Kollam kŏl´əm [key], formerly Quilonkwē´lôn [key], city (1991 pop. 362,572), Kerala state, SW India, on the Arabian Sea. It is a market for coconut products, spices, tea, coffee, and rice. Mineral processing and other manufactures are important. Kollam is the oldest city on the Malabar Coast. In the 7th cent. it was noted by a Nestorian patriarch as the southernmost point of Christian influence in India. By the time the Dutch occupied Kollam in 1662, the Portuguese had already established a factory there. Soon after the Dutch came, the British East India Company took control of Kollam. Coastal areas of the city were hard-hit by the Dec., 2004, tsunami.
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