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Kollam (Malayalam: കൊല്ലം) (known to the Portuguese as Quilon, pronounced koy-lon) is a city and a municipal corporation in Kollam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It lies 71 Kilometres north of the state capital Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum). It is also the headquarters of the Kollam District, one among the 14 districts in the state of Kerala. It is bound on the south by Thiruvananthapuram district, on the north by Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha, on the east by Tamil Nadu and on the west by the Arabian Sea. The City of Kollam is very famous for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. It is the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, and thus, a prominent tourist destination.
Kollam was formerly called "Desinganadu" and even before its was known as Tarsish(Koreki ni-(sea pointed inland or a creek)Kollam). Later during the rule of the Travancore kingdom in southern Kerala, Kollam was the focal point of trade. The start of the Malayalam era (ME) is associated with Kollam. The ME is also referred as Kollavarsham.
Kollam City is a major business and commercial centre in the central Travencore region of Kerala. Kollam Cargo port has been revived and expected to provide a bright future for the city. Currently, Kollam is the 4th largest city in Kerala in terms of population. The city population is around 4 lakhs (2010).
Kollam was a flourishing port of the Pandya Kingdom in ancient times until 825 AD. In 825 AD, Kollam became the capital of the independent Venad kingdom. AD 825 AD is known as the birth of the Malayalam era.
Kollam during Pandyan rule
Kollam shares fame with Kodungallur (Muziris) as an ancient sea port on the Malabar coast of India from early centuries of the Christian era. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea gives a detailed account of the ports of South India in the 1st century CE. It mentions Muziris ( identified with Kodungallur (ruled by the Chera Kingdom) and also mentions Nelcynda, Bacare (Purakkad) and Belita and Komari as the ports south of Muziris. Kollam is identified with Nelcynda. The historical accounts mentioned below indicate that Kollam had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) mentions Greek ships anchored at Muziris and Nelcynda. Nelcynda was connected with the Pandyan port of Korkai (Kayal) on the East Coast of India. There was also a land route over the Western Ghats. Spices, pearls, diamonds and silk were exported to Egypt and Rome from these two ports on the South Western coast of India. Pearls and diamonds came from Ceylon and the South eastern coast of India, then known as the Pandyan kingdom.
Cosmas Indicopleustes, who visited Malabar Coast in 522 AD, mentions about Syrian Christians in Kollam. He wrote, "In the island of Tabropane (Ceylon), there is a church of Christians, and clerks and faithful. Likewise at Male, where the pepper grows; and in the town of Kalliana (Kallianpur) there is also a bishop concentrated in Persia. The Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus who died in 660 A.D. makes special mention of Quilon in his letter to Simon, Metropolitan of Persia. In 825 A.D. Nestorian Monk Mar Abo on the invitation of kollam king Ayanadikal Thiruvadikal of Venad kingdom arrived in the famed kollam port of kor-ke-ni-kollam (Tarshish) along with Mar Peroz (Proth) who was the Founder Bishop of Kodungallur (Musriz). Mar S(abo)r who is also called as Mar Abo lived his last years at Thevalakkara (Tarsish-a-palli) whom he founded in Syrian litergy after receiving the Tarsish-a-palli cheppadukal(Tharisapalli plates)written in Tamil Vatteluttu from kulshekara kings. His remains were buried in the Martha Mariam Orthodox Church at Thevalakara. This church which carries the tomb of Mar Sapor is at the ancient port of Tarshish in Thevalakkara(from Korekeni-kollam (sea pointed into inland or a creek) port at astamudi lake inside the neendakara basin of the Arabian sea)..Tharisapalli plates is signed by the Nestorian monks or traders, in Hebrew Pahlavi and Kufic languages indicating that the immigrants were Jews, Persians and Palestinians.
Kollam, the capital of Venad 9th to 12 century AD
The Malayalam Era named after Quilon began in 825 AD. Malayalam Era is called 'Kolla Varsham' after Kollam, because of the importance of Kollam in the 9th century A.D. It signified the independence of Malabar from the Cheraman Perumals. King Stanu Ravi Gupta of Later Chera dynasty, granted the Tharisapalli plates copper plate grants in 825 A.D. to Nestorian priest Mar S(abo)r Iso who he invited to kollam, transferring to the Tarsish Church and the community in the st. thomas tradition of Quilon, lands near the city with hereditament of low caste.
