Kollam is a coastal city in Kerala, on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake that took the title God’s Own Country without much demur. The braids of Ashtamudi Lake lie about 71 kilometres (44 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvanathapuram. 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. Four major trading centers/towns around Kollam are Kottarakara, Punalur, Paravur and Karunagapally.
The city of Kollam borders Ashtamudi Lake. Many a foreign traveller visited Kollam in the early medieval period. It was one of the early centres of Christian activity in Kerala. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian merchant Sapir Iso in the 9th century. The popularity of Kollam is illustrated in the time-honoured proverb, Once you see Kollam, you will not need your home any more. Kollam is an important commercial, industrial and trading centre. It is also the headquarters of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.
The nearest international airport is Trivandrum International Airport, 56 kms from Kollam
Kollam Junction (Code: QLN) is the second largest railway station in Kerala in area, after Shornur Junction, with a total of 6 platforms. Kollam also boasts the longest railway platform in Kerala (second longest in India), which is more than 1 km long. The Thiruvanthapuram – Ernakulam (via Kottayam and Alappuzha) line passes through Kollam. Kollam has completely electrified railway tracks.
The climate of Kollam is essentially tropical. It is characterized by hot and humid summers and plenty of seasonal rainfall. The Arabian Sea, located to the west ofKollam influences the weather of Kollam. It moderates the disparities between the extreme summer and winter temperatures.The maximum summer temperature recorded in Kollam is 34°C and the minimum temperature recorded during the winters is 21°C.
According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) study on ambient air quality among 123 Indian cities, two out of three least polluted cities in India are from Kerala, Kollam being second least polluted.