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Kollam (IPA: [koɭɭəm]) or Quilon (Coulão), formerly Desinganadu, is an old seaport and city on the Laccadive Sea coast of the Indian state of Kerala. The city is on the banks Ashtamudi Lake. Kollam has had a strong commercial reputation since the days of the Phoenicians and Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was mentioned by Ibn Battuta in the 14th century as one of the five Indian ports he had seen during the course of his twenty-four year travels. Desinganadu's rajas exchanged embassies with Chinese rulers while there was a flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. In the 9th Century, on his way to Canton, China, Persian merchant Sulaiman al-Tajir found Kollam to be the only port in India visited by huge Chinese junks. Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublai Khan in 1275, visited Kollam and other towns on the west coast, in his capacity as a Chinese mandarin.
|Etymology: Black pepper: kola ("black pepper")|
|Nickname(s): Prince of Arabian sea
Cashew Capital of the World
Location of the city within Kollam Metropolitan Area
|Founded by||Maruvan Sabrisho|
Central Zone-1, Central Zone-2, Eravipuram, Vadakkevila, Sakthikulangara, Kilikollur, Thrikkadavoor
|• Body||Kollam Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||V. Rajendrababu (CPI(M))|
|• City council|
|• MP||N.K Premachandran|
|• City Police Commissioner||Ajeetha Begum IPS|
|• Metropolis||73.03 km2 (28.20 sq mi)|
|Area rank||5 (only Corporation area)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Rank||4 (49th IN)|
|• Density||5,936/km2 (15,370/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Kollamite, Kollathukaaran, Kollamkaran|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||Kollam: KL-02|
V. Nagam Aiya in his Travancore State Manual records that in 822 AD two East Syriac bishops Mar Sabor and Mar Proth, settled in Quilon with their followers. Two years later the Malabar Era began (824 AD) and Quilon became the premier city of the Malabar region ahead of Travancore and Cochin. Kollam Port was founded by Mar Sabor at Tangasseri in 825 as an alternative to reopening the inland sea port of Kore-ke-ni Kollam near Backare (Thevalakara), which was also known as Nelcynda and Tyndis to the Romans and Greeks and as Thondi to the Tamils.
Kollam is a coastal city on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake that took the title God's Own Country without much demur. The Ashtamudi Lake lie about 71 kilometres (44 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. The city hosts the administrative offices of Kollam district and is a prominent trading city for the state. The proportion of females to males in Kollam city is second highest among the 500 most populous cities in India. Kollam is the least polluted city in India.
Kollam is an ancient trading town – trading with Romans, Chinese, Arabs and other Orientals – mentioned in historical citations dating back to Biblical times and the reign of Solomon, connecting with Red Sea ports of the Arabian Sea (supported by a find of ancient Roman coins). There was also internal trade through the Punalur Pass connecting the ancient town to Tamil Nadu. The overland trade in pepper by bullock cart and the trade over the waterways connecting Allepey and Cochin established trade linkages that enabled it to grow into one of the earliest Indian industrial townships. The rail links later established to Tamil Nadu supported still stronger trade links. The factories processing marine exports and the processing and packaging of cashewnuts extended its trade across the globe.
Kollam is the fourth most populous city in Kerala(the new population is taken as city agglomeration) and the fifth largest in incorporated area. It is known for cashew processing and coir manufacturing. Ashtamudi Lake is considered the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is a prominent tourist destination at Kollam. The Kollam urban area includes suburban towns such as Paravur in the south, Kundara in the east and Karunagapally in the north of the city. Other important towns in the city suburbs are Eravipuram, Kottiyam, Kannanallur and Chavara.
Kollam appeared as Palombe in Mandeville's Travels, where he claimed it contained a Fountain of Youth. During the later stages of the rule of the Chera monarchy in Kerala, Kollam emerged as the focal point of trade and politics. Kollam continues to be a major business and commercial centre in the Southern Kerala.
In 825 CE, the Malayalam calendar, or Kollavarsham, was created in Kollam at meetings held in the city. The present Malayalam calendar is said to have begun with the re-founding of the town, which was rebuilt after its destruction by a fire. The name Kollam is believed to have been derived from the Sanskrit word Kollam, meaning pepper.
