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"Quilon" redirects here. For other uses, see Quilon (disambiguation).
Quilon (Angilicised name)
Nickname(s): Prince of Arabian sea
Cashew Capital of the World[1]
de facto International capital for spice trade[2]
Gateway to backwaters
Kollam is located in Kerala
Coordinates: 8°53′N 76°36′E / 8.88°N 76.60°E / 8.88; 76.60Coordinates: 8°53′N 76°36′E / 8.88°N 76.60°E / 8.88; 76.60
Country  India
Region South India
State Kerala
District Kollam District
Former Name Quilon
Native Language Malayalam
Established 1096
Named for "कोल्लं(Kollam)" means pepper
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Kollam Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Mrs. Prasanna Ernest
 • MP N.K Premachandran
 • City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera IPS
 • Secretary Mrs. M. Sabina Paul
 • City 58.18 km2 (22.46 sq mi)
Area rank 5 (only Corporation area)
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • City 349,033
 • Rank 4 (49th IN)
 • Density 5,936/km2 (15,370/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,110,005
Demonym Kollamite, Kollathukaaran
 • Official Malayalam(മലയാളം)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 691 0XX
Telephone code Kollam, Kottarakkara, Paravur: 91 (0)474, Punalur: 91 (0)475, Karunagappally: 91 (0)476
Vehicle registration Kollam, Paravur: KL-02, Karunagappally: KL-23, Kottarakkara: KL-24, Punalur: KL-25, Kunnathur: KL-61
Sex ratio 1112 /
Literacy 91.18%[4]
Website www.kollam.gov.in, www.kollamcorporation.gov.in
Thangassery Breakwaters

Kollam or Quilon, is an old sea port and town on the Laccadive Sea coast in Kerala, India on the Ashtamudi Lake. Kollam, once called Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Battuta as one of the five ports which he had seen in the course of his travels during twenty-four years, in the 14th century.

General information[edit]

Kollam is a coastal city on the banks of the Ashtamudi lake that took on the title God's Own Country without much demur. The braids of Ashtamudi Lake lie about 71 kilometres (44 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. The city hosts the administrative offices of Kollam district and is a prominent city of trade for the state. The Male-Female Sex ratio of Kollam city is 2nd in the list of top 500 most populated cities in India.[5]

Four Major Centers are Kottarakara(കൊട്ടാരക്കര), Punalur, Paravur and Karunagapally.

An ancient trading town – trading with Romans, Chinese, Arabs and other Orientals – with historical citations of trade dating back to Biblical history to Red Sea ports of the Arabian Sea and the reign of Solomon (supported with a find of ancient Roman coins).[6][7] Internal trade occurred through the Punalur Pass connecting the ancient town to Tamil Nadu. The overland trade by bullock cart of its produce pepper and the trade over the waterways connecting Allepey and Cochin ensured trade linakges that grew into shaping it as a town playing host to one of the earliest industrial townships. The rail links established to Tamil Nadu supported firmer trade links. The marine exports processing factories and the processing and packaging of cashewnuts took the produce of these shores across the globe.[8]

Major characteristics[edit]

Kollam is the fourth-largest city after Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode,in Kerala on the basis of population (The new population is taken as city agglomeration) and the fifth-largest city on the basis of Corporation area after Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Thrissur.[citation needed] It is known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. Ashtamudi Lake is considered to be the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is a prominent tourist destination at Kollam. The Kollam urban area comprises suburban towns such as Kottiyam in the south, Kundara in the east, and Chavara in the north of the city. Other important towns in the city suburbs are Eravipuram, Kannanallur and Anchalumoodu. Karunagapally, Paravur and Kottarakkara are major towns within a distance of 25 km from Kollam city centre towards north, south, and east respectively.

Kollam appeared as Palombe in Mandeville's Travels, where he claimed it contained a Fountain of Youth.[9][10] During the later stages of the rule of the Chera monarchy in Kerala, Kollam emerged as the focal point of trade and politics. Kollam continues to be a major business and commercial centre in the central Travancore region of Kerala.


The Malayalam calendar, or Kollavarsham, was created in Kollam at meetings held in the city in 825 CE.[11] The present Malayalam calendar is said to have begun with the founding of the town. Having been rebuilt after it was razed down, apparently by a fire. The name Kollam is believed to have been derived from the Sanskrit word Kollam, meaning pepper.


Kollam was a flourishing port of the Chera Dynasty until the formation of the Venad kingdom, when it became the capital of the independent Venad kingdom. Before that, Kollam was considered one of the four early entrepots in the global sea trade around the 13th century, along with Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, the Chinese city of Quanzhou, and Malacca in the Malaysian archipelago[12]

Chera rule[edit]

Kollam shares fame with Pattanam (Muziris) as an ancient seaport on the Malabar Coast of India from the early centuries before the Christian era.

Kollam had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and Ancient Rome. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) mentions Greek ships anchored at Muziris and Nelcynda. There was also a land route over the Western Ghats. Spices, pearls, diamonds, and silk were exported to Egypt and Rome from these ports. Pearls and diamonds came to Chera Kingdom from Ceylon and the southeastern coast of India, then known as the Pandyan Kingdom.

Kollam in the 1500s
Capture of Kollam in 1661
Kollam in the 1800s

Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek Nestorian sailor,[13] in his book the Christian Topography[14] who visited the Malabar coast in 550 AD, mentions an enclave of Christian believers in Male (Chera Kingdom). He wrote, "In the island of Tabropane (Ceylon), there is a church of Christians, and clerics and faithful. Likewise at Male, where the pepper grows and in the farming community of Kalliana (Kalliankal at Nillackal) there is also a bishop consecrated in Persia in accordance with the Nicea sunnahadose of 325 AD."[15] The Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus, who died in 660 CE, mentions Kollam in his letter to Simon, Metropolitan of Persia.

