A Blog on Cinema

Historical inaccuracies in Urumi


By Arun Mohan

See, there are several historical pitfalls as deep as a bore, which any history knowing person will understand. The advantage Urumi has is that, 99% of Malayalees donot know our own history, atleast pre-1857, whereas most of them study and learn about Mughal and Rajput histories. Even our own state curriculum donot teaches where is Kolathanadu and Arakkal and its relation with Samoothiri.

Let me tell, there is a big mistake in first few scenes. Chirakkal is just a place or city that used to be capital of Kolathunadu Kingdom and until arrival of Dutch in 17th century, people used to refer the term Kolathiri instead of Chirakkal. In opening scene, we are shown Arya as Chirakkal Kotuval. But the script didn’t explain the relation between Chirakkal Kotuval and Kolathiri Royal family. As a result, the question whether Kelu Nayanar is part of Kolathiri family is unanswered. In first few scenes, we are made to understand that Krishnadas, the character Prithiviraj plays as modern is of royal heir and hence one needs to believe Kelu Nayanar was part of Kolathiri dynasty. However how can a- “Nayanar” (NAIR for Malabar area) become part of famous Mooshika Kshyatriya dynasty of Kolathiri. As per Nair traditions, its Marumakathayam, which means caste has to be inherited from Mother, not father. If Kelu Nayanar is from Chirakkal Royal House, naturally Krishnadas won’t be a heir today, as per Maternal law of Kerala, its nephews who inherit, not children.

Secondly the ship burning incident is from real incident when Vasco Da Gama came in 1502 as revenge against Zamorin (Samoothiri) for burning down Portuguese factory in Kozhikode killing 1500 Portuguese people. The ship Miri was bound to Calicut and it was hijacked near Kozhikode Beach to bring Samoothiri to negotiating table. So from where Kotuval of Chirakkal comes into picture. The script writer doesn’t appreciate the 100 km distance between Chirakkal and Kozhikode nor justify the amazing power of Kotuval to fly from Kannur to Kozhikode to attack Gama’s ship.

Throughout the history of Kerala, Kolathiri was the most powerful ally of Portuguese, after Kochi. Even in 1502 when Gama came to attack Kozhikode, he first visited Kolathunadu and signed in treaty to establish the Kannur Factory (the modern St.Angelo’s fort). So how in the movie, Chirakkal shown in odds with Portuguese. It was only by late 16th century, Kolathiri turned against Portuguese when Chirakkal and Kozhikode signed in peace treaty.

The surprising factor is that Arakkal kingdom has never been odds with Kolathiri in its five century long history. Perhaps, it was the Kolathiri himself, who created Arrakkal kingdom to allow his daughter who was married to Muslim to enjoy regal status. Ever since that, two royal families were in strong relations to each other and for several age old customs, members of both families has to jointly perform. Kolathiri family considers Arrakkal as its 3rd branch as the dynasty has 5 branches. So how come they shown as bitter enemies?

Likewise, the scriptwriters weren’t much aware of that, Guns and cannons were part of Kerala even when Portuguese first came to Kozhikode in 1498. Guns and cannons were introduced to Kerala, through Arab traders and Chinese. However the difference was, we had gun technology of 13th or 14th century even in 16th century as most of rulers didn’t invest much in improving new gunpowder technology. Rather focus and attention was developing on Kalaripayittu.  In the movie, we are made to believe, Chirakkal Princess doesn’t know what to say for Gun and calls it as Thee Thuppi! Whereas the word Pirangi and Thokku etc were much in Malayalam dictionary even in 14th century. So why to use the word Thuppakki? In 1502, Zamorins had fired more than 1200 cannons against Portuguese ships. However the Portuguese had better range, more firing power and manuveourability which our cannons didn’t have that time.

The movie had several other issues too apart of these historical mistakes. Many people do not exactly understand what is intended. For example, how many people can understand Perumpadappu means? When Estvo Da Gama was arrested, Jagathy says that immediately we must send an emissary to Perumpadappu. Its nothing but Kochi, as it was old name of Kochi Kingdom (just like Chirakkal- the capital of Kolathunadu Kingdom, Kochi was capital of Perumpadappu Swaroopam). Kochi that time was capital of Portuguese Indies.

