Once you see Kollam, you won't be needing your home anymore(an adage popular in Kerala). What more is there to describe the much acclaimed Kollam District of Kerala. The Headquarters of Kerala Cashew Development Corporation, once an international emporium of trade and still an important commercial and trading centre, one of the early centers of Christian activity in Kerala, home to too many of them old churches, temples, mosques, outstanding beaches and exquisite lakes with cruise boats. The famous and largest fresh water lake in Kerala, called the Sasthamcotta Lakeis only 19 Kms from the city. The place where Kathakali - famous dance drama had its origin. The 144 ft Thangassery Light House, only 5 Kms from main town, which was built in 1902 is an admirable sight. The churches you see there were built in the 18th Century. There are remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts. Only 7 Kms from the Town, the Thangal Kunju Musliar College of Engineering is the first ever Engineering College in Private Sector in Kela. A lot of historical air is always there to find in and around Kollam Town.
Mahatma Gandhi Beach and Asramam Picnic Village are some of the tranquil places to walk through in the Town. Kollam is a kaleidoscope of travelers' havens.
Aryankavu is situated about 73 Kms East from Kollam town and it was, from the very early days, an important trade route. Aryankavu Temple is one of the famous pilgrim centers in Kerala, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year during the Mandal Pooja in December. Lord Ayyappa is enshrined here as a teenager. There are many mural works and sculptures in the temple.
Just about 5 Kms from Aryankavu, you will meet with a heavenly sight of milky white waterfall, about a 300 ft drop. It is one of the tallest in Kerala. It is called Palaravi which means "Stream of milk". The water from this stream is considered to be medicinal. 'It has healing properties', says the locals.
Ochira, situated 32 Kms North of Kollam town is an inimitable pilgrim centre, with neither any buildings nor any idols. Here from all classes of people worship the all pervading and omnipresent "Parabrahmam". Ochirakkali, held in June is a mock fight to remember the battle between the two Kerala rulers. The participants fight each other standing in water and splashing water with swords and shields.
Punalur is an important industrial place of Kerala, situated about 45 Kms from Kollam. The 400 ft long suspension bridge built across the Kallada River here, is about one and a half century old and it's the only one of its kind in South India.
Achencoil is an important pilgrim centre. The Sastha temple (Achencoil) situated in dense forest here houses the idol of Lord Sastha which is installed several centuries before Christian Era. There are two fine festivals at this temple which are Mandal Pooja (December- January) and the festival at Revathy (January- February), in which you will witness the famous Therottam(Chariot race) and Pushpabhishekam(Offering of flowers).
At about 66 Kms East of Kollam town, surrounded by dense forest is the meeting point of Kollam-Shencottah and Trivandrum - Schencottah roads, called Thenmala. It is India's first approved eco tourism destination. To thrill your varied interests there are three zones in this destination such as Cultural zone, Adventure zone and Leisure zone. There is also a deer rehabilitation centre working here.
With more than 500 species, Thenmala is home for Asia's first butterfly park.
With much more places of exquisite beauties and histories, Kollam will keep on adding wonderful memories to the lucky tourists who visit "God's Own Country".
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