Controversial Relation Between Tipu Sultan and Unniyarcha

Controversial Relation Between Tipu Sultan and Unniyarcha



  • Note: This article is a simple study of the events around .Once again its not my interpretation.
  • It is not meant in any way to discredit any of the history or aricle . The attempt was only to try and reach a rational conclusion from the limited information in the article.
  •  full foundation or all the facts, so I beg to be forgiven in such a case and eagerly look forward to studying them some day.
  • Nevertheless, my feelings for Tipu will continue to remain negative.

Reference :

  • The findings was made by writer Manantheri Bhaskaran (Researcher Bhaskaran) who claims to be Unniyarcha’s relative (4th generation grandson of Unniyarcha’s brother).
  • Reference Malayla Manorma article.
  • Reference Maddys blog.


Well , I born to a ” Thiyya” family in Malabar. I grew up studying and understanding northe ballad stories since my childhood.  I know they are memorable historical characters and tweaking such stories are not right but this is not my views or opinion, when i found an article explaining the relation between historic charcters tipu and Unni i thought of sharing it with you people


NB : Mail me if you find any content objectionable , so i can straight away remove such portions ( )


  • Who was Tipu?

Tipu Sultan was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and his wife Fatima “Fakhr-un-Nisa “. Tipu introduced a number of administrative innovations during his rule.He  controversially  conquered non-Muslim subjects and British prisoners. In 1790 Tipu attacked the South Kerala Kingdom of Travancore in 1790. The fruit of which was a broken leg which made him permanently lame. He lost his sword and this is the sword which Vijay Mallya bought at Sotheby auction.

  • Who was Unniarcha ?

Kalaripayattu and martial arts expert.

  • The story which every one knows/propagated  (please read on. )

Unniyarcha (AD.1549-1620) was a legendary martial expert Thiyya woman. She was the daughter of “Kannappa Chekavar” and sister of Aromal Chekavar and Unnikannan . Unniyarcha was married to Kunhiraman (Raman Chekavar)) during her teens. Even though Kunhiraman was  smart , reportedly  lacking in courage and adventure. .Puthooram Chandu (Chandrangada Chekavar) was the nephew of Kannappa Chekavar.Puthooram veedu was situated in Thalassery. The Puthoram house controlled some 4 kalaris while the Aringodan house controlled 18. In total there were about 42 of these schools of martial arts.

  • Her brother Aromal Chekavar  fought with Aringodan(His brother) for controver  over family property. Aromal wins the duel, however his cousin Chandu who had a grudge against him due to the refusal of the Puthuram family earlier to get him married to Unniarcha, took revenge by injuring Aromal Chekavar mortally with a lamp (there are other versions as depicted in the movie Oru vadakkan veeragadha by MT). The dying Aromal tells of the deceit to Unniarcha who swears revenge. Chandu gets married to Aringodans sister after the fight. “Unniarcha by then curiously begets a child Aromal unni”.Aromalunni, the son of Unniyarcha, took revenge against Chanthu.

Now the question is

Was “Unniyarcha” Wife of Tipu??

  • Research carried out by Bhaskaran(Can read his book for further study)

Unniyarcha was a contemporary of Tipu Sultan and in fact Tipu had captured her in war and taken her to Mysore in 1790 May and forced her to be one of his wives.After the death of  Hyder ali , Tipu had taken over around 1784. As it appears, Tipu ended up in front of Unniarcha, now aged 19 or so, during a fight in N Malabar. Unniarcha’s family and followers were fighting with Tipu’s army for their life in the Tellichery region, and they were making inroads. Tipu had to intervene finally and he does so with typical treachery (unlike practices in Malabar), he gets hold of her sister in law and chops her to pieces, ordering Unniarcha to surrender or else he would treat all the others remaining in her family, the same way. In order to save the rest of the family, she lays down her arms and surrenderd becomes part of the winner’s  military camp. Later Tipu adds her to his famed Zenana in Srirangapatanam as a favored wife. She later fathers a son and a daughter through Tipu and remains his wife till Tipu’s death in 1799. After Tipu’s death in 1799 she visits her mother Unnichira in Tellicherry, and goes back to Mysore, this time to the court of Krishna Raja Wodeyar. Finally she dies some time in 1822 or so, aged 62 in Mysore.Bhaskrans states that by now Unniarcha was a favorite wife and that she established considerable clout over him


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