Kollam, Ancient Port City in Kerala.

Kollam an ancient port city in Kerala formerly known as Quilon/Coylang ( Coulão in Portuguese ) is situated on the Laccadive Sea coast of the Indian state of Kerala. You can reach Kollam Via Road, Train or Ship and it is located 70 KM to the north of Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. It is 75 KM drive from Trivandrum International Airport to Kollam for those who love to visit the city. Kollam is also know as the Land of Cashew Nuts, Coir, Black-pepper,  Seafood, Backwaters and it is often referred to as the Cashew Capital of the world. The name of Malayalam Calendar ( Kolla-Varsham ) originated from Kollam. Kollam kandavanu illam venda is a proverb in Malayalam which literally means for the one who has seen Quilon, he doesn’t need his home anymore. 

1. History 

After AD 23, so many merchants, travellers,  explorers, missionaries, apostles and army commanders visited Quilon, as Quilon was the most important trading port in India. Pliny, Saint Thomas, Mar Sabor and Mar Proth, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and Zheng He are a few of them. Pliny had mentioned about the port city of Quilon much accurately. Kollam is the most historic and ancient settlement in Kerala, probably in South India. In 822 AD, two East Syriac bishops Mar-Sabor and Mar-Proth, settled in Quilon with their followers. After the beginning of Kollam Era (824 AD), Quilon became the premier city of the Malabar region ahead of Travancore and Cochin. Kollam Port was founded by Mar Sabor at Thangasseri in 825 AD. Migration of East Syriac Christians to Kerala started in 4th century. Their second migration is dated to the year AD 823 and that was to the city of Quilon.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans came to the city of Quilon. They came as traders and established a trading centre at Tangasseri in Quilon during 1502. The then Queen of Quilon first invited the Portuguese to the city in 1501 for discussing about spices trade. But they refused that due to Vasco da Gama’s close relations with the Raja of Cochin. Later the Queen negotiated with the Raja and he permitted to send two Portuguese ships to Quilon to buy fine quality pepper. In 1503, the Portuguese General Afonso de Albuquerque went to Quilon as per the Queen’s request and collected required spices from there. Albuquerque heard that the Zamorin of Calicut was preparing a Calicut fleet of some 30 ships for Quilon. Afonso de Albuquerque left Cochin and hurried down to Quilon himself. Albuquerque signed a treaty of friendship with the Royal family of Quilon and established a factory there in 1503 itself, placing it under factor António de Sá, with two assistants and twenty armed men to protect the factory. That voyage was the beginning of trade relations between Portugal and city of Quilon, which became the centre of their trade in pepper. Soon, Quilon emerged as the richest town of the entire Malabar coast. The trade relation between Quilon and Portuguese got set back due to an insurrection happened at the Port of Quilon between the Arabs and the Portuguese. The captain of one of the Portuguese fleets saw an Arab ship is loading pepper from the port and that burst fighting between them. Aftermath, the battle started between them. 13 Portuguese men were killed including António de Sá and the St. Thomas church was burned down. To prevent further devastation, the Queen of Quilon signed a treaty with the Portuguese and as a result, they got customs tax exemption and monopoly over the spice and pepper tread with Quilon. The royal family of Quilon agreed to rebuild the destroyed church. The Portuguese conquered Quilon till 1661. They fought with the Arab traders and captured a huge amount of gold after killing more than 2000 Arab traders.

With the arrival of the Dutch and their peace treaty signing with Quilon, the Portuguese started losing their authority on Quilon and later, Quilon officially became a Dutch protectorate. Dutch arrived Quilon in the year 1658 and signed a peace treaty in 1659. Thus Quilon became the official protectorate of the Dutch and their officer in-charge, Rijcklof van Goens, placed a military troop in the city to protect it from probable invasions from Portuguese and the British. The West Quilon region including Tangasseri named as ‘Dutch Quilon’ then. St.Thomas Fort (once known as Fortaleza da São Tomé) was built by the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque for the protection of the newly developed trade. In 1505 the Portuguese established a trading port here, and in 1518 established its sovereignty through the construction of Fort St. Thomas. Later in 1661 the town and the fort were handed over to the Dutch who made it the capital of Dutch Malabar. The Dutch occupied the fort for several years.

