The gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala, Kollam is the headquarters of Kollam district and is the center of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. With the renowned Ashtamudi Lake covering thirty percent of this historic town, the eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam was the home of Christian activity in Kerala and reportedly Syrian merchant, Sapir Iso, built the present town of Kollam, in the 9th Century A.D.
The traditional, ornamental temples and historic remnants are the major attractions of the district. The major tourist attractions in Kollam are the Ashtamudi Backwaters, Palaruvi Waterfall, Thangassery Lighthouse, and the Ananda Valleswaram Temple. For beach lovers, Kollam and Thirumullavaram beaches are also here. Once you see Kollam, you will not need home, anymore.
You can get to Kollam via Kollam Railway Station and from Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 66 km (41.01 miles) away.
1. Ashtamudi Lake
A fusion of eight small lakes, the 16 km (9.94 miles) long Ashtamudi Lake is the second largest in Kerala and finds its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. The gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, the coconut trees on the shores add to its beauty and a boat ride through Ashtamudi backwaters is an unforgettable experience. The birds will keep you excited throughout the journey as you travel through the serene lake, intercepted by Chinese fishing nets, which add character to the whole place. The traditional food on board during the journey is awesome.
The boat driver takes you to the point where the lake joins with the Arabian Sea, under a bridge. This is the point where dolphins usually come to try and catch freshwater fish. If you’re lucky you can spot the dolphins but even if you aren’t, it’s still an amazing ride on beautiful waters.
Website: Ashtamudi Lake
2. Thangassery Lighthouse
The view from the top of this 120-year-old British built lighthouse is awesome. You can see fishing boats and greenery far and wide, as well as the vast Arabian Sea and coastline, from this, the tallest lighthouse in Kerala. The mesmerizing view of the sea and Kollam city from the top is just amazing.
For those who can’t climb the steps, you can reach the top by a lift service located inside the lighthouse. At the top, the lighthouse has some vintage lamps and devices on display. It is open to public every day, except Monday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm. The entry fee is INR 20 (USD 0.31) for Indians and INR 50 (USD 0.78) for foreigners.
Address: Thangasserry, Kollam, India
3. Palaruvi Waterfalls
The Palaruvi Waterfalls tumble from a height of 300 feet (91 meters) and are like milk flowing down the cliffside, therefore they were given the name Palaruvi, which means stream of milk in Malayalam. This amazing beautiful waterfall with its cold, clear, and clean water is one of the best attractions in Kollam and the best to beat the heat. The sound of the flowing water and chirping birds will refresh your mood and take you to a totally different world, devoid of daily tensions and worries. Enjoy the fresh, green canopy that nature has bestowed upon this area.
Separate bath areas have been designated for men and women - men can reach the pit below the fall and enjoy the falls, directly, whereas women have a separate bath area, some distance down. A women’s changing room and toilets are also available. Be careful of the rounded, wet stones, as they can be slippery.
The entry fee to the site is INR 30 (USD 0.47) and for a car, it is an additional INR 50 (USD 0.78).
Address: Located at Palaruvi, near Aryankavu, on the Kollam-Shencottah Road
4. Ananda Valleswaram Temple
The highly adored Ananda Valleswaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the goddess Parvati. Its charm and the monumental structure of the temple will mesmerize you and you can enjoy a number of festivals that are held, here. The main, annual festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Meenam (mid-March). Tantric rites are performed during this 10-day long festival and there are also festivals during Shivaratri, Navaratri and Mandala Makara Vilakku.
Ananda Valleswaram Temple
Website: Ananda Valleswaram Temple
5. Thirumullavaram Beach
Thirumullavaram Beach is one of the popular twin beaches, in the city of Kollam. The secluded beach soothes your mind and body with its natural beauty and it has an estuary feel, as the area is full of coconut palms which make the place a virtual paradise. The beach is ideal for early morning walks, swimming, and sunbathing and there are no danger zones. Here, you can also enjoy the local cuisine that is mostly flavored with coconut and spices like cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Seafood lovers must try the variety of seafood here, including the prawns.
