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This article is about the city in India. For the district, see Kollam district. For the famous port of the same name, see Kollam Port.
"Quilon" redirects here. For other uses, see Quilon (disambiguation).
Quilon (Anglicised name)
From top clockwise: Aerial view of Kollam City from Chinnakada, Clock tower in Chinnakada, Bishop Jerome Nagar, Kollam Port, Kollam Beach, Entrance of Kollam Junction Railway Station, Adventure Park in Asramam
From top clockwise: Aerial view of Kollam City from Chinnakada, Clock tower in Chinnakada, Bishop Jerome Nagar, Kollam Port, Kollam Beach, Entrance of Kollam Junction Railway Station, Adventure Park in Asramam
Nickname(s): Prince of Arabian sea
Cashew Capital of the World[1]
India's hub of bank test coaching centres[2]
de facto International capital for spice trade[3]
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. Honey Benjamin
 • MP N.K Premachandran
 • City Police Commissioner P. Prakash IPS
 • Secretary Mrs. M. Sabina Paul
 • Town 58.18 km2 (22.46 sq mi)
Area rank 5 (only Corporation area)
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population (2011)[4]
 • Town 349,033
 • Rank 4 (49th IN)
 • Density 5,936/km2 (15,370/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,110,005
Demonym Kollamite, Kollathukaaran
 • Official Malayalam
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%[5]
Website www.kollam.nic.in
Thangassery Breakwaters

Kollam or Quilon(Coulão), formerly Desinganadu, is an old seaport and city on the Laccadive Sea coast in Kerala, India on Ashtamudi Lake.[6][7][8] Kollam has had a strong commercial reputation since the days of the Phoenicians and Romans.[9] Fed by the Chinese trade, it was mentioned by Ibn Battuta in the 14th century as one of the five Indian ports he had seen during the course of his twenty-four year travels.[10] Desinganadu's rajas exchanged embassies with Chinese rulers while there was a flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. In the 9th Century, on his way to Canton, China, Persian merchant Sulaiman al-Tajir found Kollam to be the only port in India visited by huge Chinese junks. Marco Polo, the great Venician traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublai Khan in 1275, visited Kollam and other towns on the west coast, in his capacity as a Chinese mandarin.[11]

Kollam sea port (now known as Kollam Port) was founded by Mar Abo at Thangasseri in 825 instead of reopening 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.[12][clarification needed Needs expert attention]

V. Nagam Aiya in his Travancore State Manual records that in 822 AD two Nestorian Bishops Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz, settled in Quilon with their followers. Two years later the Malabar Era began (824 AD) and Quilon became the premier city of the Malabar region including Travancore and Cochin[12]


General information[edit]

Kollam is a coastal city on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake that took 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 trading city for the state. The proportion of females to males in Kollam city is second highest among the 500 most populous cities in India.[13]

Four major centers are Kottarakara(കൊട്ടാരക്കര), Punalur, Paravur and Karunagapally.

Kollam is an ancient trading town – trading with Romans, Chinese, Arabs and other Orientals – mentioned in historical citations dating back to Biblical times and the reign of Solomon, connecting with Red Sea ports of the Arabian Sea (supported by a find of ancient Roman coins).[14][15] There was also internal trade through the Punalur Pass connecting the ancient town to Tamil Nadu. The overland trade in pepper by bullock cart and the trade over the waterways connecting Allepey and Cochin established trade linkages that enabled it to grow into one of the earliest Indian industrial townships. The rail links later established to Tamil Nadu supported still stronger trade links. The factories processing marine exports and the processing and packaging of cashewnuts extended its trade across the globe.[16]

Major characteristics[edit]

Kollam is the fourth most populous city in Kerala, after Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode (the new population is taken as city agglomeration) and the fifth largest in incorporated area, after Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Thrissur.[17][18][19][20] It is known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. Ashtamudi Lake is considered the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is a prominent tourist destination at Kollam. The Kollam urban area includes 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 25 km of the Kollam city centre to the north, south, and east respectively.

Kollam appeared as Palombe in Mandeville's Travels, where he claimed it contained a Fountain of Youth.[21][22] 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.


In 825 CE, the Malayalam calendar, or Kollavarsham, was created in Kollam at meetings held in the city.[23] The present Malayalam calendar is said to have begun with the re-founding of the town, which was rebuilt after its destruction 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 global sea trade during the 13th century, along with Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, the Chinese city of Quanzhou, and Malacca in the Malaysian archipelago[24]

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 high 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 the 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,[25] in his book the Christian Topography[26] who visited the Malabar coast in 550 AD, mentions an enclave of Christian believers in Male (Chera Kingdom). He writes, "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."[27] The Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus, who died in 660 AD, 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.[28] The two monks received a royal sanction called "Tarsish-a-palli" near "Korukenikollam" from the Chera ruler Rajashekaravarman, or 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 in the Malabar coast area, distinct from the ancient Vedic Shivism propounded by Adi Shankara in the early 9th century AD among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites and Nair Sub Castes, as Malayalam was not accepted as a liturgical language until the early 18th century. Mar Abo lived his last years at Thevalakkara, and his remains were buried there in the Martha Mariam Orthodox Church.[29]

Kollam Port[edit]