Merchant Soleyman of Siraf of Persia visited Malabar in the middle of the 9th century and found Quilon to be the only port in India touched by the huge Chinese ships on their way from Canton to the Persian Gulf. The rulers of Kollam (formerly called 'Desinganadu') ,then, also had trade relations with China and exchanged embassies. According to the records of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 913 AD), Quilon was their chief port of call and was given the name 'Mahlai' by them. The Chinese trade decreased about 900 AD and was again revived in the 13th century.
At 1291 John of Montecorvino a Franciscan Monk became a priest at Quilon. Friar Jordanus Catalini who arrived at 1321 effected a large scale Christian conversions and was appointed as the Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon at 1329.Friar Jordanus built a Church called St.Georges Church and wrote a book called Mirabilia Descripta.However after Giovanni de' Marignolliin 1353,the members of this Latin Church converted themselves to the Nestorian faith and when Portuguese arrived in 1498 only Nestorian Christianity existed in Kerala. Marco Polo, who visited China's Kublai Khan's court, on his return journey to Venice, traveld through Kollam and gave an interesting account of the flourishing port of Kollam (Coilum, as referred to by him) and its trade relations with China in the East and the Western countries. Chinnakada, (China-kada), the city center, was so named after the Chinese merchants. The increase in commercial activity resulted in establishment of flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam.
Marco Polo, the great Venetian traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublai Khan visited Kollam in 1293 A.D. on his return trip from China to Venice. He found Christians and Jews living in Coilum (Kollam). He also found merchants from China and Arabia. He has given a detailed account of Kollam in his writings, extracts of which are reproduced in the Travancore Manual. According to Ibn Batuta, Kollam was one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels, in the 14th century.
Kollam during Portuguese, Dutch and British conquests (16th to 18th centuries)
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center in Thangasseri, Kollam in 1502. Kollam became the centre of trade in pepper. In the wars with the Moors/Arabs that followed, the ancient church of St Thomas was destroyed. In 1517, the Portuguese built the St. Thomas Fort in Thangasseri. The fort was destroyed in the subsequent wars with the Dutch. The ruins of the Fort can still be seen in Thangasseri. In 1661 the Dutch took possession of the city. The remnants of the Dutch forts can be found at Thangasseri. In the 18th century Travancore conquered Kollam, followed by the British in 1795. Thangasseri remains today as an Anglo-Indian settlement. Many of the Anglo-Indian families migrated from this place and only a few remain. The Infant Jesus Church in Thangasseri stil remains as an old Portuguese-built church, as a reminder to the Portuguese rule of the area.
Kollam as part of Travancore
Velu Thampi Dalawa of Travancore, worked towards the improvement of the Kollam city. He helped build new markets and invited merchants and traders from Madras (now Chennai) and Tirunelveli to set up trade in Kollam. Kollam, to this day has a thriving business in cashew nuts, coir and spices.
Kollam, revenue district of Kerala (1949 onwards)
At the time of the integrating of Travancore and Cochin districts in 1949, Kollam was one of the three revenue divisions in the state. Later these three revenue divisions were converted into districts. But Shencottah taluka was merged with Madras state consequent to the implementation of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Now the district has a single revenue division with its headquarters at Kollam Taluk Cutcherry.
Kollam is bordered by Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts on north and Thiruvananthapuram district on south.