There are some other issues too – In 1524, the third visit of Vasco-Da Gama, he didn’t visit Kolathanadu as shown in the movie. In 1515 Goa became the capital of Portuguese India and most of Portuguese viceroys started visiting and living in Goa. Kochi was their second capital and hence several factors and agents visit there. In 1524’s Gama’s visit, he first settled in Goa and later thought to visit Kochi as invited by Kochi King. Gama reached Kochi in Dec 23rd 1524 and died on next day due to Malaria. Vasco Da Gama was so fragile by 1524, that one blow from a person like Kelu Nayar’s kind of person would kill him. Yet we were shown that Vasco fighting with a powerful hunk like Kelu in full vigor. And the story is not clear whether he killed or not…

And thanks for Sankar Ramakrishnan, that at least through  his movie, he made Vasco’s second son Estave Da Gama to visit Kerala, a dream which Estave couldn’t accomplish during his lifetime as he was busy establishing African provinces of Portuguese and Homzur straits.


  1. very badly written, for one. please write in malayalam if u’re more comfortable with that? i would not object, but for the fact that this becomes hard to read.

    1, show me a movie in any language that is historically accurate
    2, the marumakkathaayam thing is something that modern malayalam cinema (post murappenu, seemingly) doesn’t seem to get at all. devasuram, which was pretty much perfect otherwise, had a thampuratti marry a menon, and the son was a menon. but that doesn’t mean that devasuram was a bad film, or less effective because of this “inaccuracy”. :-/
    3. vasco da gama’s health is an essential to the film, because otherwise ur unk would be slaughtering a cripple. 🙂

  2. Nice nice! Though be careful, some media outlet is bound to steal material from this one. I would suggest you to publish this yourself somewhere else before that happens.

    • Hi,

      The article is well written. There was lot of confusion for me even after watching it 2 times. First I thought maybe it’s taken in a too intelligent way so you may need to concentrate better. I had by then figured out that it was only good in cinematography and the underlying script is really poor.

      You article throws light to the historical blunders. Thanks for the great write-up.

      Santhosh Sivan is excellent with all visuals but the flow of the film lacks great clarity of thoughts. Maybe as a 1st attempt be can forgive. But prithviraj is too kiddish to project ist as one of ‘THE” best movies in Malayalam. Grow up man grow up!!!!

  3. this article itself lacks the credibility about the historical description provided, since you have not given any authentic references or citations to support your views.

    • I wish you would try to look up a few sources yourself. Yes, the author could have shown a few references as well. However, this is not an academic discussion. (Even though the subject matter is). As the author said, too bad we are not taught history these days.

  4. Really a good post. These are some of the questions which arise while i watched the movie. Thanks for updating me with this historical data.

  5. Dear Arun,

    Excellent work! You have done much more research than the Urumi team, as far as the history is concerned. I had been a sad spectator to Santhosh Sivan’s other epic, Ashoka. 8 years on, he proves once again that film making is not his cup of tea; He should rather stick to the one thing he is sans equals; cinematography. And leave the film making to others.

    It is quite unfortunate that, people still confuse good visuals and good technology for good films. I was a bit misled by the reviews all around the net on Urumi; but let me tell you some thing; Urumi is nothing but visual extravagance; Not a single dialogue or character sticks in your mind after you leave the cinemas; a must for a good film.

    But, our friends, who had been for the last so many years been fed on trash, find Urumi great; and Prithvi’s wooden act awesome. I don’t blame Prithvi; he has the talent; but sadly for him, there is a complete dearth of good directors and script directors in malayalam, who can tap and develop his potential, unlike his predecessors like M&M were lucky to have.

    @vk – Not really sure, what you were trying to tell; Did u really read through the post?

  6. Thanks for the history lesson.

    But a film really doesn’t need to be completely historically accurate.

  7. This was shown in title cards:

    this film is inspired by actual events, all the incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. certain characters may be composites or entirely fictitious

  8. @V.K

    Sorry, I didn’t check my grammar properly, as I intend to post the material only as a comment. Thanks for Varnachitra team for posting as an article. If I knew it would be post, I would have written in more ornamental way.

    Well, to be honest, no films portray historical events accurately and we don’t expect any movie to be 100% fair to historical proceedings. If so it may become another documentary.

    But how can they portray things, that is totally contradictory to history itself or rather opposite and call it part of our own history. As I mentioned, throughout the history of Kerala, Chirakkal aligned itself to Portuguese and Portuguese were forced to depend on Chirakkal to a greater extent as supplies from Kozhikode market to Portuguese factories were low due to traditional hostility between Zamorin and Portuguese.

    I don’t understand the logic, why the team choose Chirakkal as home base for its protagonist, whereas if they changed it to Kozhikode, it would make better for historical sensibilities as most of people in Kozhikode, particularly Zamorin’s Nair forces as well as Muslim Admirals were damn against Portuguese and they have done more heroic deeds in real history, than Chirakkal or Kelu Nair did in friction. Perhaps the scriptwriter may be from KANNUR and wanted to boost the image of his native place as Anti-Portuguese.

