Kollam was once the ancient city of Quilon. A prosperous city with a port that made it a thriving centre for trade, Kollam was first a part of the Chera dynasty between the third and twelfth century BC before becoming the capital of the kingdom of Venad. \nKollam’s sea trade flourished around the 13th century as it traded with many prosperous cities such as Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, the Chinese city of Quanzhou, and Malacca in the Malaysian archipelago. Kollam’s reputation for being a successful trading port only grew with time and was soon sought out by the Phoenicians and Romans. Spices, pearls, diamonds, and silk were exported to Egypt and Rome from Kollam. \nAs the region was overtaken by the Pallavas in the sixth century, trade from this port came to a halt. Around this time, the Nestorians moved into this region and introduced the local population to Christianity, without renouncing the existing Sanskrit and Vedic prayers. Syrian liturgy and the construction of churches happened during this time, along with the revival of foreign trade. In 1502, the Portuguese became the first Europeans to establish a trading centre in Thangasseri, Kollam, which became the centre of their pepper trade business. In the eighteenth century, Kollam was conquered by Travancore. It remained under Travancore rule until it eventually fell under British rule in 1795.
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