice trade, especially known for its marine and cashew industries. It is
also the largest producer of cashew in the state.
30% of Kollam (Quilon) is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi lake and the eight-hour
boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting
experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam (Quilon) architectural remnants and a
number of temples built in the traditional ornate style are the witness of
the enchanting history of this town.
Tourist can visit Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram, a spiritual trust in India
with a large number of educational, technical and health care industries is
headquartered at Vallikkavu, near Kollam. The Picnic Village located at
Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main center 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.
The ancient Sastha temple, which lends its name to the town, is an
important pilgrim center. Mayyanad, 10 kms off south to Kollam town, is
famous for her shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples
here is the Subramanya Temple at Umayanallor. Thangasseri, a seaside village
five kms away from the town is of great historic importance with the
remnants of the old Portuguese fort and church.
Oachira is noted for its Parabrahma temple where no deity or idol is
consecrated, but is dedicated to the universal and transcendental
consciousness. The Alaruvi waterfalls, 75 kms from Kollam town, make its way
down the rocks from a height of 300 feet. The Palaruvi woods is a beautiful