photo by kochi2007

Arthunkal is is located 8 km west of Cherthala and 22 km north from Alappuzha town. Arthunkal is considered one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Kerala. The village is synonymous with its church, which has the Roman martyr Saint Sebastian as it's patron. Arthunkal Church was elevated towards the status of Basilica on summer 2010. This is the first Basilica of Alleppey diocese and also is the seventh Basilica in Kerala.

The Arthunkal St. Andrews Forane Church was built by Portuguese missionaries, who arrived following the arrival of Vasco da Gamma in Kerala. The annual feast of St. Sebastian is held every year in the month of January. Patrons from all over the state visit the chapel on the feast days. A procession, with the Miraculous statue of St. Sebastian, takes place towards the beach and back tot he church, is an essential event from the feast.