Kayamkulam Kochunni-The Robin Hood of Kayamkulam

LAST MODIFIED: October 11 2018, 11:37 IST

Kayamkulam Kochunni was a famed thief from Kayamkulam, who lived during the early 19th century. He was active in the Central Travancore area in British India. He is said to have stolen from the rich and given to the poor (like Robin Hood). Kayamkulam Kochunni died in jail in 1859. Stories on him are often associated with thief Ithikkara Pakki from Ithikkara village on the shore of Ithikkara River. Legends on his life are part of the folklore of India.
Kochunni experienced abject poverty in his younger days that developed an aversion to misers, moneylenders and landlords. By the assistance of an renaissance leader Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, Kochunni was arrested and incarcerated. He died in a prison in Travancore in 1859. The common belief is it was at Central Prison, Poojappura, but its construction began only in 1862. According to historians, the Central Archives building in present-day Thiruvananthapuram was formerly a prison in the 19th century and is believed to be the first Travancore prison, which is likely where Kochunni was incarcerated.