Kollam (formerly known as Quilon) is one of 14 districts of the state of Kerala. The district has a cross-section of Kerala’s natural attributes; it is endowed with a long coastline, a major Laccadive Sea seaport and an inland lake (Ashtamudi Lake). The district has many water bodies. Kallada River is one among them, and the eastside land of the river is East Kallada and the west side land is West Kallada. Kallada Boat race is one among the famous festival events of the district. Even though it is a competition between two land sides of the river, many boat clubs from various places even beyond the district participate in the event. Kollam is the capital of Kerala’s cashew industry. Plains, mountains, lakes, lagoons and backwaters, forests, farmland and rivers make up the topography of the district. The area had trading relationships with Phoenicia and Ancient Rome.
Sightseeing Points In Kollam
Ashtamudi Lake (Ashtamudi Kayal), in the Kollam District of the Indian state of Kerala, is the most visited backwater and lake in the state. It possesses a unique wetland ecosystem and a large palm-shaped (also described as octopus-shaped) water body, second only in size to the Vembanad estuary ecosystem of the state. Ashtamudi means ‘eight braids’ (Ashta: ‘eight’; mudi: ‘hair braids’) in the local Malayalam language. The name is indicative of the lake’s topography with its multiple branches. The lake is also called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is well known for its houseboat and backwater resorts. Ashtamudi Wetland was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. Along both banks of the lake and its backwater canals, coconut groves and palm trees interspersed with towns and villages are seen. Kollam, (formerly Quilon) is an important historic port city located on the right bank of the lake. Boat cruises are operated by the Kollam Boat Club from Kollam to Alappuzha providing transport access to many other towns and villages along this route. Luxury houseboats also operate on the lake. The boat journey is an 8-hour trip, winding through lakes, canals and water bound villages. Chinese fishing nets, called cheena vala in Malayalam, are used by local fishermen and are a common sight along the waterway.
The lake and the city of Kollam on its banks and the Neendakara port at the confluence offer a means of transport for the state’s trade and commerce in the cashew trading and processing industry as well as the marine products industry. The lake is the source of livelihood of many people living close by.
The lake and the life on its shores have inspired many artists and writers. It has been the subject of many poems by the renowned poet Thirunalloor Karunakaran who was born and brought up on its banks.
Kollam Beach, also known as Mahatma Gandhi Beach, is a beach at Kollam city in the Indian state of Kerala. Kollam Beach is the first ‘Beach Wedding Destination’ in Kerala. The beach also features a park of international standard, the Mahatma Gandhi Park, which was inaugurated on 1 January 1961 by the then Vice President of India, Zakir Hussain. Kollam beach is one among the few beaches in Kerala with a lifeguard outpost. Lifeguards were stationed at the beach from 2005. As of July 2015 Kovalam, Kollam is one among the three beaches in south Kerala with lifeguard outposts.
Thirumullavaram Beach, is one of the popular beaches in the city of Kollam and a tourist destination in the state of Kerala. The beach is situated at Thirumullavaram, an important neighbourhood of Kollam city. The beach is very famous for conducting the Karkidaka Vavu Bali rituals. Thousands of devotees arrive on the beach to perform the Vavubali Tharpanam every year. It is one of the most attractive beaches located in South India.
Thangassery Lighthouse is situated at Tangasseri in Kollam city of the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the two lighthouses in the Kollam Metropolitan Area and is maintained by the Cochin Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships. In operation since 1902, the cylindrical lighthouse tower painted with white and red oblique bands has a height of 41 metres, making it the second tallest lighthouse in Kerala coast. Tangasseri Lighthouse is one of the most visited lighthouses in Kerala.
Thevally Palace or Thevally Palace is a popular heritage Palace situated at the banks of Ashtamudi lake, in Thevally, Kollam city. It is an important historic monument in the state of Kerala in India. Thevally Palace was built in between 1811 and 1819 the reign of Gowri Parvati Bayi. It is considered as a Hallmark of Kollam City. Now the palace is used as the NCC Group Headquarters of Kollam district. The palace and its premises are now owned by Public Works Department.
Paravur Kayal is a lake in Paravur, Kollam district, Kerala, Although it is small, with an area of only 6.62 km², it is the end point of the Ithikkara River and part of the system of lakes and canals that make up the Kerala Backwaters. It has been connected to Edava and Ashtamudi Kayal as part of the Trivandrum – Shoranur canal system since the late 19th century. The lake meets the sea and in between a small stretch of road which divides them can be viewed on way. Paravur Lake is one of the emerging tourist destinations in the district which attracts a good number of tourists. The panoramic views are breath taking if you opt for a birds eye view, not from the sky but from the mountain terraces situated north and east of the place. Famous Lakesagar Xavier’s resort is situated at the banks of Paravur lake. Priyadarshini boat club is another major attraction in the vicinity of Paravur lake. The mangroves along both sides of Paravur lake is also very famous.
