Welcome to Land of Cashews - Quilon

Quilon or Kollam , an old sea port town on the Arabian coast , stands on the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam , the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days ofOld Fort_Thankassery the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, 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 , exchange embassies and there was flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. Merchant Sulaiman of Siraf in Persia ( 9th Century) 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.

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 build 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. It was also the nerve center for the rebellion organized by Velu Thampi against the British.
Once a city of palaces, Kollam has been known to the outside world, by the time honoured proverb, "Once you have seen Kollam you would no more need your illam (Home)"

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