As of 2001 India census, Kollam had a population of 361,441. The density of population being 1037 persons per square kilometre. The sex ratio (the number of females per 1000 males) was 1070 during the census year of 2001. The district ranks sixth with respect to the population in the state. The city of Kollam ranks fourth in terms of population in Kerala. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Kollam has an average literacy rate of 91.47 %, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 80%. In Kollam, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Kollam Railway Station is considered to be one of the biggest railway stations in Kerala in terms of area after Shornur and Palakkad junctions. The junction will have a total of 8 platforms by the end of 2010 once the BG service picks up in Kollam - Punalur section. The district is covered by 132 km of railway tracks, of which 51 km are broad gauge and 81 km metre gauge. The metre gauge track is being converted to broad gauge under project Unigauge and is closed. The new BG line is expected to opened by March 2010. There are almost 22 railway stations of which 9 are on broad gauge line and 13, on the metre gauge line. Kollam is an important railway junction. The Thiruvananthapuram - Ernakulam (via Kottayam and Alappuzha) line passes through Kollam. Kollam is the terminal junction for Chenkotta - Kollam metre gauge line. Electrification of the Broad Gauge railway lines towards Thiruvananthapuram from Kayamkulam is complete.
Two railway lines passing through Kottarakkara (Chengannur -Kottarakkara - Trivandrum) and Punalur (Erumeli - Punalur - Trivandrum) have been proposed and await the survey.
Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) services are expected to start from Kollam to Ernakulam in 2010. A MEMU maintance shed in being constructed at Kollam Junction as part of the infrastructural development.
The district is well connected to other parts of Kerala and India through the National Highways 47, 220 and 208 and by the railway network. Kollam has a total 1552.096 km of roads. The National Highway 47 covers a distance of 57.4 km in the district. The National Highways NH 208 (Kollam - Chenkotta) and NH 220 (Kollam - Theni) originates from Kollam. The State Highway namely, Main Central Road (MC Road) and Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha (Main Eastern Highway) connects the district to other districts. Transport is provided by State owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private transport bus operators. Road transport is also supported by private taxis and autorickshaws also called autos..
The State water Transport Department operates boat services to West Kallada, Munroe Island and Alappuzha. The Alappuzha service attracts a lot of tourist attention. Double decker luxury boats are operated from Kollam to Allepy daily. The journey costs just Rs. 300. It will be an 8 hour enchanting experience. A full day onboard journey through the backwaters provides an opportunity to experience the natural way of life of the people around.
Luxury boats, operated by Government and private owners, operate from the main boat jetty during the tourist season. The West coast canal system, which starts from Thiruvananthapuram in the south and ends at Hosdurg in the north, passes through Kollam and Karunagappally taluks. The Thiruvananthapuram-Shornur canal, forms a part of the Thiruvananthapuram-Hosdurg system, runs a distance of about 62 km. The other canal systems include the Paravur Kayal, Kollam canal and Chavara canal.
Kollam Port (Thankasseri Port) is the second largest port in Kerala after Cochin port as per the current status (2010). The port is undergoing infrastructural development. It is expected that the port will be a bustling cargo port in the coming years. The port is located almost near to the heart of the city. Needakara and Shakthikulangara are twin fishing harbours. Neendakara is one of the busient fishing harours in South Kerala. Port operations are carried out through Neendakara as well.
Kollam like other districts in the state is moderately industralised. Some of the major employers in the public sector are Indian Rare Earth (IRE), Kerala Metals and Minerals Limited at Chavara; Union Electrical Industries (popularly known as the Meter Company) and Parvathi Spinning Mills at Kollam. Kundara was known as an Industrial area with Alumnium, Ceramics, Starch factories, but all are closed or on the verge of closing.
Techno Lodges in Kollam District
Small rural IT parks called Techno Lodges have been proposed at the village towns in Kollam district. Two techno lodges have already been opened at Perinad and Kadackal. Three more are expected to be opened shortly at Veliyam, Poothakulam and Anchal in the district.
Cashew Industry & Cashew Board
Cashew processing and coir production are the two most important sources of employment. Major share of employment in the private sector is provided by Cashew processing and exporting units. Cashew processing and sorting employs a large share of women workers who manually peel and sort the cashew into different categories according to their size. The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (KSCDC), Kollam, a Government Company, having 30 Cashew Factories and 20,000 employees in its rolls, is acting a pivot roll in this industry. Another important source of employment is tile manufacturing using clay.
It is expected that a Cashew Board will be set up at Kollam for the development of Cashew processing and exporting.
Kollam has its fair share of privately owned and state owned educational institutions. Institutions of education are affiliated to either the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), or the Kerala State Education Board.