In 825 AD, the Nestorian monks Mar Sabor (Abo) and Mar Proth arrived in Kollam on the invitation of the ruler of the Venad-a feudatory under the Chera kingdom.[16] The two monks received a Royal sanction called "Tarsish-a-palli" near "Korukenikollam" from Chera ruler Rajashekara varman Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal, as described on the Tharisapalli plates. Special privileges were given to the Christian nobles in the Tarisapalli sasanam. The two monks were instrumental in founding Christian churches with Syrian liturgy as Reference in the Malabar coast area distinct from ancient Vedic Shiv-ism propounded by Adi Shankara in the early 9th century AD among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites & Nair Sub Castes as Malayalam was not accepted as a liturgical language till the early 18th century. Mar Abo lived his last years at Thevalakkara, and his remains were buried there in the Martha Mariam Orthodox Church.see ref[27][17]

Kollam Port[edit]

Kollam sea port was founded by Mar Abo with sanction from Udayamarthandavarma the Tamil king from Venad otherwise called Ay kingdom in 825 AD instead of re opening the inland sea port (kore-ke-ni kollam) near Backare (Thevalakara) also known as Nelcynda and Tyndis to the Romans and The Greeks and Thondi to the Taamils and is also the foundation of the new city. It is also believed that Mar Abo actually volunteered to the Chera king to create a new sea port town near at Kollam instead of his request for renewing the almost vanishing Tyndis or Nelcynda inland sea port ( kore-ke-ni) at Kollam, lying idle without trade for a few centuries because of the Cheras being overrun by Pallavas in the 6th century AD ending the spice trade from Malabar coast. This allowed Mar Abo to stay for many decades in Chera kingdom and streamline Christian faith among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites &Nair sub castes in the St. Thomas tradition with Syrian liturgy as Reference for the Doctrine of Trinity without replacing the Sanskrit and Vedic prayers.[18]

In January 2014, the port trust had discovered thousands of Chinese coins and stone age weapons from the Kollam Port, which is revealing the amazing historic background and trade culture of the port city.[19][20]

This is first time that these much of artifacts are getting from a port in India. The emergence of antiques from Kollam Port area reveals that Kollam was the most famous port city in India which served as the business hub of people from China, Middle East, Dutch, Portugal, Brazil and other Eastern Mediterranean countries.[21][22] The archaeologists believe that there is an engulfed city in the seabed of current Kollam Port.

Capital of Venad (9th to 12th centuries)[edit]

Chinese fishing net at Kollam

The Malayalam Era began in 825 AD; it is named 'Kolla Varsham' after Kollam, because of the importance of Kollam in the 9th century. Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal granted the Tharisapalli plates copper plate grants in 825 AD to Nestorian Monk Mar S(abo)r Iso whom he invited to Kollam, transferring to the Tarsish Church and the community in the St. Thomas tradition of Quilon.[23]

A merchant, Soleyman of Siraf of Persia, visited Malabar in the 9th century and found Quilon to be the only port in India used by the huge Chinese ships as their Transhipment hub for their goods on their way from China to the Persian Gulf. The rulers of Kollam (formerly called 'Desinganadu') had trade relations with China and exchanged embassies. According to the records of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 913 AD),[24] Quilon was their chief port of call before the 7th century AD. The Chinese trade decreased about 600 AD and was again revived in the 13th century. 'Mirablia Descripta' by Bishop Catalani gives a wonderful description of life in Kollam as seen by him as the Catholic Bishop designate to Kollam, the oldest Catholic Diocese in India. He also gives[25] true and imaginative descriptions of life in 'India the Major' in the period before Marco Polo visited the city.

Portuguese, Dutch and British conquests (16th to 18th centuries)[edit]

Kollam fort in 1756 after it had passed from Portuguese rule to the Dutch

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center in Tangasseri, Kollam in 1502, which became the centre of trade in pepper.[26] In the wars with the Moors/Arabs that followed, the ancient church (Temple) of St Thomas Tradition at Thevalakara was destroyed. In 1517, the Portuguese built the St. Thomas Fort in Thangasseri, which was destroyed in the subsequent wars with the Dutch. In 1661, the Dutch took possession of the city. The remnants of the old Portuguese Fort later renovated by the Dutch can be found at Thangasseri. In the 18th century, Travancore conquered Kollam, followed by the British in 1795.[27] Thangasseri remains today as an Anglo-Indian settlement, though few Anglo-Indians remain. The Infant Jesus Church in Thangasseri, an old Portuguese-built church,[28] remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule of the area.[29][30] see also[31]


Kollam city is bordered by the panchayaths of Neendakara and Thrikkadavoor to the north, Mayyanad to the south, Thrikkovilvattom and Kottamkara to the east and Laccadive Sea to the west. Ashtamudi lake is in the heart of the city. The city is about 71 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, 142 km from Kochi, 350 km from Kozhikode, 82 km from Alappuzha, 226 km from Thrissur and 63 km from Pathanamthitta.

Six Major Centers are; Punalur,Kottarakara(കൊട്ടാരക്കര), Karunagapally, Paravur,Kadakkal and Kundara.

Two major rivers in the district are Kallada and Ithikkara. Kallada River empties into Ashtamudi lake while Ithikkara River to Paravur Kayal. Meenmutti Water falls and Palaruvi waterfalls are also important geographical attractions of the kollam district.


