Asramam Maidan, Kollam
|Nearest city||Kollam, Kerala|
|Founder||East India Company|
|Operated by||DTPC, Kollam|
|Public transit access||Bus Station - 1.6 km|
Rail Station - 2.2 km
Ferries - 1.6 km
The Asramam Maidanam or Ashramam Maithanam is an urban park, or maidhanam, in the city of Kollam, in Kerala, India. At 72 acres (29 ha), it is the largest open space within Kerala Municipal Corporation limits. The maidan is considered as one of the green lungs of the city and regularly hosts the city's main cultural and sports events. It holds an adventure parkchildren's park, picnic village,British Residency and mangrove forests making it an important tourism spot in the city.
The Asramam maidan is the major training hub of all the driving school operators in Kollam city.
Asramam Maidan was used as an aerodrome during the British Raj. At that time there were no civil aerodromes either in Thiruvananthapuram or anywhere else in the erstwhile kingdoms of Travancore and Kochi nor in the British-ruled Malabar area of the Madras Presidency. Chartered flights, mainly using Avro aircraft, would land and take off from Quilon Aerodrome. The aerodrome was primarily used by VIPs from Madras en route to Thiruvananthapuram, who after landing at Quilon, would proceed to Thiruvananthapuram by car. Quilon Aerodrome was also used for flying training. During one such training exercise, an aircraft hit a tree on the boundary of the aerodrome, killing the pilot and the trainee. Training operations were stopped after the accident, but civilian aircraft continued to use the aerodrome.
Because of the loose soil in the Asramam area, the landing and take-off areas were prepared by bringing huge quantities of red laterite soil from the hilly areas. The aerodrome had strong barbed wire fencing round it, with two entry points, one at the south and the other at the north. There were no buildings in the aerodrome, not even a shed, although there was a concreted area in the shape of a ring where the planes stopped after landing. It was here that the passengers alighted and boarded the plane. Planes used to land sometimes once in two months. The airport then came under the control of Kerala Public Works Department (PWD). Residents of Asramam knew in advance about the arrival of planes, because the PWD authorities, on getting information about a coming arrival, hoisted a windsock on a tall wooden mast.
After the commissioning of Thiruvananthapuram airport and its development, Quilon Aerodrome went into decline, and finally, planes stopped arriving there. The aerodrome remained fenced off for a long time. Later, the fence was destroyed and its granite stumps pilfered. The only reason the maidan was not encroached upon was that it was a central government property. Now there are two large helipads at the maidan.
Asramam Maidan is the regular venue for many events including recruitment rallies for the Indian Army,Kollam Pooram, Kollam Fest, cricket tournaments, large weddings and various events of a political or non-political nature.
Kollam Fest is an international event with focus on art, culture, trade, and tourism. The event, organised by the Kollam City Corporation, was aimed at presenting the history and culture of Kollam to the world.
Kollam Pooram is one of the most colorful festivals of Kerala, attracting a large number of people from all parts of the state. The Kollam Pooram, organised in connection with the annual festival of the Asramam Sri Krishnaswamy Temple, is held annually at the Asramam Maidan in the month of April. The festival has now assumed the status of a national festival, and gets the biggest government allocation for such an event after Thrissur Pooram.
Asramam Maidan is a regular ground for the Kerala Cricket Association's matches, which are held almost all year round.