Mayyanad Thaani Beach
Main article: Kollam Port

The port was founded by Mar Abo with sanction from Udayamarthandavarma, the Tamil king of Venad, otherwise called the Ay kingdom, in 825 AD. It is believed that Mar Abo also proposed that the Chera king create a new seaport near Kollam in lieu of his request that he rebuild the almost vanished inland seaport at Kollam (kore-ke-ni) near Backare (Thevalakara), also known as Nelcynda and Tyndis to the Romans and Greeks and Thondi to the Tamils, which had been without trade for several centuries because the Cheras were overrun by the Pallavas in the 6th century AD, ending the spice trade from the Malabar coast. This allowed Mar Abo to stay in the Chera kingdom for several decades and introduce the Christian faith among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites and Nair sub castes in the St. Thomas tradition, with the Syrian liturgy as a basis for the Doctrine of the Trinity, without replacing the Sanskrit and Vedic prayers.[30]

In January 2014, the port trust discovered thousands of Chinese coins and stone-age weapons at Kollam Port, illustrating the historic background and trade culture of the port city.[31][32]

This was the first time such a large find of artifacts had been made from a port in India. The emergence of antiques from the Kollam Port area reveals that Kollam was the most widely known port city in India and served as the business hub for people from China, Middle East, Holland, Portugal, Brazil and other Eastern Mediterranean countries.[33][34] Archaeologists believe that there is an engulfed city on the seabed of current Kollam Port.

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

The Malayalam Era began in 825 AD; it is called 'Kolla Varsham' after Kollam, because of the importance of Kollam in the 9th century. Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal granted the Tharisapalli plates in 825 AD to the 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.[35]

A merchant, Soleyman of Siraf in 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 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),[36] 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. 'Mirabilia Descripta' by Bishop Catalani gives a wonderful description of life in Kollam, which he saw as the Catholic bishop-designate to Kollam, the oldest Catholic diocese in India. He also gives[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] Thangasseri remains today as an Anglo-Indian settlement, though few Anglo-Indians remain. The Infant Jesus Church in Thangasseri, an old Portuguese-built church,[40] remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule of the area.[41][42] see also[43]

Battle of Quilon[edit]

Main article: Battle of Quilon

Battle of Quilon was fought on 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 Col. Chalmers at Cantonment Maidan in Quilon. The battle lasted for only six hours.[44] It was a result of British East India Company's invasion over the city of Quilon and their garrison situated near Cantonment Maidan. The British force lead by Col. Chalmers proved victorious in that war. All the insurrectionist who participated in the war were court-martialled and got hanged at the maidan.[45]


Kollam city is bordered by the panchayaths of Neendakara and Thrikkadavoor to the north, Mayyanad to the south, and Thrikkovilvattom and Kottamkara to the east, and by the Laccadive Sea to the west. Ashtamudi Lake is in the heart of the city. The city is about 71 km 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 runs 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
Average 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,[4] Kollam city had 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) was 1112 (the highest in the state). The district of Kollam ranked seventh in population in the state. The city of Kollam ranked fourth in terms of population in Kerala. Kollam had an average literacy rate of 93.77%,[46] higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy was 95.83%, and female literacy was 91.95%. In Kollam, 11% of the population was under 6 years of age. Malayalam is the most spoken language. Tamil is well understood in the city. For the ease of administration, Kollam Municipal Corporation is divided into 6 zones. There are zonal offices in each zones of the corporation.[47]

Previous Kollam Mayor Mrs. Prasanna Earnest has been selected as the Best Lady Mayor of South India by the Rotary Club of Trivandrum Royal[48]

Civic administration[edit]

Armed Reserve Police Camp, Kollam
British Residency in Asramam, Kollam - Till 1829, Quilon was the capital of the Travancore State with the headquarters of the British Residency situated here

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 is Ms. Honey Benjamin of the CPI.[49]

The police administration of the city falls under the Kollam City Police Commissionerate which is headed by an IPS (Indian Police Service)cadre officer 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 subdivisions, Karunagappally, Kollam and Chathannoor, each under an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Urban structure[edit]

The growing population of Kollam has made it the 4th most populous city in the state. Kollam is 49th on the list of the most populous urban agglomerations in India. The total urban population of the district is 1,187,158.[50] Kollam is having the 2nd highest urban growth rate(154.59%) in the state.[50] 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.[51]

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 the Maruthadi-Eravipuram 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[52]


Main article: Economy of Kollam

The city life of Kollam has changed greatly in the last 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) to adopt the shopping mall culture. Kollam district ranks first in livestock wealth in the state. Downtown Kollam is the main CBD of Kollam city.

Five star hotel 'The Raviz', Kollam
RP Mall, Kollam - Kollam was the third city in Kerala (after Kochi and Kozhikode) to adopt the shopping mall culture
Malayala Manorama Press & office in Kollam city

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 have thriving fisheries. An estimated 134,973 persons are engaged in fishing and allied activities. Cheriazheekkal, Alappad, Pandarathuruthu, Puthenthura, Neendakara, Thangasseri, Eravipuram and Paravur are eight of the 26 important fishing villages. There are 24 inland fishing villages also. Recognizing the unique location and infrastructure available, the Government has initiated steps for establishing a fishing harbour at Neendakara which is expected to increase fish production by 15%. Average fish landing is estimated at 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 promote fresh water fish culture and prawn farming respectively. A model fishing village with 100 houses is being built at Eravipuram. A model prawn farm is being built at Ayiramthengu, and several new hatcheries are also planned to cater to the needs of the aquaculturists. Kerala's only turkey farm and a regional poultry farm are at Kureepuzha.[53]

There are two Central Government industrial operations 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 the private/cooperative sector are Aluminium Industries Ltd. in Kundara, Thomas Stephen & Co. in Kollam, Floorco in Paravur and Cooperative Spinning Mill in Chathannoor.[54] The beach sands of the district have concentrations of such heavy minerals as Ilmenite, Rutile, Monosite and Zircon, which offer scope for exploitation for industrial purposes.