As the ancient city of Quilon, Kollam was a flourishing port during the Chera dynasty (c. 3rd century BC–12th century), and later became the capital of the independent Venad or Kingdom of Quilon on its foundation in c. 825. Kollam was considered one of the four early entrepots in global sea trade during the 13th century, along with Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, the Chinese city of Quanzhou, and Malacca in the Malaysian archipelago
Along with Pattanam (Muziris), Quilon was an ancient seaport on the Malabar Coast of India from the early centuries before the Christian era. The city had a high commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and Ancient Romans. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) mentions Greek ships anchored at Muziris and Nelcynda. There was also a land route over the Western Ghats. Spices, pearls, diamonds, and silk were exported to Egypt and Rome from these ports. Pearls and diamonds came to the Chera Kingdom from Ceylon and the southeastern coast of India, then known as the Pandyan Kingdom. Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek Nestorian sailor, in his book the Christian Topography who visited the Malabar coast in 550, mentions an enclave of Christian believers in Male (Chera Kingdom). He writes, "In the island of Tabropane (Ceylon), there is a church of Christians, and clerics and faithful. Likewise at Male, where the pepper grows, and in the farming community of Kalliana (Kalliankal at Nillackal) there is also a bishop consecrated in Persia in accordance with the Nicea sunnahadose of 325 AD." The Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus, who died in 660 AD, mentions Kollam in his letter to Simon, Metropolitan of Persia.
Capital of Venad (9th to 12th centuries)
The port at Kollam, then known as Quilon, was founded in 825 by the Nestorian Christians Mar Sabor and Mar Proth with sanction from Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal, the king of the independent Venad or State of Quilon, a feudatory under the Chera kingdom.
It is believed that Mar Sapor Iso also proposed that the Chera king create a new seaport near Kollam in lieu of his request that he rebuild the almost vanished inland seaport at Kollam (kore-ke-ni) near Backare (Thevalakara), also known as Nelcynda and Tyndis to the Romans and Greeks and as Thondi to the Tamils, which had been without trade for several centuries because the Cheras were overrun by the Pallavas in the 6th century, ending the spice trade from the Malabar coast. This allowed the Nestorinas to stay in the Chera kingdom for several decades and introduce the Christian faith among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites and Nair sub castes in the St. Thomas tradition, with the Syrian liturgy as a basis for the Doctrine of the Trinity, without replacing the Sanskrit and Vedic prayers. The Tharisapalli plates presented to Maruvan Sapor Iso by Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal granted the Christians the privilege of overseeing foreign trade in the city as well as control over its weights and measures in a move designed to increase Quilon's trade and wealth. The two Christians were also instrumental in founding Christian churches with Syrian liturgy along the Malabar coast, distinct from the ancient Vedic Shivism propounded by Adi Shankara in the early 9th century among the Nampoothiri Vaishnavites and Nair Sub Castes, as Malayalam was not accepted as a liturgical language until the early 18th century.
Thus began the Malayalam Era, known as Kolla Varsham after the city, indicating the importance of Kollam in the 9th century. The Persian merchant Soleyman of Siraf visited Malabar in the 9th century and found Quilon to be the only port in India used by the huge Chinese ships as their transhipment hub for goods on their way from China to the Persian Gulf. The rulers of Kollam (formerly called 'Desinganadu') had trade relations with China and exchanged embassies. According to the records of the Tang dynasty (618–913), Quilon was their chief port of call before the 7th century. The Chinese trade decreased about 600 and was again revived in the 13th century. Mirabilia Descripta by Bishop Catalani gives a description of life in Kollam, which he saw as the Catholic bishop-designate to Kollam, the oldest Catholic diocese in India. He also gives true and imaginary descriptions of life in 'India the Major' in the period before Marco Polo visited the city.
