Thacholi Meppayil Kunjhu Othenan (Udayana Kurup of Thacholi Manikoth House) or more popularly Thacholi Othenan or Tachcholi Othenan was the legendary hero of North Kerala, who is thought to have lived 500 years ago. He was born in the family of ‘Manikkoth’ in Thacholi, near Vadakara, located 48 km north of Kozhikode. Highly stylised songs and stories of his valour and chivalry abound. His real name was Udayana Kurup. He is praised about in vadakkanpattu (ballads of North Kerala).
Othenan was known for his dignified and fearless behavior even when he was a boy. He was a very helpful friend to all, but merciless to enemies. He was respected by all, including the Zamorin of Calicut. He defeated Mathiloor Gurukkal, martial art expert, and killed him. Othenan, the legendary warrior of Kerala, was killed at the tender age of 32 by one of the Gurukkal’s disciples.
Thacholi Manikkoth, the kalari center, where Thacholi Othenan practiced Kalaripayattu is a place worth visiting. Thacholi Manikkoth Temple, dedicated to Thacholi Othenan, situated in Vadakara, organizes a martial arts festival during March or April, which draws a large number of people from far and near.Many many thanks to an “Anon friend” for providing ACK scan.