Asramam Maidan

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Asramam Maidan
View of Asramam Maidan, Kollam.jpg
Asramam Maidan, Kollam
Asramam Maidan is located in Kollam
Asramam Maidan
Asramam Maidan is located in Kerala
Asramam Maidan
Asramam Maidan is located in India
Asramam Maidan
Location Asramam
Nearest city Kollam, Kerala
Coordinates 8°53′36.8″N 76°35′36.7″E / 8.893556°N 76.593528°E / 8.893556; 76.593528
Area 71 acres
Founder East India Company
Operated by DTPC, Kollam
Open All year
Public transit access Bus Station Bus interchange - 1.6 km
Rail Station Mainline rail interchange - 2.2 km
Ferries ferry/water interchange - 1.6 km

The Asramam Maidanam (Malayalam: ആശ്രാമം മൈതാനം) or Ashramam Maithanam is an urban park, or maidhanam, in the city of Kollam, in Kerala, India. At 72 acres (29 ha), it is the largest open space within Kerala Municipal Corporation limits.[1] The maidan is considered as one of the green lungs of the city and regularly hosts the city's main cultural and sports events.[2] It holds an adventure park[3] children's park,[4] picnic village,[5] British Residency[6] and mangrove forests[7] making it an important tourism spot in the city.

The Asramam maidan is the major training hub of all the driving school operators in Kollam city.[8]

History[edit]

British Residency in Asramam, Kollam - Till 1829, Quilon was the capital of the Travancore State and the headquarters of the British Residency.

Asramam Maidan was used as an aerodrome during the British Raj. At that time there were no civil aerodromes either in Thiruvananthapuram or anywhere else in the erstwhile kingdoms of Travancore and Kochi nor in the British-ruled Malabar area of the Madras Presidency.[9] Chartered flights, mainly using Avro aircraft, would land and take off from Quilon Aerodrome. The aerodrome was primarily used by VIPs from Madras en route to Thiruvananthapuram, who after landing at Quilon, would proceed to Thiruvananthapuram by car.[9] Quilon Aerodrome was also used for flying training. During one such training exercise, an aircraft hit a tree on the boundary of the aerodrome, killing the pilot and the trainee. Training operations were stopped after the accident, but civilian aircraft continued to use the aerodrome.

Because of the loose soil in the Asramam area, the landing and take-off areas were prepared by bringing huge quantities of red laterite soil from the hilly areas. The aerodrome had strong barbed wire fencing round it, with two entry points, one at the south and the other at the north. There were no buildings in the aerodrome, not even a shed, although there was a concreted area in the shape of a ring where the planes stopped after landing. It was here that the passengers alighted and boarded the plane. Planes used to land sometimes once in two months.[9] The airport then came under the control of Kerala Public Works Department (PWD). Residents of Asramam knew in advance about the arrival of planes, because the PWD authorities, on getting information about a coming arrival, hoisted a windsock on a tall wooden mast.[9]

After the commissioning of Thiruvananthapuram airport and its development, Quilon Aerodrome went into decline, and finally, planes stopped arriving there. The aerodrome remained fenced off for a long time. Later, the fence was destroyed and its granite stumps pilfered. The only reason the maidan was not encroached upon was that it was a central government property.[9] Now there are two large helipads at the maidan.

Events[edit]

The Whitehouse model entrance of Kollam Fest-2016, held at Asramam Maidan
Entrance of Asramam Adventure Park, Kollam

Asramam Maidan is the regular venue for many events including recruitment rallies for the Indian Army,[10] Kollam Pooram,[2] Kollam Fest, cricket tournaments,[11] large weddings[12] and various events of a political or non-political nature.[13]

Kollam Fest

Kollam Fest is an international event with focus on art, culture, trade, and tourism. The event, organised by the Kollam City Corporation, was aimed at presenting the history and culture of Kollam to the world.[14]

Kollam Pooram

Kollam Pooram is one of the most colorful festivals of Kerala, attracting a large number of people from all parts of the state. The Kollam Pooram, organised in connection with the annual festival of the Asramam Sri Krishnaswamy Temple, is held annually at the Asramam Maidan in the month of April. The festival has now assumed the status of a national festival, and gets the biggest government allocation for such an event after Thrissur Pooram.[15]

Cricket matches

Asramam Maidan is a regular ground for the Kerala Cricket Association's matches, which are held almost all year round.[16]

Future development proposals[edit]

  • Following a preliminary inspection by a team of experts, in 2009 plans were drawn up for the construction of an airstrip and an aviation school at Asramam Maidan. Supporters of the project said that the school would increase the importance of the city.[9] However, after an inspection, the team reported that the maidan was not suitable for the project because of the presence of several high-rise structures in the vicinity and local protests against the project.[17][18]
  • The government of Kerala has decided to preserve the Asramam Maidan and the adjacent guest house complex in Kollam city as a heritage complex.[15]
  • The Corporation of Kollam has been sanctioned Rs. 52 lakhs in the 2017-18 financial year's budget for constructing cycle track around the Asramam maidan.[19]

Local public and private institutions[edit]

Office of the Superintendent of Police, Kollam
  • ESIC Model & Super Speciality Hospital[20]
  • Traffic control room, Kerala Police
  • International Astro Turf Hockey Stadium[21]
  • Dr. Nair's Hospital
  • KTDC Tamarind Hotel
  • Kerala Cricket Association, Kollam branch[22]
  • Kadappakada Sports Club
  • Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kollam

See also[edit]

References[edit]