Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Population 2.635 million (2011)
Area rank 6th
Area 2,491 km²
|ISO 3166 code IN-KL (KL-02, KL-23, KL-24, KL-25, KL-61)|
Weather 26°C, Wind NE at 5 km/h, 85% Humidity
Points of interest Sasthamcotta Lake, Jatayu Earth’s Center, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Poli, Adventure Park - Kollam, Malankara Church
Kollam district (formerly Quilon) is one of 14 districts of the state of Kerala, India. The district has a cross-section of Kerala's natural attributes; it is endowed with a long coastline, a major Arabian Sea seaport and an inland lake (Ashtamudi Lake). The district has many source of waterbodies. Kallada river is one among it and the east side land of river is EastKallada and the west side land is WestKallada. Kallada Boat race is one among the famous festival events of district. Even though it is a competition between two land sides of river many boat clubs from various places even beyond the district use to participate in the event. Kollam is the capital of Kerala's cashew industry. Plains, mountains, lakes, lagoons and backwaters, forests, farmland and rivers make up the topography of the district. The area had trading relationships with Phoenicia and Ancient Rome.
- Map of Kollam Kerala
- Urban structure
- District administration
- Police administration
- Lok Sabha constituencies
- Hindu worship
- Christian worship
- Muslim worship
- Cashew industry
- Forests and wildlife
- Animal husbandry
- Kollam Beach
Map of Kollam, Kerala
Kollam district is located on the southwest coast of India, bordering Laccadive Sea in the west, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu state in the east, Kerala districts of Alappuzha in the north, Pathanamthitta in the northeast and Thiruvananthapuram in the south. It covers 2,492 square kilometres (962 sq mi), is the seventh-largest district in Kerala and is densely populated. It has the shortest coastal line among districts in Kerala (37 Kilometers).
Five major urban centres are: Kollam, Paravur, Punalur, Karunagapally, and Kottarakara (കൊട്ടാരക്കര).
Sasthamkotta Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Kerala, is located in Kollam; this lake provides drinking water to the city of Kollam. Two major rivers (the Kallada and the Ithikkara) drain the district. Ashtamudi Lake and Paravur Lake are two important lakes in the district. Ashtamudi Lake covers 30 percent of total area of the district. Kollam is located on Ashtamudi Lake. Neendakara, a major fishing port in southern Kerala, is also located on this scenic lake. Edava and Nadayara Lakes are also partly located in Kollam district. The Kollam sea port was founded by Mar Abo with a sanction from Udayamarthandavarma the Tamil king from Venad, otherwise called Ay, Kingdom in AD 825 instead of re-opening 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 Tamils, and was also the foundation of the new city. It is also believed that Mar Abo actually volunteered to the Chera king to create a new sea port town near Kollam instead of his request for renewing the almost vanishing Tyndis or Nelcynda inland sea port (kore-ke-ni) at Kollam, lying idle without trade for a few centuries because of the Cheras being overrun by Pallavas in the 6th century AD ending the spice trade from Malabar coast. This allowed Mar Abo to stay for many decades in Chera kingdom and streamline Christian faith among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites & Nair sub castes in the St. Thomas tradition with Syrian liturgy as reference for the doctrine of Trinity without replacing the Sanskrit and Vedic traditions.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. 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.
Kollam's temperature is almost steady throughout the year. The average temperature ranges from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. Summer usually runs from March until May; the monsoon begins by June and ends by September. Kollam receives an annual average rainfall of around 2,700 millimetres (110 in). Kollam receives both southwest and northeast monsoons. Winter is from November to February; the temperature is moderately cool, ranging from 18 to 25 degrees Celsius.
According to the 2011 census Kollam district has a population of 2,629,703, roughly equal to the nation of Kuwait or the US state of Nevada. This gives it a ranking of 155th in India (out of a total of 640 districts). The district has a population density of 1,056 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,740/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 1.72 percent. Kollam has a sex ratio of 1113 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 93.77 percent.
In 2001 Indian Census Muslim population is 4,74,071 (18.34%), Hindu 16,85,044 (65.18%), and Christian 4,23,745 (16.39%).
