District : Kollam
Location : Between the Eight-Cornered Ashtamudi Lake and the Lakshadweep Sea
Known As : Cashew Country
Best Time to Visit : August to April
Kollam Backwaters - Kollam
|To See :
|Colonial Relics, Dutch Quilon, Thirumullavaram Beach, Thevaly Palace, Ashtamudi Backwaters, Neendakara.
|Most Famous For :
|Cashew and Marine Industries.
|Don't Miss :
|Fishing with Chinese Fishing Nets.
|Must Experience :
|Stay in a Houseboat during a Trip to Ashtamudi Backwaters.
|Getting Around :
|Thangasseri 5 km, Thirumullavaram Beach 6 km, Mayyand 10 km, Thirumullavaram Beach 6 km, Thevalli Palace 26 km, Thenmala 70 km.
|Getting There :
|Air - Nearest
Airport : Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
Rail - Kollam Junction connected daily to Mumbai by Kanyakumari and Quilon Expresses.
Road - N- H 74 to Kollam via Mangalapuram. N-H-220 to Theni and N-H-208 to Thirumangalam.
|Inside Tip :
|Kollam, is also blessed with backwaters. When you are into the waters always prefer a boat that is sailed by local sailors as they have better knowledge of backwaters.
|Where to Eat :
|Supreme Bakery Cashew Biscuits, Green Pepper Pickle, Hotel Sudarsan Chemmeen (Prawns), Erachi (Beef).
|Staying Options :
|Ashtamudi Resort, Hotel Sudarsan, Shantigiri, Ayurveda Centre, Aquaserene, Sarovarom, Valiyavila, Family Estate.
"Once you have seen Kollam you would no more need
your illam (home)"
- Local Proverb
There is a unmistakable fragrance of spices in her name, a hint of pride in a legacy that she flaunts ever so graciously. Kollam, Quilon, Desinganadu..call her what you will, and she will answer in the only way she knows; with a appealing wave of coconut palms, the mesmerizing sound of backwaters setting a soothing background score. People come, people see and eventually people fall in love with the lustre of her historic tapestry. Situated to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, between the eight-cornered Ashtamudi Lake and the Lakshadweep Sea, this district takes the credit for being the hub of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. And though the cashewnut trade traces a different graph, Kollam rewards you in more ways than one. The sight of white egrets dipping into the clear waters of the Ashtamudi Lake on a moonlit night, is simply stunning. At the many temples, mosques and churches of this trivial town, you will meet people eager to share their stories and monuments. The tsunami of December 2004 did affect Kollam, and the indignant waters snatched 131 lives, but it is a measure of the town's resilence that it is already looking ahead. With so much to do, feel and taste in Kollam, one surely cannot forget the undeniable charm of this town throughout his life.
The official name, Kollam, is thought to be a derivative of 'kolam', the Sanskrit word for pepper. But the tourists who visit this part of Kerala, love to call her 'swapna desham', or dreamland. Even Marco Polo, who dropped by in the 13th century, could only describe her in glowing terms. The old sea port town of Kollam on the Arabian coast, has always enjoyed a commercial reputation since the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Nurtured by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Batuta in the 14th century, as one of the most bustling ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty four years.
Most of the sights in Kollam are contoured within a radius of 8-10 km from the city centre. One can start a tour from the Residency Guest House and the Adventure Park, shop at Chinnakada and then go to Thirumullavaram and Thangasseri beaches. Spend the next morning at the cashewnut farms. Keep half a day for backwater cruise and wind up the day with a perfect dinner at one of the lakeside resorts. On the third day, visit Neenadakara Port.