Tangasseri Fort was associated with the Chinese trade from the first millennium AD and later colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British to become the “gold village”. According to Historians, Captain Rodriguez came to Quilon and was appointed as the captain of the factory and trade, with permission from the queen. St.Thomas Fort (once known as Fortaleza da São Tomé) was built by the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque for the protection of the newly developed trade. In 1505 the Portuguese established a trading port here, and in 1518 established its sovereignty through the construction of Fort St. Thomas. Later in 1661 the town and the fort were handed over to the Dutch who made it the capital of Dutch Malabar. The Dutch occupied the fort for several years. In 1795, the British East India Company took possession of the fort. In 1823 Fort St. Thomas accepted a lease by Travancore from the British Government for a period of twenty years.
Fort St. Thomas was originally around 20 feet (6.1 m) tall. Today, the remains of the fort, popularly known as “Tangasseri fort” remain facing the beach. The government of India has taken over the fort and it is being considered an historical landmark. Restoration of the fort is ongoing. At present, the fort is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Neendakara is a suburb of Kollam city in Kerala, India. The twin harbours, Neendakara and Sakthikulangara are located here. Neendakara harbour is the largest fishing harbour in the state. Trawling ban and withdrawal of the state official start from Neendakara harbour. It is about 10 km away from the city center. When Portuguese traders settled in Kollam (then Quilon) in the early 16th century, their ships passed through the Neendakara bar, now the site of Neendakara Bridge, part of National Highway 66, which connects the village to Sakthikulangara across Ashtamudi Lake.
Adventure Park is an urban park in the core Kollam city of Kerala state. It was opened after 1980, on 48 acres of city-owned land. Located beside the Kerala’s pride, backwaters of Ashtamudi, this place popularly known as Asramam Picnic Village. It is the main centre of recreational activities in Kollam city. The Kollam District Tourism Promotion Council conducts regular backwater cruises in houseboats, luxury boats and speedboats from the Boat Club. The mangroves near this park is very famous in all over India. One can find many endangered species of trees that are surviving in the park.
In 2012, the then Tourism Minister of Kerala, A.P. Anil Kumar had inaugurated 10 sculptors at Asramam Adventure Park. This had happened as part of a 10 day’s State level sculpture camp named ‘Monsoon Sculptures’ at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 8 lakh sponsored by various Kollam-based business groups. Aryanad Rajendran’s Meditation, V. Satheesan’s Story Teller, Sivan’s Bundle of slogans, Shenlay’s Do not disturb, Saju Mannathur’s She, Guruprasad’s Love without heart and brain, Chavara Vijayan’s Buddha 99 and Biju Bharatan’s Victim are the major sculptors that makes adventure park one of the major eye-catching attractions in Kollam city.
The first open gym of the state is coming-up at Asramam Adventure park at a cost of Rs.15 lakh. Morning walkers in Kollam city, arriving at the Asramam Maidan area, will be the biggest beneficiaries of this facility. 19 fitness equipments have been installed here.
The thick mangroves that grow on the shore of Ashtamudi Lake along the side of Asramam Adventure Park is another significant attraction in this spot. The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) has provided the Asramam mangrove forest with a biodiversity heritage tag. Asramam mangrove spread was habitat to the highly endangered Syzygium travancoricum species of mangroves. Several species of mangroves and mangrove associates thrived there. The belt had all the characteristics of a coastal rainforest and was habitat to several species of wild animals and diversified flora. In addition to being a major spawning ground for several edible marine species, the Asramam mangroves is also home to otters and migratory birds.
The boating program conducted by Kollam District Tourism Promotion Council from Asramam Adventure Park is one of the crowd pulling tourism programs in Kollam district. Regular backwater cruises in houseboats, luxury boats and speedboats are being operate from the Boat Club attached with the park. Different kinds of boats like luxury cruise boats, power boats and motor boats can be taken on hire from the boat jetty.
British Residency and Picnic Village
The British Residency in Asramam is also known as Government Guest House and Residency Bungalow. It is a two-storeyed palace situated at the picnic village campus. It was actually built by Col. John Munro during 1811 and 1819. It is now known as Government Guest House. It stands as a Hallmark of Quilon, like Chinnakada Clock Tower. It is a famous cine location in Kerala. Almost 90% of the Malayalam movie Manu Uncle was shot at British Residency and Adventure Park campus.
