St Andrews Basilica

saint-andrews-basilicaSt Andrew’s Basilica is located in Arthunkal in Cherthala and is one of the Forance Parishes of Alappuzha. It is also the First Parish of the Alappuzha Diocese. It is one of the main pilgrim centers of the Christians in South India. People irrespective of caste and religion come to this church for worship. St Andrews’s Forance church was given the status of Basilica in 2010 and is the 7th Basilica in Kerala. St. Sebastian was a martyr who suffered a lot for the Church of Christ. Even though the church is in the name of St. Andrew, this church became famous due to the St. Sebastian feast.

The main feast is the Feast of St. Sebastian called as Arthunkal Perunnal which is celebrated for 11 days in a year in the month of January. The feast starts on 10th January and continues up to 27th January. On 18th January, the statue of St. Sebastian is kept in front of the Church Altar and is then taken for a procession on 20th January. The procession from the church to the beach chapel attracts huge crowd. A small feast is also celebrated on the 8th day after the main feast. It is called as the Ettam Perunnal or Octave. It is estimated that around 2 lakh people visit this church during the festive season.

The main offering in thus church is the ‘Ambum Villum’ which are models of Bow and Arrow made of Gold, Silver or rolled Gold. People also roll oneself from the beach to the church which is a distance of more than 1 km by carrying the offering in their hand. There are several other offerings made by the devotees. The Sabarimala pilgrims also visit this church and end their pilgrim trip.

Church timings

Mass : Daily : 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 Reach

District Alappuzha
Near Bus Station Cherthala bus station
Near Railway Station Cherthala railway station at a distance of 6 kms
Near Airport Cochin International Airport at a distance of around 80 kms