Most private schools use English language as the medium of instruction whereas government run schools offer both English and Malayalam as a medium of instruction. After going through the 10+2 years of education students can continue with higher education with general or professional degree courses.
The major colleges in Kollam are Fatima Matha National College, Sree Narayana College , and Thangal Kunju Musaliar College, Sree Narayana College for Women, NSS college Kottiyam, Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering (TKMCE), Younus College of Engineering & Technology (YCET), TKM Institute of Technology and Management (TIM), College of Engineering Perumon. Most of the colleges offering Higher education are affiliated to Kerala University.
Engineering Colleges in Kollam City
Medical Colleges in Kollam district
Arts & Science Colleges in Kollam City
Schools in Kollam
St.Aloysius Higher Secondary English School is one of the Oldest and well-reputed school in Kollam Corporation built in the year 1900. It was started by Irish Brothers and since then the school had run with its own name of grace and decorum. The school boasts of high strength of students and good alumunus in the District, both in Merit and Standard among other Government aided schools. Alumnus include the Doctors, Engineers, IT Professionals, Politicians and scientists.
Infant Jesus Anglo Indian Boys' High School, Thangassery Kollam is one of the oldest school which has rich tradition and has a good link with the history. This school is the only institution which introduces the language English to India in its original style. It was started by the Anglo Indian community (people who stayed back when British left India) to educate their children. It was later opened to the public in and around Kollam. It is a chirstain minority institution. The school attained its heights only because of its eminent principals. Fr. Ferdinand Kayavil was one of them who lifted the school to this respectable position. His management skill and knowledge about how to conduct the educational programme is remarkable.
Trinity Lyceum School, Kollam, is one of the popular schools in kollam. It is managed by Bishop of kollam and Mr.John as its head. Infant Jesus school is another popular school with its graduates making it to the top colleges nationwide. The school has produced professionals well recognized in Research and corporate industry. Infant Jesus is also managed by the Bishop of Kollam , St Aloysius Higher Secondary School, Vimala Hridaya Girls' High School, Sree Narayana Trust Central School, St. Jude Higher Secondary School Mukhathala, Divine Public School (CBSE Senior Secondary) Puthoor, Kristhu Raj Higher Secondary School, Mount Carmel Convent Anglo-Indian Girls High School are the famous schools in Kollam.
ST.Joseph's convent school at Kollam is the school without Government Aid & having maximum students in the world (over 12,000 students) and The state-run school is the Govt. Model Higher Secondary School For Boys are the oldest schools in the city.
Sree Narayana Public School, in Kollam, in the Indian state of Kerala, was established in 1987 under the management of the Sree Narayana Educational Society. The society is a voluntary, social and cultural organisation, the members of which are drawn from all walks of life and who comprise persons who believe in the teachings of the great Gnani of action, Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana was a philosopher, social reformer, writer and humanist.
Mata Amritandamayi Ashram at Vallikavu in Karunagapaaly Taluk, Malanada Duriyodana temple at Poruvazhy Panchayth near Kadampnad, Kottarakara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram (Temple), situated at Kottarakara is about 30 km from Kollam city. The famous temple at Kottarakara is dedicated to Lord Vigneswara (Ganapathy), Sree Indilayappan Temple, Marayikkodu is near Kottarakara, Oachira Parabrahma Temple, Chittumala Durgadevi Temple, Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple, Puthenkulangara Devi Kshethram at Keralapuram, Kadavoor Mahadeva Temple, Sasthamkotta Ayyappa Temple, Sakthikulangara Sree Dharmasastha Temple, Ayyappa Temple Kadappakkada, Ashramom Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Vadayattukotta Unichakkam Veedu Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Mukhathala Murari Temple, Thirumullavaram Mahavishnu Temple, Anandavaleeswaram Temple, Mulamkadakam Devi Temple, Vishnathu Kavu Devi Temple, Thalavoor Sri Durga Devi Temple, Pattazhy Devi Temple, Kundara Elampalloor Devi Temple, Pazhangalam Sree Dharma Sastha Temple , Kollorvila Devi Temple, Umayanalloor Sri Balasubramania Swamy Temple, Vadakkevila Nadamveedu Sri Bhagavathy Temple, Paravoor Puttingal Devi Temple, Kattayil Palakkottu Bhagavathy Temple, Kattayil Kavil Bhagavathi Temple, Ammachiveedu Muhurthi Temple, Kottarakkulam Sree Mahaganapathy Kovil, Kollam, Kollam Puthiyayakavu Devi, Koonambaikulam Devi Temple, Ummannoor Anchu Moorthy Temple, Pozhikkara Devi Temple (Paravur - Pozhikkara), Palathra Sree Durga Bhavathy temple, Ammachiveedu Muhurthi, Sree Daivappura Devi Temple, Near Prathibha Hospital, Prathibha Jn., Kadappakkada, Kollam Lord Siva & Parvathy in one Sree Kovil this Prathishata is rare in south India., Mampuzha Sree Indilayappan Kshethram (Kottamkara), Pulipra Devi temple etc are among the important Hindu temples in Kollam.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math is situated at Parayakadavu in this district, about 20 km from the Kollam city & 10 km from sastam kotta fresh water lake,the only one in south India.