Climate data for Kollam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31
Average low °C (°F) 23
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1 2 4 8 11 21 19 16 12 12 8 3 117
Source: Weather2Travel


As of 2011 India census,[3] Kollam city has a population of 349,033 and a population density of 5900 persons per square kilometre. The sex ratio (the number of females per 1000 males) is 1112 (which is the highest in the state) during the census year of 2011. The district of Kollam ranks seventh with respect to the population in the state. District wise population in India-2011 census. The city of Kollam ranks fourth in terms of population in Kerala. Kollam has an average literacy rate of 93.77%,[32] higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 95.83%, and female literacy is 91.95% (district wise male female literacy rates in India-2011 census). In Kollam, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Malayalam is the most spoken language. Tamil is well understood in the city. There are 3 zonal offices along with the main office are working in the city.

  • Corporation Office, Cantonment, Kollam
  • Corporation Zonal Office, Kavanad
  • Corporation Zonal Office, Kilikollur
  • Corporation Zonal Office, Vadakkevila

Civic administration[edit]

Mrs. Prasanna Ernest - Hon'able Mayor of Kollam City
British Residency in Kollam

Kollam City is a Municipal Corporation with elected Councillors from its 55 divisions. The Mayor elected from among the councillors generally represents the political party holding a majority. The Corporation Secretary heads the office of the Corporation.

Kollam Income Tax Office

The present Mayor of Kollam Corporation[33] is Prasanna Earnest of the CPI(M).

The police administration of the city falls under the City Police Commissioner from the IPS (Indian Police Service)cadre and he reports to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Thiruvananthapuram Range. The police administration comes under the State Home Department of the Government of Kerala. Kollam City is divided into three sub divisions namely Karunagappally, Kollam and Chathannoor, each come under an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Urban structure[edit]

The growing population of Kollam have made it the 4th most populous city in the state. Kollam is placed 49th in the list of most populous urban agglomerations in India. The total Urban population of the entire district is 11,87,158.[34] Kollam is having the 2nd highest urban growth rate(154.59%) in the state.[34] The Metropolitan area of Kollam includes Uliyakovil, Adichanalloor, Adinad, Ayanivelikulangara, Chavara, Elampalloor, Eravipuram (Part), Kallelibhagom, Karunagappally, Kollam, Kottamkara, Kulasekharapuram, Mayyanad, Meenad, Nedumpana, Neendakara, Oachira, Panayam, Panmana, Paravur, Perinad, Poothakkulam, Thazhuthala, Thodiyoor, Thrikkadavoor, Thrikkaruva, Thrikkovilvattom, and Vadakkumthala.[35]

The Kerala Government has decided to develop the City of Kollam as a "Port City of Kerala". They have decided to do a face lift of Maruthadi-Iravipuram area of the city as part of the "Kollam Port City" project. Sports, Fishing, Tourism and entertainment projects will be implemented in this region as part of the project[36]


The city life of Kollam has changed a lot in the previous decade. 5 star, 4 star and 3 star hotels, Multi-storied shopping malls, branded jewelleries, textile showrooms and car showrooms have started operations in the city and suburbs. Kollam was the third city in Kerala(after Kochi and Kozhikode) came out with the shopping mall culture. Kollam district ranks first in livestock wealth in the State.

Five star hotel 'The Raviz', Kollam
Bishop Jerome Nagar: One of the popular shopping destinations in Kollam city
Volkswagen Service Centre, Kollam

Dairy farming is fairly well developed. Also there is a chilling plant in the city. Kollam is an important maritime and port city of the state. Fishing has a prominent place in the economy of the district. Neendakara and Sakthikulangara villages in the suburbs of the city are thrive in fishing. An estimated number of 1,34,973 persons are engaged in fishing and allied activities. Cheriazheekkal, Alappad, Pandarathuruthu, Puthenthura, Neendakara, Thangasseri, Eravipuram and Paravur are eight among the 26 important fishing villages. There are 24 inland fishing villages also. Considering the unique location and infrastructure available, the Government has initiated steps for establishing a fishing harbour at Neendakara which is expected to augment fish production by 15%. Average fish landing is estimated to be 85,275 tonnes per year. One third of the state's fish catch is form Kollam. Nearly 3000 mechanised boats are operating from the fishing harbour. FFDA and VFFDA are promoting fresh water fish culture and prawn farming respectively. A model fishing village with 100 houses is coming up at Eravipuram. A model prawn farm is coming up at Ayiramthengu and a few new hatcheries are also coming up to cater to the needs of the aquaculturists. Kerala's one and only turkey farm and a regional poultry farm is working in Kureepuzha.[37]

Two Central Government undertaking industries are there in the city, the Indian Rare Earths, Chavara and Parvathi Mills Ltd., Kollam. Kerala Ceramics Ltd. in Kundara, Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Company in Kundara, Kerala Premo Pipe factory in Chavara, Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited in Chavara and United Electrical Industries in Kollam are Kerala Government owned companies. Other major industries in private/cooperative sector are Aluminium Industries Ltd. in Kundara, Thomas Stephen & Co. in Kollam, Floorco in Paravur, Cooperative Spinning Mill in Chathannoor.[38] The beach sands of the district have concentrations of heavy minerals like Ilmenite, Rutile, Monosite and Zircon which offer scope of exploitation for industrial purpose.

Besides large deposits of China clay in Kundara, Mulavana and Chathannoor, there are also lime shell deposits in Ashtamudi lake, Bauxite deposits in Adichanallur.[39]

Places of interest and historical significance[edit]

Thangassery Light House

The city of Kollam edges with the famous Ashtamudi lake. Many a foreign traveller has visited Kollam in the early medieval period. It was one of the early centres of Christian activity in Kerala. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th century.