    Secondly, forget what historical accuracies…. The current Arakkal dynasty members have all legitimate reasons to file a case against the movie, for portray its family in wrong light. I felt really bad to seea wrong portrayal of Chirakkal king behaving so badly towards Arakkal ladies, whereas in reality Chirakkal Thampuran is considered as a fatherly figure for all Arakkal members, due to its own unique history. The script-writer was mocking at an imaginary hollowness of Chirakkal family’s prejudices against Arrakkal, whereas in reality one should praise for the deep Hindu-Muslim unity values of that Chirakkal thampurans had, when he (a Hindu King) craved a kingdom for his Islam converted daughter and her Muslim Husband. How can a father ask his daughter to sleep with his son? This is exactly what was shown in the movie.

    Yes, your point is very important, that today most of people are unaware of Kerala’s unique Marumakkathyam tradition. Otherwise how can one’s grandfather family’s legacy considered as one’s own among Nair/Kshatriya Hindus who believed in maternal inheritance until 1950s. No Malayalam movie has done justice to this part of tradition, again that misleads our historical awareness.

    To Arjun,

    If you are keen to evidences, even a search in Wikipedia may be more useful than going thro’ any academic references. Still if you are keen for an academic reference, I suggest you to read Prof. Sreedharan’s- Political History of Kerala which is now a text book for BA History students in Kerala and MG Universities.

  9. Extremely dedicated and sincere research has gone into the writing of this article and I would first like to appreciate the writer for his effort.
    But, what I would like to ask him is ‘What’s the point?’
    This film has never claimed to be historically accurate. As implied in the title card, most facts and characters, and the timeline have been changed for dramatisation. In fact, the movie has been touted as ‘a fairy tale with a foot in history’ or ‘a historical fantasy’.
    So, even though the writer deserves applause for the effort, it should be considered that he must have been greatly offended by the deviation from fact and hence, spurned into writing this article without any aim as such.
    It is easy to criticise and point mistakes out, as compared to finding the good points, in anything.

    @biju: Just because a movie deviates from fact, doesn’t mean that the movie is bad, or film making is not the director’s cup of tea. If it was like that, the Indian film industry would be non-existent. A lot more effort goes into making a movie and sadly, you are not capable of understanding, in spite of the movie industry being one of the most transparent in their working.
    Most importantly, a movie is meant to be enjoyed. It should spark questions, but if a movie says that it ‘inspired’ by true events and also carries a disclaimer about it being fiction, u should preferably shove your cynicism and enjoy the ride.

  10. whats the point of this article? People have enjoyed the movie and I am also impressed with the movie, one of the best movies made in malayalam and it will go on to become a classic. Really rich story telling whether its real or not ….whoe cares? The point is its a well made movie

  11. Pingback: Review: Urumi | varnachitram

  12. I saw the movie yesterday. Took it as pure fiction.
    So I did not mind historical inaccuracy.
    Whatever it may be. this is the best way one can arouse the interest of the present generation in history. And film I felt, definitely it is a good film.An enjoyable one. I appreciate the VERY GOOD dialogues, script and general mood (inspired by the H’wood as well as some folk theatre forms of South India). Keep it up, Sankar Ramakrishnan, Santhosh Sivan, and Prithviraj.

  13. Dear friend,

    There is no doubt within me, that scriptwriter, director and producers need a strong round of applause for making a movie like this in a large canvas and trying to tell a story which Mallus are not accustomed to . But the question “whats my point?”, I would say, the scriptwriter was exploiting the historical illiteracy of malayalees, which I would consider mocking at our own legacy and heritage. Do you feel, is it morally right to depict a movie showing Gandhiji with AK 47 and forcing an innocent, weak, righteous Lord Mountbatten to sign Indian Independence Act at gun point and call it as a writer’s cinematic liberties or historical friction?

    That’s exactly happened in Urumi. You can write a story or script in somebody else viewpoint, just like what MT did in Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. But he didn’t show Aromol Killing Chandu and Unniarcha committing suicide….. Rather the events were chronologically true, however as its said from Chandu’s point of view, the context changed. Kunchacko made several Vadakkan Pattu movies using his frictional style, but ensured that no historical character comes into picture or if any, it would be aligned to its historical chronology (Example: Thumbolarcha, Kannappanunni etc). There another way to tell story. In Pazhassiraja, MT wanted Pazhassiraja to be like a Freedom fighter, so he purposefully didn’t tell the story of Pazhasiraja during Tipu’s rule in Kerala as during that period Pazhassi was Pro-British and lead British forces against Tipu in Malabar. Instead MT started the story with post-Tipu era when Pazhassi turned against British and made the character, as a symbol of anti-British.

