Kollam or Quilon, is mentioned in the Greek literature from the first century. The city lies between the sea on one side and the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake on the other. Kollam has been a thriving trading port for centuries, but not any more. The Government is in the process of reviving trade, for which a new port and a artificial harbour has been constructed. The surrounding region produces pepper, cashews, coir and other agricultural products. Local communities include Christians, Muslims and Hindus The city's main market is named Chinnakadda, it is a break up of two words, China and Kadda meaning a shop. Ancient Kollam and China were trade partners for a long period of time. Fishing occurs right along the coast as in other parts of Kerala. Quilon Beach, which is not suitable for swimming due to a continental shelf, is the closest. The other being the Thirumullavaram Beach which is around 5 kilometers from the center of the city. Tangassery, an old part of Kollam City, was formerly a Portuguese colony. It starts when you enter a gateway called Kaval, in the local language. The area later on was taken over by the British. There lies an old Duch fort (now in ruins), the light house, an old Duch, Portuguese and British cemetary (pratically invisible), the former residence of the Duch Governor now the present Bishop's Palace, Old Churches etc.
How to reach
Kollam / Quilon is well connected by a good number of trains wih all the states. It is a Junction and has the railway code of QLN. You can travel to Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras) or Bangalore or come in from these places.
The city is situated on the National Highway 47. The KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport) station connects the city with a number of round the clock bus services. Long distance buses too operate from as far as Mysore in Karnataka to cities in Tamil Nadu.
The nearest Airport is the Trivandrum International and Domestic Airport. The airport is around 70 kilometers from the city and one can reach under 2 hours from there.
The National Highway 47 and 208 pass through the city.
By a backwater cruise
The District Tourism Promotional Council (DTPC) conducts daily a cruise starting from the Kollam Boat Jetty located near the KSRTC Bus Stand. It starts at 10:30 AM and costs Rs.300 per person. It is an 8 hour cruise to Alappuzha (Alleppey). You can contact DTPC at India Code(91)Area code(474) Telephone numbers (2253308 / 2251796).
By a Seaplane
The Government has inagurated the service but the commercial service is yet to begin. Will update once the details are out. It will connect Kollam (Quilon) with Alappuzha (Alleppey).
Alumkadavu, (26 km from Kollam). Scenic place, with blue green stretches back water, coconut palms, back water cruise, house boats, Ayurvedic treatment centers.
Amritapuri Asramam, . A Hindu pilgrim center for worshipers of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
Aryankavu, (73 km east of Kollam). Pilgrim center, old trade route for merchants from either sides of western Ghats, famous for shrine of Lord Sastha, fine sculptures and mural paintings.
Chavara, (14 km north of Kollam on NH47). Famous for the mineral sand and place of Catholic saint Sister Alphonsa.
Karunagappally, (27 km north of Kollam in NH47). Famous mosque and dome of martyrs, a unique pilgrimage center. Old military station of Kayamkulam Rajas.
Kottarakkara, (27 km northeast of Kollam). Erstwhile capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a ruling family. Famous for Kath Kali (a dance drama).
Kundara. A prominent place in Kollam famous for industries.
Mayyanad, (10 km south of Kollam). Famous for its shrines and temples.
Mannadi, (24 km east of Kollam). Famous as the place where Veluthampi Dalawa laid down his life.
Neendakara (Long Shore), (8 km north of Kollam). Famous for its fisheries industries.
Oachira, (32 km north of Kollam in NH47), ☎ 0476. Famous temple & mosque, a unique pilgrim center and handicraft center. Oachira padanilam was the battle field of Kayamkulam Rajas.
Paravur, (13 km south of Kollam). Famous for coir production center and fishing.
Sasthamcotta, (19 km from Kollam). Biggest freshwater lake in Kerala.
Thangassery, (5 km away from Kollam). Place of historical importance, with old 18th century churches, light house and remnants of Portuguese and Dutch forts.It is a melting pot where anglo-indian communities and the common people are found. the culture is quite different fromother parts of kollam.you can attend to Enhglish masses in the cathedral.you will find an English speaker anywhere round the place who will be of help to you.There are two Anglo-indian schools near to the cathedral.
Thenmala, 66 km east of Kollam (on the way to Shencottah, it is also reachable from [[Trivandrum]]). Dam site with dense forest is famous for eco tourism.
Kalayapuram, (34 km from Kollam, on the way to Kottayam from Kottarakara). It is believed that old Kalayan royal family were ruled from this place, hence the name Kalayapuram.
