Located on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam is the fourth most populous place in Kerela. The city has about 30% of its area covered with water which makes it a very famous tourist destination as a gateway to backwaters of Southern India. Every year, this place is visited by thousands of tourists across the country and globe to rejuvenate and relax them in the God’s own country.
Many tourist place and temples of historic interest is present here that gives an insight to the visitors about the rich heritage and culture of Kollam. Besides being a destination of immense importance with respect to tourism, Kollam also has a very strong commercial and trade history which has witnessed many traders invading this place.
Being a coastal place, the climate here remains tropical and humid round the year. Kollam is very well known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. Owing to as many as 130,000 tonnes of cashew being processed in Kollam and exported worldwide, the city is also known as the ‘Cashew Capital of the world’. It is also known for its Sea Trade as it is one of the important seafood export hub of India. Kollam is one of the largest pencil slat manufacturing place in India. About 35% of the world’s slat production is done here. The economic performance of this city is also quite appreciable as it is ranked fifth in terms of economics and per capita income.
Major Tourist Attractions of Kollam
- Ashtamudi Lake: It is the most visited tourist destination in Kollam. It is a large palm shaped water body known as the gateway to backwaters of Kerela.
- Thangassery Light House: Thangassery Light House is another main site of attraction at Kollam. Built in 1902 it is a 144 feet high tower, located at a distance of 5 Km from the heart of the city. This magnificent tower can be climbed up to the top to see the panoramic view of the surroundings. This place attracts many tourist and visitors.
- Thirumullavaram Beach: This heavenly paradise is one of the most beautiful twin beaches in Kerela. It is located at a distance of 6 Km from the main city. Tourist and visitors often come here to relax their mind, body and soul. This place is very silent and calm covered with lots of coconut palm trees. Local flavour and delicacies are also available by restaurants and street hawkers. It is a preferred place for sun bathing and swimming as there are no danger zones identified by the authorities at this place.
- Sasthamkotta Lake: It is one of the largest lake reserves in Kerela. A very famous temple is situated here, named Sastha Temple due to which this place has gained its religiousness among the devotees coming over here over the time. This place is surrounded by beautiful hills and landscapes.
- Ochira: Ochira is a holy place located at a distance of 34 Km from Kollam. This place is visited by a number of pilgrims and visitors every year. A very famous temple dedicated to Lord Brahma named Parbrahma Temple is situated here along with other shrines and temples. This place is also famous for some of the exciting festivals occurring every year.
Besides those that are mentioned above, there are many other places of tourist interest in Kollam that attract many visitors and pilgrims from all across the country.
- Adventure Park
- Portuguese Cemetery
- Asramam Picnic Village
- Kollam Beach
- British Residency
Fairs and Festivals
Some of the notable festival and events which are celebrated by the Kollam people with huge participation and pomp & gaiety are Craft Festival, Boat Race, Kollam Pooram, Ashtami Rohini, Oachirakali and Kottamkulangara Temple event.
- Oachirakali Festival: This is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in Kollam. It is held in the month of June-July every year. This festival is celebrated at Oachira Temple. The main site of attraction during this festival is the mock sword fight among two groups formed of devotees and local people. This fight is based on a pre-historic event of Kayamkulam battle.
- Kollam Pooram: This is the festival that witness huge gatherings at Ashram Temple of Kollam. It is a ten day festival and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This festival is celebrated during the month of April every year. Large processions of Lord Vishnu are carried out through the town along with huge sounds of music. People even burn fire crackers throughout the procession.
- Craft Festival: Craft festival is celebrated during the months of December-January. This festival attracts many visitors and tourist across the country. This festival exhibits the extraordinary work of the craftsmen and artists belonging to different parts of the country.
- Boat Race: The boat race is held on 19th January every year and is organized by the Kerela Tourism department. This event coincides with the Great Elephant March that takes place between 17th–20th January every year. Boat race is an adventurous sport which is a must see event for visitors coming over this place during this timeframe.
- Ashtami Rohini: This is a very religiously important festival celebrated in Kollam. It is held in the month of August-September every year and is celebrated at Vadayakutta Temple. It is a five day festival associated with many events and celebrations at different temples across the town.
Apart from the festivals mentioned above, all other Indian festivals are also celebrated here with equal participation from all religions, spreading their vibrant colours which are not only enjoyed by the local people but all also by the visitors and devotes coming over this place.
Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Kollam is between September to March when the climate is pleasant and cool. One can explore and do all the sightseeing very comfortably. Generally, the climate here is hot and humid during summer. During the months of between April to June, Kollam witnesses moderately hot but very humid weather. Intermittent showers takes place round the year however, heavy rainfall starts between the months of July to August.
How to Reach
By Air – The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the nearest airport from Kollam. It is located at a distance of 67 Km from the city. Kollam is connected with regular cabs and buses from the airport. This airport is very well connected with all major states and cities across India.
By Rail – The Kollam Railway station is one of the important railway station of Southern India and well connected with all the major cities across Kerela and other parts of the country.
By Road – The Kerela Road Transport has very well developed the road network that connects Kollam with all the major cities and town of Kerela.