Kollam was formerly called Nelcynda and Thondis or tyndis. During the rule of the chera monarchy in southern Kerala, Kollam was the focal point of trade. Today, Kollam is a major business and commercial centre in the central Travancore region of Kerala. Kollam is the fourth largest city in Kerala and is known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing.
The city lies on the shores of Ashtamudi Lake. It is the southern gateway to the Kerala Backwaters of Kerala and is a prominent tourist destination. The major export items from Kollam in those days included spices, pearls, diamonds, timber and silk among others. The Neendakara harbor is the most important fishing center with largest quantity of fish landings in the state.
Situated about 80 kms from Punalur is an important pilgrim center. The Sastha temple here, situated amidst dense forest. The idol of Sastha is supposed to have been installed several centuries before the Christian Era.
Situated ,32 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam Alappuzha National Highway and on the boundary of Kollam district, is a unique pilgrim center. The peculiarity of the temple here is that there is no temple building as such nor is there any idol. All classes of people worship the presiding deity the parabrahmam. It is also an important handicraft center where fancy articles of screw pine mats are manufactured.
Palaruvi Water Falls
The famous waterfall in Kollam District is situated at Palaruvi near Aryankavu, Kollam - Sencottah NH 208. Season to visit the places is from June to January.
Sasthamcottah is an attractive village situated about 19 kms. from Kollam Town. It is a beauty spot and a centre of pilgrimage. The extensive freshwater lake here, is said to be the biggest of its kind in Kerala. Water supply to the Kollam town is met by purifying the water from this lake.