Kollam is an old seaport town on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake, around 70 km north of Thiruvananthapuram
. Earlier, it was known as Desinganadu, and was a flourishing sea port used by Arab, Greek, Roman, Portuguese, Dutch and British for trade. Today it is the headquarters of Kollam District
. Velu Thampi Dalawa of Travancore, contributed much towards the improvement of Kollam town. New bazaars were built and merchants from Madras and Thirunelveli were invited to settle here. Kollam acted as the nerve center for the rebellion organized by Velu Thampi against the British.
Kollam is famous in the state for its cashew and pepper. Ashtamudi lake, Kochupilamoodu beach, Thangasseri light house and Thirumullavaram beach are some of the important tourist spots.
Kollam railway station is at Chinnakkada, just 1 km from the city. One of the important rail heads of the
southern railway, this junction is a major stop for trains. Trivandrum International Airport is 66 km from the town. Kollam is linked with all major cities by road. Even ferry services are available to neighbouring coastal towns and islands in the Ashtamudi backwaters. Tourist boat services are also operated between Kollam and Alappuzha during the tourist season.