town, administrative headquarters of Quilon district, southern Kerala state, southwestern India. Quilon has existed for many centuries and was called Elancon by early travellers, Kaulam Mall by the Arabs, and Coilum by the 13th-century Venetian traveller Marco Polo. Its location made it commercially important; the first Europeans there were the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch in 1662 and then by the British.
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