Kollam

Image of ThenmalaEulogized by travelers such as Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta, Kollam is where the famed network of waterways begins. The Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the backwaters and Kerala tourism, cover about 30% of Kollam.From here, a 130 km long system of interlinked canals and lakes snakes up all the way to the north.

Kollam is alos regarded as the hub of cashew processing and the centre of the fisheries industry in Kerala.Moreover, over 2,000 factories and industrial units churning our products as diverse as coir, chemicals, cereamics, minerals and seafood make it the most industrialized district in Kerala.

For details of Kollam District , see the web page http://halokerala.com/picnic-spots/Kollam/

Alumkadavu Boat Building Yard

Located on the northern backwaters of Kollam, near Karunagappally, the famous kettuvalloms,or houseboats are crafted here. Known as a boat building and repairing centre, Alumkadavu is also popular as the ideal location watch coir being made.

Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram

Vallikavu, the birthplace of the famous spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi,is now known as Amritapuri and is a beehive of activity as the headquarters of the Mata Amritanandamayi Trust. The 5 acre plot holds a self contained township that includes a post office, bank, library and charitable dispensary.

Picnic Village

Ashramam Adventure ParkThe main centre of recreational activities in Kollam, this village located along the backwater front attracts a large crowd. The Government Guest House over two centuries old, the adventure Park, The Tourist Boat Club, the Children Traffic Park and the Yatri Nivas are housed in the vast Picnic Village.

Ashtamudi Backwaters

The many cruises organized by DTPC is the finest way to explore these backwaters. The highlights of a one day houseboat trip could include visits to Panmana Beach, a coir making unit, and the houseboat building yard at Alumkadavu.A day  - night cruise entails a night stay on the Ashtamudi Lake.The historic Munroe Thuruthu is loacted in Ashtamudi lake.

The wide expanse of Ashtamudi Lake, the dark green banks lined with beautiful little houses with slopping roofs, the occasional flotilla o f ducks that passed and the groups of cranes overflying… all are sights to unfamiliar for your weary urban eyes used to only pollution and traffic. The palm fronds of the coconut trees are waving from all sides.

Ochira Parabrahma Temple

This temple has neither a structure to house an idol, not an idol to worship. Ochira is dedicated to the formless, infinite ‘Para Brahma’, the Absolute and Supreme Principle.

The annual festival,Ochirakali,held during June – July, commemorate the historic battle between the Kayamkulam and Chempakasseri rajas.

Thenmala

Thenmala, situated in Kollam district, is the first planned eco tourism destination in Asia. The Shenduruney Wildlife sanctuary, adventure zone, leisure zone, cultural zone and the butterfly safari peak are to the attractions of Thenmala eco tourism managed by the Thenmala Eco Tourism Promotion Society.Palaruvi Falls is an added attraction located nearby.The Dharmasastha is one of the five important temples dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in Kerala that is on the banks of Achankovil River. Rosemala,tucked away in a forest,is a less explored tourist destination near Kollam.

Sastamkotta Dharmasastha Temple

This is one among the many temples in Kollam dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.A 10 day annual festival includes the colorful Kettukazhcha procession, various folk art performances and an elephant procession.The temple is in the Town of Sasthamkotta Freshwater Lake, the largest freshwater body in Kerala.

Thirumullavaram Beach

Six kilometers away from Kollam is the beautiful Thirumullavaram Beach. About 1.5 km into the sea is the Nyarazhacha Para (Literally, Sunday Rock).It can be seen from the shore at low tide.Thangassery is a heavily populated beach town on the shore of the Arabian Sea in Kollam.

Paravoor/Paravur

Safely perched on the back of an elephant, have a ride through the verdant country , Paravoor to the South of Kollam.A little bit of boating in the Paravur backwaters to meet the native inland fishermen and to gain first hand information on the flourishing cottage industry of coir making is worthwhile.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (71 Kms).International and domestic flights of major companies operate to cities and coutries from here.Airport International PH: 0471 2500140,Domestic : 0471 2702311

By Rail : Kollam railway junction is connected to all major town in Kerala.Kollam is an important railhead of Southern Railways.Phone : 0474 2746194.Railway enquiry Ph : 139,1397.

By Road : Kollam is well connected by three national highways – NH – 47 NH – 208 and NH 17.Private and KSRTC buses frequently ply to all cities and towns and villages in Kerala.Kollam is connected by road with major centres and cities in India.Long distance buses operate from KSRTC Bus Station.Phone : 0474 2752008.

Where to stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Kollam,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kollam/

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Published on 24/10/2014

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