A beach backwater symphony

Kollam, one of the big cities in Kerala state, is generally associated with the cashew industry as well as a tourism destination for backwaters.

But this city was much more than all these. Considering the once formidable stature that this place had enjoyed it won’t be fair to narrate the present scenario before mentioning its glorious past.

Kerala tours

This, along with Muziris (the present Kodungalloor) was the only two international ports in Kerala’s coastline that enjoyed trade relations with the outside world, right from the Roman era. At that time, Kollam was a major trading partner with the ancient China, Egypt, Greece and Rome. It served as a key commercial spot and Kollam harbor was a busy center for import & export of precious commodities like Spice.

Kollam served as the capital city of the erstwhile kingdom of Venad (which emerged from the Tamil Empire of Chera) for almost three centuries, 9th to 12th century AD. In fact the prominence of Kollam was so high that the Malayalam era, which official began in 9th century (825 AD), was named after this city as, ‘Kolla Varsham’. In the colonial era, following the power struggle of westerners and subsequent annexation by the British, Kollam lost its autonomy. Later, it gained importance as the hub of Cashew processing & trading industry. During the 1960s – 80s, Kollam was the no.1 city in Kerala in terms of the number of millionaires and luxury cars, mainly due to the booming Cashew industry.

Though now overshadowed by the likes of Kochi as a center of economy, the presence of charming backwaters & beaches and, the still thriving cashew sector keeps Kollam in the list of prominent destinations of Kerala.

Kollam’s natural assets:

Ashtamudi Lake

The second largest lake (after Vembanad) in Kerala, without which the state’s backwater wealth is not complete. Ashta-mudi (meaning eight-branches in Malayalam), is a splendid lake with multiple branches of canals.

Together with Vembanad, Ashtamudi forms a very fine backwater network, debated as the most beautiful of its kind. From Ashtamudi (in Kollam) to Vembanad (in Alappuzha) marks the longest waterway in Kerala, and the boat ride takes almost a day – an incomparable trip.

Sasthamkotta Lake

Kerala’s largest freshwater lake – is fondly known as God’s own lake city. Sasthamcotta’s locations are known for their peerless beauty – source of inspiration for many writers & poets, plus, a prime shooting location for films & TV programmes.

Kollam beach

Known as the Mahatma Gandhi Beach… a pleasing seashore that serves as an ideal recreation center.


Former wanted trade post by the colonial powers… the village of Tangasseri now exhibits the famed colonial traces like this timeworn fortress.

Thirummulavaram Beach

A seashore with a delightful mixture of seclusion and harmony… best suited for seaside picnics.

Kollam’s landscape – perfect visualization of beach-backwater symphony


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