The Kollam Urban Agglomeration (UA) is the 6th most populous UA in the state. Kollam is placed 49th in the list of most populous urban agglomerations in India. The total urban population of the entire district is 1,187,158. The metropolitan area of Kollam includes Adichanalloor, Adinad, Ayanivelikulangara, Chavara, Elampalloor, Eravipuram (part), Chengamanadau, Karunagappally, Kollam, Kottamkara, Kulasekharapuram, Mayyanad, Meenad, Nedumpana, Neendakara, Oachira, Panayam, Panmana, Paravur, Perinad, Poothakkulam, Thazhuthala, Thodiyoor, Thrikkadavoor, Thrikkaruva, Thrikkovilvattom, and Vadakkumthala [Thevalakkara]
The history of the district's administration can be traced back to 1835, when the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions with headquarters at Kollam and Kottayam. When Travancore and Cochin were combined into Travancore-Cochin, Kollam was one of the three revenue divisions. When the state of Kerala was formed in 1957, Chenkotta taluk was merged with the state of Madras. Later in 1957, the Cherthala, Ambalapuzha, Mavelikara, Karthikapalli, Chengannur and Thiruvalla taluks (formerly in Kollam district) were united to form the new district of Alappuzha. In 1983, Pathanamthitta taluk and nine villages of Kunnathur taluk were removed from Kollam district to form the new Pathanamthitta district.
Kollam district has six administrative subdivisions (taluks): Pathanapuram (new taluk), Punalur, Kunnathur, Kottarakkara, Karunagappally and Kollam. The district collector, a key functionary of the government, heads the district administration. He or she plays a dual role: the agent of government and chief administrator of the district, reporting to the state government. Among other tasks, maintaining law and order is a priority for district collector. The district collector is also the head of the Land Revenue Department of the district. The district has one revenue division, with its headquarters at Quilon. For administrative purposes, Kollam district is divided into 6 taluks, 13 blocks, 69 Panchayats, 1 corporation, 3 municipalities and 104 villages. The Kollam Civil Station was built in 1956 to incorporate all government offices in one place.
Police administration in Kollam is divided into two districts: urban and rural. The City Police is headed by a City Police Commissioner, an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer with the rank of SP; its headquarters is at Kollam. The rural police is headed by the Rural Superintendent of Police (SP), with its headquarters at Kottarakkara. Both heads report to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Thiruvananthapuram Range (Kerala).
The Kollam City Police is divided into three subdivisions, each under an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP): Karunagappally, Kollam and Chathannoor. Each subdivision is divided into circles, headed by the Circle Inspector of Police. Each circle is divided into a number of police stations, headed by a Sub-Inspector of Police. The Kollam Rural Police District is divided into two subdivisions, each under a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP): Kottarakkara and Punalur. There are a total of 29 police stations, in 13 circles. Kollam city traffic is controlled by the City Traffic Police, with a Traffic Police Station located near the Asramam Ground. Kerala's first coastal police station was established in Neendakara, Kollam.
The first police museum in India (the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum) has a large collection of police artefacts and rare photographs. The museum has a room dedicated to officers killed in the line of duty. The forensic section has a large collection of photographs. The museum is located at the Kollam East Police Station.
Kollam is administratively divided into 6 taluks. They are Kollam, Karunagappally, Kunnathur, Kottarakkara, Punalur and Pathanapuram, which are subdivided into 104 villages. The tahsildar is the revenue official in charge of each taluk.
There are four municipalities in Kollam District. Punalur, Paravur, Karunagappally and Kottarakkara are the municipalities. There is a long-standing demand for upgrading Pathanapuram & Anchal panchayaths into municipal status.
Lok Sabha constituencies
Kollam district has three Lok Sabha (lower house) constituencies. They include the Chavara, Kundara, Eravipuram, Kollam, Chathannoor, Chadayamangalam and Punalur assembly constituencies. While the Kunnathur, Kottarakkara and Pathanapuram constituencies are in the Mavelikkara Lok Sabha constituency, the Karunagapally assembly constituency is in the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency.