    Here in Urumi, as pointed out, the scriptwriter ignored all historical connections and said the story with all true historical characters/families as per his whims and fancies. There was another movie called Padayottam released I 1985 which was actually Malayalam adaption of French novel Count of Monty Christo. The story was adapted as if it was happening in Chirakkal with Kolathiri and Arrakkal coming in picture (Madhu played the role of Kolathiri, Poornima Jayaram played the role of Arrakkal Princess). If you watched it, the entire story is purely imaginary, however some of the basic elements of history like deep relationship between Kolathiri and Arrakkal Ali Raja or Arrakkal’s immense wealth and trading power, Kolathiri’s military power etc remained true to history. Whereas it was all distorted in Urumi.

    As I said, it was lucky for Urumi team, that most of current generations of Malayalees are ignorant of our own history. Kerala might be 100% political and social literate, but fails before some states like Rajasthan which has more fair share in their own historical literacy. That’s the reason why the whole Rajasthan condemned the movie Jodha Akbar, just because Jodha was the name of Akbar’s son(Jahangir) wife and even went for legal litigation, despite of popular beliefs. If Jodhapur Royal Family can file legal proceedings against Jodha-Akbar, I wonder why can’t Arrakkal and Kolathiri families do the same against Urumi, which distort’s their own name and repute.

    That itself shows the lack of self pride, legacy, which people do exploit as done by Colonial forces earlier. I was pointing that out.

    Arun Mohan

  14. Edited the Wiki page of Urumi the movie[] to include this post.

  15. Great! Done an excellent job

    You are the true Malayali i was hoping for!

    Great findings! excellent!!!
    Todays generation even dont know the relation between Kolathiri and Chirakkal or Samoothiri and Vellattiri. And they will watch historical dramas as watching a Suresh Gopi film and will clap, we cant complain them, history is not even “subject” in Kerala, who want history MA ?

  16. Wow…Arun!!!

    That was a Super post, Superer comments, and Superest supporting arguments from you… (Solicit the assistance of all visiting English experts to suggest a better phrase to express how I feel)

    I wish I could be as assertive, yet as polite as you had been while putting forward your arguments. Hats off sir..!

    VC, wish you had ‘Like’ buttons for posts and comments similar to the ones in FB :). BTW, I thought it was a real good move to include this in Wikipidea. This post is a truly informative and I do not think it would affect the collection or performance of the movie. So, perhaps this would help interested people and the makers of this movie look into this with more earnestness.

  17. Dear arum,
    Your work is excellent, please give some references about portugese arrival and establishment of their trade, i want to know more about !

  18. I see that the comments posted here can be judged based own level of undertsanding on the Real History of Kerala. Arun has done a good job by posting the inaccuracies based on the available records for those who still believe in Real Historical facts.

    But if you look at the other side of Movies in general, its feel good factor that matters on this hi-tech age , while I do admit in Malayalam movies it was mostly Sad movies, the hit sometime back…I watched the movie (without knowing these inaccuracies)felt extremely happy to watch our men fight & kick these Colonial Invaders ….While History taught us loads of kings & princes who sold their country for material benefits or position offered by these Colonial invaders,(later betrayed) there was always those Brave Men who fought for their mother Land….I think the team of Urumi is trying to show that feel good factor ignoring the historical facts

    But all said , I agree with Arun that, the script writer must have done justice to the relation between Kolathiri and Arrakkal family which was bit astonishing!!

    Let’s leave Arakkal Family alone and I wish to see perhaps Public interest litigation in any of our court.

  19. Just a wee correction in the write up..Nayanars cannot be broadly called the Nairs of the Malabar area..they are generally Nambiars(the Kiryathil Nairs of North Malabar) who have the term Nayanar as a honorific title or have been given the same..some of the Nayanar clans like the Edathil Nayanars were of very high standingand married into the Chirakkal royal family …so if kelu nayanar was one of these and he married into the Chirakkal family-his son would be a Kolathiri heir as per Marumakkathayam

  20. umm i wud kinda disagree with the point “arrakkal was not in odds with the chirakkal people”. arrakal origins from the chirakkal dynasty. they share a common bloodline, if one were to look, as a princess of the chirakkal dynasty converted into a muslim, reasons best known to her, and thereafter ruled arrakal inheriting wealth from the cirakkal king. During the early 16th century, as they were ruling in each others neighborhood, it is only natural to point out that they were rivals. And it is said that the princess was thrown out of the palace and henceforth converted to islam but was allowed to retain her share of the royal wealth.