Kakkathuruthu, a tiny island in Kerala’s backwaters, has been listed in National Geographic’ s ‘Around the World in 24 Hours,’ a photographic tour of travel-worthy spots in the world. The emerald-fringed ‘Island of Crows’ in Alappuzha finds a place among select stunning destinations across the world that hold appeal to the adventurous traveller. Situated not far from the ancient port city of Kochi, the island can be accessed from the main land only through traditional boats. The quiet island, surrounded by Vembanad Lake, offers a haven for birdwatchers.
Munroe Island is a hidden pearl in the backwaters which is composed of a cluster of 8 islands. Each of them is separated by small water channels and lakes. Munroe Island is located about 27 km from Kollam. The place is named in honour of Resident Colonel John Munroe, of the former princely state of Travancore. He is said to have integrated several backwater regions by digging canals. Some of this island’s main attractions are the narrow waterways, canal cruise and the famous Kallada Boat Race held here during the 10-day festival of Onam. It offers a unique and tranquil setting, far away from the constant chaos of modern life.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum is a museum that traces the history and growth of the police force in India. It is located just opposite the Kollam Junction Railway Station in Kollam. The museum is dedicated to barrister and statesman, Vallabhbhai Patel. The museum was opened in 2000. In addition to arms and ammunition of the 18th and 19th centuries, including bullets, guns, machines, and a diversity of other weapons, the museum houses information charts on DNA tests, human bones, fingerprints, snapshots of police dogs and a variety of medals awarded to policemen of different ranks. A concrete statue of Vallabhbhai Patel, weighing 1.1 tons and sculpted by Police Constable Mr. Santosh, was unveiled in January 2005.
Kattil Mekkathil Devi Temple is popularly known as Kattil Mekkathil temple, located at Ponmana, near Chavara, in Kollam district, Kerala, it is in a unique place, where the lake meets the sea. This temple is located on an island created by the lake and the sea and look like a beautiful & pleasant place. The shrine is dedicated to the goddess ‘Bhadrakali amma’ the goddess mother venerated here is ugra murti. The Kattil Mekkathil temple at Ponmana has the Arabian Sea on one side and the TS Canal on the other. Kattil Mekkathil Temple is 22 km from the town of Kollam. The speciality of the Kattil Mekkathil Temple Kollam, the devotees go around the tree seven times before attaching the bell. In the seventh round, they make a wish and it will be granted.
Legend Has It Long Ago, The patriarch of the house and a few others traveled to Alleppey to buy fertilizers for their crops. He was instantly drawn to a young girl in the market, aged about 7 or 8 with whom he felt a deep connection and love. He brought the girl home and looked after her. Once the girl became an adult, he married her off to a young boy. Years passed. A few God-seeking men visited the area and seeing the magnificent sand kissed land, the Arabian ocean in all its glory, and the isle, they believed that it would be a land where the goddess would like to reside. They informed the patriarch, and under the advice of the goddess Herself, a place for the temple was charted. Eventually, a shrine was dedicated to the goddess, and an idol was brought in from Chengannur. Ever since then, devotees have been thronging the temple with fervent prayers, and the goddess, it is believed, will grant every heartfelt prayer.
Mahatma Gandhi Park (also known as MG park) is a public park situated near Kollam Beach in the city of Kollam, Kerala. It is about 2 km away from ‘Chinnakada’ The city centre of ‘Cashew Capital of the World’. It is one of the main centres of recreational activities in Kollam city. The park is owned by Kollam Municipal Corporation and is operated by Rural Tourism Development Company (RUTODEC), a private firm, on contract for a period of five years for maintenance. ‘The Quilon Beach’ five star hotel (Formerly known as Beach Orchid) is located near to this park. Mahatma Gandhi Park was opened on 1 January 1967 by the then Vice President of India, Zakir Hussein. It Has Swimming pool, Observatory, Bowling machine, Sweet Shops & Cafeteria, Water Fountains, Artificial Waterfalls And Beach.
Kottankulangara Devi Temple is a Hindu temple to the goddess Durga Bhagavathy or Aadi Shakthi, the supreme mother of power, located in the village of Chavara, Kerala. The plot of land where the temple is situated was once part of a forest, a tranquil area surrounded by a thick growth of trees, plants and creepers. On the northwest corner of the plot there existed a small deep pond known as Bhoothakulam. People living in the area believed it was a shelter for poisonous snakes. On the eastern side there was a huge extensive deep pond. During days of rain, a stream originated from there making the surrounding area fertile and cultivable. As this place was full of grass and pure water, the cow-herders from the neighbouring area would congregate there with their cattle.