Thirumullavaram Beach - Kollam
The sheltered recess of the calm Arabian sea, Thirumullavaram, is situated 6 km away from the heart of the city and still carves its own niche in the hearts of the people who come here for a holiday. The inaudible waves are just perfect for swimming and bathing. Tan your skin in the flames of the sun or bask in the splendour of the sunset. After a true madman show on the beach, refresh yourself with a sip of tender coconut water - a taste of nature's reviving nectar. If you happen to be there during a low tide, you can see the Nyarazhacha Paara (Sunday Rock), nestling about 1 ½ km in the lap of the Arabian Sea. Visit the Mahavishnu Temple, believed to have been consecrated by Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala. You will be amazed to see two idols perching in the same sanctum - a bizarre feature not usually found in Indian Temples - an idol of Vishnu facing east and Shiva facing west.
A houseboat trip is must in your Kollam itinerary. Get to the jetty near the bus station and you can see hundreds of colourful house boats resting by the canal, only when a tourist is seen do the picture spring up to life competing for business. If you are staying at one of the lakeside hotels, you can board the boat from there itself. The Kayal Pradakshina Cruise would take you to the Munroe Island, formed by the backwaters of Astamudi and Kallada River. However, the backwater tour from Kollam to Alappuzha is the longest cruise in Kerala and takes around 8 hours to culminate. It is a delightful ride, and you can see lotuses and water lilies growing in the water, water birds calling from the banks and otters splashing their hearts out. Take up a nice sunbathing spot on the roof of the boat and sit back, relaxed and enjoy the views. As the boat will continue its journey through the backwaters, you will pass through myriad rural settlements sited on narrow strips of land amid labyrinthine waterways. You can see the folks engaged in routine activities; boat men taking goods and materials from one village to the next, children swimming, women washing clothes, and fishermen winding up their fishing nets in traditional wooden boats.
Kollam is widely known as the Cashew Paradise in Kerala, and affords a wide cultivation and processing techniques. Plan a visit ot the sprawling cashew gardens and you can have a close rendezvous with this kidney-shaped fruit of great commercial importance. The nut grows on the end of a fleshy, pear-shaped stalk, called the cashew apple, which is white, yellow, or red, juicy and slightly acid, and is eaten or fermented to make wine. The shell yields a light-colored oil - said to be the equal of olive oil - which has a lot therapeutic usages. And ultimately it is the taste that enchants every visitor. Get a packet of fried cashews, and you cannot resist yourself with just one. It's true that "Nobody can eat just one".
The square-shaped clock tower, which you can see from any part of historic Chinnakada market, is the best place to start touring Kollam. Tourists can visit the Thevally Palace, currently used by the Indian Army. Though most of it has been repainted, still the ambrosial palace displays a magnificent view from the lake. You can hear stories about the faithful dog who used to swim across the lake just to deliver his master's love. Legend has it that a Britishman, who lived across the lake fell in love with a lady from the palace. One day the dog was found dead, and only a crumbling pedestal stands today as a placard of loyalty. The 144 ft. Thangassery Light House, built in 1902, nestling on the sun-kissed sands of Thangassery is a must see. Drive 8 km from Kollam on NH 47, on the Alleppey route to reach Neendakara. Once a fishing harbour under the Indo-Norwegian project, today it is more famous as a viewing point for 'Chaakara', a post monsoon phenomenon that occurs just off the coast. Interstingly, the nature makes it own room with elevated mud banks, creating a lagoon teeming with prawn, sardines and shrimps.
Kollam is situated on NH 47 that links Salem to Kanyakumari, via Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Alleppy. So if you happen to be in any of these destinations, feel free to take the NH 47. If you are flying by air, disembark at Thiruvananthapuram airport and take a private taxi to cover 67 km to reach Kollam. If you plan to come from Delhi, take the Kerala Express. Otherwise, take the Kanyakumari or Quilon Express, if happen to come from Mumbai.
Top 5 Reasons To Visit Kollam
What's In A Name
Wet Your Spirits With The Sands and Then Clean
Them In The Sea
Spend A Day On The Surface of BackWater
Go Crazy With Kollam Nuts
Where The Nature Build Its own Way
South & Beaches