Kollam district elects 11 representatives (MLAs) to the Kerala Legislative Assembly. The district has a rich political history; the party receiving the majority of votes in Kollam has always gone on to form the government in Kerala. Kollam district has three ministers in the Kerala government. Kollam is a traditional stronghold for CPI(M) led left democratic front. Currently LDF has 11 seats in the assembly from Kollam district.
Leaders like T.M. Varghese, C. Kesavan and Kumbalathu Sanku Pillai were the architects of freedom movement in Kollam. R. Shanker, who played a prominent role as an educationalist and social reformist, hails from Kolam. The district gave birth to well known freedom fighters like Chandiran Kali ambi (Kadakkal Manthri) and Franco Raghavan Pillai.
Kollam, the capital of the erstwhile Venad, was a great centre of learning and culture. It attracted distinguished scholars from all parts of south India. Leelethilakam and Unnuneeli Sandesam, two outstanding literacy works of historical importance, are contributions of 14th century Kollam. The dance form of Kathakali in its new version of Ramanattam was the creation of Kottarakkara Thampuran, who also improved Krishnanattam by substituting Malayalam for Sanskrit.
Mahakavi K.C.Kesava Pillai, born in Paravur, a gifted poet, prose writer, dramatist and scholar, originated the musical play in Malayalam through his work Sadarama. His Kesaveeyam, a Mahakavyam, is of outstanding literary importance. In the history of Malayalam music, he has a prominent place as a gifted composer of songs. Paravoor Kesavan Asan, the founder editor of Sujananandini, another prominent literacy figure, was a journalist and a prose writer of eloquence. His Saratchadrika is a contribution to the study of Ayurvedic system of medicine. E. V. Krishna Pillai, another literacy celebrity has etched his name in the field of humour and satire. C. V. Kunjuraman, editor of Kerala Kaumudi and Malayalarajayam was a poet, literary critic, prose writer and journalist of outstanding distinction.
Coming to modern times, Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai and Sooranadu Kunjan Pillai are noted literary luminaries hailing from this district. Oyoor Kochu Govinda Pillai, and Chavara Parukkutty the Katha Kali artists and Paris Viswanathan and Jayapala Panicker the renowned artists also belong to this district. Famous poets O. N. V. Kurup, Thirunalloor Karunakaran, Punaloor Balan, novelists K. Surendran and A. P. Kalakkad, journalist K. Balakrishnan, actors Jayan, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair and O. Madhavan, and Kadhaprasangam artist V. Sambasivan are from Kollam.
Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are the prominent religions in this district.
Oachira, located in the north of the district on National Highway 47, is known for its Oachira Parabrahma Temple. Oachirakali is an annual event at the padanilam (paddy fields) in the month of Vrichikam. The Oachira Town Masjid (mosque) and the Oachira Temple are situated close to one another, a symbol of communal harmony. This temple is also a Sabarimala edathavalam.
The Mahaganapathi (Ganesha) Temple at Kottarakara, famous for its Unniappom, is one of the most venerated Ganesha temples in Kerala. The major vazhipadu (offerings) of the Kottarakkara temple are the Udayasthamaya pooja. The main deity of this temple is Shiva, but it is now a Ganesha temple. Edakkidom Thettikkunil Sree Maha Devi Temple, The major "vazhipadu" of the Edakkidom temple are the Adamoodal, Kadumpayasam.
Anandavalleswaram is another major temple in Kollam near the District jail. Here both Mahadeva (facing west) and Devi (facing east) are worshipped. In addition to them, Ganesh, Ayyappa, SreeKrishna and also Muruga are worshipped. We could find Hanuman Swamy also being worshipped there.
Aryankavu, in the Western Ghats, is the easternmost point in the district on the National Highway. One of five ancient Ayyappa temples is situated here; two others are at Achankovil and Kulathupuzha in the district.
