Kollam is a city in the state of Kerala, on India's Malabar Coast. It’s known as a trade hub and for its beaches, like lively Kollam and secluded Thirumullavaram. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum has artifacts tracing the history of the police force. Nearby, Ashtamudi Lake is a gateway to the Kerala backwaters, a network of waterways rich with vegetation. The striped 1902 Tangasseri Lighthouse has ocean views.
The heart land of Kollam is naturally veined by the Ashtamudi lake, a massive, multi-branched water body, which is also a popular boating attraction for tourists. This and the Kollam canal cutting through the city give Kollam a place of prominence in the waterway systems of the country. A number of islands of varying sizes beautifully spot the vast expanse of the lake. The city is graced by beaches where people go to spend quiet evenings. Kollam also has a considerably large forest cover on its eastern side making home for several eco tourism projects like Shenduruni, Thenmala, Palaruvi etc.
Kollam City boasts of a long history of political, commercial and cultural importance having found mention in several ancient travellers’ accounts. With a varied colonial past under the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, Kollam has locations of historical importance like the Thangasseri light house, the St. Thomas Fort and cemetery built by the Portuguese, Thevally Palace, Cheenakkottaram etc. Besides, it also is the site of several old buildings constructed by the Travancore kings (its rulers during the pre-Independence times) in a variety of architectural styles, where many government offices still function.
Kollam has been the centre of cashew industry in Kerala from the time of the Portuguese in 16th c. Having hundreds of working cashew factories in the district, Kollam still continues to be the largest processed cashew exporter in India. Neendakara and Thangasseri, the two fishing harbours and ports in Kollam, support a thriving marine industry providing a variety of employment and livelihood to people in large numbers.
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