Kollam beach
House boat moving through the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam

The popularity of Kollam has been established by the time honoured proverb once you see Kollam, you will not need your home any more. Kollam is an important commercial, industrial and trading centre. It is also the headquarters of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.

A picture of the famous clock tower in Chinnakada, Kollam

The 144 ft. Thangassery Light house, built in 1902, is a centre of attraction. The Ananda Valleeswaram Temple here, attracts people on almost all days. The Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, the first of its kind in the private sector in the state, is at Kilikolloor, about 7 kilometers east of the Kollam city. Mahatma Gandhi Park & Beach at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic village, are some of the important spots of local sight seeing. Mahatma Gandhi beach lies just 2 Kilometers away from the city center. It is a fascinating place for an evening. Thirumullavaram beach is 5 Kilometers away from the city. The sea here is ideal for swimming and bathing. Ashramam picnic village is located in the 48 acre Guest House Complex. This is the centre of various tourism development activities of the district. The Government Guest House here, is 200 years old. It stands along Ashtamudi lake and is a major attraction for its elegance and architectural beauty. Tourists can stay here at economical rates.[40]

The British Residency, situated in the city, is “one of the most beautiful buildings in the country”, as architect Pandala describes the massive building built in tile-fitted sloping roofs. Another building built by the British, the two-storeyed, twin-tower structure in laterite stone, is called the Thevally Palace, which was once the home of the Travancore royals, who are better remembered today for amassing a mindboggling treasure in the secret vaults of the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple in Thiruvananthapuram.[41]

The children's Traffic & Entertainment Park, designed by NATPAC, is also located here. It is the largest traffic park in Kerala. The Adventure Park, located in the village along the shores of the Ashtamudi backwaters, is a novel experiment in the country. Different types of boats, including luxury cruise boats, powerboats and motorboats, are available on hire from the boat jetty near to the Adventure Park.

Neendakara, 9 Kilometers away from the city, is the headquarters of the "IndoNorweigian Fisheries Community Project", which was established in 1953. The important institutions under this project are the boat building yard at Sakthikulangara, the Fisherman's Training Institute, the ice factory and the refrigeration plant. Improvements have been made to Neendakara Port, which has been thrown open to traffic. Thangassery is a place of historical importance situated 5 km away from the Kollam city. The Churches here are pretty old, having been established in the 18th century. The chief attraction of the place is the light house, built in 1902. The 144 ft.light house stands as a sentinel, warning seamen of the treachrous reefs of Thangassery. The construction of a fishing harbour is in progress. Thangassery was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in succession. The remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts still exist in here.[42]

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum, Kollam[edit]

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum is the one and only such establishment in the country that traces the history and sketch the growth of the Police force in India.[43] It is located just opposite to the Kollam Junction railway station. The museum was dedicated to the iron man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was inaugurated on 2000.[44] In addition to the arms and ammunition of the 18th and 19th centuries including bullets, guns, machines as well as diversity of other weapons; the museum also houses information charts regarding DNA tests, human bones, finger prints, snaps of police dogs and variety of medals awarded to policemen of different ranks.[45] A massive concrete statue weighing 1.1 tons of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel sculpted by A Police Constable Mr. Santosh, was unveiled on January 2005.

The entry fee is Rs. 3/adult and Rs. 1/child. It remains open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday.

Kollam Beach[edit]

An evening view of Arabian Sea from Kollam Beach

Kollam Beach is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Beach. It is one among the twin beaches of the city. The other one is Thirumullavaram beach. Kollam Beach is situated at a distance of 2 km from Kollam city. It is one of the top crowd pulling beaches in Kerala. The beach also has a park of international standard. The Mahatma Gandhi Park was inaugurated on January 1, 1961 by the then Vice President of India, Zakir Hussein. Kollam Corporation had started the construction of a marine aquarium at Kollam Beach which is first of its kind in the state of Kerala. Harbour Engineering Department is constructing the aquarium at the eastern side of the beach.



City corporation of Kollam is served by Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 56 kilometers away from the city. Trivandrum International Airport is the first international airport in a non-metro city in India[46] and the only airport in Kerala having more than 2 Terminals. Daily domestic flight services are available to major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kochi. International flight services connecting to Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat, Male, Doha, Singapore and Colombo are available from here.

Asramam Airport in Kollam City was the first airport in Kerala. The first flight to Kerala landed in Kollam Asramam Airport.[46] The first Amphibian Aircraft[Seaplane] of Kerala also landed in Kollam.


Kollam Railway Section
KM Towards Kayamkulam Junction
35 Ochira
28 Karunagappally
19 Sasthamkotta
16 Munrothuruthu
9 Perinad
Towards Punalur
0 Kollam Junction
5 Eravipuram
9 Mayyanad
14 Paravur
From Trivandrum Central
Goods transferring in Kollam Railway Station
View of backwaters near Kollam in Kerala
A view of the Kollam backwaters

Kollam Junction Railway Station (Code: QLN) is the second largest railway station in Kerala in terms of area after Shornur Junction with a total of 6 platforms. Kollam also boasts the longest railway platform in Kerala(second longest in India): which is more than 1 km long.Though the total length of Kollam Junction's PF-3&4 combined is around 1180 meters which is more than the length of the existing longest platform in the world (Kharagpur – 1072.5 meters), but the PF-3 side length is about 900 m while the PF-4 side length is about 880 m. In a single stretch the total length is 1180 m.[47] The metre gauge track from Kollam to Punalur was converted to broad gauge under project Unigauge and was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Railways, E. Ahmed, on 12 May 2010. The ThiruvananthapuramErnakulam (via Kottayam and Alappuzha) line passes through Kollam. Kollam has completely electrified railway tracks. Two railway lines passing through Kottarakkara (Chengannur -KottarakkaraThiruvananthapuram) and Punalur (Erumeli – PunalurThiruvananthapuram) have been proposed and are awaiting survey.[citation needed]

Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) services have started from Kollam to Ernakulam via: Alappuzha and Kottayam from the 2nd week of January 2012.[48][49] By 1 December 2012, MEMU service between Kollam and Nagercoil became a reality and later extended up to Kanyakumari. Kollam MEMU Shed inaugurated on 1 December 2013 for the maintenance works of MEMU rakes. Kollam MEMU Shed is the largest MEMU Shed in Kerala, which is equipped with most modern facilities.There is a long standing demand for the Kollam Town Railway Station in the Kollam-Perinad stretch and "S.N College Railway Station" in the Kollam-Eravipuram stretch.

Other major railway stations in the district[edit]

  • Punalur Railway Station
  • Paravur Railway Station
  • Karunagappally Railway Station
  • Kottarakkara Railway Station
  • Kundara Railway Station
  • Ezhukone Railway Station
  • Sasthamkotta Railway Station
  • Mayyanad Railway Station
  • Thenmala Railway Station
  • Edamon Railway Station
  • Munrothuruthu Railway Station

Sub-Urban Rail[edit]

A new suburban rail system proposed by Kerala Government and Indian Railways in Thiruvananthapuram - Kollam - Haripad/Chengannur routes for which MRVC is tasked to conduct study and submit report. Ten trains, each with 7 bogies will transport passengers back and forth between Trivandrum-Kollam-Chengannur-Harippad section. Suburban Corridor is modelled on the lines of the Mumbai Suburban Rail where around 3,000 suburban trains ply every day [50]


Dalavapuram bridge, Kollam
Kollam KSRTC Bus Station

The city of Kollam is connected to almost all the cities & major towns in the state like Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Kochi, Palakkad, Kottayam, Kottarakkara, Punalur and with other Indian cities through the National Highways – NH 66 (Earlier NH 47), NH 183 (Earlier NH 220), NH 744 (Earlier NH 208) and other state PWD Roads and also by the Indian Railway Network. Road transport is provided by State owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private transport bus operators. Road transport is also supported by private taxis and autorickshaws, also called autos. A city private bus stand is situated at Andamukkam. KSRTC bus station is situated beside the ashtamudi lake. Buses to various towns in Kerala and interstate services are running from this station.

Major connecting places of National Highway-66 in Kollam City[edit]

Kottiyam → Umayanalloor → Mevaram → Thattamala → Pazhayattinkuzhi → Pallimuk → Madannada → Polayathode → College Jn. → Railway StationChinnakada → Convent Jn. → Collectorate → Mulangadakam → Nellimukku → Medayil Jn → Ramankulangara → Vallikeezhu → Kavanad → Aaltharamoodu → Capithans → SakthikulangaraNeendakara

Major connecting places of National Highway-744 in Kollam City[edit]

ChinnakadaKadappakada → Randamkutty → Koickal → Kallumthazham → Moonnamkutty → Karicode → Kilikollur → Chandanathoppe

A new Railway over bridge from SN College Junction to Kollam DCC Office Junction have been inaugurated recently.[51] To reduce the traffic congestion in the city, Government is planning an underpass in Chinnakada Junction. Also have plans to start bus bays near to Kollam Port and Aandamukkam. A city flyover starting from the SMP Palace junction to KSRTC bus stand is also under the planning stage.[52]

Kollam Bypass[edit]

Kollam Bypass is a bypass in the city which is under construction to ease the traffic congestion in the city. The 13.141 km long bypass starts at Kavanad in the north to Mevaram in the south, via Aravila, Kadavur, Kallumthazham and Ayathil.[53] The Government of Kerala proposed the bypass in 1975. A stretch of 4.8 km from Mevaram to Kallumthazham has been completed. Kallumthazham-Kavanad stretch is still remaining. This stretch includes three bridges, five culverts, one vehicle underpass, and five major intersections and needs to pass over the Ashtamudi Lake. The section will includes a seven- metre two-lane carriageway, paved shoulders and earthen shoulders.[54][55] The importance of the Kollam Bypass is, it will touch 3 major National Highways(National Highways – NH 66 (Earlier NH 47), NH 183 (Earlier NH 220), NH 744 (Earlier NH 208)) passing through the state of Kerala.


The State Water Transport Department operates boat services to West Kallada, Munroe Island, Guhanandapuram, Dalavapuram and Alappuzha.

Kollam-Dalavapuram boat service

Double decker luxury boats run between Kollam and Allepey daily. Luxury boats, operated by Government and private owners, operate from the main boat jetty during the tourist season. The West coast canal system, which starts from Thiruvananthapuram in the south and ends at Hosdurg in the north, passes through Paravur, the city of Kollam and Karunagappally taluk. The Thiruvananthapuram-Shornur canal, which forms a part of the Thiruvananthapuram-Hosdurg system, runs a distance of about 62 km. The other canal systems include the Paravur Kayal, Kollam canal and Chavara canal.

