History of Pachoru Neercha and Unniyathiri

The two well known nobles were Arakuzha Unnyathiri and Vallikkada Panicker in the history of Arakuzha. Vallikkada Panicker was the trainer of fighters for the king. Unnyathiri was the subordinate of Chettoor karthakkal, who were the rulers as the second in charge on the ladder of rulers under the the king. Unyathiri was one of the “ida prabhukkal” who ruled over small villages. Unnyathiri was said to be hailed from the famous family of Aromal Chekavar in ancient vadakkan pattukal. There is a traditional story that connects Unnyathiri to the traditional rice pudding offering called ” Pachoru Nercha” on August 15th at the church. The king ruled during the period of 1770 s was Raja Raja Varma. In about 1770 A.D. there was no rain for 18 months. The reason for the drought is said to be consequence of an inhuman act by Unnyathiri who killed a person who sought shelter in Arakuzha Church.The story goes like this. One man happened to fish from a tree with arrow while the beautiful daughter of Unyathiri was taking bath in the river . Some how she got scared and humiliated by him according to the then existing moral standards and values. Hearing the story Unyathiri got angry and ordered to kill him. He ran to church and had sought refuge in the church. Later Unnyathiri had found him. He was dragged out side and killed at the door step of the church.It is believed that because of the desecration of the church by the bloodshed, Arakuzha was affected by a severe drought and famine for 18 months. Unyathiri called the astrologers to find out the reason behind the drought and famine. The astrologers found that the drought and famine were the consequences of desecration of the church by the murder of the innocent man by Unyathiri. As an atonement Unyathiri made an offering to the church to give food called “pachoru”. Pachoru was prepared with 15 bushels (parra) of rice with enough coconuts and brown sugar. It is the oral story that it rained in an epic proportion just after the offering and the water swelled up to the level that they could not even walk back home. Even today there is this tradition of offering rice pudding (pachoru nercha) on August 15th since then. Nobody knows much about the end of Unyathirir’s rule and what happened to his descendants. It is said that his palace was situated in the property now owned by Jose Erthadathil. According to the parish records Unyathiri gave 2 acres of land called kandathikudy purayidam and 97 cents of paddy field to the church to meet the annual expense of the pachoru offering. The name ” Unyathiri” seems to be a title of a position rather than a name of a person because the same title has been seen in many period in different occasions.