Located 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is another coastal district of Kerala. One of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast, Kollam was once the port of international spice trade. 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. The district which is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.
This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18th century. The Thangasseri lighthouse is open to visitors from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. There are buses at 15 minute intervals from Kollam town (5 km from Kollam town).
This secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre and has frequent bus connections to the town (6 km north of Kollam town).
Just 23 km from Kollam, Alumkadavu is half way on the route to Alappuzha from Kollam. This quiet little backwater village in Karunagapally town is famed for its boat building yard. It is here that the gigantic kettuvallams (cargo crafts of rural Kerala) were built. Today the kettuvallams which were long replaced by modern means of transport, have been converted into houseboats.