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Kollam most picturesque city that holds pristine beaches with golden sands, exquisite monuments and temples speaking volumes of a bygone era, breathtaking eco-spots like Thenmala and Palaruvi, Trekking in Shenthurney Wildlife sanctuary, splendor of the Ashtamudi Lake attracting some of the rare breeds of exotic birds, House Boats and tempting taste of Cashew Nuts. Perhaps no other destination can offer it all like Kollam. Kerala is “God’s own Country” and Kollam or Quilon is “God’s own City”, “Kollam” (Quilon) is famous for its Cashew, Coir, Marine Products & Spices. Kollam is a coastal town in South Kerala with Arabian Sea to its west and Western Ghats to its far east and spreads on the banks of beautiful Ashtamudi Backwater. Many Tourist attractions like Beach, Backwaters, Palaruvi Waterfall, Thenmala Eco-Toursim Centre and Sacred places like Matha Amrithanandamai’s Asramom, Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple and Oachira Parabrahma Temple, Munore Island Visit, Boat Cruising to Alleppy, Paravoor/Konni Elephant Centre.
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- Anjengo Fort
- Papanasham Beach
- Ponnumthuruthu Island
- Shivagiri Mutt
- Janardhana Swamy Temple
- Light House
- Varkala Kathakali Centre
- Kappil Beach & Back water
The Anjengo fort was built by the Portuguese in 1695 and is located at Anjengo, a land sandwiched in between the sea and the backwaters. The fort was originally built as a depot to store goods. Later the British captured this fort and they used it for Military purposes. Thats why unlike other forts in Kerala, this fort dont have a formidable look. The main attraction in this fort is the masonry canal built by the British to transport goods and men to Alappuzha and Kollam , two important ports at this region. The canals still exist in a state of disrepair. There are a few tombstones enshrined in the fort. The oldest of them dates back to AD 1704. It is believed as the graveyards of some early inhabitants lived in this fort. The fort lies 12 kilometers south of Varkala on the Varkala- Kadakkavur route. One can enter the fort in between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. The fort opens everyday except Sundays and Public holidays. The fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
Papanasham Beach : [10 minutes from varkala,2km] this serenely beautiful locationalong indias western coast gaurds is an important Hindu Pilgrmage centre.A dip in the papanasham is considered as Holy.Its an ideal place for sunset viewing. The name 'Papanasham' in local language means 'sin destroyer'. A long sandy beach, towering red laterite cliffs and soothing mineral springs put Varkala in the must visit category. Varkala is less crowded and cheaper when compared with the Kovalam International beach. Thats why the Beach attracts a lot of tourists now. Papanasam is a perfect place to watch the sunset or relax gazing at the horizon. The area is covered with coconut palms and is a beautiful place. The Varkala beach also has some religious significance. Devotees used to come here to drain the mortal remains of their dead relatives. Consigning the ashes of the dead in the papanasham water and a dip in the sea is considered as sacred. According to Indian Mythology, one-day sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his ‘Valkkalam’ (valkkalam is the dress made up of bark of tree used by the sages) and the place where it landed got the name Varkala. He advised the mendicants to go there and pray sitting on the beach. Thus the beach named as Papanasham, which in local language means the ‘redemption from sins’. This place is a hugely visited religious center in South Kerala.
A delightful gateway sorrounded by the Anjengo Backwaters [12 km from varkala ],this uninhabited isle is accessible by boat from the makeshift jetty at the nearby Nedunganda Village. A 100 year old Siva Parvathy Temple.,rebuilt a decade back,is situated here and the entire island is temple property.The original temple is believed to be 100 years old. The legend behind the name of the island is that, the queens of Travancore family used to visit the temple and they used to hide their gold Jeweleries on the island to keep them safe. The name Ponnumthuruthu in local language means 'island made of gold'. This beautiful place is a very fine outing spot.
The Mutt is located 3 kilometers from the town and was the final resting place of Kerala's renowned saint and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, who preached the 'One Caste, One Religion and One God for man' slogan. Guru is one of the prime saints in India who fought his entire life against the social inequality seen here at Kerala. He found the institution SNDP for the up fitment of socially backward castes. He built the monastery in 1904 and died here at 1928. The monastery is located on a land include 200 acres. The Guru's old residence lies lower down the monastery. This small house displays some of his personal belongings. There is a also a small temple here dedicated to Sarada or Goddess Saraswathi. It is said that the Guru himself installed the idol here. The monastery permits visits from 5.30 am to noon and from 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm.
Janardhana Swamy Temple
The Janardhana Temple at Varkala, dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu is believed to be 2000 years old. The temple is located at the entrance to the Papanasham Beach road. The temple is one of the main religious shrines in this region. The temple is a must visit place because it is one of the finest example of rich artistic beauty. The Bell here, belongs to the 17th century is a main attraction here. It is believed that the bell was presented by a Dutch Ship Captain. The temple opens for worship from 4.00 am to 12.00 pm and from 5.00 am to 8.00 pm. The temple permits only Hindus.
The 130 feet tall lighthouse here at Varkala was built by the English East India Company in 1684. The lighthouse offers panoramic view of the surrounding areas including the Arabian Sea, the backwaters and the town etc. This is also a favorite outing spot.
The center organizes Kathakali performances for tourists almost every evening at the center. The show starts with the make up section, where one can watch the time consuming, elaborate Kathakali make up. The art form Kathakali have a position in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the performing art having the longest make up section. The center also conducts Mohiniattam performances. The center is located at the town.
The beautiful Kappil Beach is located on the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Kappil River and this significant geographical position makes this place a fantastic outing spot in this region. The Kappil beach is an ideal place for sunset viewing and evening walks while the Kappil river offer tranquil cruise through the waters. The Priyadarshini Boat Club under the District Tourism Promotion Council offers boating through backwaters. The beach is located 8 kilometers north of Varkala on the way to Kollam.
Varkala: [45 km from thiruvananthapuram,2hrs] A seaside destination,red laterite cliffs rise majestically from coastline.The famed papanasham Beach ,believed to wash away all sins and impurities ,is a paradise for those who love sun,sand and the surf,serene backwaters,natural mineral springs and secluded coves makes this place really special.A century old tunnel is yet another land mark.
Varkala is the only other place in Kerala having a beach resort atmosphere and also is the only place in southern Kerala where one can find cliffs adjacent to the Arabian sea, Varkala is a quiet, tranquil beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand and rocky cliffs. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically raise are a scene typical of Varkala.