We invite you to explore India - the Land with infinite beauty ! Whether you soar high into Himalayas or peer under the ruins of the Ancient monuments dotting the landscape of India, you will cherish the experience long after your visit ! This India Travel Guide on St. Andrews Basilica Allepey is free from any commercial interest! This site is dedicated to promote India - the vast subcontinent, its glorious past, magnificent landscape and its infinite variety.
The St. Andrew's Basilica is located in Arthunkal, a small seaside village located about 8 km west of Cherthala and 22 km north of the Alleppey district, Kerala. Built by the Portuguese Missionaries during the 16th century, the Basilica bears a fascinating history.
In 1581, the church was constructed using wood and coconut leaves. In 1884, the Portugese priest Fr. Jacoma Fenicio S.J, rebuilt the church. This pious Jesuit priest was referred as Arthunkal Veluthachan, translated from Malayalam as a Arunthkal fair skinned father who had powers to cure illness of body and mind. According to the local legend, Fr. Fenicio was a friend of the Hindu God Ayyapa in Sabarimala and was considered as an authority on Hindu Culture and traditional Hindu rituals. He had performed many miracles and he was addressed as the Second Apostle of the East.
Fr. Jacoma died in 1632 and eight years after his death, the church was rebuilt again facing the west towards the long beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea. In 1647, the idol of St. Sebastian was brought from Milan and placed here. This statue depicts the martyred St Sebastian struck with piercing arrows by the Romans for embracing Christianity.
The cathedral ( also known as St.Andrew Forane Church) is visited by many devotees who recover from serious illness or closely escaped accidents. They drop in to the cathedral to offer thanks to St. Sebastian, since it is believed that the saint had powers to heal the maimed, crippled and those with mental disorders. Thus many disabled people also visit the shrine. Devotees often express gratitude by crawling on their knees, known as Urulunercha, on the road from the beach to the church, and make offerings - small metal replicas of bows and arrows.
January 27 is celebrated as the 'the 8th day or the feast' or ettamperunnal to signify the end of celebrations that begin on January 10. The highlight of this festival is the procession taking the statue of St. Sebastian to the beach and back. Devotees thronging St. Andrews Basilica in Arthunkal offer ‘ambum villum' or models of bow and arrow. An eagle hovering around the skies during this period is associated with fables of the patron saint.
During January, Hindu pilgrims returning from Sabarimala after MakaraJyothi, visit this cathedral and pay homage to the saint. The Hindu pilgrims also take bath in the sea or the facility attached near to the church. This custom of Hindus visiting St Andrews Cathedral dates back 1560, when the local Hindus helped the Jesuits construct the church. This custom was drawn from the local legend linking Arthunkal Veluthachan with the Sabarimala Ayyappan. It is a shining example of religious harmony in this untarnished coastal hamlet.
GPS Co-ordinates: 9.661254,76.300478
Alt: 39 ft
St Andrew's Basilica,
Cherthala - 688 530, Alappuzha, Kerala
Phone: 478-2572374, 2573560
Mass: 5:30 am, 7:00 am & 5:30 pm
St Sebastian's Novena, Holy Mass & Adoration: Thursday: 11:00 am & 4:30 pm
How to get there
The nearest railway station is Cherthala while the nearest airport is Nedumbassery in Kochi.
South India Travel - Information on South India Travel
South India Tour - Grand Canyon of Asia
Karnataka Tourism - Land of exquisite architecture in Temples and History
Pattadakal - Ceremonial site of the early Western Chalukyan kings
Bandipur National Park - Paradise for wildlife.
Bannerghatta National Park - Animals in their natural habitat.
Jog Falls - highest waterfalls in India
Qutb Shahi Tombs - Persian and Indian architectural style
Fort St Angelo Kannur - 500 year old European built Fort
Bekal Fort - Old Fort near Kasargod
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary - Jagaru Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary - Sharavathi Valley
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary - Sanctuary near Kannur
Coorg - The Scotland of the East
Kudremukh - Face of a Horse overlooking the Arabian Sea
Santa Cruz Basilica Cochin - 500 year old Basilica near the Arabian sea
Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours - Tallest Church in Asia and the biggest Church in India
St. Andrews Basilica Allepey - Fair skinned Father of Miracles
Basilica of Our Lady of Vallarpadam - Basilica in an Island
Velankanni Basilica - Lady of Health Shrine near the Bay of Bengal
Our Lady of Ports Cathedral Ernakulam - Cochin boasts of 4 Basilicas
St. George Basilica Angamaly - Basilica for a Roman Soldier who slayed Dragons
St. Mary Queen of Peace Basilica Trivandrum - Syrian Malankara Church
Holy Redeemer Basilica Trichi - Mother of Perpetual Help
Poondi Madha Basilica - Lady of Lourdes
St. Mary's Basilica Bangalore - Miraculous statue of Our Lady
Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Tuticorin - Miraculous Statue of our Lady of Snow
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Eglise De Sacre Coeur
Santhome Basilica - Houses the relic of St.Thomas
Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption - St.Mary's Church
Divine Retreat Center Chalakudy - Potta Ashram
Church of Our Lady of Angels - 400 year old Church
Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Pallippuram - 500 year old Basilica
St.Lawrence Basilica in Attur - Miracles in Attur
Maria Bambina Church - Marian Devotion
Holy Rosary Basilica Karumathampatty - New Basilica near Coimbatore
Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Harihar - Velankanni of Karnataka
Basilica of St. Anthony - Basilica of St.Anthony of Padua
Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine - Kovalam Shrine
Divine Mercy Church - Divine Mercy
Infant Jesus Shrine - Roman Catholic Shrine in India
Chikmagalur Trekking - Heady mix of Coffee and Waterfalls
Kodachadri Hills - Mountain Peak in Shimoga
Kabini Resort - Forest retreat a few hours from Bangalore and Mysore.
Kemmanagundi - Undulating meadows, gurgling brooks, rolling mist
Hampi - Evokes visions of poetry in stone
Mangalore - A triangular city with a summit to the South.
Mysore Palace - City basking in the glory of past Kings
Hyderabad Travel - City of Nizams
Vishakapatnam - Serene lakes, Cool beaches
Golconda Fort - Military Architecture
Charminar - Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Kodaikanal - South India's better known hill stations
Kerala Tourism - God's own Country
Alappuzha - Palm fringed canals, lazy lagoons and water locked towns.
Kumarakom Backwaters - Idllyic relaxed backwater setting
Mattanchery Palace - Palace in Kochi
Munnar - Emerald green tea estates.
Silent Valley - Sairandhrivanam, meaning forest in the valley.
Wayanad wildlife sanctuary - Holiday Resorts, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation centers and more.
Poovar Island - Holiday in Poovar
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary - Highest peak in Karnataka
Cochin Travel - Gateway to God's own Country