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Thacholi Meppayil Kunjhu Othenan or Mepayil Tacholi Manikoth Kovilakathu Kunji Othena Kurup (Udayana Kurup of Thacholi Manikoth House) or more popularly Thacholi Othenan was a legendary hero who is believed to have lived during 16th century in North Malabar region of Kerala, India. He is praised about in Vadakkan Pattukal (ballads of North Malabar).
Othenan was born in Thacholi near Vatakara. His father, Kotakkad Kovilakath Puthuppanathu Mooppil Vazhunnor, was a Desavazhi of a small fiefdom. He practised Kalarippayattu (ancient martial art form of Kerala) from a very young age and grew up to be an extraordinarily brave and skilled warrior. Legends portray him as being a merciless opponent to enemies and a friend to the helpless. Even the powerful Zamorin of Calicut respected him. Mathiloor Gurukkal was his trainer, while Kandachery Chappan was his best companion.The legendary Thacholi Chandu was his nephew. A famous temple in Vatakara named Lokanarkavu Temple was one that was patronised by the Thacholi family, their family deity was Bhagavathy which was worshipped in their family temple at the thacholi manikoth tharawad
Othenan beheaded Chandan Nambiar, who was regarded at that time as the best warrior in entire North Malabar, with the help of a martial art technique known as Poozhikkadakan learned from his colleague Payyamvelli Chanthu. He also killed a number of other very prominent warriors such as Punnora Kelappan and Puramala Nambi Kurup. He defeated Kadhirur Gurukkal in ankam (duel/war) and killed him. But one of the Gurukkal’s disciples (Parunthunkal Emman Panicker) arranged a Moplah mercenary (Mayin Kutty) who killed Othenan through treachery at the age of 32. The legend says that Othenan was shot while he was walking home through a rice field.
Thacholi Ambadi, another renowned martial arts expert, was Othenan's son.
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