Besides large deposits of China clay in Kundara, Mulavana and Chathannoor, there are also lime-shell deposits in Ashtamudi Lake and Bauxite deposits in Adichanallur.[55]

Cashew Business in Kollam[edit]

Kollam is very famous for its traditional cashew business. More than 600 Cashew Processing Units are there in Kollam. About 800,000 tonnes of raw cashews are importing to Kollam for processing every year.[56] An average of 130,000 tonnes of processed cashews are exporting from Kollam to various countries like USA, UAE, Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Italy, Greece, Australia, Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Canada, Thailand, Russia, Norway, Syria, and Hong Kong every year.[57] CEPCI is expecting a rise in export, i.e. 275,000 tonnes by 2020, a growth of 120 per cent over the present exports.[58]

Seafood Export from Kollam[edit]

Kollam is one of the famous seafood exporting business hubs of India. So many seafood exporting companies are there in the city. Most of the companies are working in Maruthadi, Sakthikulangara, Kavanad, Neendakara, Asramam, Kilikollur, Thirumullavaram and Uliyakovil areas of the city.[59][60] Companies like Capithans, Kings Marine Exporters, India Food Exports, Oceanic Fisheries etc. are some of the renowned names from Kollam city in this business.[61] The dynamic development of Kollam Port will accelerate more for this business in the city, as the total export contribution from Kollam city is very high compared to other Kerala cities.[62] Kochi based Marine Products Export Development Authority(MPEDA)'s one among seven sub regional offices is situated at Chinnakada in Kollam city due to the importance of the city as a major marine food exporting business hub.[63]

Clam fishery[edit]

Kollam's clam fishery is now world famous. It is the only Marine Stewardship Council(MSC) certified fishery in India. The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation set up to help transform the seafood market into a sustainable endeavour.

Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam is the major source of the clam used in this fishery. Ashtamudi Lake is a Ramsar Wetland of international importance, is the second largest estuarine system in Kerala. It has extensive mangrove habitats harbouring nearly 90 species of fish and 10 species of clams. Kollam's clam fishery began in 1981. It supports the livelihood of around 3,000 fisher folks involved in collection, cleaning, processing and trading clams. Around 90 species of fish and 10 species of clams are found there.

80% of India's export quality clams come from Kollam. The growth of Ashtamudi’s commercial fishery was driven by demand from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in the 1980s and 90s. By 1991, the catch peaked at 10,000 tonnes a year, but declined by 50 per cent in 1993 due to overfishing. An average of 10,000 tonnes of clam fishing is taking place at Kollam in a year.[64][65][66]

Kollam: The largest Pencil Slat producing hub in India[edit]

Kollam is the largest pencil slat manufacturing hub of India. There are more than 150 slat production units in Kollam employing roughly 5,000 persons. A good portion of the demand for pencil slat in the country is met by these Kollam based units. 35% of the pencil slats manufactured in the world come from Kerala, he pointed out.[67] Of the 170 odd pencil slat manufacturing units in Kerala, 125 are based in and around Kollam district. These units are managed to export 160 loads of slats per month to companies across the world. This, according to slat manufacturers, is enough to make 20 crore pencils a month.[68] A slat is of 185mm length, 77mm width and 5.5mm thickness. Each load being exported contains 300 bags with 900 slats bundled into each of them.On an average each month 150 loads of pencil slat consignment go to pencil factories based in Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and various places in Gujarat. Over 30 countries depend on the 170-odd pencil slat manufacturing units in Kollam for making pencils under different brand names.[69] These factories are working with the support of their associations namely Kerala slats Factories Association and Kerala State Small Industries Association(KSSIA). Most of the important staff office bearers of these associations are from Kollam.[70][71]

Tourism, Places of interest and historical significance[edit]

Thangassery Light House

The city of Kollam borders the famous Ashtamudi Lake. Many a foreign traveller 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.

House boat moving through the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam

The popularity of Kollam is illustrated in 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 almost daily. The Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, the first private college of its kind in the state, is at Kilikollur, about 7 kilometers east of Kollam city. Mahatma Gandhi Park and Beach at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic village are some of the important local sight seeing spots. 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 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 tourist development activities of the district. The Government Guest House here is 200 years old. It stands by Ashtamudi Lake and is a major attraction for its elegance and architectural beauty. Tourists can stay here at economical rates.[72]

The British Residency, situated in the city, is “one of the most beautiful buildings in the country”, as architect Pandala describes it, a massive building built with a tile-fitted sloping roof. Another building built by the British, a two-storeyed, twin-tower structure in laterite stone, is called the Thevally Palace, once the home of the Travancore kings, who are best remembered today for amassing a mind-boggling treasure in the secret vaults of the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple in Thiruvananthapuram.[73]

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 for 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 from the city, is the headquarters of the "IndoNorweigian Fisheries Community Project", which was established in 1953. The important institutions included in 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 from Kollam city. The churches here are fairly old, having been built 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 treacherous reefs of Thangassery. A fishing harbour is being built. Thangassery was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in succession. Remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts still exist.[74]

Ashtamudi Lake[edit]

Ashtamudi Lake (Ashtamudi Kayal) in the Kollam District of Kerala, India, is the most visited backwater of Kerala. With the unique ecosystem, a palm-shaped (also called octopus-shaped) large water body, Ashtamudi means 'eight coned' (Ashta = 'eight'; mudi = 'coned') in the local language of Malayalam. The lake is also called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Quilon is an important historic port city located on the right bank of the lake.

