Kollam, with a population of 3,48,000, is the fourth most populous city in Kerala and is located to the west of the Lakshadweep river at an altitude of 10 feet above the sea level. Malayalam is the native and the main spoken language. Ashtamudi lake is the heart of the city because of which fishing has a prominent place in the local economy .The city comes under the Kollam district, which as per the 2011 census has a population of 2.6 million. 34 percent of the districts population is in the working age, out of which 16 percent are engaged in agriculture, 2 percent in the household industry and the bulk 82 percent in services and industry. Kollam is a major commercial, industrial and trading center with Cashew, Marine products and Pencil slat manufacturing providing large employment in the district. In 1502, Kollam was the center of pepper trade for the Portuguese and in 1661 the Dutch East India Company took over the city, followed by the British. Today the city attracts a lot of tourists because of its historic legacy. Tangasseri Lighthouse, the Anandavalleeswaram Temple, the British residency and the Thevally Palace are some of the most visited sites in the city.