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Kerala Tourist Places - KOLLAM

Area 2579 sq. km
Population 2,584,118 (2001 census)
Altitude Sea level

Located 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is the centre of the countrys cashew trading and processing industry. One of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast, Kollam was once the port of international spice trade. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.

Accessing Kollam
Telephone access code : +91-474

Air :Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram (71 km)

Rail : Kollam is an important railhead of the Southern Railways. Enquiry Ph: 131

Road : KSRTC, Central Bus Stn.

Ferry services: The ferry station is adjacent to the central bus station (3 km from the railway station).
Places to Visit

Thangasseri

Distance : 5 km from Kollam town
This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18 th 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.

Thirumullavaram Beach

Distance : 6 km north of Kollam town
This secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre and has frequent bus connections to the town.

Mayyanad

Distance : 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

Distance : 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

Distance : 34 km north of Kollam town
The unique feature of this famour 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 .

Thenmala

Distance : 66 km east of Kollam
Covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations, Thenmala is home to India’s first planned eco-tourism project. Selected by World Tourism Organisation as one of the world’s best eco-friendly projects, Thenmala has a leisure zone that includes winding pathways, a sway bridge and a boardwalk, a culture zone with an amphitheatre and a musical fountain and an adventure zone.

Palaruvi Waterfalls

Distance : 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.

Rameshwaram Temple

This temple which shows Pandyan influence in its design has inscriptions in Tamil, dating from the 12 th to the 16 th 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.

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.