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Old 22nd March 2012, 07:56   #1
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Default A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Let me try my hands on some of Sam's stuff first - dialogue rendering

Mom : Son, have you heard of this beach at Kottayam?
Me : What!!! A beach for a district not along the coast line?
Mom : Yeah, my friend was asking me why you have not gone to this beach so near to Kottayam.
Me : Come on amma, are you kidding me? (me going crazy, knowing the geographical boundaries of Kottayam, was definite that Kottayam cannot have a beach)
Mom : Not at all. She said it is some where called Arthunkal. Have you heard of it?
Me : No way! I bet it is not inside Kottayam district.
Mom : Can we go there some day? Heard that there is an ancient church near by.
Me : Oh I see! (mom being a happy pilgrim, was more excited about the church than the beach then)

Enough with my dialogue rendering and move on. I straight away googled for Arthunkal and found it to be not inside Kottayam district. It belongs to Alappuzha district and just 10 kms from Cherthala. But what, it is just 40 kms from Kottayam town and just 20 kms form the famous Kumarakom. Ain't it nearby?

So one fine evening, we decided to hang out at the beach and visit the Arthunkal church. It seems Arthunkal to be one of the most important pilgrim sites in Kerala, and would not be fair to talk about Arthunkal without mentioning a word about the church. The original church was built by the Portugese in the 16th century. The main attraction of a yearly feast here is the ceremony on the final day, when devotees crawl on their knees all the way from the nearby beach to the church. More info can be obtained from Arthunkal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I'll put a snap of the church, from wikipedia too, as I do not have one myself.


Name:  800pxSt._Andrews_Forane_Church_of_Arthunkal.jpg
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This is more of a short description of the beach through snaps, than of a formal travelogue. What interested me most of the beach is one - the absence of tourists and locals all along the beach. The beach seemed to belong altogether to us alone! Thyckal beach, just a couple of kms from Arthunkal beach seem more appropriate for the above description. Whereas, the Arthunkal beach will have some devotees coming to the beach after visiting the church.

We have been to both the Arthunkal and the Thyckal beach at different occasions with family and mostly in the afternoon. We have found that the beaches are mostly deserted, but for a very few locals and a many fishing boats resting on the beach. Usually when beach in Kerala are deserted, one should be extra cautious of anti-social elements. Here, we couldn't find such issues, as I guess the beach is pretty much on vigil by the locals who live in huts not too far away from the beach. Not too many outside anti-social elements dare to interfere with the local fishermen folks.

We have found that the afternoons (around 3.30, 4.30 pm) are the best time to be at the beach as the sun is still out and reflects light from the golden sands. Though I think that the beach is an approved tourist destination by the government, I couldn't find much tourism developing in the area or a single life-guard on duty. Be cautious not to stay too late into the evening and not to provoke the villagers. Also, for your own safety, don't venture out too much into the tides. I do not think the beach has a long shallow land into the sea, as against the beautiful Varkala beach, where one can venture out so far without drowning and the only factor that will be prompting you back will be the life-guard's whistle.

The other thing that fascinated me about the beach is the endless stretch of coconut trees planted along the beach. Wow! Not on many beaches in Kerala I've seen such a picturesque sight (ok, I am not claiming anything here, as I guess there should be much coconut tree lined beaches towards Kollam). May be I snap better than writing. So here goes. Some snaps of the Arthunkal / Thyckal beaches.


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-dsc00373.jpg
Coconut trees lining the Arthunkal beach


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-dsc00410.jpg
From among the trees


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3043.jpg
En-route. Thaneermukkom bund, near to Kumarakom


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3051.jpg
Yet again from the Thaneermukkom bund.


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3107.jpg
BIL enjoying all to himself


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3135.jpg
BIL on a dead coconut tree


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3124.jpg
A dead coconut tree


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3148.jpg
Seems like the sea overflows a bit at the brim


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3091.jpg


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_31121.jpg


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3106.jpg
Silhouette?


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3116.jpg


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3139.jpg
No. It is a dead crab


A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-img_3142.jpg

Disclaimer : The beach will be better enjoyed by families as a picnic spot rather than friends who are keen in 'bird-watching'

Last edited by thoma : 22nd March 2012 at 08:00.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:32   #2
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Thanks for sharing, place and pics are amazing.

your 2,3 pics reminded me of my visit to Lakshadweep couple of years ago.

We allways overlook near by places quite often.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:51   #3
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

That is absolutely brilliant man. GPS coords? You guys are blessed!
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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:55   #4
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Thanks thoma. I am from Kottayam and it brought back lots of good memories for me. Thanneer.. looks amazing..
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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:57   #5
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Wow, didn't know about this at all. Thanks for that. Will put it onto my list of beaches I can visit when I have those three day weekends. Just out of curiousity, are there any decent places to stay there that you can use as a base for visiting nearby sites as well.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:08   #6
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Hey thoma am glad I get to see my moms place like this at-least once in a while. It's been 3 years since I paid a visit.Thanks for bringing back those memories I have from this place. My school vacations used to be spent around here with numerous trips to Marari Beach and the surrounding places.