The Battle of Quilon was fought in 1809 between a troop of the Indian kingdom of Travancore led by the then Dalawa (prime minister) of Travancore, Velu Thampi Dalawa and the British East India Company led by Colonel Chalmers at Cantonment Maidan in Quilon. The battle lasted for only six hour and was the result of the East India Company’s invasion of Quilon and their garrison situated near the Cantonment Maidan. The company forces won the battle while all the insurrectionist who participated in the war were court-martialed and subsequently hanged at the maidan. Later, Venad Kingdom was completely merged with the Kingdom of Travancore during the rein of Marthanda Varma and Kollam remained as the capital of Travancore Kingdom. The Government Secretariat was also situated in Kollam till 1830s. It was moved to Thiruvananthapuram during the reign of Swathi Thirunal

Chamakada is an export and commercial hub of Kollam an ancient port city. The ancient Kollam city was one of the famous trade centers. Marco Polo, the great Venician traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublahan in 1275, visited Kollam and other towns on the west coast, in his capacity as a Chinese mandarin. He pointed out that Old Kollam is the only town in west coast with multi-story buildings. We can see those buildings in the downtown area of Kollam even now. He found Christians and Jews living in Coilum (Kollam). He also found merchants from China and Arabia. He has given a detailed account of Kollam in his writings, extracts of which are reproduced in the Travancore Manual. Remnants of stone age was also found from Kollam an ancient port city in kerala, that reveals the importance of Kollam city. Kollam Canal is a bustling part of Trivandum-Shornur Canal (TS Canal) system, ideal for tourism and container transportation. The Inland Navigation Department is having jurisdiction over Kollam Canal. Kollam Canal was an arterial inland waterway of old Quilon city. It was the major trade channel of Travancore state that time. Giant cargo vessels ferrying different types of goods through this canal were a common view of Quilon city those days. Chamakada served as a harbour for unloading the goods brought by these vessels to Kollam. Processed cashew from various factories in the Cashew Capital along with other goods from the wholesale markets of old Quilon city for export was the major export material handled at Chamakada that time.

2. Attractions 

Kollam is an ancient port city in Kerala and a paradise for tourists with its lovely beaches, lakes, backwaters, temples, heritage zones, food, art & crafts, hill stations, waterfalls, wildlife zones, ecotourism and adventure zones. Art forms like Kathakali and Karadi kali is very famous in Kollam. Crafts forms like Hay Art, Coconut Shell Products and Nettippattam is quite unique. 

Top Places to visit in Kollam are :-

  1. KOLLAM BEACH
  2. VAADI FISHING HARBOUR 
  3. TANGASSERI BREAKWATER
  4. TANGASSERI FORT
  5. TANGASSERI LIGHT HOUSE
  6. THANNI BEACH / PARAVOOR
  7. AZHEEKAL BEACH
  8. AYIRAMTHENGU 
  9. KANNETY 
  10. OCHIRA 
  11. KATTIL MEKKATHIL
  12. KRISHNAPURAM PALACE 
  13. MUNROE ISLANDS
  14. SHAKTHIKULANAGARA/NEENDRAKARA FISHING HARBOUR 
  15. KOTTARAKKARA GANAPATHI TEMPLE 
  16. PALARUVI 
  17. THENMALA
  18. SCHENDURENEY
  19. ROSEMALA 
  20. PINNACLE VIEW POINT 
  21. AMBANADU 
  22. MALAMEL 
  23. KOTTUKAL CAVE TEMPLE 
  24. KUDUKATHU PARA ECOTOURISM 
  25. KULATHUPUZHA TEMPLE 
  26. ACHANKOVIL 
  27. PUNALOOR BRIDGE 
  28. MEENPIDI PARA
  29. VALLIKAVU
  30. ALUMKADAVU
  31. MEENMUTTY  WATERFALLS 
  32. PANMANA ASHRAMAM
  33. KOTTARAKKARA TEMPLE AND KATHAKALI MUSEUM 
  34. POLICE MUSEUM
  35. 8 POINT ART CAFE
  36. ADVENTURE PARK
  37. JATAYU EARTH CENTRE
  38. Vattathil Waterfalls
  39. Oliyarik Waterfalls
  40. Kumbhavurutty Manalar Waterfalls

Contact for more Info: +91 474 276 9999

Discover more about Kollam at :

www.kollamtourism.org , www.discoverkollam.com

Kollam Beach Blog

Kollam Beach – The Most Visited Beach in Kerala

Kollam Beach the most visited beach in Kerala is situated at the heart of Kollam City and very near to Kollam Sea Port, Bus Station and Railway Station. It is one of the longest and most preferred beaches in Kerala, India. Right at the beach you can also spot The Quilon Beach Hotel ( Previously called The Beach Orchid Hotel ) the first five star hotel in Kollam.