The boat journey is an 8-hour trip (day cruise), winds through lakes, canals and water-bound villages, and gives a complete exposure to the beauty of the backwaters of Ashtamudi Lake. Chinese fishing nets, called cheena vala in the Malayalam language, are used by local fisherman and are a common sight along the waterway.

The lake is the source of livelihood for the people living close to it in fishing, coconut husk retting for coir production and inland navigation services. The lake and the life on its shores have inspired many artists and writers. It has been the subject of many poems of renowned poet Thirunalloor Karunakaran, who was born and brought up on its banks.

Adventure Park[edit]

Adventure Park, Ashramam

Adventure Park in Asramam is a scenic park in the city which attracts so many visitors everyday, every time. It is along the shores of the Ashtamudi backwaters and is about 3 km away from the city centre. It is a novel experiment in the country. The park is a delightful place for children. District Tourism Promotion Council arranges backwater cruises from here. Close to the park are the Government Guest House and a boat jetty. Different types of boats, including luxury cruise boats, powerboats and motorboats, are available on hire from the boat jetty near to the Adventure Park.[75][76][77][78] 10 fascinating sculptures with distinctive themes are one of the major attractions of Adventure Park. The skillful hands of some of the state’s finest sculptors have given a whole new ambience to the pristine beauty of the Adventure Park on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake.[79]

Portuguese Cemetery[edit]

The Portuguese Cemetery(after the invasion of Dutch, it became Dutch Cemetery) of Tangasseri in Kollam city was constructed in around 1519 as part of the Portuguese invasion in old Quilon city. City of Kollam is one of the oldest Portuguese-Dutch-English settlements in Asia. Tangasseri was their centre of activity. Popularly known as Tangy, Tanganeri was an erstwhile trading outpost of the Portuguese, Europeans, Arabs, Chinese and Jews.[80] The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1920.[81]

Asramam Picnic Village[edit]

Asramam picnic village is located in the 48 acre Guest House Complex. It is a center of tourism activities in Kollam. The Government guest house is a sprawling 200 year old property campus and was the residence of Lord Munroe then. This picnic village lie facing Kollam backwaters. The Paaramparya Museum in the same premises has on display paintings from different parts of the country including Warli, Kalamkari and Madhubani as well as Kerala mural art. A budget hotel for tourists, Yatri Nivas, run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, is also located in this village. The village is just 2 km away from the city.[75][77][82][83]

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum, Kollam[edit]

Central Police Canteen, Kollam city

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum is the only such establishment in the country that traces the history and growth of the Police force in India.[84] It is located just opposite the Kollam Junction railway station. The museum was dedicated to the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. In addition to arms and ammunition of the 18th and 19th centuries, including bullets, guns, machines, and a diversity of other weapons, the museum also houses information charts on DNA tests, human bones, fingerprints, snaps of police dogs and a variety of medals awarded to policemen of different ranks.[85]

Kollam Beach[edit]

Main article: Kollam Beach
An evening view of Laccadive Sea from Kollam Beach

Kollam Beach is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Beach. It is one of the twin beaches of the city. The other is Thirumullavaram beach. Kollam Beach is 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. So many eye-catching and entertainment stuffs are there in the park. A mermaid statue of height 10.6 meters is standing at the center of the park.[86] Kollam Corporation has started the construction of a marine aquarium at Kollam Beach which is the first of its kind in the state of Kerala. The Harbour Engineering Department is constructing the aquarium on the eastern side of the beach.

Thangasserry - Beach, Lighthouse and Fort[edit]

Fishing activities at Thangassery
Main article: Thangassery

Thangassery or Tangasseri is a thickly populated beach area on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Kollam city. It is located about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the city center. The splendid cultural and historical background of Thangassery harbour often makes it a pride landmark of Kollam. Archaeologists recently discovered Chinese coins and other artifacts from the cost which reveals the splendid historic background of Thangassery[87] Kollam Port also making Thangassery an important place in the world maritime map.[88][89] There are also ruins of Portuguese and Dutch forts and 18th century churches. Thangassery fishing harbour is another important trade centre in Kollam City. Tangasseri is a picturesque seaside village with a three kilometre long beach on which stands a 144 feet tall lighthouse—a silent sentinel warning seamen since 1902 of the treacherous reefs. Only Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts have more than one lighthouse. The Lighthouses in Kollam district are,

  1. Tangasseri Lighthouse
  2. Kovilthottam Lighthouse

St. Thomas Fort is about 20 feet tall. Today, the remains of the Fort, popularly known as "Tangasseri Fort" remain facing the beach. The government of India has taken over the fort and it is being considered an historical landmark. Reformation of the fort is still going on. At present, this fort is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI).

Thirumullavaram Beach[edit]

Main article: Thirumullavaram Beach

Thirumullavaram beach is one among the twin beautiful beaches in the Cashew Capital of the World. It is at a distance of 6 km away from the heart of the city. The secluded beach soothe your mind and body with its natural beauty. The beach will give an estuary feel for the tourists as the area is full of coconut palms which makes the place a shady paradise and it is a very silent place. The beach is ideal for early morning walks[90] The beach is ideal for swimming and sun bathing and no danger zones are identified. The beach is connected with all the major roads around the state and it can be easily accessed to reach the place.[91] The taste of local cuisine that is mostly flavoured with coconut and spices like cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and ginger are also attract a good number of visitors. A water hillock named Njarazhcha Para which means Sunday Rock, is another allurement for the tourists visiting here. During low tides, this hillock can be seen clearly from the shore about one and a half kms into the sea.


