Ashramam Park – An Idyllic Point for City Dwellers in Kollam
A visitor to the Kollam city can find a beautiful urban park in the heart of the city. It is christened as an Asramam Adventure Park in the year 1980. Owned by the Kollam Corporation, the Adventure Park is spread over 48 acres of the city-owned land. On one side of this park, the visitors can see the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake. Hence, the visitors can go for refreshing boating on the scenic backwaters around this lake. Due to this reason, this park is also known as Asramam Picnic Village.
Asramam Adventure Park
This beautiful urban park is owned by the Kollam Cooperation. Spread over 48 acres of land, the park provides ample opportunities for the tourists to have a nice time there. This park is located at the banks of backwaters that link various parts of Ashtamudi Lake. The Kollam District Tourism Promotion Council (KDTPC) organizes regular backwater cruises for the benefit of the visitors from its Boat Club near the park. The tourists can go in houseboat, speedboats and luxury boats to explore the rustic environment surrounding the Ashtamudi Lake. There is a mangrove forest near the urban park. People from all over India and abroad visit this forest to have a glimpse of nature at its best form. Locals come and sit near the shore of the lake to get some fresh air and catch the first rays of the sun early in the morning. Even the local families make it a point to visit this picturesque place to spend some nice time together once in a while.
Major Attractions in the Urban Park
The tourists visiting this urban park have a number of things to look at. They can easily spend a lot of time in the park without getting bored. The only thing is that they have to stroll slowly across the length and breadth of the park to catch the bird's eye view of different attractions set up within its premises. The majority of visitors set their eyes on the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake, and the backwaters and the canals that drain water to it. While in the park, they can explore following things created in the park to pass their time.
- Sculptures: Housed in the park are a number of sculptures that typically portray different views of life in Kerala. These sculptures were installed as part of a 10-day State-level Sculpture Camp in 2012. This event was organized by various business groups that operate in Kollam city. All together, there are 8 sculptures in the section of the park. Visitors invariably get attracted to this section for the beauty and cultural value each one of these sculptures tries to showcase to the audience. They are captioned as 'Meditation', 'Bundle of Slogans, 'She', 'Story Teller', 'Buddha 99', 'Love without heart and brain, 'Do not disturb' and 'Victim'. All these beautiful pieces of art are made by well known sculptors of the region.
- Mangrove Forest: Near the park, the travellers can see the thick growth of mangrove trees along the shores of picturesque Ashtamudi Lake. Since a portion of the park also has a lakefront, it provides connectivity to other mangrove formations on the sides of the lake. The nature lovers can venture into them to get the glimpse of the beauty of the mangrove ecosystem. Due to this reason, it has become another significant spot for tourist attraction. Moreover, the Kerala government-owned Kerala State Biodiversity Board has provided a biodiversity heritage tag to this natural formation. Hence, it has become a renowned spot for people coming from different parts of the country and the world. In this mangrove formation, the visitors can see highly endangered species of plant, including Syzygium travancoricum. This stretch has all the characteristics of coastal rainforest. In the past, a large number of species of wild animals and plants used to strive there. A large number of marine animals and plants can also be found there. In the recent past, it used to be home breeding ground for otters and the migratory birds.
- Boating Facility: As mentioned previously, KDTPC is conducting boating programs for the benefit of people visiting this picturesque park. The nodal point of the cruise operations to different regions of Asthamudi Lake is Boat Club. It is located near this beautiful park. This crowd-pulling tourism operation organizes regular backwater cruises in different types of boats. Depending upon the budget the visitors can afford, the visit to see the backwaters of Kollam district can be in houseboats, speedboats or luxury boats. Small boats like power and motor boats can be hired from the boat jetty to personally see the beauty of the nature around the lake. This is another added attraction for the tourists visiting this place.
- Guest House: This is another attraction in this adventure park. It was formerly known as British Residency. This two-storey building was built by the then Resident Commissioner of Travancore State Colonel John Munro between 1811 and 1819. Currently, this building is owned by the Kerala government, and it is used as a Government Guest House. Over the period of years, it has become a landmark of Kollam district, just like Chinnakada Clock Tower. Due to its scenic location, this building has featured in a couple of movies. It is said that over 90% of the film Manu Uncle was shot at the British Residency and Adventure Park Campus. The filmy angle to this building has brought more reputation to it as the must-see location.
Asramam Urban Park is an important itinerary in the list of visitors to God's Own Country. It is also called as an Asramam Adventure Park. This park is spread over 48 acres of land in the heart of the city. The park has a lakefront side that adds glitter to it. The mangrove forest around the lake offers another scenic view of the lake and its backwaters. The boating and cruise services offered by KDTPC take the visitors to some of the scenic spots around the lake. Many of these scenic spots are accessible only by means of boats. The passage through backwaters dotted on either side by the mangrove formations provides a heavenly view of the surroundings. On entering the mangrove formation, the visitors can see a totally different ecosystem consisting of a wide variety of flora and fauna. Till a few years back, these formations used to harbour the breeding grounds of otters and the migratory birds. There is a sculpture section in this park that captures varied moods of Kerala culture. All these sculptures were made by reputed sculptors of the region. The captions of all eight sculptures have been nicely framed. There is a two-storey building within the premises of the urban park. In the past, it used to be called as British Residency. It was built by Colonel John Munroe between 1811 and 1819. Due to its scenic spot, the building has become the most sought after destination for the filmmakers. It is believed that the 90% of the film Manu Uncle was shot at British Presidency and the urban park. At present, this building is used as the Guest House by the Kerala Government.