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Friday, 13 July 2012

Kollam District

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Kollam, called Quilon by the Europeans, was an ancient port on the west coast. It flourished as a trading centre even in prechristian centuries as can be surmised from the numismatic evidences left by ancient Phoenicians and Romans. The present Kollam district was notable for economic activity from time immemorial. Kollam is thus the timeless city of Kerala. Chinese traveller Ibn Batuta visited Kollam in the 14th century and he recorded that Kollam was one of the five important ports he visited during his travel of twenty four years. A prosperous Chinese trading community settlement flourished in Kollam till the advent of Europeans. Probably traders of ancient nations rubbed shoulders for trade on the shores of Kollam.


Kollam was the original capital of Venad rulers and it developed into the most important port in South India over several centuries. The glory of Venad rulers of Kollam reached its height during the reign if Sangramadheera Ravi Varma Kulasekhara who crowned himself emperor of South India at Madurai and later Thanjavur after conquering the Pandya and Chola kingdoms in the first decade of 14th century. In 15th century Venad split into two branches – one at Padmanabhapuram and the other at Kollam.

Even after independence Kollam has remained a major trade centre with considerable export of marine products and cashew kernels. Neendakara, lying adjacent to Kollam is the largest fishing harbor on the west coast.

Kollam District which is a veritable Kerala  in miniature is gifted with unique representative features - sea, lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters, forest, vast green fields and tropical crop of every variety both food crop and cash crop, so called 'The Gods Own Capital'.

Kollam district is located on the southwest coast of India, bordering Arabian Sea in the west, the state of Tamil Nadu in the east, Kerala district of Alappuzha in the north, Pathanamthitta in the northeast and Thiruvananthapuram in the south. It covers 2,492 square kilometres (962 sq mi), is the seventh-largest district in Kerala and is densely populated. Sasthamkotta Lake, the only freshwater lake in Kerala, is located in Kollam; this lake provides drinking water to the city of Kollam.

Two major rivers (the Kallada and the Ithikkara) drain the district. Ashtamudi Lake and Paravur Kayal are two important lakes in the district. Ashtamudi Lake covers 30 percent of total area of the district. Kollam is located on Ashtamudi Lake.  Edava and Nadayara Lakes are also partly located in Kollam district.

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