According to the legend, a group of cow-herders got a coconut from this place. They found a stone on the southern part of Bhoothakulam. When they hit the coconut on the stone (intending to remove the husk), they found drops of blood dripping from the stone. They explained the phenomena to the elders. The astrologer suggested that the stone contained supernatural powers and poojas should be started immediately after constructing a temple. The elders and cow-herders constructed a temporary temple using poles, leaves and tender leaves of coconut palm. It was a custom in ancient days that balikas used to prepare flower garlands, lit the pooja lamps in ancient Kudumba temples. Accepting this tradition, the cow-herders wearing female attire, offered poojas in the temple. The milky liquid prepared from coconut kernel was boiled, the medicinal oil (Urukku Velichenna) extracted and solid substance taken (Kottan) was offered to the goddess as Naivedyam.
The British Residency, also known as the Government Guest House or Residency Bungalow, is a two-storeyed palace situated at Asramam in the city of Kollam in the Indian state of Kerala. It lies close to the site of the old Kollam Airport situated at Asramam in the city is a noted Kollam landmark like the Chinnakada Clock Tower. During the British Raj, the building served as the British Residency. It was built during the Travancore era by Gowri Parvati Bayi when Colonel John Munro was a British Resident. A blend of European, Indian and Tuscan architecture, the central portion of the building has a rounded front, with a large gable decoration. Atop the building there is a crown with a lion seated on it, with the motto Dieu et mon Droit (God and my right) inscribed above. The 10 feet (3.0 m) entrance doors are made up of glass panes. The conference hall in the palace has an antechamber with an adjustable partition-like door while a large fanlight arching over divides the two rooms. The building has rich wooden flooring on the upper storey. The walls of the conference hall have cornices and dentils bordering the four sides with embossed designs of festoons, urns, and floral forms. A motif of a large arch with an ornamental keystone, resting on pillars is embossed over the main doorway. The Edward Rose garden is another main attraction of the mansion. Antique prints in polished wooden frames adorn the walls including one that depicts the battle of Seringapatam, dating from 1802. Prof. Pandala has described the Residency as “one of the most elegant buildings in India”.
Kolloorvila Juma Masjid is a famous Muslim worship centre situated at Pallimukku, 4 kilometres from Kollam city centre. Kolloorvila has the second largest Muslim population in Kerala. Kolloorvila Juma Masjid is one of the largest masjids in Kerala and can accommodate approximately 5,000 worshippers.
The Infant Jesus Cathedral is a historic Roman Catholic church established by Portuguese during 1614, situated at Tangasseri in the city of Quilon (Kollam). It is now the cathedral i.e the Seat of the Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, the ancient and first catholic diocese of India. The Church remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule of old Quilon city.
The history of Infant Jesus Cathedral dates back to 1503 when Tangasseri came under the control of the Portuguese. The Portuguese who came to Quilon in 1503 led by Afonso de Albuquerque made Tangasseri a well fortified city by building a fort, which was called Fortaleza da São Tomé (known as St. Thomas Fort). Saint Francis Xavier established a church, a college (São Salvador College), a printing press (São Salvador seminary Press), and a religious study centre at Tangasseri during his visits in 1544 and 1549. In 1614, the Portuguese established the Infant Jesus church in its present location.
Later in 1661, Dutch gained control of Tangasseri and started deteriorating churches and other structures built by Portuguese. But in 1789, the Carmelites missionaries, who have arrived Quilon renovated this church and named it the Bom Jesu Church. In 1838 when Malabar Vicariate was erected with Verapoly as headquarters, Quilon was joined to it. Tangasseri retained its pivotal position in ecclesiastical parlance and became the base for Carmelite expeditions. Quilon vicariate was formed in 1845. Messenger Charles Hyacinth Valerga, pro-vicar Apostolic of Quilon died in Tangasseri on 24 December 1864 and was buried in the church. His successor Msgr. Maria Ephrem Carrelon was consecrated in Tangasseri in 1866.
The church is rich and beautiful, with mosaic paintings and glass paintings depicting various stages of Jesus’s life. The biggest glass painting is that of the patroness of the Diocese of Quilon, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A huge bell tower having 3 bells dating back 100 years is an adjacent structure to the cathedral along with a small shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph. A new modern parish house with guest house is built adjacent to the cathedral to accommodate the incoming guests as well as serving as the residence of the parish priest. A small chapel is located under the cathedral and is used for small prayer meetings and masses as well. In 2015, the bell tower was renovated and three new shrines dedicated to various saints of the Catholic world were concentrated. The saints whose statues are placed are Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Sebastian, Saint Francis Xavier and blessed Devasahayam Pillai. In early 2016 one of the bells in the bell tower was made automated which was the first time in the whole diocese.
