Kollam district is a district of Kerala state with its administrative headquarters located at Kollam city. The district got its name from its headquarters city, Kollam. The term Kollam is derived from the Sanskrit word Kollam, meaning pepper since the place is the largest producer of pepper in the Kerala state. During the period of the Chera dynasty the Quilon or Kollam city was flourished as a port. After sometime when the Venad or Quilon Kingdom was founded in c. 825 at that time they made this place as their capital. In the 13th century, there were four early significant entre pots in global sea trade and Kollam was also one of them. From the 16th to 18th century, the place Kollam was invaded by many foreigners likewise Portuguese, Dutch and British. Whenever, someone unfolds the history of Kerala, it is obvious to remember the Battle of Quilon or Kollam that was fought in the year 1809 between a troop of the Travancore kingdom led by Velu Thampi Dalawa, the then Dalawa (prime minister) of Travancore and the British East India Company led by Colonel Chalmers at Cantonment Maidan in the place, Quilon. Kollam as a district came into existence on 1st November, 1956.
K. Surendran, an illustrious Indian novelist who basically wrote his books in the Malayalam language was born on 22nd February, 1921 at Ochira in the Kollam district. He was honoured by the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1963 for his novel “Maya”.
Geographically, the district lies at 8088'N latitude, 76064'E longitude and 3 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 53.26% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,483 sq km. and it is bounded by Alappuzha district on the North, Pathanamthitta district on the Northeast, Thiruvananthapuram district on the South, Tamil Nadu on the East and Arabian Sea on the West. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 3170.5 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 taluks namely Kollam, Karunagappally, Kunnathur, Kottarakkara, Punalur and Pathanapuram. Moreover, the district comprises 5 sub-districts, 27 towns and 69 villages. The administrative language in the district is Malayalam.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 26,35,375 out of which 12,46,968 are males and 13,88,407 are females. The district has sex ratio of 1113 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 1.94% including -0.21% are males and 3.95% are females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 64.42% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,061 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Malayalam with 99.10%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 28,098 including 14,254 were males and 13,842 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 20,310 including 11,316 were males and 8,994 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural crops grown in the district are cashew, coir, rice, pepper, ginger, tapioca, coconut, areca nut, rubber, etc. The irrigation facility in the place is very advanced due to the presence of the Kallada Irrigation Project. Fishing and animal husbandry are the supplementary occupations of the natives of the district through which they can earn an extra income. Industrially also the district is quite well developed. Some of its renowned industries are Indian Rare Earths Ltd, Kerala Ceramics Ltd, Kerala Minerals and Metals, Technopark, etc. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 66,04,256 lakh at current price and Rs. 46,44,785 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 59,38,114 lakh at current price and Rs. 42,32,069 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 2,22,099 at current price and Rs. 1,58,289 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, Fatima Mata National College, Sree Narayana College, Sree Narayana Guru College of Legal Studies, Kerala State Institute of Design, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 94.09% including 96.09% are males and 92.31% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 22,40,273 out of which 10,74,345 are males and 11,65,928 are females.
P. K. Gurudasan, an eminent Indian politician, trade unionist and the former minister with the portfolio of Labour and Employment from the year 2006 to 2011 was born on 10th July, 1935 at Paravur in the Kollam district. He is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
During the year 2018, there were 4,00,222 domestic tourists and 9,086 foreign tourists. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the county as well as world. Asramam Maidan, the largest open space within a Kerala municipal corporation is located in the district. It covers an area of about 60 acres which is oval in shape and mainly uses for the organising sports events. Thenmala, located at a distance of 66 km. in the eastern part of the place, Kollam is the first ecotourism project in India which is maintained by the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society. Kollam is a perfect destination for backwater’s lovers. Its principal backwater destinations are Ashtamudi Lake, Paravur, Munroe Island, and Alumkadavu. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Polachira, Mannathippara, Sasthamcotta Lake, Jetayu Para, Kollam Beach, Varkala Beach, etc.