The district of Kollam (old name, Quilon) is situated on the west coast of Kerala
. About thirty percent of the district is covered by the Ashtamudi Lake
, thereby making it the gateway to the backwaters of the state. Kollam is an old sea port town and trade center.
Kollam, the erstwhile Desinganad state, had a high reputation for trade and commerce from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. The district is bounded on the north by the Alappuzha District and on the south by Thiruvananthapuram District. It covers an area of 2,492 sq km. The Kallada and Ithikkara are the major rivers. The
Sasthamkotta Lake, the only major fresh water lake in the state, is situated in Kollam. It has a tropical humid climate; the hot season (lasting from March to May) is followed by the south-west monsoon from June to September. The area under forest is 81,438 hectare. Thenmala, a small village on the foothills of
Western Ghats, is an important ecotourism center of the country.
The principal crops are paddy,
tapioca, coconut, rubber, pepper, banana, mango and cashew. About 70 percent of the work force is engaged in agriculture.
Kollam is an important maritime district with a coastline of about 38 km. Fishing has a prominent place in the economy. Neendakara and Sakthikulangara villages thrive in fishing. Cashew processing and
coir production are the major industries. Handloom industry, clay and wood based industries contribute to the industrial advancement of the region. Kollam is connected by road and rail network and waterways.