Portuguese, Dutch and British conquests (16th to 18th centuries)
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center in Tangasseri, Kollam in 1502, which became the centre of their trade in pepper. In the wars with the Moors/Arabs that followed, the ancient church (temple) of St Thomas Tradition at Thevalakara was destroyed. In 1517 the Portuguese built the St. Thomas Fort in Thangasseri, which was destroyed in the subsequent wars with the Dutch. In 1661 the Dutch East India Company took possession of the city. The remnants of the old Portuguese Fort, later renovated by the Dutch, can be found at Thangasseri. In the 18th century Travancore conquered Kollam, followed by the British in 1795. Thangasseri remains today as an Anglo-Indian settlement, though few Anglo-Indians remain. The Infant Jesus Church in Thangasseri, an old Portuguese-built church, remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule of the area.
Battle of Quilon
The Battle of Quilon was fought in 1809 between a troop of the Indian kingdom of Travancore led by the then Dalawa (prime minister) of Travancore, Velu Thampi Dalawa and the British East India Company led by Colonel Chalmers at Cantonment Maidan in Quilon. The battle lasted for only six hours and was the result of the East India Company's invasion of Quilon and their garrison situated near the Cantonment Maidan. The company forces won the battle while all the insurrectionist who participated in the war were court-martialed and subsequently hanged at the maidan.
Excavation at Kollam Port seabed
Excavations are going on at Kollam Port premises since February 2014 as the team has uncovered arrays of antique artifacts, including Chinese porcelain and coins. A Chinese team with the Palace Museum, a team from India with Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) are jointly working at the Kollam Port site for the treasure hunt. The archaeologists and historians said that the discovered coins and artifacts had the potential to tell the story of a bygone India-China link, and even strong trade links of Kollam city with other ancient empires.
Kollam city is bordered by the panchayats of Neendakara and Thrikkaruva to the north, Mayyanad to the south, and Thrikkovilvattom and Kottamkara to the east, and by the Laccadive Sea to the west. Ashtamudi Lake is in the heart of the city. The city is about 71 kilometres (44 mi) from Thiruvananthapuram, 142 kilometres (88 mi) from Kochi and 350 kilometres (220 mi) from Kozhikode.
Two of the major waterways in the district are the Kallada and Ithikkara rivers. The Kallada empties into Ashtamudi Lake, while the Ithikkara runs to Paravur Kayal. The Palaruvi Falls and Kumbhavurutty Waterfalls are also important geographical attractions in Kollam district. In March 2016, IndiaTimes, one of the leading online news media, selected Kollam as one of the 9 least polluted cities on earth to which anybody can relocate.
Kollam experiences a tropical climate with little seasonal variation in temperatures. December-March is the dry season with less than 60mm of rain in each of those months. April-November is the wet season, with considerably more rain than during December-March.
|Climate data for Kollam|
|Average high °C (°F)||31
|Average low °C (°F)||23
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||18
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1||2||4||8||11||21||19||16||12||12||8||3||117|
As of the 2011[update] India census, Kollam city had a population of 349,033 with a density of 5,900 persons per square kilometre. The sex ratio (the number of females per 1,000 males) was 1,112, the highest in the state. The district of Kollam ranked seventh in population in the state while the city of Kollam ranked fourth. As of 2010[update] Kollam had an average literacy rate of 93.77%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy stood at 95.83%, and female at 91.95%. In Kollam, 11% of the population was under six years of age. In May 2015, Government of Kerala have decided to expand City Corporation of Kollam by merging Thrikkadavoor panchayath. So the area will become 73.03 square kilometres (28.20 sq mi) with a total city population of 384,892.
Malayalam is the most spoken language while Tamil is well understood in the city. There are also small communities of Anglo-Indians, Konkani Brahmins, Telugu Chetty and Bengali migrant labourers settled in the city. For ease of administration, Kollam Municipal Corporation is divided into six zones with local zonal offices for each one.
- Central Zone – 1, Kollam Municipal Corporation
- Central Zone – 2 (Headquartered at Cantonment), Kollam Municipal Corporation
- Sakthikulangara Zone, Kollam Municipal Corporation
- Vadakkevila Zone, Kollam Municipal Corporation
- Kilikollur Zone, Kollam Municipal Corporation
- Eravipuram Zone, Kollam Municipal Corporation
Kollam City is a Municipal Corporation with elected Councillors from its 55 divisions. The Mayor, elected from among the councillors, generally represents the political party holding a majority. The Corporation Secretary heads the office of the Corporation.
