This monsoon head to the backwaters of Kerala and enjoy your vaction rowing down these waters on a houseboat with your loved ones. Head to Kollam, better known as Quilon, which is the coastal city of the Ashtamudi Lake. The city other than being a relaxer's paradise is also the largest producer and exporter of premium quality of cashew nuts and is therefore often called as the City of Cashews.
Kollam attracts tourists all throughout the year with its wide variety of attractions namely, Kollam Beach, Thangassery Beach, Thirumullavaram Beach, Ashtamudi Backwaters, Munroe Island and Sasthamcotta Lake are but a few here. So prepare yourself for a refreshing journey to the Cashew City of Kollam
How to Reach
Kollam does not have an airport and the nearest one is situated at Thiruvananthapuram at a distance of about 70 km from Kollam city. It is well connected to all the major cities. From here one can either hire a car or take a bus to reach Kollam. Kollam Railway Station is well connected to other cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. Kollam enjoys good connectivity by road as three major national highways pass through the district. Bus services are available to Kollam from its neighboring districts such as Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Ernakulam. One can also get buses from Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore and Pondicherry to here.
Photo Courtesy:Dhruvaraj S
Amritapuri is a religious township and a pilgrim center located at Vallikavu and is located at a distance of about 30 km from Kollam. It is a picturesque hamlet populated with fishermen community and houseboat tours are available from Kollam to Amritapuri, during which travelers can enjoy the scenic beauty of backwaters. It is also the birthplace of Matha Amrithanandamayi, a female guru who has millions of followers.
Photo Courtesy:Mahesh Mahajan
Ashtamudi Backwaters offer tourists an opportunity to watch the beauty of nature up close. The backwater stretch is formed by Ashtamudi Lake, the greatest and the biggest fresh water lake of the state. The chief attraction of Ashtamudi Backwaters is houseboat cruising- an activity nobody would want to miss. One can also pamper oneself to Ayurvedic massages here.
Photo Courtesy:Kerala Tourism
Kollam Beach, also known by the name Mahatma Gandhi Beach, is located at Kochupilamoodu, 2 km from Kollam city. Situated adjacent to the beach is Mahatma Gandhi Park, a favorite location to stroll and relax. The beach and the park attract a good number of travelers as they get to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the sun-kissed shores, palm trees and white sands.
Mayyanad, located at a distance of about 10 km from Kollam city. is a small yet scenic village. This hamlet is marvelously placed on the shores of Lake Paravur and has a long stretch of coastal line parallel to the Arabian Sea which is known for its fishing and marine activities. It is famous for the many shrines that are here of which the most prominent one is the Subramanya Temple at Umayanallor which is believed to have been founded by Kaladi Sree Sankaracharya, a famous Hindu Sage.
Munroe Island, situated at a distance of about 27 km from Kollam, is locally known as Munroe Thuruth and is a collection of eight small islands. The island is famous for the two temples, Mulachanthara Temple and Kalluvila Temple, that stands here. It is an ideal place for holidaying and visitors can engage in many activities such as sightseeing, bird watching and fishing.
Oachira is a small town that lies on the border of Alappuzha and Kollam districts. The town is famous for the number of ancient temples and historic monuments that are to be found here. One of the most frequented temples of the region is Oachira Temple, also known as the Para Brahma Temple and is dedicated to Para Brahmam or Ohmkaram. The Oachira Muslim Masjid is yet another religious spot in the region and is considered as an ancient monument of great historical value.
Sasthamcotta Lake is a fresh water lake that attracts travelers with its beauty and cruising facilities. The name of the lake owes to a renowned temple situated on its banks of which the presiding deity is Lord Shasta. The hills that surround the lake add to the scenic beauty of the spot, making it a perfect holidaying spot. Torurists are left mesmerised by the beauty of lake and its surrounding areas.
Thangassery Beach is a leisure spot located at a distance of about 5 km from Kollam. This sandy beach also houses the ruins of an ancient Portuguese Fort. Visitors come here unwind and relax. The major attraction of the beach is an old lighthouse which is open to visitors. The beach becomes vibrant during the evenings and the entire area acquires a charm as the golden rays of the setting sun fall on the sandy shores. The beach is ideal for swimming, casual strolling and water sports.
Thirumullavaram Beach is a beautiful stretch of sandy shores and the shallow waters make it a safe place for swimming which young children would find extremely exciting. The beach gets its name from a temple located nearby of whose the presiding deity is Lord Vishnu. A famous rock, known as Nyarazhcha Para, is another attraction of this beach. Tourists come here to relax and enjoy the serenity of the silent beach.
Photo Courtesy:Pratheesh Prakash