Red-and-white-striped lighthouse, behind a stand of palm trees
Lighthouse, Thangasseri, Kollam


The Kollam Port (Thangasseri Port) is the second largest port in Kerala after Cochin Port Trust. Kollam Port is one among the two International Ports in Kerala. Foreign ships are nowadays coming to the Kollam Port. The first foreign ship that reached the Port of Kollam after the independence of India is MV Alina. 145-meters long mammoth Antigua registered MV Alina anchored the port on 4 April 2014.[56]

Natural depth of the Kollam Port is 8 meters. This will be increased into 10 meters soon. The depth increasing works is going on in port at a cost of Rs.5.7 crores. Kollam Port is having a cement terminal, cargo handling facilities, and a customs clearance centre (under construction). The port is undergoing infrastructural development.[citation needed] The port is located very near to the city of Kollam. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy launched the Coastal Shipping Project (CSP) at the Kollam Port on 2013 November 9. Passenger ships will start operating from the Kollam Port by 2014.[57]

Neendakara and Sakthikulangara are twin fishing harbours in Kollam. Neendakara is one of the busiest fishing harbours in South Kerala. Some port operations are carried out through Neendakara as well.


Twin cashew nuts, ready for harvest - A scene from Kollam (The Cashew Capital of the World)

Kollam, like other districts in the state, is moderately industrialised. Some of the major employers in the public sector are Indian Rare Earths Limited (IRE) at Chavara, Kerala Metals and Minerals Limited at Chavara, Kerala Primo pipe factory at Chavara (closed 3 decades ago); United Electrical Industries (popularly known as the Meter Company) and Parvathi Spinning at Kollam.

Industrial Estates in Kollam City are;

  • Industrial Estate, Mundakkal[58]
  • SIDCO Industrial Estate,Umayanalloor[59]

Cashew industry and board[edit]

Cashew processing and coir production are the two most important sources of employment in the private sector. The 80% of the total cashew processing and exporting of India is happening in Kollam. Cashew processing and sorting employs a large share of women workers who manually shell, peel and sort cashews into different categories by size. Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co- Operative Society Ltd.(CAPEX) is situated in Kadappakkada, Kollam. The Headquarters of Cashew Export Promotion Council of India(CEPCI) is at Mundakkal, Kollam.[60] The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (KSCDC),[61] Kollam, a Government Company, has 30 cashew factories and employs 20,000 people amongst which 95% is women from poverty sector. It is expected that a Cashew Board[62] will be set up at Kollam by the Government of India for the development of Cashew field.


Bishop Jerome Institute, Kollam - An integrated campus offering MBA, Architecture and Engineering courses, situated at the heart of the 'Lake City of Kerala'

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham at Amritapuri is an integrated campus So many reputed colleges,schools and learning centres are there in Kollam.

Ornate, pink-and-white building with traditional Mughal architecture
TKM Engineering College, Kollam

The city and suburbs are contributing a lot for the education sector by providing the best and latest kind of knowledge to the scholars. The Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, the first of its kind in the private sector in the state, is at Kilikolloor, about 7 kilometers east of the Kollam city, is a pride for the whole Kollamites. The Government of Kerala has selected Fatima Mata National College in the city to be granted academic autonomy, which is another prestigious institution in the city.[63] Sree Narayana College, Bishop Jerome Institute (Integrated campus running Architecture, Engineering and Management courses), Travancore Business Academy etc. are the other important colleges in the city. Two law colleges are there in the city. One is under the control of SN college and the other one is from the N.S.S college management.

Institute of Fashion Technology, Kollam, Kerala is a fashion technology institute established in technical collaboration with National Institute of Fashion Technology & Ministry of Textiles, situated in Vellimon, Kollam. In addition to that, 2 IMK (Institute of Management, Kerala) Extension Centres are working in the city.[64]


Kollam has a fairly-well-developed network of medical facilities.[citation needed] At the Foot of the mountains outside Kollam also believed to a supposed place for the fountain of youth according to The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. The health care sector of Kollam has changed a lot in the past decade. Once there were no medical colleges in the district, but now having a total of 3 Medical Colleges. 2 is under consideration of the officials (One is a Kerala Government Medical College and the other one is Valiyath Institute of Medical Sciences, Karunagappally). The one and only ESI Medical College in Kerala is situated in the Kollam district.[65] Travancore Medicity Medical College in the city and Azeezia Medical College and Dental College in Meeyannoor are the two other medical colleges in the district.

The famous Samad In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) hospital has a branch in Kollam. A number of Christian Missionary Hospitals are there in the district like Bishop Benziger Hospital in the city and Holy Cross Hospital, Kottiyam. The Kollam district hospital and Victoria Hospital are playing a vital role in the healthcare sector of the city. The famous R.P Group owned Upasana Hospital, N.S Co-operative Hospital, KIMS Hospital, Ashtamudi Hospital etc. are the other important hospitals in the city. Famous Meditrina Group is constructing their new hospital in the city. ESIC corporation is running a superspeciality hospital in Asramam, Kollam.

Notable events[edit]

A snap taken during the 'Kollam Fest'

Kollam Fest is a kind of Kollam's own annual festival, attracting a vast majority of Keralites and hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists to Kollam. The main venue of Kollam Fest is the historic and gigantic Ashramam Maidan. Kollam Fest is the signature event of Kollam. Kollam Fest aims to showcase Kollam's rich Culture & Heritage, Tourism potential and Investments for the new ventures. Kollam Pooram, part of the Ashramam Sree Krishnaswamy Temple Festival, is usually held on 15 April, and occasionally on 16 April. The pooram is held at the Ashramam maidan.

Paravur Puttingal fireworks competition

Paravur Puttingal Meenabharani Maholsavam is a Temple Festival usually held on the 2nd day of the 2nd month(Meenam) of Malayalam Calendar(March–April). This temple is very famous for the fireworks competition (Malsara Kambam) which is usually held on the final day of festival.

