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To the north of Thiruvananthapuram comes the district of Kollam. Considered as the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, the district takes the credit for being the hub of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. It was formerly a renowned trading point for spice. The district is a leading center for fishing in Kerala and is home to the largest fresh water lake in Kerala – Sasthamcotta. A boat cruise starting from the Ashtamudi backwaters in Kollam to backwater networks in the adjoining district of Alappuzha and further is a delightful experience.

Tourist Attractions in Kollam

Thirumullavaram Beach (6 km north of Kollam town):
This secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre and has frequent bus connections to the town.

Mayyanad (10 km south of Kollam town):
Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya Temple at Umayanallor. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by the great Hindu philosopher Sree Sankaracharya. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Mayyanad.

Sasthamkotta (29 km from Kollam town):
This vast fresh water lake surrounded by hills on three sides is the largest of its kind in Kerala. The ancient Sastha Temple which lends its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre. There are frequent bus services from Kollam. Accommodation is available at the PWD Rest House.

Thenmala (66 km east of Kollam):
Covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations, Thenmala is home to India's first planned eco-tourism project. Selected by World Tourism Organisation as one of the world's best eco-friendly projects, Thenmala has a leisure zone that includes winding pathways, a sway bridge and a boardwalk; a culture zone with an amphitheatre and a musical fountain and an adventure zone.

Palaruvi Waterfalls (75 km from Kollam town):
Palaruvi which means stream of milk makes its way down the rocks, from a height of 300 feet. The Palaruvi woods is a beautiful picnic spot. Other attractions: Trekking to the waterfalls, bathing in the river.

Picnic Village:
This village located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre for recreational activities in Kollam. A 200 year old Government Guest House, an Adventure Park, a Tourist Boat Club, a Children's Traffic Park and a Yatri Nivas are all housed in this vast tourist complex.

Ashtamudi Backwaters:
So called because of its 8 arms or channels, Ashtamudi Lake is the gateway to the backwaters. Located in Kollam District, this lake 16 km long and the second largest in Kerala, finds its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. The Kollam Boat Club provides boat rides on the lake as well as houseboat cruises.

How to Reach Kollam

Telephone access code: +91-474 Air:

Air:
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport(71 km)

Rail:
Kollam is an important railhead of the Southern Railways. Enquiry Ph: 131