Kollam or Quilon, an old sea port town on the Arabian coast , stands on the Ashtamudi Lake. Kollam, the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Batuta, as one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty four years, in the 14th century Kollam District which is a veritable Kerala in miniature is gifted with unique representative features - sea, lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters, forest, vast green fields and tropical crop of every variety both food crop and cash crop, so called 'The GODS OWN CAPITAL'.
Kollam is a coastal city on the banks of the Ashtamudi in Kerala a state of India that took on the title 'God's Own Country' without much demur. The braids of the Ashtamudi Lake lie about 71 kilometres (44 mt) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. Kollam is the fourth-largest city in Kerala, after Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, in Kerala on the basis of population and the fifth-largest city on the basis of area after Kochi, thiruvananthapuram, kozhikode and Thrissur. It is known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. It is considered to be the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is a prominent tourist destination. The Kollam urban area comprises the fast developing suburban towns such as Kottiyam in the south, Kundara in the east, and Chavara in the north of the city.
Kollam city is bordered by the panchayaths of Neendakara and Thrikkadavoor to the north, Mayyanad to the south, Thrikkovilvattom and Kottamkara to the east and Arabian sea to the west. Ashtamudi lake is in the heart of the city. The city is about 63 km away from Pathanamthitta, 82 km from Alappuzha, 71 km from Thiruvananthapuram, 142 km from Kochi, 350 km from Kozhikode and 226 km from Thrissur. Two major rivers in the district are Kallada and Ithikkara. Kallada River empties into Ashtamudi lake while Ithikkara River to Paravur kayal. Jadayuppara, Palaruvi waterfalls are also important geographical attractions of the kollam district.
The Kollam Port (Thankasseri Port) is the second largest port in South Kerala after Cochin Port Trust, as of 2010. The port is undergoing infrastructural development. The port is located near the city of Kollam. Neendakara and Shakthikulangara are twin fishing harbours in Kollam. Neendakara is one of the busiest fishing harbours in South Kerala. Some port operations are carried out through Neendakara as well. The state government in 2012 has mooted the idea of carrying out the operations of the port through PPP basis. The project finds a mention under the state government's investor meet- Emerging Kerala.
- Kollam Pooram, part of the Ashramam Sree Krishnaswamy Temple Festival, is the biggest cultural celebration in south Kerala. Kollam Pooram is usually held on April 15, and occasionally on April 16. The pooram is held at the Ashramam maidan.
- Chittumala Theerthatanam is an annual march held on Thiruvonam, to promote communal harmony; it started in 1968. It starts from Munroe Island 25KM from Kollam and ends at Chittumala.
- Edakkidom Shivarathri Edakkidom Thettikkunil Sree Mahadevi Temple Festival, is one of the biggest cultural celebrations in kollam .
- President's Trophy Boat Race (PTBR), The PTBR is annual regatta held in Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. It is one of the biggest boat race events and perhaps in the only sporting event in the country to offer the trophy sponsored by the President of India. The first edition of the event was inaugurated by the then President Prathibha Patil in September, 2011. The event has been rescheduled from 2012. The second edition will be held on November 1. All top snake boats in the region will partake in the race, which is perhaps second only to Nehru Trophy Boat Race in terms of participation and prize money.
Kollam, the capital of the erstwhile Venad, was a centre of learning and culture. It attracted distinguished scholars from all parts of South India. Leelathilakam and Unnuneeli Sandesam, two literary works of historical importance, are contributions of 14th-century Kollam. The dance form of Kathakali, in its new version of Ramanattam, was the creation of Kottarakkara
Thampuran, who also translated Krishnanattam from Sanskrit to Malayalam. Other notable figures are K. C. Kesava Pillai, a poet and playwright; he originated the musical play in Malayalam through his work Sadarma. His Kesaveeyam, a Mahakavyam, is of outstanding literary importance. Paravoor Kesavan Asan, the founding editor of Sujanandini, wrote Saratchandrika a study of Ayurvedic system of medicine.
