If you are looking for a secluded, tranquil, non-touristy beach with pristine sandy shores, then Thaickal is the place to be. Thaickal Beach offers a great experience for sunset views and solitude—just you and the infinite blue expanse—with the companionship of some fishing boats, watching the sun taking its daily dip into the horizon.
Situated not far from Cherthala town, Thaickal is a small fishing hamlet in Alappuzha district of Kerala, and is an offbeat beach destination that is not frequented by tourists. This serene, reclusive beach is a part of the Arabian Sea. The pristine, smooth sand and the secluded seashore, the endless miles of no-man’s land, the shining, golden waters and the blushing skies rendered by the sunset, the frothy shoreline, the orchestra of the crashing waves, with just your breath in synchrony with the rolling waves—Thaickal is the ideal getaway for a beach and nature lover.
The wooden fishing boats along the coastline silently posturing for the perfect frame, the coconut trees adorning the beach periphery, the rustic, picturesque fishermen’s huts that are scattered not too far from the beach, the impatient, crimson fiery ball posing to be photographed like a red-carpet star, the resting fishermen after a day’s work—anyone, with anything that even remotely resembles a camera lens, will jump on the photography bandwagon!
Thaickal Beach is located along the coastal belt of Alappuzha district. Unlike the other beaches on this shore belt, this beach is not flat or wide. A couple of decades back, a 1000-year-old wind-powered ship was excavated 2 km from the beach and is still under the protection of the Archeology Department.
Sometimes, far across the sea, one can spot some fishing boats floating around. Though it appears that the boat is already en route a fishing expedition and looks smaller than the ones docked on the shore, on a closer survey through with a pair of binoculars, one can find that the boats are empty and are drifting just like that, out there in the sea! If you check with the local people, they would tell you that those are the actual fishing boats that they use to go for long distance fishing, and they are in fact, double or triple the sizes of the ones you see on the beach. And since they cannot be docked on the shore, they are anchored in the sea! Furthermore, they use the boats on the beach to drop them off on the bigger ones moored out there. Truly, these guys know how to manage their transit operations.
There are a few other beaches that are lying on the same coastline; the closest ones, within a 10 km radius of Thaickal Beach are—Arthunkal Beach, Andhakaranazhi Beach and Marari Beach.
Arthunkal is a famous pilgrimage spot and is known for its church as well as its beach, and is located very close to Thaickal beach. This long and wider beach is near to the church, and is usually crowded especially during the pilgrimage season. Andhakaranazhi Beach is an isthmus, and is at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the backwaters. Located a little north to Thaickal, this is another fishing belt. The currents here are strong, and the beach is a popular tourist destination. Marari Beach, south to Thaickal, is a beautiful, tranquil beach, with short coconut groves adorning its shores. It was declared one among the world’s top five ‘hammock beaches’ in a survey by National Geographic. With its shallow currents, Marari is an ideal spot for swimming.
Thaickal Beach is located 6 km from Cherthala and 24 km from Alappuzha, the nearest towns.
Since there are no lifeguards on the beach, or any people around for most of the time, it is not advisable to swim here or wade larger distances into the sea. However, one can always check with the local folks and the fishermen here.
The nearby tourist attractions, Arthunkal Church and Beach is located 3 km from Thaickal Beach, Marari Beach at 9 kms, and Andhakaranazhi Beach at 7 km. Alappuzha Beach is 22 km away from Thaickal, and all these beaches can also be covered as part of Alappuzha beach tour.
Thaickal does not have any food or stay options; however, Marari beach has quite a few resorts and homestays available.
(The author is a freelance writer and a travel blogger, and authors the blog, 'The Road Less Travelled')