This 1965 film portrays Thacholi Othena Kurup, more popularly called Thacholi Othenan, the younger of the two Kurups, a Nair family of North Malabar. Othenan, like Aromal Chekavar was an exponent of 'Kalarippayattu', the martial arts of North Kerala. He had enormous skill in sword fight especially fight with 'Urumi', a special kind of sword. It was ironic that he was eventually shot dead by a sniper as he returned to the arena after winning a famous fight with Kathiroor Gurukkal. His elder brother warned Othenan that 'Kalarippayattu' rules of encounter forbids the winner against returning to the arena after winning a fight. Othenan did not listen and paid the price.
Death of Othnen brought the end of 'Kalarippayattu' though there have been some efforts recently to revive the art. Even today there are several active 'Kalris'(schools of Kalarippayattu)in North Kerala especially Calicut and Cannanore.
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