The holy mortal remains of Rev. Jerome .M. Fernandez, the first native Bishop of Quilon is buried in the prayer crypt below the Cathedral. Bishop Jerome .M. Fernandez was elevated to the status Servant of God by Pope Francis on February 25, 2019. The Elevation is the first of four steps to Sainthood. The Grand Celebration of the Elevation was celebrated by Holy Mass which was attended by many thousands of devotees along with all the bishops of Kerala and many dignitaries.
Cheena Kottaram or China Palace is a rest house that was constructed in 1904 for Sri Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, the then-King of Travancore. The palace was completed along with the commissioning of Quilon-Madras rail line. It is a single-storied, red-brick building with seven rooms. The architecture of Cheena Kottaram is Indo Saracenic generally a blend of Indian architecture, European, Islamic, and Moorish architecture. Cheena Kottaram is yet to get the ‘National Heritage Monument’ accreditation. Before the independence of India, the commercial capital of Travancore kingdom was Quilon (Kollam) The city with maximum business & commercial reputation in the Travancore & Malabar Coast, with high level of export & import operations through the flourishing Quilon Port. Kollam was known as Palace City that time as there were so many palaces in the city then. One and only airport in the Travancore | Malabar Coast was situated at Kollam city then. During that time, there were no rail-air connectivity to Thiruvananthapuram. Kings of Travancore used to travel from Kollam. For that, they have built the Cheena Kottaram, close to the Quilon Junction railway station.
Ammachiveedu Muhurthi Temple | The origin of the Temple can not be traced through records. But it is founded some six hundred years ago for the spiritual benefit of Ammachi Veedu family, an ancient aristocratic family in Quilon (Kollam). It is believed that the Deity is the Guru of Dharma Sastha of the Temple named Sasthamkotta Temple about 35 kms meters away from the ammachi veedu. On the basis of a marriage ceremony Lord Dharma Sastha with pleasure entrusted the Deity to one of the Karanavans, who is now worshipped in the Temple as Brahma Rakshas, on the right hand side of the Deity.
Asramam Sree Krishna Swamy Temple is a Sreekrishna temple in the district of Kollam, Kerala, South India located on the shores of Ashtamudi Lake. Lord Krishna in the form of Navaneet Krishnan or Krishna with Butter is worshiped here. The temple sits on the top of a mount created by digging earth from a nearby place, which now forms the temple pond. Sub-deities include Swamy Ayyappan (a separate temple building with the 18 holy steps of Sabarimala present), Naga Devatas and Navagrahas. Kollam pooram is the culmination of a ten-day festival, normally in mid April, of Ashramam sreekrishna swamy temple.
Puttingal Temple was a Hindu temple in the coastal town of Paravur, India. The temple was founded after the presence of the goddess was experienced on an ant hill with Puttu being the Malayalam word for ant Hill. The main festival is celebrated on the day of Bharani star in Meenam. Fireworks and other events associated with the festival take place along with other cultural events with various poojas performed.
Chinnakada Clock Tower is a landmark in Kollam City in the Indian state of Kerala. In Chinnakada, the tower lies in the heart of the city, close to Kollam Junction Railway Station. As the first clock tower in the erstwhile Travancore state, it has become a non-official emblem of the city and the major landmark of Kollam. The quadrangular clock tower was built in 1944 by the natives as a tribute to Unichakam Veedu K G Parameswaran Pillai, the former chairman of Kollam Municipality (1932–48). Construction began in 1941 and was completed three years later in brick and white cement. The tower has four clocks facing the four directions of the city, which were brought from Kolkata.
Chinnakkada is considered the heart of the Kollam and one of the major junctions in the city where National Highway Meet Each Other. Because of the presence of a huge traffic circle, it became one of the busiest junctions in the state. To reduce the traffic congestion in Chinnakada, Kollam Municipal Corporation is constructing an underpass near the clock tower. The complex junction is the meeting point of roads from Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Sengottai, Ashramam, Kollam Beach and Kollam Port, Downtown Kollam and the City Bus Stand.
Kottarakkulam Sree Mahaganapathy Kovil, Kollam is a popular temple in Kollam. The temple is situated in the centre part of the Kollam corporation, near the Kollam Civil Station. The main deity enshrined here is Lord Ganesh, apart from Nagaraja and Swami Ayyappan. The main priest-hold of this temple is run by Tamil Brahmin community of Kollam Corporation, consisting of 270 families. The Prasadams here are mainly Appams and Modakams. The annual Vinayaka Chathurthi festival of the Kottarakulam Maha ganapathy here begins in August. Rituals including Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathi Homam, Kalasha Pooja, laksharchana and pushpabhishekam forms a major attraction here.
The temple over the years has attracted a number of devotees from far-off places, especially in recent years. The temple, although a modern one in appearance, is actually an ancient temple, which was reconstructed and developed much to its present form in the year 1984.
