Coastal Kerala is beautiful with its beaches, churches, temples and its people. This time it was a trip from Fort Cochin to Alleppey town through the less travelled coastal route parallel to National highway 47. I started off by quarter to five in the evening on my motor cycle heading to Andakaranazi. On route you can see a lot of lagoons, bridges atop the backwaters and umpteen number of Chinese fishing nets all the way up to Andhakaranazhi. The road is narrow and is comparatively less busy; however you could see a lot of people on the road during the evenings. It is a commuter bus route with many bus stops every five minutes. For me I felt this as one of the best routes for a cycling trip.
Andhakaranazhi and the Light house
Twenty five kilometers south of Fort Cochin, is an estuary called Andhakaranazhi famous for its early morning fish market. Early in the morning you could see a fleet of fishing boats coming from the sea to auction their catch. It is very interesting to see loads of fresh fish stocked in baskets ready to be auctioned and sent to the local markets. And, you gussed it right, the best quality goes to the sea food exporters :-). In the evenings you could see the fishermen knitting and repairing their nets. Andhakaranazhi when translated to the local language of Malayalam means Estuary of Darkness ironically there is a light house erected at Andhakaranazhi. One could never opt to miss out the sunset at Andhakaranazhi.
Arthunkal Church and the Sea shore village
Further down from Andhakaranazhi is the village of Arthunkal, known for its very old church and the beach close by. The church at Arthunkal was built by St Thomas Christians, a sect of Christians believed to be converted and baptized by St. Thomas. With the permission from the local king of Muthedath, they started construction in 1581 with wood. It was during those days when Portuguese missionaries had their very strong presence in Kerala. After the construction, the church was consecrated in the name of St Andrew the Apostle. By due course of time the church changed its shape and size, today you can see a newly constructed church just in front of the old church. There is an annual festival held at the church in the month of January. Aruthnkal beach is just 500 meter away from the church.
Mararikulam for a Beach holiday!
Further from Arthunkal towards Alleppey is the fishermen village of Mararikulam. In 1988, CGH earth came up with a resort in Mararikulam with a fishermen village theme called the Marari beach resort. There after many tourism stake holders have come up with beach resorts between Mararikulam and Arthunkal. The beach is swimmable between October to May and is one of the best places for a relaxed tropical beach holiday in Kerala.
The ride was fantastic, the closer you reach Alleppey, the more the traffic you feel. The coast line road is some of the best routes to go for a beach side village cycling experience.
Written by Benjamin John