The police administration of the city falls under the Kollam City Police Commissionerate which is headed by an IPS (Indian Police Service)cadre officer and he reports to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Thiruvananthapuram Range. The police administration comes under the State Home Department of the Government of Kerala. Kollam City is divided into three subdivisions, Karunagappally, Kollam and Chathannoor, each under an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
With a total urban population of 1,187,158 and 349,033 as city corporation's population, Kollam is the fourth most populous city in the state and 49th on the list of the most populous urban agglomerations in India. As of 2011[update] the city's urban growth rate of 154.59% was the second highest in the state. The Metropolitan area of Kollam includes Uliyakovil, Adichanalloor, Adinad, Ayanivelikulangara, Chavara, Elampalloor, Eravipuram (Part), Kallelibhagom, Karunagappally, Kollam, Kottamkara, Kulasekharapuram, Mayyanad, Meenad, Nedumpana, Neendakara, Oachira, Panayam, Panmana, Paravur, Perinad, Poothakkulam, Thazhuthala, Thodiyoor, Thrikkadavoor, Thrikkaruva, Thrikkovilvattom, and Vadakkumthala.
The Kerala Government has decided to develop the City of Kollam as a "Port City of Kerala". Regeneration of the Maruthadi-Eravipuram area including construction of facilities for fishing, tourism and entertainment projects will be implemented as part of the project
Industry and economy
The city life of Kollam has changed greatly in the last previous decade. In terms of economic performance and per capita income, Kollam city is in 5th position from India and third in Kerala. Kollam is famous as a city with excellent export background. 5 star, 4 star and 3 star hotels, multi-storied shopping malls, branded jewelleries, textile showrooms and car showrooms have started operations in the city and suburbs. Kollam was the third city in Kerala (after Kozhikode and Kochi) to adopt the shopping mall culture. Kollam district ranks first in livestock wealth in the state. Downtown Kollam is the main CBD of Kollam city.
Dairy farming is fairly well developed. Also there is a chilling plant in the city. Kollam is an important maritime and port city of the state. Fishing has a prominent place in the economy of the district. Neendakara and Sakthikulangara villages in the suburbs of the city have thriving fisheries. An estimated 134,973 persons are engaged in fishing and allied activities. Cheriazheekkal, Alappad, Pandarathuruthu, Puthenthura, Neendakara, Thangasseri, Eravipuram and Paravur are eight of the 26 important fishing villages. There are 24 inland fishing villages also. Recognizing the unique location and infrastructure available, the Government has initiated steps for establishing a fishing harbour at Neendakara which is expected to increase fish production by 15%. Average fish landing is estimated at 85,275 tonnes per year. One-third of the state's fish catch is from Kollam. Nearly 3000 mechanised boats are operating from the fishing harbour. FFDA and VFFDA promote fresh water fish culture and prawn farming respectively. A model fishing village with 100 houses is being built at Eravipuram. A model prawn farm is being built at Ayiramthengu, and several new hatcheries are also planned to cater to the needs of the aquaculturists. Kerala's only turkey farm and a regional poultry farm are at Kureepuzha.
There are two Central Government industrial operations in the city, the Indian Rare Earths, Chavara and Parvathi Mills Ltd., Kollam. Kerala Ceramics Ltd. in Kundara, Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Company in Kundara, Kerala Premo Pipe factory in Chavara, Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited in Chavara and United Electrical Industries in Kollam are Kerala Government-owned companies. Other major industries in the private/cooperative sector are Aluminium Industries Ltd. in Kundara, Thomas Stephen & Co. in Kollam, Floorco in Paravur and Cooperative Spinning Mill in Chathannoor. The beach sands of the district have concentrations of such heavy minerals as Ilmenite, Rutile, Monosite and Zircon, which offer scope for exploitation for industrial purposes.
Besides large deposits of China clay in Kundara, Mulavana and Chathannoor, there are also lime-shell deposits in Ashtamudi Lake and Bauxite deposits in Adichanallur.
Known as the "Cashew Capital of the World", Kollam is noted for its traditional cashew business and is home to more than 600 cashew-processing units. Every year, about 800,000 tonnes of raw cashews are imported into the city for processing and an average of 130,000 tonnes of processed cashews are exported to various countries worldwide. The Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) expects a rise in exports to 275,000 tonnes by 2020, an increase of 120 per cent over the current figure. The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (KSCDC) is situated at Mundakkal in Kollam city. The company owns 30 cashew factories all across Kerala. Of these, 24 are located in Kollam district.