An issue of the Malayalam monthly magazine Jyotisharatnam carried an article on this temple. One of the former priests, Late Shri. Ramayya Vadhyar, who served as the chief priest of for a very long time, found special mention in that issue. Some of the other notable priests who have served the shrine includes late Shri Sankara Narayana Vadhyar, Brahmashri Narayana Sastrigal (a.k.a. Rajamani Vadhyar), Shri .Kannan Vadhyar etc. The priests who serve at present are Shri Sankara Vadhyar and Shri. Venkatarama Vadhyar and Prasanna Hari Vadhyar. The Almighty Lord supports a lot of people and families who are related with the temple. Shri. Venkatarama Vadhyar now serves as the chief priest. Sri Sankara Subramonian is the secretary.
Valiya Koonambaikulam temple is located at Koonambaikulam near Vadakkevila in Kollam district of Kerala. This is one of the most ancient temples in Kerala and is dedicated to Bhadrakali (popularly known as ‘Koonambaikulathamma’, which means The mother of Koonambaikulam). The temple is under the control of Valiya Koonambaikulam Sree Bhadrakali Kshetra Trust. The trust owns an Engineering college called Valia Koonambaikulathamma College of Engineering and Technology (VKCET) at Parippally in Kollam district. The daily worship at the temple begins at 04:00 am and ends at 09:00 pm local time. An important annual festival of the temple is the ‘Kumbha Bharani Maholsavam’ which is held in the Bharani Nakshatra of Kumbha, the month corresponding to February or March in Kollam era. Thousands of women participate in Chandra Pongal ritual organised in connection with the festival every year.
Sri Panakkattodil Devi Temple is in Chavara Thekkumbhagom village in Kollam district of the Indian state of Kerala. Primary deity of this temple is Durga. The temple is managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board, Kerala. The Thalappoli in ‘Meda Bharani’ and the annual festival during the months of April and May are popular. Panakkattodil devi temple is an ancient and famous Hindu devi temple in Chavara Thekkumbhagom in Kollam District. There is no historical evidence available for the origin of this temple. But believe it as 1000 years old. Once a rover Brahmin youngster reached at Chavara Thekkumbhagom. He met a skilled carpenter called ‘Kolli Purathu Nambeesan Aasari’. They planned to build a temple in Chavara Thekkumbhagom. Nambeesan Aasari built base structure of the temple, then the Brahmin youngster evoke ‘Bhadrakali’ to this temple and adored. After that various parts of the temples had built and numerous devotees reach to the temple. Temple built in Valiyapally Family’ property. According to some records, temple build under the supervision of ‘Manjippuzha Thampuran’. In 1946 (Malayalam Era or Kollavarsham 1121) temple undertaken by Travancore Government.
Sree Mahadevar Temple In Thrikkadavoor is located on the banks of the Ashtamudi backwater. It is about 5 km from Kollam town. The Sree Mahadeva temple is an ancient temple and is the most prominent of Shiva temples in the district. The annual ten-day festival of the temple is a splendid celebration attended by thousands of people. The highly devotional Thiruvathira festival and the resplendent kettukazhcha add to the charm of the festival. There is an interesting legend attributed to the origin of the temple, which is now administered by the Travancore Devaswom. Sage Mrikandu and his wife were saddened as they did not have a child. Once Lord Siva appeared before them and gave two options. One was to have a short-living intelligent boy and the other to have a long-living idiot. The couple selected the former and was blessed with a baby boy who would live for 16 years. They named him Markandeya. Young Markandeya was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva. At the age of 16, on his last day, he sat immersed in prayers in front of a Lord Shiva idol. The divine mood deterred the messenger of Yamaraja (the God of death) from taking Markandaya’s life. Later, Yamaraja took up the task and sprung the noose aiming the boy’s neck. Unfortunately, the noose fell over the Sivalinga which angered Lord Siva. The furious god entered into a war with Yama which the former won. In the end of the battle, Lord Siva laid the condition to spare the life of his devout Markandeya for not killing Yamaraja. Mythology says that Thrikkadavoor was where this event occurred.
