KOLLAM is one of the ancient civilizations in India. Kollam is the oldest port city in the Malabar Coast and was the capital city of historic Venad Kingdom and Travancore Kingdom.Quilon was once one of the most important trading ports in India. It was also known as Desinganadu. Kollam is world-famous for its historic importance and business culture. It is now known as the “Cashew Capital of the World”.
Since the ancient times, city of Kollam(Quilon) has played a vital role in the business, economical, cultural, religious and political history of Asia and Indian sub continent. Even the Malayalam calendar(Kollavarsham) is also known so with the name of the city Kollam. City of Quilon is mentioned in historical citations dating back to Biblical times and the reign of King Solomon, connecting with Red Sea ports of the Arabian Sea (supported by a find of ancient Roman coins). The teak wood used in building King Solomon’s throne was taken from Kollam. Desinganadu, old name of Kollam, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians, Chinese, Arabs, Dutch and the Romans. It is closely related with the ancient and modern life of Keralites through Kollavarsham, Tharisapalli plates, arrival of Christianity in Kerala etc.
The history of the district of Kollam as an administrative unit can be traced back to 1835, when the Travancore state consisted of two revenue divisions with headquarters at Kollam and Kottayam. During the integration of Travancore and Cochin states in Kerala in 1949, Kollam was one among the three revenue divisions in the state. Later, those revenue divisions were converted as the first districts in the state.