Kollam Cashew and Lakes

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District  Head Quarters  Kollam,  Area  2,491 Km, Population 25,84,118,  Literacy  91.49 %

  Geographical hints: - The Malayalam Era is calculated from the founding of Kollam in the 9th century. The town’s later history is interwoven with the Portuguese, Dutch etc. Kollam was a revenue division of Travancore. In 1949, when the Travancore -Kochi State formed it becomes Kollam district.  Sahya Mountains at the eastern frontier and Arabian Sea at the west. Sea shore: 37 Km ,Rivers: Kallada, Ithikkara

Among the towns of Kerala, Kollam is second, only to Kodungallore in historic antiquity and was a renowned international emporium of trade of the ancient world. It was the capital of the powerful kingdom called " VENAD" which came into prominence in the 9th century A.D. According to some historians, the Malayalam era called the "Kollam era" was established by King Udaya Marthanda Varma, King of Kollam in 825. AD In the earliest days Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and the Chinese used to frequent the port. The descriptions by famed travellers like Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta, Sulyman of Siraf and others clearly highlighted the historical importance of Kollam as a commercial town
                     Kollam maintains this tradition even today and it is one the major industrial and commercial centres of Kerala. It is the nerve-centre of Kerala's cashew industry.
                       The sheltered recess of the calm Arabian sea "THIRUMULLAVARAM", is an ideal place for swimming and bathing, and attracts domestic as well as international tourists. It is situated 5 K.M. from the town. Five Kilometres north of Kollam lies "THANKASSERY " which was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in succession. The remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts still exist. The place is also well known for its 45 metre high light house. The centre of various tourism development activities is located in the "GUEST HOUSE COMPLEX" Asharam, where the District Tourism Promotion Council functions. The Government Guest House which was built by the Divan of erstwhile Travancore State CI.Munroe, in 1812, is even now a major attraction for its elegance and architectural beauty. This 48 acre complex on the banks of Ashtamudi lake is a naturalist's delight with a variety of rare trees and shrubs. The Children's Traffic Park, designed by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre ( NATPAC) is located in this complex and is the largest Traffic park In Kerala. Adventure Park which is also in this complex is a novel experiment. The young and the adventurous can try out their skills in various arts of physical prowess.

  

 ARYANKAVU 

 Situated about 73 kms east of Kollam is one of the important pilgrim centers of thedistrict. From very early days, it was an important trade route for merchants from either sides of western Ghats. The chief attraction of Aryankavu is the shrine dedication of Lord Sastha. The temple has some fine sculptures and mural paintings. Thousands of pilgrims flocks of this temple during the Mandala Pooja in December. All trains towards Shencottah have a stop at Aryankavu. About 5 kms away from Aryankavu there is a big waterfall known as Palaravi meaning river of milk. It is one of the well-known waterfalls in the south India, falling from a height of 300 feet. It is situated 66kms from Kollam on Kollam-Shencottah road. Chavara Chavara is situated 14 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam-Alappuzha road. Thousands of 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 are:-
a).Indian Rare Earths b).The kerala Premo Pipe factory c).Kerala Mineral and Metal factoryd).Titanium Complex are in Chavara. Jetayu Para.  

PALARUVI‘PALARUVI’-

 Meaning River of Milk-One of the well known water falls in south India,  situated 66 kms. away from Kollam. The scenic beauty, complete with hills, valleys and cascades, covered with dense tropical forest, is breath taking. 

SASTHAMKOTTA

  ‘SASTHAMKOTTA’ another beauty spot of Kerala, is situated 29 kms. from Kollam. With the vast fresh water lake spreading over the valleys of several hills, Sasthamkotta lake can truly be called the Queen of Lakes".

OACHIRA

A unique pilgrim centre ‘OACHIRA’, 32 kms from Kollam on the national high way, has a deep stamp of Advaita Philosophy. The presiding deity is the ‘Parabrahma’, the absolute reality, the great source of all forms and phenomena which cannot be symbolised by an idol or housed in a temple. Hence there is no temple or idol for the presiding deity here. The temple festival ‘Oachira Kali’ held in June, is a crow pulling festival


JATAYUPARA

A huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. This huge rock is in theChadayamangalam 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 arunagappally is situated 27 kms north of Kollam. It is linked with Kollam by rail and road. There is a mini civil station at Karunagappally .Padanayarkulangara, which forms part of the town, was once the military station at Kayamkulam Rajas. An idol of Buddha, recovered from a local tank here, is now preserved in the Krishnapuram palace the headquarters of  Kayamkulam Rajas situated north of Oachira. The town has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, two old mosques and a mar Thomas Church.

