KERALA INFO: Kollam District Information
Kollam District Information
by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author) (Feedback)
Density per km2
265 cm (Annual)
Kollam District is situated on the South west coast of kerala is bound on the north by Alappuzha and north east by Pathanamthitta Districts on the east by Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu, on the South by the Thiruvavanathapuram District and on the west by Arabian sea. Kollam District which is a veritable Kerala in miniature is gifted with unique representative features like the sea, the lakes, the plains, the mountains, the rivers, the streams, the backwaters, the forest, the vast green fields and the tropical crop of every variety including both food crop and cash crop. Two rivers Kallada and Ithikkara flow through this District.
The Sasthamcotta Lake, the only major fresh water lake of the state is in Kollam District. The Soil of the District may be classified as sandy loams, larerite and forest soil. The coastal belt has sandy loams and the forest soil is found in the eastern forest belt. The rest of the district is formed by laterite soil.
Kollam District has a large area under forest. Pathanapuram, Anchal, Kottarakkara and Chadayamangalam are blocks having large areas of forest. The forest divisions are at Thenmala and Punalur. The District has a tropical humid climate with an oppressive summer and plentiful seasonal rainfall. The hot season, lasts from March to May is followed by the South West Monsoon from June to September. The rest of the year has generally the dry weather.
Located on the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam or Quilon, is an old sea port town on the Arabian coast. It is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. It is also an important hub for the State's marine products industry, with the port of Neendakara being the centre for trawlers and ice plants.
Kollam, the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a good commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century.
It was regarded by Ibn Batuta, as one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty four years, in the 14th century. The rulers of Kollam (Desinganadu) and China, exchanged embassies and there was flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. Merchant Sulaiman of Siraf in Persia found Kollam to be the only port in India, touched by the huge Chinese junks, on his way from Carton of Persian Gulf. Marco Polo, the great Venician traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublahan in 1275, visited Kollam and other towns on the west coast, in his capacity as a Chinese mandarin. It was one of the early centres of Christian activity in Kerala.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center at Kollam in 1502. Then came the Dutch followed by the British in 1795. A British garrison was stationed at Kollam in pursuance of a treaty between Travancore and the British. Velu Thampi Dalawa of Travancore, did much for the improvement of the Kollam town. He built new bazaars and invited merchants from Madras and Thirunelveli to settle here. Kollam later became the capital of the enlightened and liberal rulers of Desinganad.
The history of the district as an administrative unit can be traced back to 1835, when the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions with headquarters at Kollam and Kottayam. At the time of the integrating of Travancore and Cochin in 1949, Kollam was one of the three revenue divisions in the state. These three revenue divisions were converted into districts. The Shencottah taluk was merged with Madras state consequent on the implementation of the state Reorganisation Act of 1956. When the Alappuzha district was formed in 1957, many taluks like the Cherthala, the Ambalapuzha, the Mavelikkara, the Karthikappally, the Chenganuur and the Thiruvalla were united to the new district. When Pathanamthitta district was formed on 1st July 1983, the entire Pathanamthitta Taluk and nine villages of Kunnathur Taluk of the district were also removed.
Now the Kollam district has a single revenue division with headquarters at Kollam. It has five taluks, namely, the Pathanapuram, the Kunnathur, the Kottarakkara, the Karunagappally and the Kollam.
Places of Interest
Achencoil, Anchal, Aryankavu, Chavara, Karunagappally, Kottarakkara, Neendakara
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