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The Dutch Quilon as it was called, used to be a British Enclave. The place is also popular as Thangasseri. The lighthouse built at Quilon by the British in the year 1902 is visible as far as 13 miles in the sea. The lighthouse stands to an amazing height of 144 feet and is the second tallest lighthouse as well as one of the most visited lighthouses of Kerala.
The picturesque view of the sea from the place where the lighthouse stands is breathtaking. In the vicinity lies the Portuguese Fort. The fort was built in the year 1517 and at present only a wall of the fort has escaped the assaults made by Time.
The serene Ashtamudi Lake is a great place to hanker for in the Kollam district. It is the most visited backwater and lake of Kerala. Ashtamudi means ‘Eight Coned’ in Malayalam. This lake or Kayal is lined with palm and coconut trees.
The house boat trips here are great pleasures and so is the boat cruise. The boat cruise to Munroe Islands is a wonderful experience. The popular cruises one can avail at the place are Kayal Pradakshina Cruise and Sayanthanam Sunset Cruise.
Chavara is one of the important industrialized zones in the state of Kerala. It is a village at Karunagappally of Kollam. While on one side this village is on the shores of the Arabian Sea, on the other hand the Ashtamudi freshwater lake flows through it.
There are large mineral deposits located in the Chavara region. The place supports four major industrial establishments which includes Indian Rare Earths, The Kerala Premo Pipe factory, Kerala Mineral and Metal factory and Titanium Complex.
Next to the government Guest House at Asramam, 3 km away from the central bus stand, is an Adventure Park which delights children. The Quilon District Tourist Promotion Council organises backwater cruises from there and during the season conducts cruises to Alleppey. The park is popularly known as the Asramam Picnic Village.
The park is home to many endangered species of trees as well as mangroves which is famous all over India. The major attractions popular here include sculptures, open gym, mangrove forest, boating and British residency.
This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18th century. The Thangasseri Lighthouse is open to visitors from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. There are buses at 15 minute intervals from Kollam town.
The recently discovered Chinese artifacts and coins, prove the historical significance of the area. This place is also an important part of the maritime business with the Kollam port being located here. This place is also home to the oldest schools of Kerala.
One of the religious places in Kollam, the Rameshwara Temple is an ancient temple that dates back to 12th century. It is believed to have been built in the Pandian style of architecture. It has many Tamil inscriptions dating to the same time. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is included in the 108 Shivalayams.
The attractive feature of this temple is the giant sculptures of Vyala, the mythological monster. The temple provides the ambience of calmness and energy.
Mayyanad, a village in Kollam district of Kerala. It lies on the banks of the Paravur Lake and also the coast of Arabian Sea.
Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya temple at Umayanallor. This shrine is said to have been consecrated by the great Hindu philosopher Sree Sankaracharya. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Mayyanad.
Sasthamkotta or Sasthamcotta, is located at a distance of 25 kilometers from Kollam. The vast fresh water lake here is the largest of its kind in Kerala. The ancient Sastha temple which lends its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre. At these temples one can see abundance of monkeys.
There are frequent bus services from Kollam. Accommodation is available at the PWD Rest House. This place is filled with locations that are breath taking.
Ochira (34 km north of Kollam town)
The unique feature of this famous pilgrim centre is that there is no deity or idol at the famous Parabrahma temple dedicated to universal consciousness. Ochira Kali in mid June and the twelve day Panthrandu Vilakku in November/December are the two main annual festivals.
Ochira Kali is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors on the padanilam (fighting spot). They perform a martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords and shields and splashing water in every direction. There are frequent buses from Kollam and Alappuzha.
Kulathupuzha (64 km from Kollam town)
Situated on a forest range on the Thiruvananthapuram - Shenkottai road, Kulathupuzha is known for the Sastha temple. The Vishu Mahotsavam in April/May is the most important festival.
There are frequent buses from Kollam to Kulathupuzha. The Thenmala railway station is just 10 km from here. The Eco Tourism of Thenmala with Indo Swiss dairy farms, is just 9 kilometers away.
It is here at Kulathupuzha that the famous Malayalam music legend Raveendran was born.
Paravoor, 20 kilometres from Kollam, is a narrow skirt of land stretching in between the backwaters and the sea. It is now a town cum municipality. It is easily accessible through road and rail.