Kollam is one of many seafood export hubs in India with numerous companies involved in the sector. Most of these are based in the Maruthadi, Sakthikulangara, Kavanad, Neendakara, Asramam, Kilikollur, Thirumullavaram and Uliyakovil areas of the city. Capithans, Kings Marine Exporters, India Food Exports and Oceanic Fisheries are examples of seafood exporters.
Kollam's Ashtamudi Lake clam fishery was the first Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fishery in India. The clam fishery supports around 3,000 people involved in the collection, cleaning, processing and trading of clams. Around 90 species of fish and ten species of clams are found in the lake.
The city corporation of Kollam is served by the Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 56 kilometers from the city. Trivandrum International Airport is the first international airport in a non-metro city in India. and the only airport in Kerala having more than 2 Terminals. Daily domestic flight services are available such major cities as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kochi. International flight services connecting to Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat, Malé, Doha, Singapore and Colombo are available from here.
However, Kollam Airport at Asramam was the first aerodrome in Kerala. The first flight to Kerala landed here. Now the old airport area is serving as a twin-helipad of the city, which is about 1 km away from the city center. The first Amphibian Aircraft (Seaplane) of Kerala also landed in Kollam.
Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) services started from Kollam to Ernakulam via Alappuzha and Kottayam in the 2nd week of January 2012. By 1 December 2012, MEMU service between Kollam and Nagercoil became a reality and later extended up to Kanyakumari. Kollam MEMU Shed inaugurated on 1 December 2013 for the maintenance works of MEMU rakes. Kollam MEMU Shed is the largest MEMU Shed in Kerala, which is equipped with most modern facilities. There is a long-standing demand for the Kollam Town Railway Station in the Kollam-Perinad stretch and "S.N College Railway Station" in the Kollam-Eravipuram stretch. The railway stations in Kollam city are Kollam Junction railway station, Eravipuram railway station and Kilikollur railway station.
A new suburban rail system has been proposed by the Kerala Government and Indian Railways on the route Thiruvananthapuram - Kollam - Haripad/Chengannur for which MRVC is tasked to conduct a study and submit a report. Ten trains, each with seven coaches, will transport passengers back and forth along the Trivandrum-Kollam-Chengannur-Harippad section.
The city of Kollam is connected to almost all the cities and major towns in the state, including Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Kochi, Palakkad, Kottayam, Kottarakkara, and Punalur, and with other Indian cities through the NH 66, NH 183, NH 744 - and other state PWD Roads. Road transport is provided by state-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private transport bus operators. Kollam is one among the five KSRTC zones in Kerala. Road transport is also provided by private taxis and autorickshaws, also called autos. There is a city private bus stand at Andamukkam. There is a KSRTC bus station beside Ashtamudi Lake. Buses to various towns in Kerala and interstate services run from this station.
The State Water Transport Department operates boat services to West Kallada, Munroe Island, Guhanandapuram, Dalavapuram and Alappuzha from Kollam KSWTD Ferry Terminal situated on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake. Asramam Link Road in the city passes adjacent to the ferry terminal.
Double decker luxury boats run between Kollam and Allepey daily. Luxury boats, operated by the government and private owners, operate from the main boat jetty during the tourist season. The West coast canal system, which starts from Thiruvananthapuram in the south and ends at Hosdurg in the north, passes through Paravur, the city of Kollam and Karunagappally taluk.
Kollam Port is the second largest port in Kerala, after Cochin Port Trust. It is one of two international ports in Kerala. Cargo handling facilities began operation in 2013. Foreign ships arrive in the port regularly with the MV Alina, a 145-metre (476 ft) vessel registered in Antigua anchored at the port on 4 April 2014. Once the Port starts functioning in full-fledged, it will make the transportation activities of Kollam-based cashew companies more easy. Shreyas Shipping Company is now running a regular container service between Kollam Port and Kochi Port.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham at Amritapuri is an integrated campus There are many respected colleges, schools and learning centres in Kollam.