Coming to modern times, Elamkulam
Kunjan Pillai and Soornadu Kunjan Pillai, noted literary historians and poets like O. N. V. Kurup, Thirunalloor Karunakaran, Punaloor Balan, novelist and poet Lalithambika Antharjanam are some of the literary luminaries hailing from this district. Leaders like T. M. Varghese, C. Kesavan, Kumbalathu Sanku Pillai, N. Sreekantan Pillai, R. Sankar and C. M. Stephen who played prominent roles in shaping the socio-political destiny of the State, are also from this district. The district gave birth to well known freedom fighters like Chandiran Kali Ambi, Kadakkal
Manthri and Franco Raghavan Pillai.
Places Of Worship:
There are a number of temples, ashrams and holy sites in the city, including Sree Subramanya Swami Kshethram Poojappura, in Keralapuram near Kundara. The Mata Amritanandamayi Math is situated at Parayakadavu in this district, about 20 km from the Kollam. Aasramam Sreekrishna Swamy temple is in the city where the annual Kollam pooram takes place. The Mukhathala Murari (Sree Krishna Swamy) Temple at Mukhathala is about 10 km from the city. Umayanalloor Sree Balasubramanya Swamy (Lord Muruga) Temple about 8 km from Kollam. Sree Mahaganapathy temple at Kottarakara about 25 km from Kollam.
Other temples in the city include Puthiyakkavu Devi Temple, Thamarakulam Mahaganapathy temple, Kottarakulam Mahaganapathy temple, Mulamkadakom Devi temple, Rameswaram temple, Mahavishnu temple at Thirumullavaram, Ammachiveedu temple, Ashtamudi Veerabhadraswami temple, Pattathanam Ammannada temple, Dharmasastha temple at Kadappakkada,Peroor sree meenakshi temple at Punthalathazham
, Mangalathu temple at Punthalathazham, Puttingal Temple
at Paravur, Edavanadu Bhagavathi Temple, Thrikkadavoor Mahadeva Temple, Kolloorvila Bharanikkavu
Devi temple is located in Madannada, Pallimon Mahadeva Kshetram (temple).
Some of the famous mosques are kottukadu Juma Masjid
chavara, ochira juma masjid, shaik masjid karunagapally Valiyapalli at Jonakappuram, Chinnakada
juma Masjid, Juma-'Ath Palli at Kollurvila, Juma-'Ath Palli at Thattamala, Muslim Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva, Kalamala Palli at Kalamala, Muthirapparambu Palli at Muthirapparambu and Siyavathummodu Palli at Kilikolloor. The 300 year old Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva houses the mortal remains of a Sufi saint-Syed Abdur Rahman Jifri in its premises. The Karbala Maidan and the adjacent Makani mosque serves as the Eid gah for the city's. Muthirapparambu Palli is the most important masjid in Kollam District. This masjid is situated in Vellaitambalam. One of the oldest masjid in Kerala, the mosque was built by an Labba family. The Maqbara of Muthirapparambu Uppa is famous in this masjid. Many people, Muslims and non-Muslims, are visiting this maqbara.
St Antony Church, Koivila, Kollam. Kadeesa Syrian Orthodox Church, Jonakapuram, Kollam, originally founded by the first Latin Bishop of Asia
Jordanius Kathlani in the 14th century with the patronage of Nestorian Syrian liturgy Orthodox Christian. St.Peters Church Moothakara,Infant Jesus Shrine Moothakara is a pilgrim center located near Civil Station.
The CSI Christ Church
,Craven L.M.S, Kollam claims to have its roots in the London Missionary Society. This missionary society like other religious and philanthropic organizations which sprang into existence at the close of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries was the result of the evangelistic revival among the Ezhava & Nadar communities of Kerala. St. Casmir Church Mathilil, Kollam. St. Sebastin church, Tuet, which is one of the pilgrim center located at kollam city. And Velankanni matha shrine is located at near the kollam bus station. Christ the king church, Kottappuram, Mulavana
, Kollam. The Disciples Fellowships, Pattathanam, Kollam. Our Lady of Dolours Church, Kannanalloor, Kollam.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Pullichira, Kollam.
- Hotel Raviz, Mathilil, Kollam
- The Quilon Beach, Chinnakkada, Kollam
- The Vaidya Hotel, Residency Road,Chinnakada, Kollam
- Hotel Nani, Chinnakkada, Kollam
- Hotel Sea Bee
- Hotel Nila Palace, Ezhukone, Kollam
- Aquasserenne Resort, Paravur
- Club Mahindra Back Water Retreat Resort, Chavara South
- Shah International, Kollam