The guru Mata Amritanandamayi has her spiritual abode on the shores of the Laccadive Sea at Amritapuri, in the Karunagappalli taluk of Kollam district. Parayakadavu, a coastal village near Karunagapally, is the birthplace of Mata Amritanandamayi and her headquarters. The Thirumullavarom Temple is another well-known temple in Kollam, situated near the Laccadive Sea where thousands came annually for the Vavu Bali.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon or Kollam is the first Catholic diocese in India in the state of Kerala. First erected on 9 August 1329 and re-erected on 1 September 1886, the vibrant Catholic community of Quilon (Kollam) cherishes its unique history of being founded by St. Thomas the Apostle of Jesus, nurtured by the great apostles St. Bartolommeo and St. Francis Xavier and fostered by the saintly martyrs like Archbishop Jordanus Catalani de Severac and Giovanni Marignoli. According to tradition, St. Thomas the Apostle established seven churches along the southern part of west coast of India, and Quilon (pronounced Koy-lon) is the second in the list of the above seven churches.
Sheikh-masjid-karunagapally' ochira-juma-ath-masjid' kottukadu-juma-masjid-chavara' Valiyapalli, Janakappuram, Juma-Masjid Kolloorvila, Jumma-Ath-Masjid, Thattamala, N-Muslim Jumma-Ath-Palli, Kalamala Palli (Karuva), Muthirapparambu Palli (Kalamala), Muthirapparambu and Siyavathummodu Palli (Kilikolloor) are the best-known mosques.
Kollam has a fairly-well-developed network of medical facilities at the foot of the mountains outside Kollam also believed to a supposed place for the fountain of youth according to The Travels of Sir John Mandeville.
The health care sector of Kollam has changed a lot in the past decade. Once there were no medical colleges in the district, but it now has a total of three medical colleges. Two are under consideration of the officials (one is a Kerala Government Medical College and the other one is Valiyath Institute of Medical Sciences, Karunagappally). The one and only ESI medical college in Kerala is situated in the Kollam district. Azeezia Medical College and Dental College in Meeyannoor and Travancore Medicity Medical College in Mevaram bypass junction are the two other medical colleges in the district.
The famous Samad in Vitro Fertilization (IVF) hospital has a branch in Kollam. Padmavathi Medical Foundation and Hospital is a speciality heart hospital, situated in Sasthamkotta. A lot of Christian Missionary Hospitals are there in the district like Bishop Benziger Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital, Kollam, CSI Hospital and Christuraj Hospital, Kottarakkara etc. The district is having Government Taluk hospitals in every 30 kilometre distance. The important Taluk Hospitals are situated in Kollam, Kottarakkara, Paravur, Punalur, Karunagappally and Sasthamkotta.
Kollam is well-connected to all parts of the state by bus and train service. It is also connected to neighbouring states by frequent bus service operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Indian Railways. These are the KSRTC Depots & Sub Depots & Operating Centres (OC) in the district:
The district is well-connected to other parts of Kerala and India through the National Highways – NH 66 (earlier NH 47), NH 183 (earlier NH 220), NH 744 (earlier NH 208). The state highway - Main Central Road (MC Road) and Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Main Eastern Highway — connects Kollam with other districts. Intrastate road transportation is served by the KSRTC, Tamil Nadu State Transport and Karnataka State Transport Companies. KSRTC Interstate bus service operates from the Kollam and Kottarakkara KSRTC bus stations. Kollam zone of KSRTC is now the second most revenue generating zone in Kerala.
Kollam Junction railway station (QLN) is the one and only rail head in the district. A total of 128 short & long distant services (including weekly) and 10 services of MEMU are running through Kollam Junction railway station. A most modern MEMU maintenance shed is working in the railway station premises of Kollam city. In addition to that, there are some other major railway stations in the district namely Karunagappally (KPY), Paravur (PVU), Punalur (PUU), Sasthamkotta (STKT), Kottarakkara (KKZ), Kundara (KUV) and Mayyanad (MYY).
The district has a good railway network, with 25 stations and about 132 kilometres (82 mi) of track. Kollam district boasts the record of having most numbers of railway stations in the state.