The Kollam Beach also houses the Mahatma Gandhi Park, which was inaugurated in 1961, and has been a significant tourist attraction ever since.  An aquarium is also getting ready right at the beach. The backwaters are also very close to the beach with a boat terminal for inland navigation. One can see the magnificent Vaadi Fishing Harbour, Kollam Sea Port, Tangasseri Breakwater and Tangasseri Light House right from the beach. Mesmerising view of the sunrise, the sunset, the ships and the fishing boats adds feast to your eyes. Weekends are mostly crowded at the beach with large number of tourists and visitors from around the country. Various activities are available for kids at the nearby kids play areas while all can enjoy kite flying at the beach.

Voted as the first ‘Beach Wedding Destination‘ in Kerala, the Kollam Beach requires no introduction. This scenic and breathtaking natural wonder is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Beach and boasts of pristine blue waters that seem to unite with the bright sky at an infinite distance, while tourists marvel at the sheer magnificence of the majestic scene. The Kollam Beach is brimming with a large number of local and international tourists all year round who can be seen enjoying the numerous activities that the beach offers, while also appreciating the enchanting panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. The cultural and spiritual aura of the beach is indeed contagious and fills the visitors with renewed energy and passions. 

Opening/Closing time : It is open 24X7

Contact for more Info: +91 474 276 9999

Discover more about Kollam at :

www.kollamtourism.org , www.discoverkollam.com

The Rich Backwaters of Kollam

The coastal district of Kollam formerly known as Quilon lies 70 km from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. The first thing that comes to the mind of a Keralite when he hears of Kollam is the delicious cashew nut. The orchards and their abundant yield of the costly nut have led to the title “Cashew Kings” dispersed among some of the rich. The place is rich in marine yield also. It is one of the oldest ports and trading centres in Kerala. It finds mention in history pointing to its trading connection to Phoenicians and Romans before the start of Christian era. Let us know have an insight into the rich backwaters of Kollam.

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Kollam Cuisine

Must try Food and Cuisines of Kollam

Food is not just of the tool of survival. Food is art and Cuisine the different forms. It is said that you can tell a lot of the history and culture of a land, from its cuisine. Bygone are the days when people ate because they were hungry. Now rather than to live, many live to eat. We live in an era where people travel just to check out the various cuisine in each land, and today I am here to talk about must try food and cuisines of Kollam.

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Top Beaches to Visit in Kollam

Who doesn’t love a beach holiday? From an escape from the busy city life to action-packed beach activities, beach holidays are everyone’s paradise. One such paradise that stands out in the global picture lies on the coast of the enchanting Arabian Sea. An antique port city and a once upon a time bustling harbour city of Chinese, French and Dutch, one of the favourite tourist spots from over 400 hundred years ago, Kollam is home to an array of beaches. Even to this day, we can observe Chinese fishing nets, Chinese water pots and sampan-like boats finding it’s home along Kollam’ harbour. Attracting huge flocks of tourist each day, Top Beaches to visit in Kollam are one certainly not to miss.

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The History and Heritage of Kollam

Kollam or Quilon, formerly known as Desinganadu, is an ancient seaport city on the Laccadive Sea coast, nearby the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake. One of the most important trade centres in India in the earliest of times, today Kollam is known for it’s tourist attractions which include it’s astonishing Ashtamudi backwaters, soothing beaches and enticing picnic spots. Let us have an insight into the rich History and Heritage of Kollam.

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Kollam – The top ‘MICE’ destination in India.

MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) is a type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together. Closed air-tight room meetings and conferences are now a thing of past, as more and more firms realise the huge role that ambience plays in decision making. Whether you are discussing the market prospects or making an important decision, or say, have come down to visit the art or to attend a conference, you want to make sure that you and your team are at your best. To attain so, one must ensure that the environment one is in is calm, relaxing and refreshing. What makes Kollam the top MICE destination in India ?

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The Top Beach Weddings Destination in Kerala

Wedding is one occasion that love birds from all around the world look forward to with much love, warmth and excitement. On that day, two souls bound by love, are then bond together for life in the name of holy matrimony. Weddings celebrate your love to your better half. A onetime affair that you want to make memorable. Won’t you want it special? Then go for the top beach wedding destination in Kerala.

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