Immaculate Conception Church, In Pullichira Is The famous Marian pilgrim centre, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception also known as Pullichira Church is located at a distance of 12 kms from Kollam. The shrine, situated in scenic surroundings on the banks of Pullichira lake in Mayyanad Panchayath, is the most ancient diocese of Kollam. Pullichira Immaculate Conception Church has a statue of Our Lady that washed ashore in 1520. The church now stands by the Pullichira lake and is open on all days between 6am and 9pm. The history of the church dates back to 16th century AD. The original church was built by the Portuguese in 1572, and a miraculous statue of our lady was installed at the top of the beautifully carved wooden altar. It is believed that this statue was washed ashore in a box. In 1974, a new church was built here, preserving the altar. The church was declared a Marian pilgrimage shrine in 2004. The feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church, held every year during the second and third week of December, attracts thousands of devotees irrespective of their faith and religion. This is a 10 day long festival and during the last three days of the feast, the miraculous statue of Mother Mary is brought down from her position above the alter and taken around the church in a procession. Besides this, other feasts celebrated here are St. Sebastian’s feast (January), Lourdes Matha feast (February), St. Joseph’s feast (March), St. Antony’s feast (June), Carmelite Matha feast (September) and Fathima Matha feast (October).
The main Nercha (offering) of our church is ‘Palayum kayarum’ (image) along with ‘Uppum Mulakum’ (salt and pepper) for skin disease and others. During feast procession while our Lady’s holy statue is carried by her devotees on their shoulders with prayers and placed in the shrine near to the church, devotees who get ready to roll on the sand ground as part of their offering dips themselves in the lake to get wet and later roll on the ground and there after dips themselves again to wash the sands off. Devotees bring in Nercha podi (crushed and mixed wheat or rice with jaggery), gold, money, silver or metal replicas of human body parts, house and cradle, adima kettal ( priests blessing).
St Andrew’s Church, Kovilthottam is a historic colonial era Roman Catholic church that is located in the Panmana–Chavara panchayat, Karunagappally taluk, Kollam district. Kovilthottam is a small coastal village and a port, between Chavara T.S. canal part of the Kerala backwaters and Arabian sea to its west, it is approachable from Chavara from the iron footbridge. The Church is a popular pilgrimage and tourist destination of Chavara. It was established and first built in 1398. It was rebuilt in 1779 by the Franciscan missionary Father Yovakim de Santiago. The church is also a parish church, part of the Diocese of Quilon, established in the 14th century. The 1779 church was built in the Portuguese Colonial style, and dedicated to St Andrew. The church building was renovated in the 2000s, and subsequently consecrated by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, Stanley Roman in 2006. Masses are held in English and follow the Roman Rite liturgy.
Anandavalleeswaram Sri Mahadevar Temple in Kollam city is one of the ancient Hindu temples in Kerala. Lord Siva and Goddess Anandavally are the main deities of the temple. According to folklore, sage Parasurama has installed the idol of Lord Shiva. The temple is a part of the 108 famous Shiva temples in Kerala. It is located at Anandavalleswaram, a major neighborhood of Kollam city. The main Sanctum Sanctorum of Anandavalleswaram Sri Mahadevar temple is 1200 years old and it constructed in Teak wood. This is the only Hindu temple in India which has the deities of Sree Krishnan, Maha Vishnu, Bhoomi Devi and Lakshmi Devi consecrated as idols under a single structure (Sanctum sanctorum). The temple is located in the city of Kollam. It is believed that Kollam Anandavalleswaram Temple is one of the 108 Shiva temples of Kerala and is installed by sage Parasurama dedicated to Shiva. It is one of the three Mahadeva temples of Kollam city is mentioned in 108 Shivalaya Stotram. The second temple in the 108 Shivalaya Stotram is Kollam Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple and the third temple is Thrikkadavoor Mahadeva Temple.
The presiding deity of the temple is Shiva is facing west in the main Sanctum Sanctorum and his consort Devi Parvathy is also in the same sanctum sanctorum (Sreekovil) is facing east. Lord Shiva of this temple is called as Ananda Swaroopan and Devi Parvati is called as Swayamvara Parvathi (Anandavally). It believe that both the deities are said to be in a happy state and hence the temple name Anandavalleswaram (Anandam in Malayalam means ‘Joy’). Initially the temple had only Shiva as the deity and Devi Parvati was consecrated later in the form of Anandavally. Even though Devi Parvati’s garbhagriha is the immediate one to the entrance, one is supposed to enter the temple only through the door which lead to the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Shiva.
The annual festival of Anandavalleeswaram Mahadevar Temple is celebrates for ten-days in the month of March–April (Malayalam month: Meenam). This ten days festival will begin with the traditional ‘Three Kodiyettu’. There would be other rituals including Pallivetta ritual, Arattu, Aratu Ethirelpu, Ezhunnallathu, Kazhcha Sribali, Kettukazhcha ritual and other cultural programmes comprising dance, dramas, music programmes and also pyrotechnic display as part of the annual festival. Sivarathri festival is the other important one celebrated by the temple every year. Tantric rites of the temple is belongs to Thazhamon Madom, Chengannur.