  21. First i congrats to arun.
    But arun should have known some matters.
    1.kelu nainar is not a
    fiction charector.
    He was the official fighter of kolath nadu&arakkal .
    At the time of portugeece invention.
    He fighted against portugeece and killed by them as the life of marikars.
    But his child hood was very rich and he had lived as son of fighter (not like in urumi)
    2.In that time muslim pilgrims in kerala and lakshdeev went to maka From mapila ba bay port in cannanore(now it is a fishing harbour) it is only 6km from chirakal.more over the muslim pilgrims to maka in malabar were controlled by arakal we can understand reality of chirakal kothuval’s fighting.
    In urumi there is another some historical mistakes.
    1.Arakkal kingdom were stronger rulers till tippu’s ruling period. They were very rich mainly by trading. But in the film arakkal beevi(ruler) was murdered by chirakal fighters and palace was destroyed by them.

  22. nice history lesson
    but the fact is that historical inaccuracy is not disturbing the flow of this well people doesnt expect any movie to be historically accurate.then whats the problem ?

  23. i watched the movie yesterday. just by doubt searched for the inaccuracies in the film and came across this post. undoubtedly Arun has done great work.
    i just remember an episode of Munch Star Singer in which Gopinath Muthukad asks Yadu Krishnan the name of father of Rahul Gandhi reply came immediately – Rajiv gandhi, then he asked Rajiv mother, her father and grandfather the names of Indira, Jawaharlal and Motilal came without much difficulty. then he asked his fathers name ‘Krishnan’ came the reply. grandfather’s name? he was at loss!
    we can excuse him for he is just into teens. but this is the average malayali attitude. we are proud of our ignorance. we are ashamed to be malayalis. but will be happy to be mallus (monkeys in hindi)
    as far as the film is concerned the portrayal of a warrior is done well but the climax was not punching.
    i hope that some of our generation will be inspired by the film to look back into our history (just like Krishnadas)

  24. I loved the movie. fact remains – Vasco de gama was a barbarian historically and he has been projected in that light.
    thats al that matters.

  25. I appreciate the effort Done by Arun Mohan ! but I also appreciate the effort done by the urumi MOVIE team,the reason why I am reading this article. Thanks to everyone who contributed to know the real history of our land our kerala.

  26. I watched the movie yesterday. Hats off to the movie production team. The movie prompted me to check on some historical background online. I must admit that prior to checking online about Vasco Da Gama and Kelu Nayanar,my knowledge about Vasco Da Gama was limited to him establishing trading links between India and Portugal. I agree completely with Mr. Arun Mohan that we have very little knowledge about Kerala’s history.

    While Urumi must be seen for what it is, i.e. a movie, it is inevitable that history may be shortchanged to fit into a 3 hour episode. However, my takeaway from the movie was that unless the rulers, monarchy or elected government, are sincere and work in the interest of the masses, you will have foreigners enslaving you. The movie connects the past with the present wonderfully. Will the present day main character in Urumi succumb to his want of money and sell away the land to foreigners (multi national corporations) whose intentions may be less than noble? This is the main theme I have learnt from the movie. I hope adults who watched this movie will begin to learn more about Kerala’s history and instill interest in our children. Historical facts are important but more important are lessons learnt because history may repeat itself. Thanks to Santosh Sivan and team for the movie and for instigating a thirst in us to learn more of our history and thanks to Mr. Arun Mohan for putting historical facts in perspective.

  27. I have gone through the initial post and few of the comments. I agree to Arun that Urumi has a lot of contradictions and historical inaccuracies.

    But I did not understand it when you said Estave never visited India. Estave was the 11th Governor for Portugese India from 1540-1542. His brother Christavao was in charge of Africa.

  28. Kelu nayar was a really person?
    where kunjali marakkar?


  30. No doubt there were many flaws in its historical accuracies, but we can’t deny it to the makers of this movie. They must be appreciated for their efforts. Due to this movie, atleast a few would have decided to turn the pages of Kerala history and know something about it. The movie was more entertainment oriented than being historically correct. We can’t blame them for this, thats what the audience want now.

  31. I totally agree with ” crusader “words .

    well lemme tell the reality , The Cast NAYANAR is a Sub Division of NAMBIAR cast in KANNUR . they are not Purely Nairs . They belongs to the Cast Called SAMANTHA KSHATRIYA , which now Merged with Nair Service society . N also there isnt any Such Person Called Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar his real identity is Murikkanchery Kelu Nambiar . He belongs to the Nambiar tharavadu Called Murikkanchery in Kannur

  32. nambair(nair)

  33. Though i accept that the movie would encourage people to turn the pages of Kerala history, its only few that would take this movie as a reference and make an effort to know the real history. But most would interpret whats narrated in this movie as a fact and the course of history would totally deviate in future. Even myself, if i have not had a chance to read this post, would have completely entrusted & believed in what the director projected as the history of Kerala.

