Unniyarcha (sometimes spelled Unniarcha) is a popular legendary warrior and heroine mentioned in the Vadakkan Pattukal, the old ballads of North Malabar. She was from famous Thiyyar Chekavar family of Puthooram Veed at Kadathanad.Her father's name was kannappa chekaver. [1].She is believed to have lived in northern part of Kerala, India during the 16th century.[2][3] She is a popular character in Kerala's folklore remembered for her valour and skills in martial art of Kalaripayattu.She was trained in kalari at the age of seven[4].


Attummanammel Unniyarcha was from the famous Puthooram Veedu of North Malabar.[3][5] Unniyarcha was married to Attumanammel Kunjiraman.[6]Attamael kumjiram had a kalari known as Puthussery kalari which is still there at kannur district of kerala. She was the sister of Aromal Chekavar and Unnikannan. Unniyarcha spurned Chandu Chekavar (or Chanthu)love for her, which led to the murder of her brother Aromal by Chanthu chekavar. Later, Aromalunni, the son of Unniyarcha, took revenge against Chanthu.[7] Unniyarcha is praised for her bravery and beauty and chronicles have to this day kept the legend alive.

The legend of Unniyarcha has been made into films such as Unniyarcha (1961), Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989), and Puthooramputhri Unniyarcha (2002). A television serial titled Unniyarcha was aired in Asianet (2006).Her character was also shown in Veeram (2016)

See also


  1. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/281117/what-mt-did-to-unniyarcha.html
  2. "History of Malayalam Literature: Folk literature". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  3. "Meet Padma Shri Meenakshi Gurukkal, the grand old dame of Kalaripayattu - The 75-year-old Padma winner is perhaps the oldest Kalaripayattu exponent in the country".
  4. "What MT did to Unniyarcha - Deccan Chronicle". Dailyhunt. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. "History of Malayalam Literature: Folk literature". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  6. Gangadharan, Dr. Thikkurissi (1984). Puthariyankam. DCBooks. p. 148.
  7. Ayyappapanicker, K. (2000). Medieval Indian Literature: An Anthology. Sahitya Akademi. p. 316. ISBN 81-260-0365-0.
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