Kollam town is the headquarters of Kollam district as well as Kollam taluk. It is situated about 71 Kms. north of Thiruvavanathapuram.
This is an important pilgrim center situated about 80 kms from Punalur. The Sastha temple in this district s situated amidst dense forest. The idol of Sastha is supposed to have been installed several centuries before the Christian era. The two important festivals of this temple are Mandala Pooja, which is celebrated during the December-January, and the 'Revathi', which is celebrated during January-February. The two notable features of the festival are the Therotam i.e. chariot festival and Pushpabhishekam i.e. offering of flowers. In no other temple of the South India are flowers offered to the deity so lavishly as at Achencoil.
Alumkadavu is located at 26 Kms from Kollam City and on the lakeside of Kollam-Alappuzha National Water Way. The 'Green Channel Back Water Resort at Alumkadavu makes itself a peaceful and serene location for both foreign and Indian Tourists. The district is of incomparable splendor because of the scenic beauty of blue greenstretches of quiet backwater and sprawling gardens of hundreds of coconut palms.
The district is a multi-cuisine and apart from providing tasty Kerala or North Indian or Chinese dishes the resort offers excellent facilities like comfortable accommodation. The other facilities which can be mentioned as the specialty of this district are as follows: Back Water Cruise, visit to Matha Amritanandamayi Asramam, which is only 4 KM away, House Boats, Ayurvedic treatment for rejuvenation of body by qualified and experienced Ayurvedic Practioner.
Amritapuri is located at 110 kms from capital of Kerala. Amritapuri is the realization of the ancient Indian ideal and i.e. 'the whole world is one family' or vasudhaiva kutumbakam. This place can be reached by bus or train. Kayamkulam, which is 12 km north of Amritapuri, and Karunagappally, which is 10 km south, are also the major cities reachable by bus or train. The two closest airports, which are to be reached by air and taxi, are in Trivandrum that is 110 km south of Amritapuri and in Cochin that is at 140 km north.
This place is situated at 13 kms south of Punalur. Anchal is known for its cattle market held twice a month. In Bhagavathy temple the Mudi festival celebrated once every 12 years which attracts huge gatherings.
This place is situated about 73 kms east of Kollam. This is one of the important pilgrim centers of the district. From ancient days, it was an important trade route for merchants from either sides of Western Ghats. The chief attraction of Aryankavu is the holy place dedicated to Lord Sastha. The temple has some fine sculptures and mural paintings.
Thousands of pilgrims visit this temple during the Mandala Pooja in December. All trains towards Shencottah have a stop at Aryankavu. There is a big waterfall known as Palaravi which means river of milk is situated about 5 kms away from Aryankavu. It is one of the well-known waterfalls in the south India, falling from a height of 300 feet. It is situated 66 km from Kollam on Kollam-Shencottah road.
Chavara is situated 14 kms north of Kollam. It is on the way to Kollam-Alappuzha road. Tonnes of mineral sand are exported from Chavara to various countries. The Kovilthottam port is situated within the limits of Chavara Panchayat. Four major industrial establishments in Chavara are mentioned as 1.Indian Rare Earths 2.The kerala Premo Pipe factory 3.Kerala Mineral and Metal factory 4.Titanium Complex.
Jetayu Para, a huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. This huge rock is in the Chadayamangalam village on the M.C road. The name comes from the epic Ramayana. It is believed that Jatayu, the giant bird in the epic, fell after failing in its attempt to spot Ravana from taking sita away. The rock is ideal for trekking by the lovers of adventure. The rock can be seen from the Chadayamangalam junction itself.
Karunagappally is situated 27 kms north of Kollam. It is connected with Kollam by rail and road. There is a mini civil station at Karunagappally. Padanayarkulangara forms part of the town and was once the military station at Kayamkulam Rajas. An idol of Buddha once recovered from a local tank here is now preserved in the Krishnapuram palace the headquarters of Kayamkulam Rajas. This is situated north of Oachira. The town has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, two old mosques and a mar Thomas Church as landmark. Kottarakkara:
Kottarakkara is the headquarters of Kottarakkara Taluk. It is connected to other parts of India both by rail and road, which is a distance of 27 kms. It was once the capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a principality ruled by a branch of the Travancore Royal Family. The internationally famous dance drama-Kath kali had its small beginning in this town and it flourished under the patronage of Raja of Kottarakkara.