    Yes, no period is 100% historically accurate. But if the source of inaccuracy is the reference that the filmmaker used, then its pardonable. The film maker cannot change anything from his own reference. A Disclaimer would not do justice in this case. Just admitting that the film is not COMPLETELY accurate through a Disclaimer is just not enough, as the viewers are still clueless as which content is accurate and what is not. You can either be Black or White.. Not Grey.

  34. Murikkinchery is an ancient Nair tharavad,which has branches in Ezhome,Madayi,Azhikkode,Chirakkal, is my father’s house .. Murikkinchery Kunjikkelu alias Kelu Nair was an adopted son of kolathiri and titled as the Lord of Madayi fort .. there is a vadakkan paattu about kunjikkelu ..and d story is not similar to urumi is no clashes with d portugese.. d story is about d conflicts between chirakkal and arakkal was happened long years before d arrivel of portugese ..kunjikkelu finally short dead by kolathiri’s original son kalyaatt kunjikkannan nambiar ..d only relative thing with urumi is kelu’s marriage with an arakkal prince .. Murikkinchery Kunjikkelu Nair is a legendary hero of northern kerala ballads ..all of us from Murikkinchery tharavad proud of him as our great kaaranavar .. ( u can read the story of kelu nair frm d book ‘murikkinchery kelu, oru paattu katha’ by R C Karippath)

  35. Kelu Nair ano ? Kelu Nayanar ano ? Kelu Nambiar ano ?

    i dont think Kelu Nair Will come COZ nairs are not Counted as royal blood in North Malabar . Nayanar and Nambiar cast are the Second Raja / Samanthan Raja they belongs to the Royal blood

    I am related to Kadathanatu Kovilakom and Chirakkal / Kolathiri Kovilakom

  36. Gama was a common thief, thats all we need to know, when how, what year is all unnecessary details. The Europeans have a nasty habit of screwing up their own land and running off to foreign land to fulfill their greeds as they did with America. Who wrote history, it is most the whites who like to glorify themselves by altering the truth and getting rid of hard evidence that might point otherwise. So this writer only talks of second hand knowledge, where he got his info, from the white man written books? So no one knows for sure what exactly happened but we do know we got looted by the invaders . it was our own folly because we welcomed everyone outsider and trodded on our own kind. So history or not, i think this movie have opened up a new understanding for mainly Indians to see how they hv been duped of their own legacies. One more revealing truth is the how Malayalees became so fair.. as the result of seed spilled by foreign white skin traders yet MOST of the them are so arrogant of their colours and features and claims superior to darker indians. So Santosh Sivan has done two favours for the present ignorant India, stop worshiping the white men and white skin and take pride in their ancestry. Period

  37. nair-(nambair,nayanar)

  38. @hansika .. Urumi is loosely based on the life of Murikkinchery kelu nair …they just changed the name to nayanar for a royal image..kunjikelu’s life is not related to the story of urumi in all means .. Murikkinchery kelu’s story is well described in vadakkan paattu ,which is used to sing in paddy fields around kannur and madayi at the time of naattippani ..some nair tharavads in north malabar have the same status of samantha nambiar families and higher status than ordinary nambiar families … And all the nambiar families are really Kiriyathil nairs later honoured with the title ‘Nambiar’ ..i noticed some nair and nambiar families belonged to same Kiriyam or Illam .. Murikkinchery is nairs and aanappally is nambiars ..but they belonged to the same kiriyam .. Chirakkal Kelu nayanar is a fictional character but there was a warrior named Murikkinchery kelu nair in kolathu nadu ..

  39. @hansika ..The story of urumi is loosely based on the life of Murikkinchery kelu nair .. They just changed the name to Kelu nayanar for a royal image ..Chirakkal kelu nayanar is a fictional character but Murikkinchery kelu was warrior who lived in kannur before centuries ..kelu’s life is not related to urumy in all means ..kelu nair’s life is well described in vadakkan paattu which is used to sing in paddy fields around kannur and madayi at the time of naattippani ..

  40. Koods buddy!!! nice work. Some one asked the question to show which movie is 100% true in history. True no one, but they all say itsa fcition based on some shistorical evidence, not boast it as a part of history and unknown story in history and all. They did that in the promo interviews… This move was a showoff, they tried to do something with some watered subject.

