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Marottichal – A Village in Kerala where Chess saves People from Alcohol

The chess game in Sanskrit is known as Chaturanga, which means four divisions whose roots date back to the 6th century and is believed to have been arisen from the grounds of Eastern India. The primary agenda of the game is to cast light on the mental training and intelligence of the players. And according to scientific calculations, the champions of the chess game have their IQ leveling above the average. The chess players basically have the ability to memorize the patterns of making moves and eventually master the game.


The popularity of Chess

Marottichal – Chess Village of India

Chess is a popular game in many countries all over the world, including –Ukraine, Armenia, Iceland, Russia, and Azerbaijan. India is also one of the prominent countries that boast famous chess players. And the popularity of Chess in India has grown over the years of time. Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand has been an inspiring cause for influencing the young and adult and has made the parents put their faith into the game by encouraging their children. However, a village in South India –Marottichal has very significant yet different reasons for supporting the playing of Chess.

Origin of Chess in Marottichal

Marottichal is a slow-moving, peaceful, quiet, tranquil, and a sleepy village that is based 25 km away from Amballur in the district of Thrissur, Kerala. The population of the village is about 9000, and 90% of the people here are indulged in Chess playing. If we look at the history stating facts, around 60 and 70s, Marottichal was a village known for its people being extremely addicted to alcohol. Almost every family here was troubled with the liquor that was manufactured locally in the village.

Marottichal – A Village where Chess saves People from Alcohol

Most of the villagers either were involved in liquor brewing or were indulged in intoxicating themselves with it. Gradually, alcohol started to consume the whole community of Marottichal, which ultimately required the help of the excise officials to raid the village free of alcohol. During this time, a 16-year-old from the village of Marottichal named –C Unnikrishnan, was deeply moved by Bobby Fisher, the young American Grandmaster, which hooked Unnikrishnan’s attention to the game.

How Chess transformed the lives of people in Marottichal?

Unnikrishnan started to learn the chess moves, and his interest was piqued to a level where he almost got addicted to playing Chess. He began by giving free lessons to the others in the village, and today he runs a restaurant with more than 700 people. He has a place dedicated to Chess, where people starting from the age of 8 to 80 of Marittichal village come to hone their skills in the game.

Marottichal – India's Chess Village

The villagers took training from Unnikrishnan and are now passing on their skills to their next generations as well. The people of the village were immensely dedicated and determined to eradicate alcohol’s existence from Marottichal, which made the females, males, the young, and the children to take part in the move. Everyone here plays Chess with the same interest, if not more, and with the same intensity. The five-times world Chess Champion –Vishwanathan Anand has praised the appetite and enthusiasm of the villagers in Marottichal for playing Chess.

Marottichal sets an example for all

Marottichal Chess Village

Marottichal is an inspiration for almost all of us because of the determination that has been portrayed by its people. The village is a live example of how our commitment can drive our destiny. It shows how you do not need legends to show you the way, sometimes your will power and your resolve is enough to bring about a change into our lives. If the addiction for alcohol is replaced by the obsession for Chess, then we must believe that almost all the social issues can be tackled, with positivity. Unnikrishnan’s endeavors show us a path of how powerful individual contribution can be and how it can bring about a change in society.

How to reach?

Marottichal is located in the Thrissur district of Kerala, India. The village is at a distance of 22 km from Thrissur town. It is a beautiful place lined with water bodies exemplifying scenic views all across the place. The astounding village, however, lacks the means of transportation. However, you can make use of private cabs or tourist buses to reach Marottichal.

Nearest Railway Station: The nearest railway station to Marottichal would be Pudukad Railway Station, from which you can use cabs or buses to travel to Marottichal village.

Nearest Airport: You can use five different airports to reach Thrissur district –Kochi Airport is located 44.5 km away from Thrissur district and is the closest. Other nearby airports include Calicut at a distance of 75.1 km, Coimbatore, Kannur, and Trivandrum.


While Marottichal is a village that has an inspiring background story, it is no less than an offbeat tourist destination place in Kerala. The sleepy and quiet village is lined by two exquisite cascading waterfalls, namely –Ilanjippara and Olakkayam. To have a serene yet inspiring experience in Marottichal, you must plan a trip to the village at least once in your lifetime.

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