Arthunkal church, official called Arthunkal St. Andrew's Forane Church, is one of the most popular churches in Alappuzha district. Originally constructed during the 16th century by the Portuguese missionaries, the church was renovated in the year 1584. Fr. Jacoma Fenicio, the then vicar, commissioned its construction. The followers believe that the vicar was possessed by healing powers and so he was known as ‘Arthunkal Veluthachan’ or ‘Fair-skinned Father’. The vicar died in 1632 and after 8 years of his demise, the church was again reconstructed with a slight change in its entrance, which now faces the Arabian Sea.
Located 22 km from Alleppey, this church in the Arthunkal village is the 7th Basilica in Kerala and the first in Alleppey, raised to this level in the year 2010. An important Christian religious site, it has a bleeding St. Sebastian statue, pierced by arrows that was brought here in the year 1647. This statue was sculpted in Milan and placed in the right wing of the church, behind the altar. The church is also known as St.Andrew’s Basilica. The devotees believe that the church has the power to heal mental disorders and physical handicaps.
10-day festival of Arthunkal Perunnal
A 10-day festival of Arthunkal Perunnal, the feast of St. Sebastian, is organized in the starting of the month of January. On the last day of the festival, there is an unusual ritual where the attending devotees crawl on their knees, from the beach up to the church. This ritual is followed by a procession that takes all to the beach. To attend this festival, devotees pour-in from all around the state.
Timings of Mass:
05:30 am, 07:00 am and 04:30 pm
05:30 am, 07:00 am, 09:00 am and 05:00 pm
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha railway station, around 21 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, around 68 km