The city and suburbs contribute greatly to education by providing the best and latest knowledge to the scholars. The Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, the first private school of its kind in the state, is at Kilikollur, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of Kollam city, and is a source of pride for all Kollamites. The Government of Kerala has granted academic autonomy to Fatima Mata National College, another prestigious institution in the city. Sree Narayana College, Bishop Jerome Institute (an integrated campus providing Architecture, Engineering and Management courses), and Travancore Business Academy are other important colleges in the city. There are two law colleges in the city, Sree Narayana Guru College of Legal Studies under the control of Sree Narayana Trust and N S S Law College managed by the N.S.S.
Kerala State Institute of Design (KSID), a design institute under Department of labour and Skills, Government of Kerala, is located at Chandanathope, about 8 Kilometers from Kollam town. It was established in 2008 and was one of the first state-owned design institutes in India. KSID currently conducts Post Graduate Diploma Programs in Design developed in association with National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
The Institute of Fashion Technology, Kollam, Kerala is a fashion technology institute situated in Vellimon, Kollam, established in technical collaboration with the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Ministry of Textiles. In addition, there are two IMK (Institute of Management, Kerala) Extension Centres active in the city.
Apart from colleges, there are a number of bank coaching centres in Kollam. Kollam is known as India's hub for bank test coaching centres with around 40 such institutes in the district. Students from various Indian states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh also come here for coaching.
Kollam Fest is Kollam's own annual festival, attracting mostly Keralites but also hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists to Kollam. The main venue of Kollam Fest is the historic and gigantic Ashramam Maidan. Kollam Fest is the signature event of Kollam. Kollam Fest seeks to showcase Kollam's rich culture and heritage, tourism potential and investments in new ventures.
The President's Trophy Boat Race (PTBR) is an annual regatta held in Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. The event was inaugurated by President Prathibha Patil in September 2011. The event has been rescheduled from 2012.
Cricket is the most popular sport, followed by hockey and football. Kollam is home to a number of local cricket, hockey and football teams participating in district, state-level and zone matches. An International Hockey Stadium with astro-turf facility is there at Asramam in the city, built at a cost of Rs.13 crore.The land for the construction of the stadium was taken over from the Postal Department at Asramam, Kollam. The city has another stadium named the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Kollam. It is a multipurpose stadium and has repeatedly hosted such sports events as the Ranji Trophy, Santhosh Trophy and National Games. Two open grounds in the city, the Asramam Maidan and Peeranki Maidan, are also used for sports events, practice and warm-up matches.
Places of worship
The city of Kollam is a microcosm of Kerala state and its residents belong to varied religious, ethnic and linguistic groups. There are so many ancient temples, centuries-old churches and mosques in the city and it's suburbs.
Hindus and temples
Kollam is a Hindu majority city in Kerala. 56.35% of Kollam's total population belongs to Hindu community. Moreover, the Kollam Era (also known as Malayalam Era or Kollavarsham or Malayalam Calendar or Malabar Era), solar and sidereal Hindu calendar used in Kerala, has been originated on 825 CE (Pothu Varsham) at (Kollam) city.
Anandavalleeshwaram Sri Mahadevar Temple is a 400 years old ancient Hindu temple in the city. The 400-year-old Sanctum sanctorum of this temple is finished in teak. Ammachiveedu Muhurthi temple is another major temple in the city that have been founded around 600 years ago by the Ammachi Veedu family, aristocrats from Kollam. The Kollam pooram, a major festival of Kollam, is the culmination of a ten-day festival, normally in mid April, of Asramam Sree Krishna Swamy Temple. Kottankulangara Devi Temple is one of the world-famous Hindu temples in Kerala were cross-dressing of men for Chamayavilakku ritual is a part of traditional festivities. The men also carry large lamps. The first of the two-day dressing event drew to a close early on Monday. Moreover, Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram in Kottarakkara, Puttingal Devi Temple in Paravur, Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Temple in Poruvazhy, Sasthamcotta Sree Dharma Sastha Temple in Sasthamkotta, Thrikkadavoor Sree Mahadeva Temple in Kadavoor and Kattil Mekkathil Devi Temple in Ponmana are the other famous Hindu worship centres in the Kollam Metropolitan Area.
