Kollam District formerly known as Quilon is a southern district of Kerala. It is located 70 km away from north of the state’s capital Thiruvananthapuram. The headquarters of the district administration is located at Kollam City, which is the district’s capital. Kollam District is bordered by Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts on the north, Thiruvananthapuram district on the south, Arabian Sea on the west and Tamil Nadu on the east.
It is one of the more densely populated districts of India which has 2.6 million population. The district is composed of two revenue divisions namely Kollam and Punalur with three taluks each under them. Kollam district has generally sunny weather during summer in the months of April and May. The monsoon falls from June to September. The soil is loamy, laterite and forest at the coastal regions, mainland and the forest areas respectively.
The people living in Kollam city quietly spend their leisure time at the beaches in the evening and also have many relaxation spots. This city is covered by a forest on the eastern side which attracts many tourists, so the government gives preference for tourism projects like Shenduruni, Thenmala, Palaruvi, etc. Kollam City boasts mention in several ancient travelers accounts. It has a long political history, commercial and cultural importance. In the past many foreign countries were occupied and controlled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British.
There are many locations in Kollam district that have historical importance namely the lighthouse at Thangasseri, the St. Thomas Fort and the Portuguese built cemetery, Thevally Palace, Cheenakkottaram etc. Apart from these locations, it also witnesses several old buildings constructed by the Travancore kings who ruled this area before independence in a variety of architectural styles, where many government offices still function.
In Kollam, there are many cashew industries functioning from the period of the Portuguese in 16th Century. More than hundreds of working cashew factories are found in the district. In India, Kollam still continues to be the largest producer of cashew. Neendakara and Thangasseri are the two fishing harbours and ports in Kollam that support the marine industry and provide a variety of employment opportunities and livelihood to many people.
Ashtamudi Lake is considered as the heartland of Kollam District. This land is a massive, multi-branched water body and popular for boating which attracts many tourists towards this district. The Kollam canal runs through the main city and gives a prominent look in the waterway systems of the county. The vast expanse of the lake was caused by a number of islands of varying sizes and looks more beautiful.