Trains from here connect the city of Kollam to major cities of India, including New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Indore, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Madurai, Vizag, Jammu, Howrah, Guwahati, Madgaon, Itarsi, Hubli, Ahmedabad, Kanyakumari, Gwalior, Nagpur, Pune, Kota, Bhubaneshwar, Gorakhpur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Amritsar, Vijayawada, Coimbatore, Chandigarh and Mangalore. There are also passenger services running in Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam-Ernakulam and Kollam-Punalur routes.
Asramam Airport in Kollam City was the first airport of Kerala. The first flight to Kerala landed in Kollam Airport. The first amphibian aircraft (seaplane) of Kerala also landed in Kollam. However Kollam district has no airport right now. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) away. Daily domestic flight services are available to major cities like 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. A project is under planning stage to build an airstrip in Pathanapuram area of Kollam district.
The district is having a fairly good network of waterways. The State Water Transport Department operates boat services to West Kallada, Munroe Island and Alappuzha. 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. The waterways are popular attractions and scenic tourist destinations in the area. The Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) has an operating centre near the KSRTC bus stand. Tourists may hire motorised country boats and houseboats with amenities (Kettavulam in Malayalam) to cruise along the waterways.
Kollam district is very famous because of its interest to hockey. The district is giving maximum importance to hockey, cricket and football. Kollam is home to a number of local cricket, hockey and football teams participating in district, state level and zonal matches. A hockey stadium with most modern facilities and international hockey turf is under construction in the city. The land for the construction of stadium is taken over from the Postal Department at Asramam, Kollam. Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium is the famous stadium in the district, situated at the heart of Kollam city. That is a multipurpose stadium, hosted the sports events like Renji Trophy, Santhosh Trophy and National Games many times. Grounds like Asramam Maidanam and Peeranki Maidanam in the city are also used for sports events, practising and warm-up matches. The Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium hosted the 35th National Games of India. The construction works of the International Hockey stadium are in full pace for the same reason.
There are so many grounds, mini stadiums in the district capable to host the district and state level matches.
According to the 2001 census, Kollam has an overall literacy rate of 91.18 percent; the male literacy rate is 94.43 percent and the female rate is 88.18 percent. These statistics are consistent with the state average, which is higher than the national average.
Kollam has a number of privately owned and state-owned educational institutions.
In Engineering field there was four Govt . Engineering College and one Aided College.
First Engineering College was TKMCE
Second College: College of Engineering Karunagappally (Unit of IHRD,Govt. of Kerala) Known as CEK
St. Joseph's Convent School at Tuet receives no government aid and has the largest number of students in the world for a school of its type (over 12,000). The state-run school is the Government Model Higher Secondary School for Boys, the oldest school in Kollam. The district has a total of 128 educational institutions under the Department of Higher Education. The Meenakshi Vilasam Government Vocational Higher Secondary School (MVGVHSS) is one of the oldest schools in the district, with over 1,000 students.
S.N. Polytechnic is a nodal polytechnic in the district. SNPTC was founded in 1957 by the Sri Narayana Trusts, Kollam under the initiative of its secretary (R. Sankar, former chief minister of Kerala).
Kollam has one kendriya vidyalaya and three other CBSE schools. Schools in Kerala follow both the English and Malayalam methods of education. Kollam has ten professional engineering colleges and two medical colleges. It has 17 arts and science colleges, 11 teacher-training colleges and 7 nursing schools. The TKM College of Engineering has been at the forefront of engineering education in the state for the past five decades.Also Government Engineering Colleges Like College of Engineering Karunagappally (CEK) also performing key role in Engineering education in Kollam Over the years, the TKM College of Engineering and CEK has been on the decline and is in danger of a no of private engineering institutes usurping its position as number one and number two .
Kollam district is moderately industrialised. Two government enterprises (the Indian Rare Earths Limited in Chavara and Parvathi Mills) are among the industries in Kollam. Kerala Ceramics Ltd. (Kundara), Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Company (Kundara), Kerala Premo Pipe Factory (Chavara), Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (Chavara), United Electrical Industries-Kollam and Kerala Agro-Fruit Products in Punalur are state-government-owned companies. Private-sector industries include Thomas Stephen & Co. (Kollam), Floorco (Pozhikkara, Paravur), Cooperative Spinning Mill (Chathannur) and Punalur Paper Mills (Punalur). Nearly 2,000 SSI enterprises have been registered in the district.
