Kollam town, the headquarters of Kollam district and Kollam taluk, has a hoary past. It was a international emporium of trade and even now it is a prosperous commercial centre. It is situated about 71 kms. north of Thiruvananthapuram and is linked by rail, road and backwater transport. The town edges with the famous Astamudi lake. Many a foreign traveller has visited Kollam in the early midieval period. It was one of the early centres of Christian activity in Kerala.It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century A.D. The popularity of Kollam has been established by the time honoured proverb once you seeKollam, you will not need your home any more. Kollam is an important commercial, industrial and trading centre. It is also the headquarters of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.