Some of the famous mosques are Valiyapalli at Jonakappuram, Chinnakada juma Masjid, Juma-'Ath Palli at Kollurvila, Juma-'Ath Palli at Thattamala, Muslim Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva, Kalamala Palli at Kalamala, Muthirapparambu Palli at Muthirapparambu and Siyavathummodu Palli at Kilikolloor. The Jonakappuram (Jonaka Mappila Mappila=Muslim) Valiya Palli is believed to have been reconstructed on the remnants of the ancient mosque built by Malik ibn Dinar Malik Bin Deenar 1400 years ago. This is second mosque erected on Indian soil, after the famous Cheraman Juma Masjid Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungalloor. Ibn Batuta describes this mosque in his travelogue. However, it was destroyed by sea erosion and has been rebuilt several times. The 300 year old Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva houses the mortal remains of a Sufi saint-Syed Abdur Rahman Jifri in its premises. The Karbala Maidan and the adjacent Makani mosque serves as the Eid gah for the city's Muslims. In 1830,a Muslim Jamedar in the British army and 80 other Muslim soldiers rose in rebellion at this ground,alleging religious persecution.The rebellion was crushed and the leader sent to gallows. His martyrdom was compared to that of Imam Husayn at Karbala in Iraq and ever since it has been known after Karbala. The Pattala Palli(soldier's mosque)opposite the FCI, was built in 1898 for the Hanafiite Muslim soldiers stationed in the city.
The Apostle Thomas founded one of his "seven and a half churches" in Kollam. They were family or community churches like the one in korinth and was immersed in vedic hinduism as neither Holy Bible was codified nor cross was acknowledged as the symbol of Christian faith in the first century AD. The church founded by the Apostle at the ancient Kollam port of Tarsish (thevalakara) was re-constructed three times. The second reorganising of the Tarshish Christian Nambuthiri community which was still inside Vedic Vaishnavism was in the 4th century. A Persian cross brought from a Red sea port was erected in accordance with the Nicaea sunnahodose the first ecumenical council of the Christian church, meeting in ancient Nicaea (now İznik, Tur.). It was called by the emperor Constantine I, an unbaptized catechumen, or neophyte, who presided over the opening session and took part in the discussions declaration making the cross the symbol of Christian faith the World over for the first time.In 825 AD Mar S(abo)r ministered here reconstructing the Tarsish-a -palli at Thevalakkara for the third time as the first church founded by him with Syrian liturgy after receiving the Tarshish-a-palli plates from Kulshekara kings which in reality laid the foundation of Christianity as a religion in Kerala outside vedic vaishnavism.Mar Abo's disciple Kadmattathu Achan Nambuthiri founded more than hundered Devi Temples.