  41. @ Arun ,

    I don’t think we have illam Nairs at malabar especially the Kannur area . Illam Nairs are around South Kerala (eg: Pillai,Illathu Nair ) but kiriyath Nairs are different ( Thampi , Unnithan , Nambiar , Nayanar, Menon , Kalari Kurups ) among this kiriyath Nairs some of them got Samantha Status Nambiar , Nayanar , Thampi , Eradi , Nedungadi , Kidavu , Adiyodi…etc. Kiriyath Nairs like Menon , Kurup , Panickers , Nair etc. Are not belong to Samantha Status .
    Cast like Nambiar mostly marries from Nambiar , Varma, Nayanar , Adiyodi etc . They won’t prefer to marry other ‘ Nairs’ ( nowadays they does)
    The Royal Nambiar Families like , Kadangot , Kaitheri , Chandroth , Manikoth , ,Neeliath ,Othayoth , Kandoth , Kallyat ,Koodali Thazhath , Ninkileri Thayilliath , Ayilliath , Erambala , Vengayil , Varikkara.etc ( Nambiar Family with Ghee) Marries from Royal familys

  42. hi,
    as being a student myself i feel much happy to read this article…………after seeing the film i was left with a lot number of doubts…………………..i even do not understand the strands between arakkal and chirakkal as i was not taught anything about kerala history till my this nineth when i saw an acount of arakkal beevi on victor t v i was much confused.and this article gave me a rough idea. thank you very much arun

  43. @hansika ..yaa ..there is no illathu nairs in malabar ..only kiriyathils ..i just meant to tell that all are nairs ..nambiar is also nair ..we are the northenmost counterpart of the community along with other subcastes in north malabar ..we are adjacent to tulunadu .. so we may be the real bunts / nairs who accompanied brahmins to kerala from the naga kingdom ahichathra in ancient times … Yes is correct ..usually nambiar woman will not marry a nair man is only due to the pride of the ‘nambiar’ title which was awarded to the family before centuries back ..really It has no means ..but now the situation is changed ..many nair families previously known as nairs now changed to Nambiars ..and whole north malabar nairs now comes under the category ‘nambiar’ .. Sorry is shame to saying loud on caste matters ..we have to discuss about the legendary kelu ..

  44. U can see the grave of Murikkinchery kelu at payyambalam beach, kannur …and i heard about a theyyam in the name of kelu ..dont know where it is performed madayipaara,pazhayangadi there is a fort named madayi thekkinaakkil kotta which was protected by murikkinchery kelu ..he was awarded with the title ‘the lord of madayi fort’ was given by kolathiri was d place where the crowning ceremony of the kolathiri kings takes place is described in the vadakkan paattu about kelu ..

  45. hi,thanks for this post.but i think you are wrong when you said that gama attacked haj ship in per my understanding the ship was attacked in kannur near to madayi.

  46. Dear Arjun ,

    I am many ways related to the Nambiar families in malabar to be precise KANNUR .
    well not all Malabar Nairs are Nambiars and the title NAMBIAR isnt a honorific title . it itself called Caste . The origin of Nambiars , the king made some Namboothiri men to eat from Nair men house and Namboothiri Men lost their social status due to these issue and they turn to be shown their characters as like Nair ( Kshatriya character ) . so the king turn them to be made Brahmin Kshatriya like ( NAMBIDI , NAMBIYATHRI ) and placed them above Normal Nairs and Below Namboothiris . ‘ thats the justification of ur statement ” Yes is correct ..usually nambiar woman will not marry a nair man is only due to the pride of the ‘nambiar’ “

  47. ARJUN ,

    the caste like Kurup , Menon , Panicker , Menoki , pillai , Unnithan all are derived from Nair Groups all are classified in accordance with their works . Menon Keeps MELNOTTAM for kings ( Kings Prime Ministers ) , padakurup trains army for kings , Panicker had right to give weapons for Royal families members and Padakurups ,
    Pillai’s are kings Accountants ( KANAKA PILLA ) etc it varies with the areas .
    but caste like Nayanar which is honorific title given to Nambiars .
    hope you know E.K Nayanar ( Erumbala Krishna Nayanar) our old CM , His Family ( Erumbala Nambiars ) is from Kannur and his family got honorific title as Nayanar from king

  48. Once back at Massawa, Gama found the men he had left were restless and convinced by the self-described patriarch João Bermudes that they should provide military assistance to the beleaguered Emperor of Ethiopia. Gama acquiesced to their demands, and landed 400 men, 130 military slaves, and sufficient supplies for them at Massawa and the nearby port of Arqiqo under the charge of his brother Cristóvão, before departing for India July 9. History has million climaxs.. we cnt confirm which is true because its history. There are no facts real evidences to prove it. Its a story foretold by our ancestors. so before we give out wrong unnecessary information kindly read your history and then justify right and wrong. This article I read above says he was coming to India. Did he manage to come or not is unanswered. We are nobody to aassume what happened next cz we weren’t present nor do we have facts stating so. Take care!