Kadakkal ThiruvathiraSubscript text is a famous festival and is known for the Thiruvathira festival celebrated in March, and is one of the most attractive festivals of the region. The temple festivities attract large crowds from various parts of the state Chittumala Theerthatanam is an annual march held on Thiruvonam, to promote communal harmony; it started in 1968. It starts from Munroe Island 25 km from Kollam and ends at Chittumala.

Edakkidom Shivarathri Edakkidom Thettikkunil Sree Mahadevi Temple Festival, is one of the biggest cultural celebrations in Kollam.

Irupathiettam onam is a Temple Festival celebrated on the 28th day of Onam.

President's Trophy Boat Race[66] (PTBR) The PTBR is annual regatta held in Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. The event was inaugurated by the then President Prathibha Patil in September 2011. The event has been rescheduled from 2012.


Cricket is the most popular sport, followed by Hockey and football. Kollam is home to a number of local cricket, hockey and football teams participating in district, state level and zone matches. A hockey stadium with most modern facilities and international hockey turf is under construction in the city at a cost of Rs.13 crore. The land for the construction of stadium is taken over from the Postal Department at Asramam, Kollam. The city has one more stadium named as Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Kollam. That one is a multipurpose stadium, hosted the sports events like Ranji Trophy, Santhosh Trophy and National Games many times.[67] 2 grounds in the city namely Asramam Maidanam and Peeranki Maidanam are also used for sports events, practicing and warm-up matches.

Kadappakkada Sports Club, Kollam - Established in the year 1942
Kerala First-Class Matches played on Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Kollam(Quilon)
Year Date Tournament Teams Played
1979 3 November Ranji Trophy 1979/80 Kerala vs Andhra
1988 10 December Ranji Trophy 1988/89 Kerala vs Goa
1988 17 December Ranji Trophy 1988/89 Kerala vs Karnataka

The Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium is getting ready to host the 35th National Games of India. The construction works of the International Hockey stadium is in full pace for the same reason.

Places of worship[edit]

List of Temples & Churches[edit]

There are a number of temples, ashrams and holy sites in the city which includes:

Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram
Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Temple
Thrikkadavoor Mahadeva Temple
Mukathala Murari (SreeKrishna) Temple
  • St.Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church [Villoorpally] at Chengamanadu (ചെങ്ങമനാട്),Kottarakara
  • Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram
  • Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Temple (The one and only one Duryodhana Temple in South India)
  • Uliyacovil Sree Durga Bhagavathy Temple
  • Puttingal Temple at Paravur [68]
  • Sree Subramanya Swami Kshethram Poojappura, in Keralapuram near Kundara.
  • Thrikkadavoor Sree Mahadeva Temple,.
  • Padanayarkulangara Sree Nahadevar Temple, Karungappally
  • Aryankavu Sree Dharma sastha temple,
  • Achankovil Sree Dharma sastha temple,
  • Puthiyakkavu Devi Temple,
  • Thamarakulam Mahaganapathy temple,
  • Mulamkadakom Devi temple,
  • Rameswaram temple,
  • Mahavishnu temple at Thirumullavaram,
  • Ammachiveedu temple,
  • Varattuchra Devi Temple Keralapuram,
  • Elampalloor Devi Temple Kundara,
  • Ashtamudi Veerabhadraswami temple,
  • Pattathanam Ammannada temple,
  • Dharmasastha Temple, Kadappakkada,
  • Peroor sree meenakshi temple at Punthalathazham,
  • Kolloorvila Bharanikkavu Devi temple is located in Madannada, Mangalathu temple[69] at Punthalathazham,
  • Edavanadu Bhagavathi Temple,
  • Pallimon Mahadeva Kshetram (Temple),
  • Pattazhy Devi Kshetram(temple),
  • Unnikkicham Veedu Sree Krishna Swamy Temple,
  • Ananthavalleeswaram Temple,
  • Sree Dharma Shastha Temple at Nedumoncavu,
  • Sree Veera Bhadraswamy Temple at Nedumoncavu, and
  • Edakkidom Thettikkunil Sree Mahadevi Temple.
  • Parimanom Sree Durga Devi Temple, Neendakara, Kollam


400-year-Infant Jesus Cathedral at Quilon-Tangasseri. In 2006 it was demolished and replaced by a new building.
New cathedral in Thangassery, Kollam

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon or Kollam is the first Catholic diocese in India in the state of Kerala. The diocese,which covers an area of 1,950 km². (753 square miles), and contains a population of 4,879,553 - 235,922 (4.8%) of which are Catholic,is claimed to be first erected on 9 August 1329.It was re-erected on 1 September 1886. 400 years old famous Infant Jesus Cathedral is the co-cathedral of Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, which is situated in Thangassery.

List of Catholic bishops(Kollam Diocese)[edit]


There are a number of mosques in Kollam, including Kottukadu juma masjid chavara, Ochira juma masjid, Shaik masjid karunagapally Valiyapalli at Jonakappuram, Chinnakada juma Masjid, Juma-'Ath Palli at Kollurvila, Juma-'Ath Palli at Thattamala, Muslim Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva, Kalamala Palli at Kalamala, Elampalloor Juma- A - Masjid [Kundara], Muthirapparambu Palli at Muthirapparambu and Siyavathummodu Palli at Kilikolloor-karalil thaykavu chavara-muhyudeen thykavu mukundapuram chavara-rifayin thykkavu chavara kottukadu

The 300-year-old Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva houses the mortal remains of a Sufi saint-Syed Abdur Rahman Jifri in its premises.[70]