Christianity and churches
Christian population accounts 21.17% of the total population of Kollam city. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon or Kollam is the first Catholic diocese in India. The diocese, which covers an area of 1,950 km². (753 square miles) and contains a population of 4,879,553 – 235,922 (4.8%) of whom are Catholic – is claimed to have first been erected on 9 August 1329. It was re-erected on 1 September 1886. The famous Infant Jesus Cathedral, 400 years old, located in Thangassery, is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon. CSI Kollam-Kottarakara Diocese is one of the twenty-four dioceses of the Church of South India.
The Infant Jesus Cathedral in Tangasseri is established by Portuguese during 1614. It is now the pro-cathedral of Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon – the ancient and first Catholic diocese of India. The church remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule of old Quilon city. St. Sebastian's Church at Neendakara is another important church in the city. The Dutch Church in Munroe Island is built by the Dutch in 1878. Our Lady of Velankanni Shrine in Cutchery is another important Christian worship place in Kollam city. Saint Casimir Church in Kadavoor, Holy Family Church in Kavanad, St.Stephen's Church in Thoppu and St.Thomas Church in Kadappakada are some of the other major Christian churches in Kollam.
Muslims and mosques
Muslims accounts 22.05% of Kollam's total population. As per the Census 2011 data, 80,935 is the total Muslim population in Kollam. The Karbala Maidan and the adjacent Makani mosque serves as the Eid gah for the city. The 300-year-old Juma-'Ath Palli at Karuva houses the mortal remains of a Sufi saint, Syed Abdur Rahman Jifri.
Kottukadu Juma Masjid in Chavara, Elampalloor Juma-A-Masjid, Valiyapalli in Jonakappuram, Chinnakada Juma Masjid, Juma-'Ath Palli in Kollurvila, Juma-'Ath Palli in Thattamala and Koivila Juma Masjid in Chavara are the other major Mosques in Kollam.
Notable individuals born in Kollam include:
- Mahakavi K.C Kesava Pillai, Malayalam poet
- C. Kesavan, Chief Minister of erstwhile Travancore
- Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, historian and scholar
- R. Sankar, former Chief Minister of Kerala
- Paravur Devarajan, Malayalam music director
- Thirunalloor Karunakaran, poet
- O. N. V. Kurup, Malayalam poet and lyricist
- K. Balakrishnan, Writer, politician, journalist
- K. Surendran, Novelist
- Punaloor Balan, poet
- V. Sambasivan, Kathaprasangam artist
- Raveendran, Malayalam music director
- Chavara Parukutty Amma, Kathakali Artist
- Raveendran Master, Malayalam Film Lyricist
- O. Madhavan, theatre personality
- Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, Malayalam film actor
- Shaji N Karun, Malayalam movie director
- Thangal Kunju Musaliar, industrialist & educational visionary
- Kollam Thulasi, actor
- Kollam G. K. Pillai, actor
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- P. K. Gurudasan, politician and MLA
- R.Balakrishna Pillai, politician and former minister of state
- D Shina, Electricity finance expert.
- James Albert, screenwriter and director
- Suresh Gopi, actor
- Pamman (R. Parameswara Menon), novelist
- Bharath Murali, film actor
- Mukesh, Malayalam film actor
- Kalpana, actress
- Urvashi, actress
- Kalaranjini, actress
- K. B. Ganesh Kumar, Malayalam film actor and ex-minister
- Resul Pookutty, Oscar Award winner for sound design and mixing
- Tinu Yohannan, international cricket
- Olympian T. C. Yohannan, athlete
- Ambili Devi, Malayalam film actress
- Rajan Pillai, businessman
- B. Ravi Pillai, businessman
- Kundara Johnny, film actor
- K. Ravindran Nair (Achani Ravi), film producer
- M. A. Baby, politician
- Baby John, politician
- Ithikkara Pakki, The Socialist Thief
- Matha Amrithananda Mayi, spiritual life
- Saikumar, film actor
- R.Sreekandan Nair, television anchor
- A.A Rahim, Former Governor, Union minister
- Anwar Rasheed, film director
- Amal Neerad, film director
- Benny Dayal, singer
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