A beach resort by KTDC and a major water sports complex by Kollam DTPC will adorn this place very soon. The famous Varkala beach is a mere 15 kilometres drive from here.
Paravoor is well connected by road and rail.
Thenmala (66 km east of Kollam)
The area is covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations. The name has the meaning of ‘Honey Mountain.’ An Eco Tourism Development Project is under implementation here. Thenmala is also a dam site with the Parappar Dam.
So as to attract tourists Thenmala has many activities and attractions like boating, rope bridge, trekking, mountaineering, biking, musical fountain and so on.
Thenmala Deer Park
The other attraction of Thenmala is the Deer Park. At the deer park one can find many deers as well as trees. Here there are three types of deers namely the Sambar Deer, the Spotted Deer and the Lawn Deer. This park also has tree top huts which has two rooms. There is also a recreational area and a children’s park.
Thenmala Rocks are about 5000 years old, which are worth seeing.
Kottarakkara Kathakali Museum
Kottarakkara Thamburan Kathakali Museum is the memorial of Kottarakkara Thamburan (King), the father of the Kathakali.
Exhibited here are various models of Kathakali, Kathakali costumes and ornaments, rare musical instruments, sculptures, models of mohiniyattam and other classical dances, 108 natya Kiranangal (Dance Songs) etc.
This is a beautiful and historically renowned palace situated on the banks of Ashtamudi Kayal (backwater),Sasthamkotta, 26 Km. north-east of Kollam city. Sasthamkotta is situated on the banks of Kallada river. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Sastha.
The place is also known for the Sasthamkotta fresh water lake. This natural gift is set amidst scenic surroundings covered by hills on the three sides.
Ariankavu (70 km from Kollam town)
Situated on the Kollam - Shenkottai road, Ariankavu is famous for the shrine dedicated to Lord Sastha. It is one of the five important temples in Kerala, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. Here Lord Ayappa is worshiped in his teenage form and is known as Tiru Aryan, hence giving the temple its name Ariankavu or Aryankavu.
Mandala Pooja and Tirukalyanam celebrated in the month of December are the main festivals here. It is at a distance of 70 kilometers from the main town of Kollam.
Palaruvi which means "milky stream" makes its `milky way down the rocks, falling from a height of 300 feet. This falls comes in the 32nd place in the list of the highest waterfalls of India. The Palaruvi woods is a beautiful picnic spot.
There are frequent buses to Ariankavu from Kollam. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offer comfortable accommodation.
This secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre and has frequent bus connections to the town. It is one of Kerala’s popular beach destinations. This beach is famous for the yearly ritual of Karkidaka Vavubali. The beauty of the beach is guaranteed to mesmerize the tourists who come here to enjoy their vacations.
It is at a distance of 6 kilometers from the main town of Kollam.
Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram, Vallikavu
The residence and the headquarters of Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi, one of Indias female gurus, is situated at Amrithapuri near Vallikavu. The ashram is accessible both by road and boat.
It is the residence of more than 3000 people, from both India and Abroad. Here they spent their time meditating, singing devotional songs, doing community service. They believe and follow the ideal of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘the whole world is one family’.
This village located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre of recreational activities in Kollam. The visitors is welcomed with the sights of backwaters on one side and the exotic forests on the other.
The 200 year old Government Guest House, an Adventure Park, the Tourist Boat Club, the Children's Traffic Park and the Yatrinivas are situated in this vast tourist complex. It was here at the Guest House that once Lord Munroe stayed and enjoyed the beauty of Kerala.
Kottukal RockCut CaveTemple (11 km from Chadayamangalam)
This temple situated on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kottayam MC Road is an idyllic example of rock cut temple architecture. It is believed to have been built during the 6th and 8th centuries. The name Kottukal refers to Kothiya Kallu or carved rock.
This temple has two caves, the bigger of which is enshrined by monolithic Nandi Bull and the smaller one with Lord Hanuman. In between these caves one can see the idol of Lord Ganapathy. Here Lord Shiva is also present in the form of a Shiva Linga
A huge rock at Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird `Jatayu in the epic Ramayana, who is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in his attempts to thwart Ravanas kidnapping of Sita.
Recently the Jatayu Earth Centre, a rock theme park was opened here. This includes the world’s large bird sculpture of Jatayu, a museum and a multi dimensional theatre. Other than this they also offer activities like archery, rappelling, rock and ladder climbing and so on.
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