Kulathupuzha is situated on the Thiruvannathapuram-Sencottah road and is 10 kms south of Tenmala railway station. It is an important forest range, which is well known for its elephants. Kulathupuzha valley partly supplies the reed, which is an essential raw material for paper manufacture at Punalur Paper mill.
Kundara is associated with Kollam by rail and road, at a distance of 18 kms. Large deposit of china clay was discovered here. This clay helped in the establishment of the Government Ceramics.
The main attraction of Kunnicode is situated 10 kms west pf Punalur and is named as Pachilakunnu. This is a small hillock where a Muslim saint is said to have breathed his last.
Mayyanadu that is placed at 10 kms south of Kollam is noted for its holy places and temples. The most important temple is the one at Umayanallor, dedicated to Lord Subramanian. The holy place is said to have been sanctified by Shri. Sankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a Mosque. Cotton weaving and oil pressing are regarded as the main occupation in the village. Neendakara:
This place is situated about 8 kms north of Kollam. Neendakara is the Headquarters of the Indo-Norwegian Fisheries Community project. This was established in 1953. The important institutions under this project are the boat-building yard at Sakthikulangara the Fisherman's Training Institute, the ice factory and the refrigeration Plant. Neendakara Port is also present here which is regarded as the hub of fishing activities.
This is situated at a distance of 32 km north of Kollam on the Kollam Alappuzha National Highway and on the boundary of Kollam district. Oachira is a unique pilgrim center. The peculiarity of the temple lies in that there is no idol or a temple building is present here. All classes of people worship the presiding deity the parabrahmam. Oachira draws thousands of Pilgrims for Oachirakkali. This festival held annually in June. It is also an important handicraft center where fancy articles of screw pine mats are manufactured.
Palaruvi Water Falls:
The famous waterfall in Kollam District is situated at Palaruvi near Aryankavu. It is on the way to Kollam-Sencottah NH 208. The season to visit the place starts from June till January.
Paravur is an important fishing as well as coir production center. It is situated 13 km south of Kollam and is connected with Kollam town by rail and road. It is the birthplace of K.C. Kesavan Pillai and Kesava Asan who were the two leading literary men of eminence.
It is an important trading center on the banks of the Kallada River. Pathanapuram is 13 kms away from Punalur. The Chandanakkudam mahotsavam of the mosque, which celebrated in February-March, attracts thousands of devotees every year.
An ancient temple dedicated to Bhagavathy is placed at Pattazi. The Mudi is the major festival of this temple.
Punalur is one of the important industrial centers of kerala. It is 45 kms from Kollam on the Kollam-Shencotta railway line and is also connected with Kollam by road. The Suspension bridge across the Kallada River was set up in 1877. It is the only one of its kind in south India and it is 400 ft long. A concrete bridge has been constructed near by. The suspension bridge is of archaeological interest in present days. Punalur is the head Quarters of Pathanapuram Taluk.
Sasthamcottah is an attractive village situated about 19 km away from Kollam Town. It can be distinguished as having beauty spot, a health resort and a centre of pilgrimage. Water supply to the Kollam town is met by purifying the water from this lake. This place is easily accessible by buses and this is genuinely called as the 'Queen of Lakes'.
Thangassery is a place of historical importance situated 5 km away from Kollam town. The churches here are very old established in the 18th century. The chief attraction of the place is the lighthouse, built in 1902. The 144 ft. lighthouse stands as a sentinel, warning seamen of the treacherous reefs of Thangassery. The construction of a fishing harbor is in progress presently. Thangassery was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in sequence. The miscellany of the Portuguese and Dutch forts is still there to give the feel of it.
Thazhava in Oachira block is an important center of screw pine mat industry. A Buddha image, which is discovered from a tank known as Pallikkulam near Maruthoorkulangra, is one of the interesting archaeological relics associated with Kollam district.
Thenmala is the meeting point of Kollam-Shencottah road and Trivandrum-Shencottah road. It is surrounded by dense forest and located at 66 kms east of Kollam. There are a large number of rubber and tea plantations in Thenmala. Timbers of all varieties are exported from here to all parts of the country. Themala Dam site is open for tourists. Eco tourists center is also situated here. All buses passing through Kollam-Shencottah road stop at Tenmala. There is also a Railway Station here.
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