Main article: Transport in Kollam


See also: Kollam Airport

The city corporation of Kollam is served by Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 56 kilometers from the city. Trivandrum International Airport is the first international airport in a non-metro city in India[92] and the only airport in Kerala having more than 2 Terminals. Daily domestic flight services are available such major cities as 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.

However, Quilon Aerodrome at Asramam in Kollam City was the first aerodrome in Kerala. The first flight to Kerala landed at Kollam Asramam Airport. Now the old airport area is serving as a twin-helipad of the city, which is about 1 km away from the city center.[93] The first Amphibian Aircraft (Seaplane) of Kerala also landed in Kollam.


View of backwaters near Kollam in Kerala
A view of the Kollam backwaters

Kollam Junction (Code: QLN) is the second largest railway station in Kerala in 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. The total length of Kollam Junction's PF-3 and 4 combined is around 1180 meters, which is more than the length of the longest existing platform in the world (Kharagpur – 1072.5 meters), but the length of the PF-3 side is about 900 m, while the PF-4 side is about 880 m. In a single stretch the total length is 1180 m.[94]

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.[95][96]

Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) services started from Kollam to Ernakulam via: Alappuzha and Kottayam in the 2nd week of January 2012.[97][98] 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. The railway stations in Kollam city are,

Suburban Rail[edit]

A new suburban rail system has been proposed by the Kerala Government and Indian Railways on the route Thiruvananthapuram - Kollam - Haripad/Chengannur for which MRVC is tasked to conduct a study and submit a report. Ten trains, each with 7 bogies, will transport passengers back and forth along the Trivandrum-Kollam-Chengannur-Harippad section. The Suburban Corridor is modelled on the lines of the Mumbai Suburban Rail, where around 3,000 suburban trains run every day[99]

Suburban railway stations in Kollam Metropolitan Area[edit]
No. Station Area
1 Kollam Junction Central Kollam
2 Perinad North Kollam
3 Karunagappalli North Kollam
4 Ochira North Kollam
5 Kilikollur East Kollam
6 Chandanathoppe East Kollam
7 Kundara East Kollam
8 Eravipuram South Kollam
9 Mayyanad South Kollam
10 Paravur South Kollam

Kollam MEMU Shed[edit]

Main article: Kollam MEMU Shed

Kollam MEMU Shed is a motive power depot facility for maintaining MEMU rakes, situated in the city of Kollam in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the four MEMU rake maintenance sheds serving the Southern Railway zone of the Indian Railways.[100] The first announced MEMU shed for Kerala was actually in Kollam, but the inauguration of this shed had been delayed for more than 2 years due to the clearance issues from Indian Railways.[101] Palakkad MEMU shed inaugurated on 1 January 2011.[102] Kollam MEMU Shed was formally commissioned on 1 December 2013, five years after its completion.[100] Kollam MEMU Shed is the largest MEMU Shed in Kerala, which is equipped with most modern facilities. Presently, 5 pairs of MEMU services are now running from Kollam Junction. The maintenance works of those rakes are regularly doing in Kollam MEMU Shed.


Dalavapuram bridge near Kollam City - This bridge had given a new way of connectivity for the people of Dalavapuram with Kollam City along with the existing boat services.
Kollam Bypass - The 13.141km long Kollam Bypass project was actually planned in 1975 but because of the political and financial issues, NHAI and Government of Kerala is still dragging the construction works.
Kollam KSRTC Bus Station is situated at the banks of famous Ashtamudi Lake. One of the main bus stations in the state, still waiting to get a makeover.

The city of Kollam is connected to almost all the cities and major towns in the state, including Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Kochi, Palakkad, Kottayam, Kottarakkara, and Punalur, and with other Indian cities through the National Highways – NH 66 (formerly NH 47), NH 183 (formerly NH 220), NH 744 (formerly 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 provided by private taxis and autorickshaws, also called autos. There is a city private bus stand at Andamukkam. There is a KSRTC bus station beside Ashtamudi Lake. Buses to various towns in Kerala and interstate services run from this station.

Major places connecting to NH 66[edit]

Kottiyam → Umayanalloor → MevaramThattamala → Pazhayattinkuzhi → Pallimuk → Madannada → Polayathode → College Jn. → Railway StationChinnakadaCutchery → Collectorate → Mulangadakam → Nellimukku → Medayil Jn → Ramankulangara → Vallikeezhu → Kavanad → Aaltharamoodu → Capithans → SakthikulangaraNeendakara

Major places connecting to NH 744[edit]

ChinnakadaKadappakada → Randamkutty → Koickal → Kallumthazham → Moonnamkutty → Karicode → KilikollurChandanathoppe

A new railway over-bridge from SN College Junction to Kollam DCC Office Junction was inaugurated recently.[103] To reduce traffic congestion in the city, the Government is planning an underpass at Chinnakada Junction. It also has plans to start bus bays near Kollam Port and Andamukkam. A city flyover running from the SMP Palace junction to the KSRTC bus stand is also in the planning stage.[104]

Kollam Bypass[edit]

Main article: Kollam Bypass

Kollam Bypass is under construction to ease traffic congestion in the city. The 13.141 km bypass extends from Kavanad in the north to Mevaram in the south, via Aravila, Kadavur, Kallumthazham and Ayathil.[105] The Government of Kerala proposed the bypass in 1975. A stretch of 4.8 km from Mevaram to Kallumthazham has been completed. The Kallumthazham-Kavanad stretch remains to be built. This stretch includes three bridges, five culverts, one vehicle underpass, and five major intersections and must pass over Ashtamudi Lake. The section will include a seven-metre two-lane carriageway, paved shoulders and earthen shoulders.[106][107] The Kollam Bypass is of great importance, since it will touch three major National Highways (National Highways – NH 66 (formerly NH 47), NH 183 (formerly NH 220), and NH 744 (formerly NH 208)) passing through the state of Kerala.