BACKWATER CRUISE
          A full day on boat journey through the backwaters provide a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of God's own country. A large number of foreign tourists arrive at Kollam during the season ( November-March) for this 8 hrs long backwater cruise. Luxury boats of Government as well as private parties are operated from the main boat jetty during the season. Usually the trip starts at 10.30 am. and reaches Alleppy at 6.00 PM. A tourist information centre of District Tourism Promotion Council is functioning at the boat jetty area from 9 am. to 6 pm on all days except Sundays, to assist the tourists who arrive at the bus station and boat jetty area. Another Tourist Information Counter is also functioning at the Kollam Railway Station from 8.30 AM to 5 PM on all days except Sundays

Achencoil
Situated about 80 kms from Punalur is an important pilgrim center. The Sastha temple here, 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 (December-January) and the festival held at 'Revathi'(January-February). The two notable features of the festival are the Therotam (chariot festival) and Pushpabhishekam (offering of flowers). In no other temple of the South India are flowers offered to the deity so lavishly as at Achencoil.

Alumkadavu

 Alumkadavu 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 tranquil location for both foreign and Indian Tourists. The scenic beauty of blue green stretches of serene back water and rambling gardens of hundreds of coconut palms give the Green Channel Resort an incomparable beauty.

 Amritapuri
Amritapuri located at 110 kms from capital of Kerala. Amritapuri is the realisation of the cient Indian ideal "the whole world is one family" (vasudhaiva kutumbakam). By bus or train: Kayamkulam (12 km north of Amritapuri) and Karunagappally (10 km south) are the major cities to reach. By air and taxi: The two closest airports are in Trivandrum (110 km south of Amritapuri) and in Cochin (140 km north).

Anchal
The history of Anchal says that it was the most popular commercial centre when it was part of the erstwhile Travancore. The new site of the town was forestland and the original Anchal  village was a collection of several villages, namely Komalam,Choranadu,Thazhamel,Panayamcherry, Aerom, Vadamon, Agasthyakodu, PadighattinkaraNediyara and Kuruvikonam. These places were inhabited by Brahmins,Nairs and Ezhavas. In Panayamcherry there is a famous Ayappa temple built by Kottarakkara Thampuran. It is believed that it was the controlling centre of Anchal in old times.In due course, most of the Brahmins vacated Anchal and sold their forestlands to people from ther castes and Christian missionaries. After that many educational institutions came up in Anchal, established either by the government or by the missionaries. Now Anchal is the place in Kollam district which possesses highest number of educational institutions and co-related establishments.

The original five villages remain as the cultural centres of Anchal, away from the rush of the town. Anchal has an ancient agricultural market, with a cattle market every Wednesday and Saturday. It is one of the fast developing towns in Kollam. New buildings, infrastructure,shopping malls etc. give Anchal a city's face.

St. Mary’s Church Kundra

Kundara St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral is located about 200 meters from Arumurikkada junction on Arumurikkada - Kuzhimathikadu - Nallila Road. The church in Malankara is an integral part of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antiochas its supreme head. The local head of the church in Malankara is the Catholicose of India. His Beatitude Baselios Thomas I, ordained by and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch. The Feast of Virgin Mary's birth is celebrated from September 1 to 8 every year.On September 7 evening a Rasa  is conducted from Church to Cheerankavu Junction  and Mukkada Junction and back to Church. Apostle Thomas founded one of his "seven and a half churches" in Kollam. They were family or community churches as neither Holy Bible was codified nor cross was acknowledged as the symbol of Christian faith in the first century AD. The church founded by the Apostle at the ancient Kollam port of Tarsish (thevalakara) was re-constructed three times. The second re organising of the Tarsish Christian nambuthiri community which was still inside vedic Vaishnavism was in the 4th century when a Persian cross brought from a Red sea port was erected in accordance with the Nicaea sunnahodose the first ecumenical council of theChristian church, meeting in ancient Nicaea. It was called by the emperor Constantine I, an unbaptized catechumen, or neophyte, who presided over the opening session and took part in the discussions declaration making the cross the symbol of Christian faith the World over for the first time. In 825 AD  here re constructing the Tarsi sh-a -palli at Thevalakara for the third time as the first church founded by him with Syrian litergy after receiving the Tarsish-a-palli plates from Kulshekara kings which in reality laid the foundation of  Christianity as a religion in Kerala outside Vedic Vaishnavism

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