  49. Kaitheri Edam is an aristocratic Nambiar family belongs to Kannur District”Kaitheri” is a family name and “Edam” means family who got local ruling power, kaitheri Edam is well known for its long heritage of aristocracy and honuor.
    Kaitheri Makkam wife of Veera Kerala Varma Pazassi Raja and Kaitheri Ambu great warrior of Veera Kerala Varma Pazassi Raja, were from Kaitheri Edam family.
    Kaitheri Edam is located 3 kms from Kuthuparamba town(Kuthuparamba-Kottiyur Road) and still stands proud as a mark of ‘Unity and love’.Sri Kaitheri Edam Bagavthi Temple is the family temple of Kaitheri family. The deity here is goddess Sree Porkali (Adi Parasakthi) and goddess Siva Sakthi ponmakal (Badra Kali). The Goddess in the temple of Kaitheri Edam is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver as well as destroyer of them all.History behind this temple is, both the goddess started from vayanad (sreeporkali kav ) and gone to many places with blessings of Lord Kottiyoor Perumall (Odakkatil Achan), finally they reached to Kaitheri and saw the sandiya deepam ( sandiya deepam mugakaniyai kandu santhoshichu, kaitheri karthavinte neerum, nilavum kandu kothichu kayeduthu ). Later karanvas constructed temple, now it is fully functional with regular Poojas (morning & evening) and also performs theyyam in February( Kumbam-6,7,8). Along with goddess, vettaykorumakan, deyivathar, gulikan theyyams also performs here, thanks to the efforts of the Family members and the local devotees.
    Kaitheri Edam (KE) family have its associates families like Kaitheri Keloth (KK), Ammal Kaitheri (AK), Kaitheri Ramath (KR), Kaitheri Manikoth (KM), Kaitheri Kandoth (KK ), Kaithery Madam (KM), Iringal Kaitheri, Meethale Veetil Kaitheri, kunnath kaitheri, kaitheri Puthalath, Kaitheri Puthiyedath etc

  50. Dear Hansika .. haven’t you heard about the royal Nair families like Kodoth , Kambikkaathidam , Kuruvatt , Paliyeri , Murikkanchery , Chenguni , Mullachery , Maadambil , Aechikkanath Chirakkara , Kurungott etc … Then your knowledge in North malabar history is zero I would say .. You mentioned about Kadathanad Kovilakam .. They are really Adiyodis .. they performed hirnaygharbha by the end of 1700s and aquired ‘Varma’ Title .. The so called Kolathiris are a chera / yaadava ruler who aquired ‘Varma’ Title in 1617 AD by performing Hiranyagharbha … All nambiars are nairs and this fact is known by everyone except a few people who lacks knowledge in traditions and history like you .. prominent nambiar families like Mavila , Pullaikkodi , Thiyyancheri ( Cheviri ) , etc hold Nair title in Kasaragod dist , not Nambiar … Only the Kiriyathil Nairs in Kannur Use Nambiar title … Still families like Kodoth , Murikkinchery proudly Say they are Nairs … Nair is the caste and Nambiar is a title .. don’t confuse with maniyani , vaniya castes ( because many of them now use Nair tag and they are not Nairs ) ..
    Ever seen a Theyyam ? Theyyam addresses Nairs & Nambiars as ‘ akambadi karthaavu ‘ .. nairs in North malabar ( understand it as Kiriyathil / Samanthan Nairs ) are ‘ naalu thara nanoottiyambath illam ‘ which consist of all nambiar & nairs families …
    I wonder who told you all these fantasies … Ever visited north to Thaliparamb … Payyanur , Nileshwar , Kannangad ? Ever seen Noble Nair & Poduval families out there ? Only few nambiar families are there which can be termed as a Samanthan … Not all nambiar families cannot be a Samanthan … Families which hold nambiar title like Kallyatt , Koodali , Mavila , Kumuzhiyil , Randuthara Swaroopam , Chenicheri are big landlords and not all families … Nair , Nambiar , Payyanur Poduval , Adiyodi , Nayanar are same people with same origin .. Vengayil is a Nair family later got Nayanar title .. please don’t divert history with your fantasy tales sister ..

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