The Karbala Maidan and the adjacent Makani mosque serves as the Eid gah for the city's. Muthirapparambu Palli is the most important masjid in Kollam District. This masjid is situated in Vellaitambalam. The Maqbara of Muthirapparambu Uppa is famous in this masjid. Many people, Muslims and non-Muslims, are visiting this maqbara. Other important places are Asthamudi, Thirumullavaram, Mamootilkadavu and Thoppilkadavu, which are located near this masj

Notable people[edit]

Music Director Paravur G.Devarajan
  • Jayan, Film actor and Indian Navy officer
Jayan-Malayalis are believing him as the "Immortal Star" of Malayalam Film Industry

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kollam, Ashtamudi Lake - great alternatives to Kochi, Vembanad Lake
  2. ^ New proof for pre-portuguese mission in Kollam
  3. ^ a b Census March 1, 2001 (via archive.org)
  4. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011; Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 
  5. ^ census2011.co.in - Indian Cities
  6. ^ "The legendary beauty of Kollam". 
  7. ^ "History of Kollam". 
  8. ^ "Kollam Tourism - Official Website". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Mandeville, John. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Accessed 24 September 2011.
  10. ^ Kohanski, Tamarah & Benson, C. David (Eds.) The Book of John Mandeville. Medieval Institute Publications (Kalamazoo), 2007. Op. cit. "Indexed Glossary of Proper Names". Accessed 24 September 2011.
  11. ^ ending with the Royal sanction of Tarissapalli copper plates to Assyrian Monks by Vaishnaite chera King Rajashekara Varma in the backdrop of a shivite Revival led by Adi Shankara among the Nampoothiri communities Kerala government website
  12. ^ et al], Robert Tignor [et (2010). Worlds together, worlds apart : a history of the world from the beginnings of humankind to the present (3rd ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 365. ISBN 9780393934922. 
  13. ^ Roger Pearse (5 July 2003). "Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography. Preface to the online edition". Ccel.org. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Roger Pearse. "Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography (1897) pp. 358–373. Book 11". Ccel.org. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Travancore Manual
  16. ^ Kerala Charithram P.59 Sridhara Menon
  17. ^ see[27]
  18. ^ History of Kollam city and Kollam Port Quilon.com
  19. ^ Coins found from Kollam Port
  20. ^ Artifacts found from Kerala's ancient Port City
  21. ^ Emergence of antiques triggers treasure hunt in Kollam
  22. ^ Shards of the past point to Kollam port’s glory days
  23. ^ Travancore Manual page 244
  24. ^ Travancore Manual, page 244
  25. ^ Mirablia Descripta by Jordanus Catalani cir ca 1320-1336 (trans Hiracut Society, London)
  26. ^ Thangassery, Kollam - Kerala Tourism
  27. ^ About the City of Kollam
  28. ^ New proof for Pre-Portuguese mission in Kollam
  29. ^ "Tourmet - Thangassery, Kollam". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "History of Kollam". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  31. ^ 'Jornada' of Portuguese Bishop Dom Alexis Menezes 1599-1600AD
  32. ^ "Kollam District". www.kollam.nic.in. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  33. ^ "Official Website of City of Kollam". Kollam Corporation. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "Kollam District Level Statistics 2011". ecostat.kerala.gov.in. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  35. ^ "Kollam city population Census". census2011.co.in. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  36. ^ "Kollam - Port City Project". 2013. 
  37. ^ Department of Animal Husbandry - Kerala
  38. ^ Kollam - Trade & Commerce
  39. ^ resources - Kollam
  40. ^ Attractions in Kollam
  41. ^ The legendary beauty of Kollam
  42. ^ Kollam - Short History
  43. ^ Local Attractions - The Raviz, Kollam
  44. ^ Sardar Patel statue to be unveiled today at Kollam Police Museum
  45. ^ History of Kerala Police, Police Museum Kollam from God's Own Kerala
  46. ^ a b Trivandrum International Airport
  47. ^ "Kollam railway station finally gets a ‘real’ platform No 1". The Times Of India. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  48. ^ "Timings of MEMUs included". India: The New Indian Express. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  49. ^ "Kerala / Thiruvananthapuram News : MEMU services figure in timetable". The Hindu. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  50. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/new-drm-optimistic-about-suburban-project/article5547937.ece
  51. ^ [1] Road overbridge opened
  52. ^ DPR of flyover project. PWD issues directive
  53. ^ Kollam bypass: Central team conducts alignment study
  54. ^ Bypasses to take 3 years for completion
  55. ^ Fears over construction of Kollam, Alappuzha NH bypasses
  56. ^ "Foreign Ship Reaches Kollam Port". The New Indian Express. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  57. ^ Passenger ships will start from Kollam this year: Chandy. Accessed 17 December 2013.
  58. ^ "Land for CAPEX at Kollam". 2013. 
  59. ^ "SIDCO Industrial Estate, Kollam". 
  60. ^ ":: Cashew Export Promotion Council of India ::". 
  61. ^ ":: The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Ltd ::". Cashewcorporation.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  62. ^ "Press Information Bureau English Releases". Pib.nic.in. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  63. ^ "Autonomy: 13 colleges in the list". The New Indian Express. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  64. ^ "IMK Extension Centres - Kerala". imk.ac.in. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  65. ^ Title = ESI Medical College Inaugurated
  66. ^ "presidents trophy boat race". Presidentstrophy.gov.in. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  67. ^ Stadiums in India KCA-Cricket Archive
  68. ^ "Puttingal Devi Temple | South Paravur | Kollam | Kerala". Puttingaltemple.org. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  69. ^ "私がよく見てるバストアップのサイトは・・・". Mangalathutemple.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  70. ^ "Important religious centres in Kollam". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 

External links[edit]