City Bus Stand[edit]

The city bus stand of Kollam is situated at Andamukkam, near to Chinnakada. The bus stand is known as Andamukkam City Bus Stand. It is one among the 2 bus stands in the city of Kollam.[108] The bus stand is only for private city buses and KSRTC ordinary bus services running up to Chinnakada, Kollam. It is the starting point of various city bus services connecting Chinnakada with Mayyanad, Elampalloor, Sakthikulangara, Chavara, Thoppilkadavu, Prakkulam, Kottiyam, Perumon, Kadavoor. KSRTC have a plan to start an operating centre in the bus station.[109]


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.

Gateway to the Backwaters-1, Kollam


Main article: Kollam Port

Kollam Port (Thangasseri Port) is the second largest port in Kerala, after Cochin Port Trust. Kollam Port is one of the two International Ports in Kerala. Cargo handling facility had been kicked-off at Kollam Port in 2013.[110] Foreign ships are now coming to Kollam Port regularly. The first foreign ship that reached the Port of Kollam after the independence of India was the MV Alina, a mammoth 145-meter vessel registered in Antigua. It anchored in the port on 4 April 2014.[111] Once the Port starts functioning in full-fledged, it will make the transportation activities of Kollam-based cashew companies more easy.[112] Shreyas Shipping Company is now running a regular container service between Kollam Port and Kochi Port.[113][114]

The natural depth of Kollam Port is 8 meters. This will soon be increased to 10 meters. The project to increase depth is now underway at a cost of Rs.5.7 crores. Kollam Port has a cement terminal, cargo handling facilities, and a customs clearance centre (under construction). The port is undergoing infrastructural development.[115] The port is very near the city of Kollam. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy launched the Coastal Shipping Project (CSP) at Kollam Port on 9 November 2013.[116] Passenger ships will start operating from Kollam Port by 2014.[117][118]

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. The concerned authorities of Kollam Port has recently cleared the decks for tie-up with Tuticorin Port.[119]

Kollam-Minicoy(Lakshadweep) Passenger ship service[edit]

The emergence of historic port city Kollam(Quilon) to its ancient glorious state as one of the major cities in India had forced the Ports Department to dust up an old proposal to launch a passenger ship service between Kollam Port and Minicoy. The distance between Kollam and Minicoy is just 398 km.[120] Lakshadweep authority is also seeking for an opportunity to invest in Kollam Port. They are ready to investment for a passenger terminal with dormitory facilities and an office to guide the people of Minicoy reaching at Kollam Port.[121] Traditionally, Lakshadweep’s connections with the mainland have been through Kochi and Beypore ports. But Minicoy, a small atoll at the southernmost end of the archipelago, is closer to Kollam than to either Kochi or Beypore.[122]


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 Limited (popularly known as the Meter Company) and Parvathi Spinning Mill at Kollam.

Industrial Estates in Kollam City are;

Cashew industry and board[edit]

Kollam is known as the Cashew Capital of the World. Cashew processing and coir production are the two most important sources of employment in the private sector. 80% of all cashew processing and exporting in India is carried on at Kollam.[125][126] The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Limited(KSCDC) is situated at Mundakkal in Kollam city. They own 30 cashew factories allover Kerala. Out of this, 24 factories are situated in Kollam district.[127][128] Cashew processing and sorting employs a large number 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 Kadappakada, Kollam. The headquarters of Cashew Export Promotion Council of India is situated at Mundakkal, Kollam city.[129] They have a modern testing lab in Kollam. The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (KSCDC),[130] Kollam, a Government Company, has 30 cashew factories and employs 20,000 people, 95% of whom are women classified as poor. It is expected that a Cashew Board[131] will be set up at Kollam by the Government of India for the development of the cashew industry.

Kollam Technopark[edit]

Main article: Technopark, Kollam

The Kollam Technopark is part of Technopark, Trivandrum, built on the hub and spoke model for the development of the Information Technology industry in Kerala.[132] As the second phase of development of the IT industry in Kerala the Kollam Technopark comes up in one of the earliest industrial towns of Kerala, Kundara Located on the banks of the Kanjiracode Lake, a tributary of the Ashtamudi in Kollam this technopark is to offer the support of uniform talent distribution, Infrastructure and supporting IT platforms, e.g. telecom, datacom and digital exchanges, excellent infrastructure availability and back-up support available in Kollam.[133][134][135] Kollam Technopark is the first IT park in the country which is accessible by road, rail, water and air transportation facilities.

Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd.(KMML)[edit]

Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd.(KMML) is an integrated titanium dioxide manufacturing public sector undertaking in Kollam, Kerala, India. Its operations comprise mining, mineral separation, synthetic rutile and pigment-production plants. Apart from producing rutile-grade titanium dioxide pigment for various types of industries, it also produces other products like Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Sillimanite, Synthetic rutile etc.[136] It is one of the best performing Public Sector Units in India.[137]


Main article: Techno-lodge

A Techno-lodge is a kind of small Information Technology park established by Government of Kerala in small towns or villages in Kerala.[138][139] Techno-lodges constitute the third tier of the IT infrastructure in Kerala after the IT hubs at Thiruvananthapuram (Technopark), Kollam (Technopark), Kochi (InfoPark) and Kozhikode (Cyberpark).[140] The Government has approved the setting up of two such parks in Perinad,[141] a suburb of Kollam city and Kadakkal Grama Panchayats in Kollam District.[142]

Parvathy Mills[edit]

Parvathy Mills is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under National Textile Development Corporation in the city of Kollam. It is situated very close to the heart of the city. It was one of the glorious spinning units in India. The mill is under the consideration of National Textile Development Corporation for renovation.[143][144] The mill is also placed in the Master Plan of the Greater Kollam City Project in which the Government is planning to build a large scale garment manufacturing unit by utilizing the available infrastructural facilities.[145]

United Electrical Industries Limited(UNILEC), Pallimukku[edit]

United Electrical Industries Limited, an ISO 9001:2000 accredited State Level Public Enterprise, has been successfully operating in the electrical engineering sector since 1950.[146] This Company is one of the pioneers in energy meter manufacturing and Switch gear items. The company is situated at Pallimukku in Kollam city. UEI Ltd. has so far supplied over 40 lakhs Electromechanical Meters and 50 lakhs of Electronic Meters for domestic and industrial purpose. The company received several awards for the achievements for their efforts in energy conservation.[147]

Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL)[edit]

Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) is a government-owned ISO 9002 Certified corporation in India. One of the four production plants of IREL is situated near Chavara, in the suburbs of Kollam city. The plant operates on a mining area containing as high as 40% heavy minerals and extending over a length of 23 km in the Chavara belt. The present annual production capacity of Chavara unit engaged in dry as well as wet (dredging/ up-gradation) mining and mineral separation stands at 1,54,000t of ilmenite, 9,500t of rutile, 14,000t of zircon and 7,000t of sillimanite. In addition the plant has facilities for annual production of ground zircon called zirflor (-45 micron) and microzir (1-3 micron) of the order of 6,000t and 500t respectively.[148] The other plants of IREL are Manavalakurichi, OSCOM and Rare Earths Division at Aluva.

The Kollam coast in Kerala is a blessed coastal belt with the best mineral sand deposit of the country.[149] This belt commonly known as the Chavara deposit, after the main locality, covers a total length of 22 km and a width of about 8 km in the northern side and 6 km in the southern side. The Chavara barrier beach portion contains concentration of heavy minerals above 60%. The Chavara deposit is estimated to contain 127 million tonnes of heavy minerals with ilmenite content of 80 million tonnes from the total reserve of raw sand of the order of 1400 million tonnes. The deposit is quite rich with respect to ilmenite, rutile and zircon and the mineral-ilmenite happens to be of weathered variety analyzing 60% TiO2.[149]


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

The city and suburbs contribute greatly to education by providing the best and latest knowledge to the scholars. The Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, the first private school of its kind in the state, is at Kilikollur, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of Kollam city, and is a source of pride for all Kollamites. The Government of Kerala has granted academic autonomy to Fatima Mata National College, another prestigious institution in the city.[150] Sree Narayana College, Bishop Jerome Institute ( an integrated campus providing Architecture, Engineering and Management courses), and Travancore Business Academy are other important colleges in the city. There are two law colleges in the city, one under the control of SN college and the other managed by the N.S.S college.

The Institute of Fashion Technology, Kollam, Kerala is a fashion technology institute situated in Vellimon, Kollam, established in technical collaboration with the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Ministry of Textiles. In addition, there are two IMK (Institute of Management, Kerala) Extension Centres active in the city.[151]

Apart from colleges, there are a number of bank coaching centres in Kollam.[152] Kollam is known as India's hub for bank test coaching centres with around 40 such institutes in the district.[2] Students from various Indian states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh also come here for coaching.

Health Care[edit]

Kollam has a fairly well-developed network of medical facilities.[153][154] Also, according to The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, the supposed site of the fountain of youth was at the foot of the mountains outside Kollam. The health care sector of Kollam has changed greatly in the past decade. Once there were no medical colleges in the district, but now there are three, two under official management, Kerala Government Medical College and Valiyath Institute of Medical Sciences, Karunagappally. The only ESIC Medical College in Kerala is located in the Kollam district.[155] Travancore Medicity Medical College in the city and Azeezia Medical College and Dental College in Meeyannoor are the other two medical colleges in the district.

The famous Samad In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) hospital has a branch in Kollam. There are a number of Christian Missionary Hospitals in the district, including Bishop Benziger Hospital in the city and Holy Cross Hospital, Kottiyam. The Kollam district hospital and Victoria Hospital play a vital role in the health care sector of the city. The famous Upasana Hospital, owned by R.P Group, N.S Co-operative Hospital, KIMS Hospital, and Ashtamudi Hospital are other important hospitals in the city. Famous Meditrina Group is constructing its new hospital in the city. ESIC corporation runs a highly specialized hospital in Asramam, Kollam.

Notable events[edit]

A photo taken during 'Kollam Fest'

Kollam Fest is Kollam's own annual festival, attracting mostly Keralites but also 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 seeks to showcase Kollam's rich culture and heritage, tourism potential and investments in new ventures.

Kollam Pooram, part of the Ashramam Sree Krishnaswamy Temple Festival, is usually held on 15 April, but 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 the Malayalam Calendar (March–April). This temple is very famous for the fireworks competition (Malsara Kambam), which is usually held on the final day of the festival.