We used to have a member by name rippergeo who would post pictures from around these places during his weekend drives.

I assume you drove via the Thannirmukkam Bund to reach arthungal eh ? I drive the same route every time when I am Kadathurthy to reach moms place near Arthungal.

Next time you visit the Arthungal church make sure you visit Andhakaran Azhi beach too. You gotto drive north on the beach road towards Kochi and it's less than 10 kms from Arthungal Church.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:50   #7
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Thanks thoma for posting this. Lovely pictures and very pristine beach.

The church looks majestic.

Can you please share the exact location via Google Maps?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 14:26   #8
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post

Enough with my dialogue rendering and move on. I straight away googled for Arthunkal and found it to be not inside Kottayam district. It belongs to Alappuzha district and just 10 kms from Cherthala.
Lovely pictures Thomacha. Even me being from that part had no clue if a beach by this name exists. Makes me feel so proud!

BTW, this place is 10 kms from Cherthala towards Alappuzha/Ambalappuzha or towards Kochi?

Spike
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Old 22nd March 2012, 14:41   #9
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

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Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Can you please share the exact location via Google Maps?
Here you go.
A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-arthunkal.jpg
You have to take a right if you are going towards Alapuzha from Cherthala. As far as I know, it's well marked. Arthunkal Church (Arthunkal Palli) is famous from a very long time.

Last edited by A350XWB : 22nd March 2012 at 14:47.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 15:03   #10
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Hope this snapshot from Google Maps can be of help to know the exact location. Arthunkal is neither towards Alapuzha, Cochin or Kottayam from Cherthala. It is towards west from Cherthala.

A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.-arthunkal.jpg

Cherthala can be made a good not-so-that-expensive base, if one is intending to cover local / inland areas around Alapuzha and Kottayam. On the other hand, if one is making more of a guided tour, I think Cochin, Alapuzha or Kumarakom should be a better base.

EDIT:

Thanks guys for the comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Next time you visit the Arthungal church make sure you visit Andhakaran Azhi beach too. You gotto drive north on the beach road towards Kochi and it's less than 10 kms from Arthungal Church.
Thanks for the info on Andhakaranazhi beach. I've never been there, but now that is not too far away, thinking of paying a visit. Hope it is safe to take the family along. I am guessing that we will find umpteen number of good beaches along the highway. Going by the maps, the roads are close to the sea. Is it State Highway 66?

Last edited by thoma : 22nd March 2012 at 15:20.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 15:15   #11
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

That is one nice clean beach. Very rarely seen such beaches of late.
Hope this one holds on the same for more times to come.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 15:41   #12
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

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That is one nice clean beach. Very rarely seen such beaches of late.
Exactly why I shared it.

Quote:
Hope this one holds on the same for more times to come.
Exactly what I fear from sharing this - publicity. I pray that I don't loose 'my private' beach. 'Too many tourists spoil the beach' :(

Last edited by thoma : 22nd March 2012 at 15:43.
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Old 25th March 2012, 18:26   #13
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Nice beach! I remember having visited this place some 3-4 years back. My friends & I had gone for a boating near Kumarakom & then we extended the trip to this beach. Very neat, not-so-crowded makes it a good place to hang around. Though we visited this place, I was NOT sure of the church name & thought this place is in Alappey!
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:23   #14
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
BTW, this place is 10 kms from Cherthala towards Alappuzha/Ambalappuzha or towards Kochi?

Spike
Spikey this route is towards to the beach from Chertala. Ask anyone and they should guide you, cheapest option is to use the private bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Thanks for the info on Andhakaranazhi beach. I've never been there, but now that is not too far away, thinking of paying a visit. Hope it is safe to take the family along. I am guessing that we will find umpteen number of good beaches along the highway. Going by the maps, the roads are close to the sea. Is it State Highway 66?
The beach is clean and pristine and I have hardly seen any anti social elements around this place. The regular fishermen and their boats and a few tourists. There are umpteen clean beaches after Andhakaranazhi if you drive north.

This a beach road which takes you via Pallithode-> Chellanam--> Kannamaali--> Saudi to Fort Kochi.
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Old 27th March 2012, 06:18   #15
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Default Re: A beach at Kottayam! Not exactly, but close by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Enough with my dialogue rendering and move on. I straight away googled for Arthunkal and found it to be not inside Kottayam district. It belongs to Alappuzha district and just 10 kms from Cherthala. But what, it is just 40 kms from Kottayam town and just 20 kms form the famous Kumarakom. Ain't it nearby?
Hey thoma, thanks for the pictures. Makes me emotional. Every year my mom insisted on going to Arthunkal church for St. Sebastian's feast in January. She passed away 2 years back and haven't been there since then.

Jose
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