Thangassery Fort, (North end of the harbour). Some limited standing ruins of an old colonial fort. You can see two different sides of the building, the first from the harbour side (where it is visible at some distance), and the second from the opposite side. The site is slightly overgrown so beware of snakes if you venture close. An auto-rickshaw from the Main Road bus stop cost 50 rupees.Free.
Thangassery Lighthouse. 3-5PM. A modern lighthouse in a historic Christian quarter of town that is possible to climb in the afternoons. Best to combine with the Thangassery Fort, as the two sites are in easy and shaded walking distance.Small fee.
Thangassery Church Ruins, (200m north of the Thangassery Fort intersection, on the right-hand side of the road, behind a house). The ruins of a church bell-tower and some adjacent graves and headstones are still standing here behind some local houses. You can probably spot them from the road if you're careful, but ask around and you will likely be shown inside. The locals are Christians and speak English.
summer palace in tangassery, near to Bishop's house (5kms from kollam). you can watch the summer house/palace near bishop's house which is a retreat along the beaches of Arabian sea
Tangassery Cathedral, Infant Jesus Anglo-Indian Boys High School (5kms from kollam). Mainly known as puthenpally,Infant Jesus cathedral is a must see in your visit to kollam.
13 arch bridge (13 kannara bridge), (8°58'1N 77°5'27E). Pathimoonnu kannara palam" very beautifull sight,The bridge which was constructed during the British regeim using surki construction,A period when cement was not in use.The bridge with its 13 arches still holds strong one of Indias oldest mountain rails (Meter Guage)which once used to be the main trade route between Quilon(kerala)and Tirunelveli(Tamil Nadu).The Rail ride itself is a pleasant experience as the trains passes through dense forests,long tunnels and steeps and slopes
It's basically eating/shopping/sightseeing. Don't swim in the water as there's a large amount of unprocessed sewerage.
Backwaters tours: Go to the lake at the end of the Hospital Road, you can book tours for 400rupies half day at the DTPC Office or other agencies. They have tours at 8am and 2pm(minimum 2 people).
JOY ALUKKAS. A shopping mall for dress materials
KMall. A new opened shopping mall. Not far from the ferry station.
Quilon Beach Hotel, a five star hotel, has excellent restaurants that serve fresh sea food, contintental and Indian cuisine.Quilon Beach Hotel
There are a few good vegetarian places set away from the road in the area just north of the Main Road bus stop, before the big traffic roundabout. Meat seekers can eat down the road west of that area.
Quilon Beach Hotel,a five star hotel, has an excellent Bar that serves all varieties of drinks and also features restaurants that serve fresh sea-food, continental and Indian cuisine.Quilon Beach Hotel
Along the Main road you will find many 'Tourist Home' guest house for around 200rupies single room with fan and attached bathroom.
Karuna Residency. (Main road). Double/Single rooms and dormitory.
Sri Uma Maheswara Tourist Home. Situated in front of the hindu temple in the Main road.
Lakshmi Tourist Home (very near the Sri Uma Mahesware Tourist Home)
Quilon Beach Hotel, . A 5 Star beach hotel, centrally located. Beautiful Sea view, with wonderful staff. INR. 5999.
Government Guesthouse, (Northeast of town). Whilst the old building is of some interest, in mid 2011 the guesthouse appeared closed "for renovations" without a particular date of re-opening ("real soon now", they said). There is no sign on the building, but auto-rickshaw drivers can take you there for 20 rupees from the main road bus stop. A long way from anywhere, if you do try it and it's open then you are probably guaranteed peace and quiet.
Nani Hotel, (Next to Main Road bus stop, east of the market area). Excellent location. For slightly more money than the government-run Tamarind Hotel (miles from anywhere, and nothing special) this place gets you a much nicer environ and location. Reception staff speak excellent English, others apparently cannot. At checkin I was told that no fan rooms were available, and was forced to pay for AC. However, upon complaining about the tax it was quickly considered included in the room rate instead of added on as usual: worth trying. Wifi is available but is charged at 50 rupees/hr, or 300 rupees/24hr: you wonder why the bothered installing it!~1200-1600(maybe+tax) rupees for fan/AC rooms.
Tamarind Hotel, (Near the Government Guesthouse). An inconvenient location and poor value for the price make this a terrible selection, save for the view out over the water. The rooms are spacious, just about three times what you'd expect them to cost. A classic study in a government-run business... all the makings of success, but none of the right decisions, and an evidently rapidly progressing trend toward total apathy.~1200 incl. tax for an AC room (No fan rooms available).
Raviz, asramon,kollam (near to DTPC,kollam). A new luxury hotel on the banks of the L. Ashtamudi.Costlier rates compared to others but the stay will be worth it