Syzygy Ecosports, founded in Kerala, aims to promote paddlesports activities in India. Syzygy supplies world-class kayaks, canoes, and accessories imported from Europe. Our paddling centre conveniently sits at the meeting point between the Arabian Sea, the Paravur Lake and the Ithikkara River, allowing for exceptional access to the beautifully sheltered backwaters, open sea and beach. We design and arrange customized expeditions and trips for individual travelers, families, or groups. We can help you chart an itinerary around your interests, dates, unique accommodations, on special requests.
Our Lady Purification Church Popularly known as Kollam Port Church is one of the oldest church in Kerala. It is believed to be established in AD.53. It is the oldest continuous parish in India. Also it is believed to be one among the seven and a half churches founded by the Apostle St. Thomas, Who was One of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Because of sea erosion, the church was reconstructed thrice. In 1329, kollam was declared as the first diocese in India by the Vatican. During this Era, there was a church named kollam church. Later on several other churches were built by the Portuguese in the same vicinity, as a result of which kollam church was renamed a s “port kollam Church “. It is very famous among devotees as it has the holy relic of Saint Thomas. The legend behind this festival is that according to the Old Testament, a mother would take her son 40 days after his birth to the Temple to present herself to be purified and to offer the child to God. This was a precept that every good Israelite mother observed. It was moreover a beautiful law that reflected the holiness of God. When Jesus was a new born baby Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem Temple of God (devalayam) with newly born Jesus and submitted Him in front of God as an offering. A child is born amid the dangers that accompany every gestation. But finally he is born. As soon as the mother recovers enough to travel, she takes the child and goes to the Temple. She goes and presents her child to God because He was the one who created him so he might be offered to God and live for Him. The Old Law made this presentation obligatory. To commemorate this event here feast is conducted every year. Hence the Holy Mother here also known as Kanikka Mathavu.
The feast of Our Lady of Purification church, held every year during the January-February month, attracts thousands of devotees irrespective of their faith and religion. Starting with a flag hoisting ceremony to mark the beginning of the festival, Church is decorated with colourful lights and illuminations that time. Religious discourses and special prayers were takes place during the festive days. There will be a grand procession on February 1 covering major part of town attracts thousands of people. On February 2, thousand of woman with their newly born babies (below 2 years) comes to the church and submitted before Lord Mary as an offering.
Kollam Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple is located in the city of Kollam City in Kollam district. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Rameswara facing west. It is believed that Kollam Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple is one of the 108 Shiva temples of Kerala and is installed by sage Parasurama dedicated to Shiva, It is one of the two Rameswaram temples in 108 Shivalaya Stotram. The Amaravila Rameshwaram Sri Mahadeva Temple is the second Rameshwaram Temple. The temple is located in the village of Amaravila in Thiruvananthapuram District. There are two small towers in the west and north sides of the temple. There is a Copper flag mast in front of Balikkal pura at west. The main sanctum sanitorium is in rectangular shape and the shrine is decorated with beautiful stone and wood carvings. Valiyambalam and Balakalpura are common in Kerala-Dravidian style. A pillar set up in the courtyard of Rameswaram temple contains a royal order of king Rama Kulasekhara, a 12th-century Chera king of Kerala. The inscription is historically significant for mentioning exact date in Kollam Era, Manavikrama Punthurakkon, the chieftain of Eranad (Calicut) and Kumara Udaya Varma, a member of the Venad Royal Family.
Chathannoor Sree Bhoothanatha Temple is a famous tourist attraction in Chathannoor. Nestled on the outskirts of Kollam city, the shrine is about 15.2 km from Kollam. It is a very ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as Lord Bhoothanatha at the temple. Devotees, when visiting the temple, do visit the sanctuary in Chathannoor at the East of Kollam. The most important festival commemorated in Chathannoor is Sree Bhoothanatha Temple Utsavam. Chathannoor Sree Bhoothanatha Temple complex has a precious and sacred Gompa surrounded by villages. The temple is famous for its unique rituals that are performed with great devotion by the saints of the temple. Chathannoor Sree Bhoothanatha Temple is renowned for its magnificent architecture that is worth exploring and eye-catching. The unique architecture stands as a testimony to the architectural period dating back to medieval history. At the temple, tourists can spend quality time with friends and families. You can feel positive vibes engulf you once you are at the temple. Festivals celebrated at Chathannoor Sree Bhoothanatha Temple attract tourists from all across the globe to cherish the diversified culture of the famous temple. Sree Bhoothanatha Temple Utsavam is the most celebrated festival of all. It is celebrated annually with joy and devotion. The Nedum Kuthira of Sree Bhoothanatha temple is the biggest of its kind in Southern Kerala. Prasadam is distributed twice a day after the praying rituals.
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