Kayankulam Kochunni leaves his mark
Stories from behind the ornate locks of Varanapalli Temple.
In the earlier post, I wrote about the the influential student of the school at Varanapalli, Sri Narayana Guru. Nearly a century before Sri Narayana Guru, another interesting person, Kayankulam Kochunni, the Robinhood of Kerala, happened to come to the same place. No, he was not a student, but a friend of one of the main members of the Varanapalli family.
One day, Kochunni visited his friend at Varanapalli. As they stood chatting, the Panikar asked Kochunni, who was already famous as a master thief, if he had the courage to steal from the Varanapalli family. Kochunni just smiled. The next day when the Panikkar woke up, he discovered that a vessel that was kept inside the house, where he slept behind a locked door, was kept in the courtyard of the house. Kayankulam Kochunni has broken in and left his mark.
The white box in the above picture shows the place where a hidden lock was placed. Apparently, Kochunni, who was chewing paan, had marked the spot even as the Panikar was challenging him and came back at night to break in.
Kochunni himself was an interesting character. He stole from the rich and gave it to the poor. But at the same time, he was friends with the richest family in this part of Kerala. He only broke into Varanapalli once, but he didn't steal a thing from the richest and most powerful house in theis part of the world, then.
Here's a picture of the house (on the right) and the temple
And I love the marks left on this thorth (the cotton towel of Kerala)