Kollam, Kerala – The land of back waters & the centre of the India’s cashew industry


Located beside the Ashtamudi lake, Kollam is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century A.D. Newly named as Kollam the Kollamplace was originally named as Quilon. Kollam is known as the land of back waters. Praised whole heartedly by Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta in glowing terms, this famous port on the Malabar Coast was once part of the international spice trade. The renowned Ashtamudi Lake covers the historic town by thirty percent. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.

Places to see at Kollam: A popular tourist destination, Kollam is dotted with multiple tourist attractions which include,

Ashtamudi Backwaters

The major tourist attraction in Kollam is the Ashtamudi Backwaters. Ashtamudi Lake is the gateway to the backwaters. This 16 km long lake is the second largest in Kerala, finding its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kollam provides boat rides as well as houseboat cruises. The trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerala. The eight-hour journey gives an intimate experience of the famed waterways. You may catch a glimpse of one of the many splendour of Ashtamudi backwaters. As the boatman gently dips his paddle, without disturbing the prevailing calm, the ripples spread out gently in the shimmering golden hue of the sun.

Kollam beaches

The charming Mahatma Gandhi beach lies at a distance of 2 km from the town at Kochupilamoodu. The white sand beaches undoubtedly take the prime spot in Kollam’s tourism map. The beach and its adjacent park attract hoards of tourists. The sun-kissed golden sand beach at Thirumullavaram is yet another popular beach attraction here. The beach at Thirumullavaram is safe for swimming and to indulge in water sports.

Thangassery Light House

The 144 ft. Thangassery Light House, built in 1902, is a centre of attraction.  The AnandaValleswaram Temple here, attracts people on almost all days.  There are several Churches and Mosques in and around Kollam.  The Pullichira Church was established in 1700 A.D.  One of the oldest and most important Mosques in the Chinnakkada Palli.  The Thangal Kunju Musliar College of Engineering, the first of its kind in the private sector in the state,  is at Kilikolloor, about 7 Kms. east of Kollam town.

Thenmala Eco Tourism Centre

Thenmala is the meeting point of Kollam-Shencottah road and Trivandrum-Shencottah road, surrounded by dense forest, 66 kms east of Kollam. There are a large number of rubber and tea plantations in Thenmala. Timber of all varieties are exported from here to all parts of the country. Themala Dam site is open for tourists. Eco tourists center is situated at Thenmala. All buses passing through Kollam-Shencottah road stop at Tenmala. There is also a Railway Station here.

Palaruvi Water Falls

The famous waterfall in Kollam District is situated at Palaruvi near Aryankavu, Kollam – Sencottah NH 208. Season to visit the places is from June to January.

Adventure Park 

This delightful amusement park is located near the Kollam bus stand and never fails to amuse kids and adults alike. 

Jetayu Para

Jetayu Para, a huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. This huge rock is in the Chadayamangalam village on the M.C road. The name comes from the epic Ramayana. It is believed that Jatayu, the giant bird in the epic, fell after failing in its attempt to spot Ravana from taking sita away. The rock is ideal for trekking by the lovers of adventure. The rock can be seen from the Chadayamangalam junction. itself.

Ariankavu Pilgrimage 

This pilgrimage center is located at some distance from Kollam, yet is worth the visit. The temple holds its annual festival in December and is a grand spectacle to watch out for.


Alumkadavu located at 26 Kms from Kollam City and on the lakeside of Kollam-Alappuzha National Water Way. The “Green Channel Back Water Resort” at Alumkadavu makes itself a tranquil location for both foreign and Indian Tourists. The scenic beauty of blue green stretches of serene back water and rambling gardens of hundreds of coconut palms give the Green Channel Resort an incomparable beauty.

Apart from providing tasty Kerala/North Indian/Chinese dishes the resort offers excellent facilities like comfortable accommodation, Back Water Cruise, visit to Matha Amritanandamayi Asramam, which is only 4 KM away, House Boats, Ayurvedic treatment for rejuvenation of body by qualified and experienced Ayurvedic Practioner, canal tour with the unique opportunities to experience the true village life and do fishing leisurely.

Ashramam picnic village

The Park is located along the banks of the scenic Ashtamudi Lake. Ashramam picnic village lies at a distance of 2 km from the town on a sprawling 48 acre lush foliage. There is also an excellent children’s play area inside the park. Other facilities include boat rides for enjoying the scenic backwaters and avenues to enjoy water sports. 


Matha Amritanandamayi Math, one of the most popular pilgrimage centers in the state is located at Vallickavu, at a short distance from Kollam. The huge temple and Math are constructed near the place of birth of Matha Amritanandamayi Devi or Amma (meaning mother) – as she is popularly referred to. Many throng to the Math to catch a glimpse or ‘darshan’ of Amma and to seek blessings and consolation from her.


Having a 400 ft. long suspension bridge built in 1877 across the mighty Kallada River, which is acclaimed as the only one of its kind in South India, Punalur is a town surrounded by many plantations. The scenic town of Punalur is located at a distance of 45 km from Kollam. The famous Punalur Paper Mills which started operations way back in 1885 lies near the town. The town is a major center for trade in timber, pepper, tropical cash crops et cetera. 


