Known during the British era as Quilon, this coastal seaport city has been the venue of much warfare between local rulers as well as between European colonial nations. In the ancient past and medieval era, Kollam was a busy commercial center attracting the Chinese, and other nationalities.
Europeans have been establishing trading posts in southern Kerala, near Kollam and the ruins of their constructions can be seen still now at some places.
The potential attractions in Kollam district are the following.
The Portuguese built a fort at Thankasserry about 3 km away from Kollam town after 1500. Later when the Dutch arrived, they drove out the former from Kerala forcing them to seek asylum in Goa. A lighthouse was constructed here to give guidance to the European ships that used to arrive at the trading stations. This locality is also a center of Anglo- Indian community.
- Thenmala Eco- Tourism Park
The beautiful landscape and vegetation in the eastern regions of Kollam district, is enjoyable and facilities have been created at Thenmala, about 66 km away from Kollam. There is a dam here and the reservoir is now used to attract tourists who want to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. There are thick forests and plantations, providing green cover to the landscape. Eco-Tourism is promoted here.
- Paalaruvi Waterfalls
The southern tip of the Western Ghats in Kerala has several waterfalls, as mountain streams flow down to the western plains. During rainy season, the waterfalls create a mystique atmosphere around them. One of the most attractive waterfalls in the mountainous region of Kollam district is known as 'Paalaruvi'. The literal meaning of this name coined by some imaginative poetic ancestor is "steam of milk" or 'milky stream'. People who saw this waterfall must have felt the same and the name became established. Looking at it from a distance, it must have looked as if milk was flowing down. This waterfall is located some 75km away from Kollam. Water of the stream is falling down from a height of about 300 feet, causing it to glitter in sunshine when there is plenty of water.
- Thirumullavaaram Beach
Though Kerala has a coastline of about 550 km from south to north only a few places are frequented by local people. One such place, which has become a favorite picnic spot, is ‘Thirumullavaaram’ beach, some 6km from Kollam city. It is crowded when weather permits. The beach is sandy and the environment is great to enjoy the beauties of nature.