Kadeesha Orthodox Church, Kallada Orthodox Valiyapalli, Kundara Orthodox Valiyapalli, Kundara Arumurikkada St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral , St. Casimir's Church, Kadavur; St. John's Church, Eravipuram; Shrine of Our Lady of Velankanni, Tuyyam; Trinity Lyceum, Infant Jesus Shrine, Vadi; St. Joseph Shrine, Perinad; St. Francis Church, Koduvila (Kallada); Amalotbhava Matha Church, Pullichira (Kottiyam),St. Joseph Church, Kureepuzha Kollam, St. John Britto Church, Sakthikulangara; St. Sebastians Church, Neendakara; St. Thomas C.S.I. Church, Pattathanam; St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Sastri Junction, St. Antony's Church at Tillery, St. Sebastian's Church, Chemmakkad, St. Thomas Marthoma Church,Thevally. and Marthamarian Orthodox church, Thevelakara Orthodox Church(where Mar Abo, guru of kadamattahu kathanar, also known as Mar Sabor taking his eternal rest.this church constructed on 4th century and received tharissapally cheppadukal,which even started kollam era)
Kadakkal in Kollam is known for Kadakkal Devi Kshetram, Kadakkaldevi temple comes alive during Thiruvathira festival held in March, and is one of the prime festivals of the region. The temple festivities attract large crowds from various parts of the state. Kadakkal amma or goddess is considered as a very powerful deity.
The Mahavishnu Temple, believed to have been consecrated by Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala. One will be amazed to see two idols perching in the same sanctum - a bizarre feature not usually found in Indian Temples - an idol of Vishnu facing east and Shiva facing west.
Panmana Asramam has been acknowledged to be a unique and sacred centre of learning and service which has had the divine presence of Sree Vidhyadhiraja Chattambi swami and goddess sree maha tripurasundari devi. Panmana ashram is located 18 km north of Kollam city.
Arinalloor Areekkavu bhagavathi temple founded by the legendary kadamattathu achan nambuthiri who was at Thevalakara as the disciple of Mar abo is located in Thevalakkara panchayath on the banks of the Astamudi Lake & 5 km away from NH 47 at Neendakara.
Some other important and famous temples in nearby districts of Kollam are Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, Attukal temple at Thiruvananthapuram district. Sabarimala temple, Aranmula temple, Pandalam Valiyakoyikkal temple at Pathanamthitta district. Chettikulangara temple, Mavelikkara, Ambalappuzha Sreekrishna temple at Alappuzha district.
The famous hospitals in Kollam are District Hospital, Kerala E.N.T. Research Foundation (KERF), Thevally , N.S. Memorial Institute of Medical Sciences, Sanker's Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Nair's Hospital, Upasana Hospital, Benziger Hospital, Kundara LMS Hospital, Kottiyam Holy Cross Hospital, Amrita Ayurveda Medical College, Oachira Parabrahma Hospital, Kottarakkara KNS Hospital, Kollam ESI Hospital, Cherumoodu Amrita Ayurveda Hospital etc.
You can also reach here by bus from big cities like Kozhikode, Mangalore, Kochi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore.
Kollam is well connected to other cities Kochi, Kozhikode, Madras, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai by road.National Highway(NH47) which is coming from Ernakulam(Cochin Or Kochi)is going via Kollam to Trivandrum. NH 47 is passing through different places in Kollam like Karunagappally, Chavara, Kollam,Kottiyam and Chathannoor.
Kollam town is sandwiched between the Ashtamudi Lake and the Arabian Sea and,therefore, Kollam is well known for its seafood cuisine as well as backwater cuisine.
Drink,booze but stay well with in control.
The Train journey from Kollam to Shencottah/Tenkasi goes through the western ghats section of Kerala, a picturesque region where the Train pass chugging through the tunnel and twisty rail routes. At present the route from Kollam to Shencottah is under broad gauge conversion.
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Kollam (Malayalam:കൊല്ലം ) (known to the Portuguese as Quilon, pronounced koy-lon) is a city and a municipal corporation in Kollam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is 71 Kilometres north of the state capital Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum). It is also the headquarters of the Kollam District, one among the 14 districts in the state of Kerala]]. To the south is Thiruvananthapuram district, to the north is Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha, to the east is Tamil Nadu and to the west by the Arabian Sea.