Neendakara is the hub of Indo-Norwegian Fisheries Project, established in 1953. This small fishing hamlet is located at a distance of about 8 km north of Kollam. Neendakara is widely known for its Fishing Harbour and has a Fisheries Training Institute, ice factories, refrigeration plants, and Chinese fishing nets dotting the area.


The area is a favoured tourism destination for exploring the exotic tropical greenery and for catching a glimpse of wild animals. Kulathuppuzha has a famous temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The quaint town of Kulathuppuzha is located at a distance of around 10 km from Thenmala. The area is surrounded by virgin forests, a well known safe haven for wild elephants. 


The place where Kerala’s world-famous dance drama of Kathakali caught on and grew in popularity under the royal patronage in the 19th century. The erstwhile capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a branch of the Travancore Royal family, is located at a distance of 27 km from Kollam. Kottarakkara has many ancient temples and churches. 

Thevally Palace 

Savour magnificent views of the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake could be enjoyed from the palace. This palace, located in Kollam town, is now open to tourists after renovations done in the recent times. This palace still holds a romantic charm, as it is the setting where a noble lady of the palace fell in love with a British officer who lived across the lake. It is said that the faithful dog of the British used to swim across the lake to deliver his masters letters to the lady. Today a crumbling pedestal stands as a memorial to the dog’s loyalty. 

Palaruvi Waterfalls

‘Palaruvi’ means a stream of milk the milky white foam of the waterfall aptly justifies its name. The mist-clad rolling hills and stunning greenery creates a perfect setting to enjoy this magnificent waterfall. This beautiful waterfall is located amidst dense tropical forests at a distance of about 75 km from Kollam.

Munore Island

This Island is 27kms. from Kollam and is formed by the backwater of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallanda River.

Nearby attractions from Kollam: From Kollam you can make excursions to places like:


Situated about 80 kms from Punalur is an important pilgrim center. The Sastha temple here, situated amidst dense forest. The idol of Sastha is supposed to have been installed several centuries before the Christian Era. The two important festivals of this temple are Mandala Pooja (December-January) and the festival held at ‘Revathi'(January-February). The two notable features of the festival are the Therotam (chariot festival) and Pushpabhishekam (offering of flowers). In no other temple of the South India are flowers offered to the deity so lavishly as at Achencoil.


Situated 13 kms south of Punalur, Anchal is known for its cattle market held twice a month. The Mudi festival of the Bhagavathy temple here, conducted once every 12 years, attract huge gatherings.


Chavara is situated 14 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam-Alappuzha road. Thousands of tonnes of mineral sand are exported from Chavara to various countries. The Kovilthottam port is situated within the limits of Chavara Panchayat. Four major industrial establishments 1.Indian Rare Earths 2.The kerala Premo Pipe factory 3.Kerala Mineral and Metal factory 4.Titanium Complex are in Chavara.


Karunagappally is situated 27 kms north of  Kollam. It is linked with Kollam by rail and road. There is a mini civil station at Karunagappally .Padanayarkulangara, which forms part of the town, was once the military station at Kayamkulam Rajas. An idol of Buddha, recovered from a local tank here, is now preserved in the Krishnapuram palace the headquarters of Kayamkulam Rajas situated north of Oachira. The town has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, two old mosques and a mar Thomas Church.


Kottarakkara is the headquarters of Kottarakkara Taluk. It is linked by both rail and road, a distance of 27 kms. It was once the capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a principality ruled by a branch of the Travancore Royal Family. The internationally famous dance drama-Kath kali had its small beginning in this town and it flourished under the patronage of Raja of Kottarakkara.


Mayyanadu,10 kms south of Kollam is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important temple is the one at Umayanallor, dedicated to Lord Subramanian. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by Shri. Sankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a Mosque. Cotton weaving and oil pressing are the main occupation in the village.

Things to do at Kollam: Enjoy the lush landscape of this land by boarding a houseboat.  The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam is the hub of India’s cashew processing industry which also make up a must buy on a shopper’s list. All the major shopping areas and the town markets have shops that sell raw and processed cashew. One can explore the place at your own sweet pace and watch the charms of nature unfold before your very eyes. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the quaint towns and the countryside. You may also enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the gorgeous beaches in Kollam. For those having an adventurous bend of mind an exhilarating trekking expedition or mountaineering in one of the many ideal settings around Kollam without much hassle is worth. Jetayu Para and Thenmala are some of the places where one can enjoy trekking. The opportunities are numerous and you are certain to enjoy trekking in the exotic wilderness of Western Ghats.

Best season to visit Kollam: The best time to visit the place is from August to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Thiruvananathapuram International Airport situated at Valiyathura is the nearest air connection which connects the city with other major Indian and international cities. Indian Airlines has connections with Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai while overseas cities include cities in the middle east, Male and Sri Lanka.

By Rail

Kollam is an important railhead of the south railways where all the major trains on the route take a halt.

By Road

An excellent network of roads connect Kollam with other cities in Kerala. KSTRC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) buses ply regularly between Kollam and other neighbouring cities.


Where to stay ?

There are a adequate accommodation facilities in Kollam. Some options are:

Tourist Lodge (KSTDC): +91-0474-2745538
Hotel Sudarsan: +91-0474-2744322 Website: www.hotelsudarsan.com
Hotel Kailash Residency:  +91-0474-2766511
Hotel Karthika: +91-0474-2745538

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.