About Kollam (Quilon)
Desinganadu - The traditional commercial town
History and Culture of Kollam
Quilon or Kollam, an old sea port town on the Arabian coast, stands on the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam , the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Batuta, as one of the five ports , which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty four years, in the 14th century.
The rulers of kollam (Desinganadu) and China , exchange embassies and there was flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. Merchant Sulaiman of Siraf in Persia ( 9th Century) found Kollam to be the only port in India, touched by the huge Chinese junks , on his way from Carton of Persian Gulf. Marco Polo, the great Venician traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublahan in 1275, visited Kollam and other towns on the west coast, in his capacity as a Chinese mandarin.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center at Kollam in 1502. Then came the Dutch followed by the British in 1795. A British garrison was stationed at Kollam in pursuance of a treaty between Travancore and the British.
Velu Thampi Dalawa of Travancore, did much for the improvement of the Kollam town. He build new bazaars and invited merchants from Madras and Thirunelveli to settle here. Kollam later became the capital of the enlightened and liberal rulers of Desinganad. It was also the nerve center for the rebellion organized by Velu Thampi against the British.
Once a city of palaces, Kollam has been known to the outside world, by the time honoured proverb, "Once you have seen Kollam you would no more need your illam (Home)"
Tourist attractions of Kollam
Kollam was once an international emporium of trade and even today it is a prosperous commercial center. Kollam is located on the edge of the famous Astamudi. Kollam was one of the early centers of Christian activity in Kerala. The popularity of Kollam has been established by the time-honored proverb once you see Kollam; you will not need your home any more.
The Thangassery Light house, built in 1902, is a great center of attraction in Kollam. The Ananda Valleeswaram Temple of Kollam attracts people on almost all days. There are several Churches and Mosques around Kollam. The Pullichira Church was established in 1700 A.D. One of the oldest and most important Mosques in Kollam is the Chinnakkada Palli.
Mahatma Gandhi beach and park at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic village, are some of the important spots of local sight seeing in kollam. Mahatma Gandhi beach lays just 2 km from Kollam. It is fascinating place for an evening walk. Thirumullavaram Beach is 5 km from Kollam. The sea here is ideal for swimming and bathing.
Kollam stands along Ashtamudi Lake and it is a major attraction. The children's Traffic and Entertainment Park, designed by NATPAC, is also worth visiting in Kollam. It is the largest traffic park in Kerala. The Adventure Park, located in Kollam village along the shores of the Astamudi backwaters, is also an exciting place to be at.