Chavara Bhavan in Aleppey (Alappuzha), Kerala - India

Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of Kuriakose Elias Chavara, a renowned Catholic Pastor. This shrine is located in the idyllic village of Kainakary, which is completely surrounded by water. Therefore, the only way to reach Chavara Bhavan is by a boat. Tourists who stay in the houseboats of Alappuzha often use this place as a pit stop, to enjoy the serenity and peacefulness of this place.  A 250 year old beacon of light is preserved here.

To get a virtual tour of Chavara Bhavan, please watch the video above or read on. When your boat reaches Kainakary (Kuttamangalam), you have to take a 10 minute walk through the beautiful village covered with trees and lush vegetation. The Alappuzha district itself has no shortage of flora and fauna, but this small town is in pristine condition and stands out among all the others.  
The entrance to Chavara Bhavan in Kainakary, Kuttamangalam - Kerala
The highlight of the well-maintained shrine is the preserved home of Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871), which is a rather small hut. The thatched roof made of coconut leaves and a simple living space indicates that he spent his life in a simple manner. The doorways are narrow and the walls are made of concrete or wood.

The birth home of Kuriakose Elias Chavara is preserved at Chavara Bhavan
Inside the birth house of Kuriakose Elias Chavara, is a life size cutout of him. He is portrayed with a blessing hand with a bible in front of him. Though prayers are not held inside this hut anymore, (Chavara Bhavan has a separate prayer hall ) villagers often sit here to receive his blessings.
A life-like cardboard cutout of Kuriakose Elias Chavara is inside his ancestral home
Another interesting artifact is the chair and the  wooden confessional used by the Pastor. These objects are over 175 years old and are still intact. You can't help feel that you stepped into the past when you look at these objects.
Antique wooden chair and confessional that were used by Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara
There is a hidden basement under the birth home of Kuriakose Elias Chavara. It is remarkably well built and has ventilators through which you can see what's going on outside. This could very well be designed  as a safe house. It has a small statue of the Blessed Pastor now.
A statue of the beatified Pastor, in the center of the basement
The Chavara Bhavan Church has an information center, a nice prayer room and clean restrooms. For the Christians of Kerala, this place is a pilgrim center. Many Christians travel hundreds of miles to visit the ancestral home of the canonized Pastor. Many European tourists who stay in the houseboats of Alleppey also pay homage to the venerated Pastor here.
Photographs of volunteers and patrons of Chavara Bhavan Church
As a tourist attraction, Chavara Bhavan should be visited when you are looking for peace and quiet. The ambiance here is exactly opposite to the bustling nature of Sri Krishna Temple, another popular attraction in Alleppey. The modest appearance and the serene atmosphere do not excite young tourists. If you are planning on visiting this shrine, please keep your expectation low.


The confessional is not one used by Bl.Chavara.

@anonymous above, why do you say that? I was told that it was used by Chavara, could you please explain? Thank you.

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