Kerala Minerals and Metals (KMML), a Government of Kerala undertaking located on the beaches of Shankaramangalam (Chavara), produces high-grade chemical compounds of titanium such as titanium dioxide pigment, hafnium ore, sillimanite and monazite. These chemicals are used in paints, welding electrodes, ceramics and foundries.
Indian Rare Earths Limited, a Government of India undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy which incorporated on 18 August 1950, has four production plants: Minerals Divisions at Chavara and Manavalakurichi and an OSCOM and Rare Earths Division at Aluva. IREL is a pioneer in the mining and separation of heavy minerals (such as ilmenite, rutile, zircon, sillimanite, garnet and monazite) from sand. IREL also conducts research and development in mining and minerals.
United Electrical Industries Ltd. (UNILEC) is a public-sector company under the government of Kerala. This ISO 9001:2000-certified company produces electromechanical meters for domestic and industrial use. This company, unique in Kerala, can produce one hundred thousand meters per month.
The Technopark-Kollam (a business park) providing dedicated high speed lines with its own uninterrupted source of power supply is nearing completion on the bank of Kanjiracode Lake in Kundara. The park located in a 40-acre (16 ha) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is unique in that it offers access through the backwaters of Kerala from Kollam or from Allepey for the adventurous. These idyllic surrounds are expected to generate around 10,000 jobs within its first three years of operation. An iconic building has been constructed on the lake, along with a boat terminal for commuter boats from other parts of Kollam city.
Construction status is:
The cashew industry is centralised in this district. Kollam is approved by the central government as a "centre of cashew industry". Most workers in this industry are women; among them, a majority comes from the poorer sections of the society. There are several cashew-processing units in the district. The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Ltd., a Government of Kerala undertaking, has its headquarters in Kollam and serves as a model agency for the cashew-processing industry. The corporation has 30 cashew factories and employs more than 20,000 workers. Another government organisation in this field is CAPEX, which is part of the cooperative sector and has 10 cashew factories. Coir production, handloom industry, clay and wood-based industries contribute to the industrial health of the region.
Forests and wildlife
According to Government of Kerala estimates 81,438 hectares (314.43 sq mi) of land are under forest cover, mainly in the eastern portion of the district (including the Thenmala, Punalur and a portion of the Achencoil forest divisions). The Thenmala Range, Aryankavu Range and Shendurney Sanctuary comprise the Thenmala division and the Achencoil, Kallar and Kanayar Ranges make up the Achencoil division. The Pathanapuram and Anchal Ranges constitute the Punalur division.
The Shenduruny wildlife sanctuary, 66 kilometres (41 mi) from Kollam, is situated on the southern part of the Western Ghats (8°50' and 8°55'N; 77°5'and 77°15'E) in the Pathanapuram taluk of the district. The name "Shenduruny" is derived from the name of a tree species locally called "Shenkuruny" or "Chenkuruny" (Gluta travancorica), a tree mainly found in this area. An artificial lake of about 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) has developed following construction of a dam across the Kallada River. Remnants of Stone Age culture from a large cave situated at the northwestern part of the Shenduruny River were excavated from this sanctuary. These remains belong to the Mesolithic period.
This tropical rain forest has a wide variety of wildlife, and some endangered species are found here. Species found in the sanctuary include Tiger, bonnet and lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri langur, gaur (or Indian bison), sambar deer, muntjac (or barking deer), Indian Spotted Chevrotain (or mouse deer), wild boar, Indian elephant and different species of squirrels, such as the Indian giant and Indian palm squirrels.
