Kollam is well known for its bounty of natural beauty and this includes a number of picturesque beaches, mystical backwaters and the majestic Ashtamudi Lake, the entry point into the backwaters. Thangassery (also known as Tangasseri) is another such area that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
It is a quaint seashore town with a beautiful cultural heritage and a seemingly endless sandy beach that stretches 3km out. It is also just 5km away from the main Kollam city and offers visitors the perfect holiday beach. Enclosed by towering coconut trees and bright blue oceans that seem to merge with the sky, Thangassery is indeed a beach lovers’ answer to paradise. During the last millennia, it was also an important trading point and in 1502, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center here for pepper and other spices. In 1517, they built a fort here which was eventually demolished during subsequent wars with the Dutch.
Thangassery translates to mean ‘gold village’ from Malayalam, the local lingo; it was once a flourishing maritime trade hub that used the gold coin as its trading currency, hence the name Thangassery. It came under the rule of the Kingdom of Travancore followed by the British raj. The first English medium schools in Kerala were also set up here.
Not too long ago, archeologists found Chinese coins and other artifacts around this area, highlighting its important trade lineage in history. You can still find huge ghostly Chinese fishing nets and Chinese water pots used for fishing in the backwaters and lakes around here. There is a daringly long breakwater jutting out into the Arabian Ocean here, measuring a length of 2100 meters and provides a safe fishing harbor for traditional fishermen. You could even go for an out-of-this-world experience and go for a stroll on this perfectly safe breakwater. Another leeward breakwater measures 550 meters and creates the perfect basin and landing facilities for most types of sea crafts.
An interesting 144 feet high lighthouse has been standing tall here since 1902, warning seafarers of treacherous reefs. It is well-maintained and beckons out to you to come to explore and enjoy the panoramic views it offers from the top.
With Thangassery offering so many amazing experiences, you can easily get here by connecting to Kollam city with its excellent highways and railway connectivity. Neighboring Trivandrum city, another tourism hub, offers the nearest airport. You could stay over at the Raviz Ashtamudi, a classic hotel located on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake and get royally pampered too!