Officially called Arthunkal St. Andrew's Forane Church, Arthunkal Church is one of the popular churches in Alleppey (Alappuzha district). Built by the Portuguese missionaries in the starting of the 16th century, it was later renovated in 1584. The construction of the church was commissioned by the then vicar, Fr. Jacoma Fenicio who was highly revered by his followers. He was given the name of ‘Fair-skinned Father’ or ‘Arthunkal Veluthachan’ by them who believed he had magical healing powers. He died in 1632. After 8 years of his demise, the church was reconstructed with alteration in the entrance that now faced the Arabian Sea.
Around 22 km from Alleppey, Arthunkal church is placed in village Arthunkal. It is the 7th Basilica in Kerala and the first one in Allppey, which was brought to this pedestal in 2010. The Church is a highly revered one and its right wing has a statue of bleeding St. Sebastian, stabbed with arrows. This statue was brought here in 1647 from Milan. Also known as St. Andrew’s Basilica, a visit to this church is known to heal physical handicaps, and mental disorders.
Annual 10-day festival of Arthunkal Perunnal
In the starting of the month of January, every year, a 10-day festival of Arthunkal Perunnal, the feast of St. Sebastian, is organized. The last day of this festival witness an unusual practice where the devotees crawl on their knees, starting from the beach to the church. Then, there is a procession of these devotees back to the beach. The festival is attended by visitors from all around Kerala state.
Timings of Mass:
05:30 AM, 07:00 AM and 04:30 PM (Weekdays)
05:30 AM, 07:00 AM, 09:00 AM and 05:00 PM (Sundays)
How to reach:
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha railway station (21 km)
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (68 km)