Flanking the north end of the harbour, west of Kollam centre, Thangassery was once an important Portuguese, then Dutch and finally British trading post. You can still see the remains of the 1519 Portuguese-era Fort Thomas, next to the early-20th-century lighthouse.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kerala attractions

1. Thangassery Lighthouse

0.17 MILES

Red-and-white stripes adorn Kollam's imposing 1902-built, 43m-tall barber-pole lighthouse. Take the lift or climb the 195 spiralling steps for wraparound…

2. Kollam Beach

1.33 MILES

Kollam's main beach, 2km south of town, is a bit tatty but worth an evening stroll for its sunsets and the colourful local fish market at the harbour to…

3. Clock Tower

1.58 MILES

This 70-year-old clock is a central Kollam landmark.

4. Asramam Adventure Park

1.58 MILES

Around 1.5km north of Kollam's boat jetty, this lakeside park is popular with families for its playground, picnicking, motorboating (₹95 per person),…

5. Residency Bungalow

1.63 MILES

Just back from Ashtamudi Lake, 1.5km north of the jetty, this elegant 1810 building blending Keralan and European styling was once the home of the British…

6. Kappil Beach

10.68 MILES

About 8km north of Varkala, this long, beautiful and (so far) undeveloped stretch of golden sand is also the beginning of a mini network of backwaters. A…

7. Odayam Beach

12.37 MILES

This gold-hued stretch of sand, around 1km north of the North Cliff, makes a peaceful alternative to Varkala's main beach.

8. Varkala Aquarium

12.88 MILES

Between Black Beach and Odayam Beach, Varkala's aquarium displays large tanks of exotic species – scorpionfish, angelfish, koi, the local karimeen – along…