The district has a total cultivated area of 218,267 hectares (842.73 sq mi). Paddy, tapioca, coconut, rubber, pepper, banana, mango and cashews are the prominent crops. The average per-family holding of farmland is 0.21 hectares (2,100 m2). 70 percent of the district's labour force is engaged in agriculture or allied activities. Kollam is historically known for Cashew nut cultivation and is home to a number of cashew nut factories. However, on analysing the area of last few years, it is seen that the area of cashew cultivation is continuously decreasing in the district. Kollam district occupies the first position in the production of tapioca and tuber (colocasia and yam) in the state.
Two major rivers, the Kallada and Ithikkara, flow through Kollam. The Kallada Irrigation Project (KIP) uses water from the Kallada for irrigation. The project consists of a dam at Thenmala, from which water is diverted for irrigation.
The western portion of Kollam is bordered by the Laccadive Sea. Kollam's coastline is 37.3 kilometres (23.2 mi), 6.3 percent of Kerala's total coastline. Neendakara and Sakthikulangara are important fishing villages. There are an estimated 26 villages whose livelihood depends entirely on fishing. Cheriazheekkal, Alappad, Pandarathuruthu, Puthenthura, Neendakara, Thangasseri, Eravipuram and Paravoor are among the prominent fishing villages. One-third of Kerala's fish production (including 60 percent of its prawn catch) is contributed by Kollam, whose average fish production is estimated at 5,275 tonnes. Nearly 3,000 mechanised boats operate out of its fishing harbour.
Kollam district has one of the largest livestock populations in Kerala. Cattle are reared chiefly for dairy farming. According to the 2000 animal census, Kollam has an estimated population of 182,434 cows, 6,162 buffalo, 131,714 goats and 1,034 pigs. In poultry, the district ranks third in Kerala.
Palaruvi Falls, Thenmala (forests and reservoir), the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve, Ashtamudi (backwater) and beaches at Kollam, Thirumullavaram and Thangassery are scenic areas.
Ashramam Tourist Village is a well-known tourist destination in Kollam city; the tourist village is located on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake. Ashramam is a hub of tourism activities in Kollam, and the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) office is located within the village.
The Asramam Maidan (Ashramam ground) , adjacent to the tourist village, is the largest open space within a Kerala municipal corporation. It is used for events, sports, as a helipad, for Kollam Pooram and by driving schools. It covers over 60 acres (24 ha) in an oval.
The first community tourism program in the state is being established on the Munroethuruth islands. . Backwater tourism is an activity enjoyed in Kollam; Ashtamudi Lake, Paravur, Munroe Island, and Alumkadavu are the main backwater destinations. Accommodation is in resorts and on houseboats.
Thenmala, located 66 kilometres (41 mi) east of Kollam, is the first ecotourism project in India and run by the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society.
Kollam was the seat of the Desinganad kings. Kottarakara is well known as the place where a new version of the classical dance form of Kathakali was conceived. It was also the capital of the Elayidath Swaroopam. Kundara is known for the 1812 proclamation against the British by Velu Thampi Dalawa.
Alappad village, located on the seashore, was impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Varkala Beach (also known as Papanasham) is 26 kilometres (16 mi) south of Kollam. The Duriyodana Temple is in Kunnathur Taluk. The Sakthikulangara Dharma Sastha Temple-Sree Ayyappa Swamy Temple is known for its Utsavam in the month of Makaram (between mid-January and mid-February).
Polachira, in Chirakkara Gramapanchayat, is a sightseeing destination. The Anathavalam is near here where one can see domestic elephants, touch and ride them. Mannathippara is at Polachira, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of Chathannoor. Sasthamcotta Lake, about 19 kilometres (12 mi) from Kollam, is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala and a domestic tourist destination. Jetayu Para, a large boulder, is located in Chadayamangalam; it is named for a mythical character in the Ramayana. It is believed that Jatayu fell here, after his failed attempt to stop Ravana.
Kollam Beach is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Beach. It is one among the twin beaches of the city. The other one is Thirumullavaram beach. Kollam Beach is situated at a distance of 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. Kollam Corporation had started the construction of a marine aquarium at Kollam Beach which is first of its kind in the state of Kerala. Harbour Engineering Department is constructing the aquarium at the eastern side of the beach.