A hill named the Njarazhcha Para, which means Sunday Rock, is another attraction for tourists visiting the area. During low tide, this hill can be clearly seen from the shore, about 1.5 km (.9 miles) out at sea.
The beach is very famous for conducting the Karkidaka Vavubali rituals, which bring thousands of devotees to the beach, to perform the Vavubali Tharpanam, every year.
Address: 4 kms (2.48 miles) from the bus stand and 6 km (3.72 miles) from Kollam Railway Station
6. Mahatma Gandhi Kollam Beach and Park
Mahatma Gandhi Kollam Beach and Park is a beautiful snow white sandy beach, full of recreation facilities and a 5-star beach hotel, on the seaside. The beach, complete with its mystical surroundings and mermaid statue overlooking the Arabian Sea, also has a park nearby for the kids. The local food is delicious and you can catch a glimpse of the fishermen, venturing out to sea and returning after a day’s catch of lovely fresh seafood.
Mahatma Gandhi Kollam Beach and Park
Address: Pallithottam, Thamarakulam, Kollam, Kerala 691006, India
Amritapuri ashram...Place of Compassion ..OM SHANTIPosted by Raja Nambiar on Thursday, 10 December 2015
Amritapuri exemplifies the ideals held within the Sanskrit phrase, “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, which means “the whole world is one family”. This remote fishing village is on a small island, cradled between the backwaters and the Arabian Sea and has become the center of a silent spiritual revolution. Built on the very property where the honored holy woman Amma, was born, Amritapuri is now the headquarters of Amma’s worldwide mission and the spiritual home for her monastic disciples and hundreds of devotees.
All residents have dedicated their lives to realizing God and serving the world. Amma’s devotees come from across the globe to receive Amma’s darshan, or blessing. In their quest for the meaning of life, each forgets their differences and becomes a child of Amma. She listens to their worries and provides new direction for their lives.
Address: Located in Vallikavu, Karunagappally
8. Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
#Shenduruny #Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best flora rich areas of Kerala. It consist of around 100 sq km areas. It...Posted by Our voyager Limited on Friday, 27 May 2016
Nestled in the western ghats, the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, in Kollam district, falls within the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses one of the richest and diverse floral areas of the world. It got its name from the unique tree found only here, the Shenduruny, which has medical properties.
In the central region of this moist, mixed deciduous forest, spread over 172 square kilometers (106.87 square miles) of hilly terrain, are 26 square kilometers (16.15 miles) of artificial lakes formed by the Parappar Dam, built across the Shenduruney, Kulathupuzha and Kazhuthurutty rivers.
In the Shenduruny forest, there are many species of wild animals and you can see wild elephants and if lucky, tigers and other animals. The forest department has recently opened the forest to visitors who wish to have an overnight stay, in the center of the wild. It is a unique experience to take bath in the waterfalls, within the jungle and to stay in a camp securely separated from the jungle by fencing and trenches. You can also spot deer near the campsite.
Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Shendurney Wildlife Division, Thenmala, 691308, India
Website: Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
9. Thevalli Palace
Thevally Palace is a popular heritage palace, situated on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake, in Thevally, Kollam city. Built in the 19th century by Gowri Parvathy Bhai, the palace is a combination of Dutch, British and Portuguese architectural expertise. The Travancore kings built this palace as their administrative headquarters and it now a heritage building and historic monument of the state of Kerala. The Palace has a temple inside and now houses the office of the National Cadet Corps. Colonial architecture lovers will love the palace.
Address: Thevally Palace, Kollam - Elamballoor Road, Palace Nagar Thevally, Kerala 691009, India
Opening Times: Daily from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Beauty in the lap of nature
With its backwaters, beaches, historical remnants, and spiritual center, Kollam is like a paradise on earth. Once you visit Kollam, you will forget all about home.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.