Mal: കൊല്ലം kollam
‘Palace’ [Quilon, Covlaõ] City/District, Kerala
From Mal: kollam, ‘residence of king’, ‘palace’ [kō, ‘king’; and illam, ‘house’ cf. kōyil/kōvil/kōyilakam, ‘palace’, ‘temple’]
Kollam is an ancient port city which had its heyday during the Chera dynasty (3rdC BC BC–12thC).
It became the capital of the Venad or Quilon Kingdom in the 9thC. Kollam was rated as the equal of the leading international ports of the period (Alexandria, Malacca, Cairo).
Pepper was always part of its trading portfolio and some even suggest the name may have been derived from SKT: kol(l)a(m), black pepper’. But it also included cashews and today Kollam exports 130,000 tonnes of processed cashews worldwide earning itself the title ‘Cashew Capital of the World’.
It is the fourth largest city in Kerala and, as the ‘Southern Gateway’ to the Kerala backwaters, it is an important tourist centre and resort.
Its beach has a famous 8.2m ‘Mermaid’ statue dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.