Kadakkal Thiruvathira is a famous 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 was first celebrated in 1968. It starts from Munroe Island, 25 km from Kollam, and ends at Chittumala.

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

Kallada Boat Race (Kallada Jalolsavam) conducted during Irupathiettam Onam is one of the oldest boat races in the district and attracts thousands of peaple

The President's Trophy Boat Race[156] (PTBR) is an annual regatta held in Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. The event was inaugurated by President Prathibha Patil in September 2011. The event has been rescheduled from 2012.

Thrikkadavur Thiruvathira, a world famous annual festival of Thrikkadavoor temple in the Malayalam month of Kumbha ( Feb-March). The only one Nedumkuthira(Eduppukuthira= the vertical men lifted traditional colorful chariot)water-procession of the world. Centuries old custom. International tourists also attracted nowadays.

Perumon Therukettu Festival, The traditional Kerala chariot lifted and circumvented by mass of people around the antique temple of Perumon. Celebrated once in an year. Hindus believe that seeing the right-starting movement of the chariot will wash away all the sins made by one for the previous year and thus can escape the punishment by God.

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


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. An International Hockey Stadium with the 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 the stadium was taken over from the Postal Department at Asramam, Kollam. The city has another stadium named the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Kollam. It is a multipurpose stadium and has repeatedly hosted such sports events as the Ranji Trophy, Santhosh Trophy and National Games.[157] Two open grounds in the city, the Asramam Maidan and Peeranki Maidan, are also used for sports events, practice and warm-up matches.

Kadappakada Sports Club, Kollam - established in 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. Construction work for the International Hockey Stadium is in full swing for the same reason.

Places of worship[edit]

List of Temples[edit]

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

Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram
Thrikkadavoor Mahadeva Temple
Mukathala Murari (SreeKrishna) Temple
  • Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram
  • Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Temple (the only Duryodhana Temple in South India)
  • Uliyacovil Sree Durga Bhagavathy Temple
  • Puttingal Temple at Paravur[158]
  • 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, Kadappakada
  • Kattil Mekkathil Devi Temple, Ponmana, Karungappally
  • Peroor Sree Meenakshi Temple at Punthalathazham
  • Kolloorvila Bharanikkavu Devi Temple in Madannada
  • Mangalathu Temple[159] 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
  • Edakkidom Thettikkunil Sree Mahadevi Temple
  • Mangad Santhanantha Matom and Devi Temple
  • Ochira Parabrahma Temple
  • Palkulangara Bhagavathi Temple Mulachanthara Devi Temple, Munroe Island
  • Kaduvinal Sreedurga Devi Temple, Panmana
  • Valiya Koonambayikkulam Devi Temple.
  • Kunnathu Kavu, Kadappakkada
  • Parimanom Sree Durga Devi Temple, Neendakara, Kollam


New cathedral in Tangasseri, Kollam

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon or Kollam in the state of Kerala is the oldest Catholic diocese in India. 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 whom are Catholic - is claimed to have first been erected on 9 August 1329. It was re-erected on 1 September 1886. The famous Infant Jesus Cathedral, 400 years old, located in Thangassery, is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon.

List of Churches[edit]


  • Kottukadu Juma Masjid, Chavara
  • Ochira Juma Masjid
  • Sheikh Masjid, Karunagapally
  • Valiyapalli, Jonakappuram
  • Chinnakada Juma Masjid
  • Juma-'Ath Palli, Kollurvila
  • Juma-'Ath Palli, Thattamala
  • Muslim Juma-'Ath Palli, Karuva
  • Koivila Juma Masjid, Chavara

[160] Kalamala Palli at Kalamala, Elampalloor Juma-A-Masjid, Kundara,[161] Muthirapparambu Palli at Muthirapparambu and Siyavathummodu Palli at Kilikollur.

The 300-year-old Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva houses the mortal remains of a Sufi saint, Syed Abdur Rahman Jifri.[162][163]

The Karbala Maidan and the adjacent Makani mosque serves as the Eid gah for the city. Muthirapparambu Mosque is one of the most important masjid in Kollam district. This masjid is situated in Vellaitambalam. The Maqbara of Muthirapparambu Uppa in this masjid is very much famous. Many people, Muslims and non-Muslims, visit this maqbara. Other important places located near this masjid are Ashtamudi, Thirumullavaram, Mamootilkadavu and Thoppilkadavu.

Notable people from Kollam[edit]

Music Director Paravur G.Devarajan
Jayan-Malayalis are believing him as the "Immortal Star" of Malayalam Film Industry

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]


  • Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, Keralathinde Eruladanja Edukal, p. 64,112,117
  • Travancore Archaeological Series (T.A.S.) Vol. 6 p. 15
  • Diaries and writings of Mathai Kathanar, the 24th generation priest of Thulaserry Manapurathu, based on the ancestral documents and Thaliyolagrandha handed down through generations
  • Z.M. Paret, Malankara Nazranikal, vol. 1
  • L. K. Ananthakrishna Iyer, State Manual, p50,52
  • Bernard Thoma Kathanar, Marthoma Christyanikal, lines 23,24
  • Narayan, M.G.S, Chera-Pandya conflict in the 8th–9th centuries which led to the birth of Venad: Pandyan History seminar, Madurai University, 1971
  • The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol. 3, p. 523,534
  • Narayan M.G.S., Cultural Symbiosis p33
  • The handwritten diaries of Pulikottil Mar Dionyius (former supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese)